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Is it possible to find an electronic guitar that doesn't hum or buzz?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by el_Bajo_Verde, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    I'm extremely sensitive to that noise that most electric guitars make. Every one I tried out today had a constant hum, and some didn't go away when I touched the strings. I would switch to the humbucker and it still hummed a bit. Even the expensive guitars.

    Is it just something I just have to accept?

    Every tine I watch a demo of an electric guitar, the hum is there as well.
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    From your personal experience I'd say the answer is evident.
  3. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Maybe your polarity is out of phase.
  4. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    Apparently so! I've seen interviews and instrument demos with experienced musicians, sometimes they will stop and say..."Shh, listen...you hear that? (Buzzing noise from guitar) ...man, I just love thst sound. "

    It looks like it's something that many have learned to accept!
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    When I do single-coil pickup installations in either guitars or basses, I always caution the player that there will be hum or buzz and it will vary depending on the environment. Fluorescent lights and things like neon signs are sure to produce noise. Shielding the pickup cavities helps a little but doesn't eliminate the problem. I've had many people bring me instruments complaining of pickup noise only to find that it doesn't make noise in the shop. It's just the nature of the beast.

    That said, it's always helpful to make sure that all the components in the circuit path, particularly the bridge and pot cases, are properly grounded where appropriate.
    EatS1stBassist and BurnOut like this.
  6. el_Bajo_Verde


    May 18, 2016
    What's most interesting is that this is rarely a problem with electric basses...
    EatS1stBassist and BurnOut like this.
  7. BurnOut

    BurnOut It's The Billy Baloney Show Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    The Natti
    This is often the cause, when I play in my living room, the main electric box is in the basement directly under it. Facing certain directions will really get a hum from it. I'm a humbucker player thru and thru too.
    EatS1stBassist and Munjibunga like this.
  8. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Interesting. My Schecter doesn’t hum. Nor does my best friends Musicman. Or his Gibson. Or his Peavey. Or his PRS.
  9. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    I suppose a piezo pick-up wouldn't be plagued with that.
    Dabndug and Scottkarch like this.
  10. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Acoustic/electric guitar + an AEG amp will still have some base hum to be heard by sensitive ears, but it is the least hummy of all I've heard. Next up is electric guitars done up with active EMG electronics. From there is humbucker equipped EGs with good shielding in the control cavity.

    As mentioned, nearby TV's, monitors, light ballasts, and poor transformers can introduce hum to be amplified by an amplifier.
  11. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    I wish! All my humbucker and split coil equipped basses hum like crazy at home... Elsewhere it's fine, but I have at times questioned my own sanity over this.
    EatS1stBassist and el_Bajo_Verde like this.
  12. Copperhead

    Copperhead Still creakin' around. Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2018
    Proximity to your amplifier is often the problem. Change your position in relation to it. Especially if you are playing at home practicing.
    If I find myself being annoyed subconsciously by hum, this is usually the problem.
    EatS1stBassist and el_Bajo_Verde like this.
  13. Copperhead

    Copperhead Still creakin' around. Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2018
    Five will get you ten they are playing through pedals and or multiple gain stages, to my knowledge the only thing that will tame that between being really playing or not is a noise gate.
  14. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Not to put too fine a point on it - but it's not actually the guitar buzzing, is it? (My instruments never buzz on their own...)
    It's the amp making the sound, which means that all its circuitry is part of the problem, especially the power and instrument cables, which are little antennas at best.
    The better instruments, amps, and cables will have better shielding and grounding.
    But we live in a 60 Hz world (50 Hz in EU...) and I expect there's no being rid of it completely if one is really sensitive to that one thing...
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  15. Copperhead

    Copperhead Still creakin' around. Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2018
    Absolutely true, what I'm offering are practical every day suggestions for less than ideal conditions and equipment.
    Ideally, we'd all like the best but... ( no offense taken btw, just real vs. ideal, which is seldom the case. )
  16. 48thStreetCustom


    Nov 30, 2005
    There are so many other things to think about while playing. Why fixate on something so minor? To quote Frank Zappa, just "shut up 'n play yer guitar."
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  17. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I own 5 electric guitars and 4 of them don't hum at all.

    Those 4 have this newfangled invention in them; it's called a "humbucking pickup". Pretty amazing invention. Totally from the future. Perhaps some day all guitars will be available with this wizardry?
    Luigir and EatS1stBassist like this.
  18. ifrisbee


    Jan 2, 2017
    I have a bass that will absolutely never hum. It’s a Willcox Saber bass. Uses optical pickups, nice tone, killer substain.
    ghostinthemach likes this.
  19. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    A well shielded bass with hum cancelling pickups can be very quiet. That said, a bass that’s quiet at home isn’t guaranteed to be as quiet on a stage with all the various lights you can be surrounded by. I can usually stand on stage, volume full up, hands off the strings, and not hear hum or buzz on my basses.

    Then the guitarist plugs in his strat or tele.....
    Dabndug and EatS1stBassist like this.
  20. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    It’s not from the future. They figured it out before I was born, and I’m pretty old. I’m constantly baffled that, in the 21st century, 60 plus years after the solution was obvious, and 40 plus year after the patent expired, they still make guitars and basses that hum.
    EatS1stBassist and Bob_Ross like this.

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