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Buzz that goes away when I touch the strings

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Ravenmore, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Ravenmore

    Ravenmore Strat-Talker

    Oct 9, 2017
    Cedar Park
    Hi all - I'm new to working on guitars. I bought a couple of cheap Squier Strats to practice working on. One I simply pulled apart and put back together. The other I changed the pickups, switch, and pots on, although those electronics were pre-wired together. Both of them are producing a buzz now when plugged into the amp. However it goes away when I touch the strings. So I'm wondering what I need to do to fix it. Not sure if adding shielding to the guard and body would help. I also wonder if it could be related to input jack wiring/connection as that is one point I had to solder, and I suck at soldering. :) Also wonder if that wire should be a shielded wire? Anyway, any guidance for a noob is appreciated. :)

  2. albala

    albala Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 10, 2012
    stamford, CT
    sounds like a grounding issue

  3. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Duderino Strat-Talk Supporter

  4. Deschain

    Deschain Strat-Talk Member

    Jun 23, 2017
    1. Single-coil PU's will nearly always have some buzz.
    2. Look for problems with ground connection, especially to the bridge.
    3. Use shielded wires for signals, where ever possible.
    4. Shielding the cavities and pick-guard will help, but don't expect it to eliminate all buzz.
    5. Replace PU's with noiseless or humbuckers :)

    It can be difficult to get rid of all noise/buzz, nut it is not impossible. I have two strats with single-coils and they are both dead silent. However, I have gone to extremes to completely silence them :)

  5. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 8, 2011
    Raleigh NC
    It's a grounding issue. When you touch the strings you are grounding it and the buzz stops. Like deschain said single coils will have some hum regardless.

  6. RegularJim

    RegularJim Strat-Talker

    May 8, 2017
    Winthrop Harbor, IL
    I did some mods on a cheap strat copy I picked up last year. I plugged it into my amp when I got it home and it had a normal amount of single-coil hum. Then I took it to my workbench and "operated". When I finished the work, I plugged it into my workbench test amp to test my wiring and soldering. Everything worked, but there was an annoying amount of hum even in 2 and 4.

    I went back over my work but couldn't figure it out. Thought maybe I fried something with the soldering iron. Brought it inside and stored it for a while until I could figure out the issue.

    Found another cheap strat copy and went to work. Same thing happened. This time I found the solution. Turns out when the guitar was lying on my workbench, I had the charging base for my cordless drill in close proximity to the guitar (about a foot). When I moved it the hum went away. This fixed both of those guitars.

    Short story long... Make sure you don't have something like that going on.

    Otherwise I'd say make sure your grounding to the trem claw is good, the pickups are all grounded, and your output jack isn't wired backwards (I've done that before, too).

    Good luck!

  7. Ravenmore

    Ravenmore Strat-Talker

    Oct 9, 2017
    Cedar Park
    Thanks. I have the strings off of one at the moment so I'll pull it apart and check some of those things. I'll double check the output jack as well as it is completely possible I screwed that up. :)

  8. Raimonds

    Raimonds Strat-O-Master

    Mar 28, 2015
    Evrthing ‘s fine. If the buzz goes away when you touch strings then bridge grounding is working. If you want to get rid of the buzz when you are not touching strings, you need to shield the guitar.
    Strat-Slinger, SSJR, felis and 2 others like this.

  9. Textele

    Textele Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Oct 10, 2009
    This is true ^^^^

    Depending on how bad the buzz is it could just be normal or picking up noise from lights or another appliance. Do you use dimmers as switches on you lights? Playing close to a computer monitor? Try some different power outlets in your home and see if it gets better.

    Make sure you don't have "cold" solder joints on your re-wire.

    Also move the guitar around slightly and see if it comes and goes. That is normal too.

    Check your wiring thoroughly and if it all looks good, then learn to be quick on the draw with your volume knob. Not playing, make it a habit to crank it down.

    And as stated above, true single coils are going to buzz a little.

    It's just what they do.

    Good luck! :thumb:
    Ebidis likes this.

  10. Ebidis

    Ebidis Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013

  11. Ravenmore

    Ravenmore Strat-Talker

    Oct 9, 2017
    Cedar Park
    I'm used to single coil buzz - this is a bit worse than normal. I appear to have had the wires backwards on the output jack on one. Once I re-soldered it the buzz went away. I didn't do anything on the other guitar but pull the output jack and check the wires and put it back. It seems to be much better now. Not sure what's going on there - maybe the positive lead wire was somehow crossing over and touching ground?
    fezz parka, Textele and albala like this.

  12. fezz parka

    fezz parka Wiggler of Sticks Strat-Talk Supporter

    We're a big bag of water. It grounds us.

    Shielding will kill RF interference. This is a good thing when done correctly.

    Single coils buzz. What you're describing is normal, as others have said. :D

  13. MrPoppa2

    MrPoppa2 Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 5, 2011
    Sun City, Az.
    Half the time a grounding buzz happens, it is a problem in the out put jack. The hole for the jacks is fairly small and if you move it around much, it will ground out the jack, I have had this issue more than once!. Also, if your jack wires are in the form of a coax, I always wire the hot side and ground side using two seperate wires, there is less chance for a bad wiring. .....Poppa

  14. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 24, 2017
    Sharpsburg ,Ga.
    I put in a new quality Jack and my squier se standard stopped doing about 95% of this :)

    Also put one in my mik strat and it was just what it needed to quit it's little craziness .

  15. circles

    circles Senior Stratmaster

    Or buy a Les Paul.

    Kidding! Kidding!
    Strat-Slinger and Ebidis like this.