Strat Pickup Buzz

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by slh2536, Jan 5, 2021.

  1. slh2536

    slh2536 New Member!

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    I have two American Strats with factory pickups. When I add a little distortion to my sound it makes a buzzing sound is it my pickups or the distortion. I'm looking for some distortion but clean sound. I can walk around and some of the buzzing goes away. Need some help cleaning up my sound. Thanks!
     
  2. CapCrunch

    CapCrunch Strat-Talker

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    Welcome to Stratworld! Buzzing is part of the joy of being a Strat player! Or, the scourge of sticking to tradition or beliefs that good tone can only be accompanied by same said buzz! Join whichever faction in this long standing war between traditional buzzers and "noiseless" Strat users! Have your wallet, credit card or other electronic payment method at hand, you will be showered with great advise soon! Like religious pamphlets, our advise will be "the" one that will take you to strat tone heaven while all others are fake!
     
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  3. MrYeats

    MrYeats Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    any high gain on the amp or distortion pedal will increase BUZZ, in my experience anyway. Does it buzz less on clean setting.
     
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  4. Fuzzpop

    Fuzzpop Guitar in the Space Age! Platinum Supporting Member

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    Tough to diagnose without hearing it. Could be anything from the amp to the pedals in your chain to the typical 60 cycle hum of single coils. And most gain/boost/OD will introduce some kind of noise.

    However, this...
    ...leads me to believe that you're sitting/standing facing the amp while playing. Turn away from it an the buzzing/hum will likely reduce. This happens when I'm in my studio dialing an amp in since I have to sit right in front of it while playing. Goes away when I turn back to the desk.
     
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  5. slh2536

    slh2536 New Member!

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    Yes, buzzes less on cleaner tones. Also buzzes less on 2 & 4 on my 5 way switch.
     
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  6. MrYeats

    MrYeats Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

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    2 & 4 are hum cancelling positions as you are connecting 2 coils together to make like a humbucker. The pickups must be RWRP for this to work. Most already are.
     
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  7. SILENCER

    SILENCER Strat-Talker

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    Welcome to single coils
     
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  8. slh2536

    slh2536 New Member!

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    Does shielding really work?
     
  9. HazyPurple

    HazyPurple Without stress... my life would be empty Silver Member

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    That's another topic for debate.

    I would say some, but is it worth the effort?

    Controlling feedback from a Strat' played at high gain, is a true art.
     
  10. Bob Spumoni

    Bob Spumoni Senior Stratmaster

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    Shielding helps, but it isn't a sure-fire cure-all. I have a feeling people sometimes inadvertently create ground loops when they shield, grounding both ends of braided shield, say, or double grounding via grounded pot cases and grounding jumpers, that sort of thing. That said, even if you do it just so, it ain't perfect. Maybe if you put those little cans around everything, but life is short.

    As for the pickups, I'm inclined to think you can either have "noiseless" pickups or you can have the Strat sound in all it's complexity, but you can't have both. So here I sit, contentedly buzzing away.
     
  11. Torvald

    Torvald Strat-O-Master

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    I found that shielding helped quite a lot. Especially in the case of one strat with 57/62 pickups, so no RWRP. Also important to me is that by grounding the shielding on the back of the pickguard you can eliminate the static crackle that is so common.
     
  12. The_Whale

    The_Whale Strat-Talker Silver Member

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    Search this forum for answers.
     
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    many of the pickups are made with no insulation between the windings and the magnets.. the cumulative pressure resulting from the many turns can cause the Formvar, or other coating on the wire, to break down, allowing continuity between the circuit and the magnets... if you touch the magnets and hear an increased noise, i.e. buzz.. that's the issue..While the pups can and most often do function properly.. they are just plain more noisy than usual.

    You can check this by using a VOM (Multimeter) on a mid range Ohms setting.. then touch the hot lead and a magnet... you may also want to check the neutral lead too.. if the internal fault happens closer to the "start" of the windings the neutral lead will show more continuity than the Hot lead, and conversely if the fault is closer to the finish.. which is unusual since the finish turns occur on the outside of the coil. But ya never know because some guys have some strange imaginations when it comes to winding these things.


    r
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2021
  14. 66musicmaster

    66musicmaster Senior Stratmaster

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    One of mine seems to have more buzz than I feel is correct. I'm going to do some checks, but may be asking more about it soon and looking for answers. Of course it could be something I did soldering. So not faulting anyone or anything yet. This thread just came up at a good time for me.
     
  15. Fenderbaum

    Fenderbaum Strat-O-Master

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    Shielding is recommended only to prevent outside noise to enter the pups. But will not kill the 60 hrz internal noise.

    OD and fuzz usually generates hum and noise. Some more than others.

    I recommend a very good signal cable if you use those cheap ones.
     
  16. Hydr0

    Hydr0 Senior Stratmaster

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    If it really bothers you and some of the suggestions here don't work for you, you could always switch to noiseless pickups, but read about the pros and cons about them first. Good Luck.