Weird buzzing behavior

Pickups, magnets, microphones, amps, speakers, cabs, whatever...
Post Reply
Adam Beaudoin
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:36 pm

Weird buzzing behavior

Post by Adam Beaudoin »

I set up in a new space, and I'm getting an irritating buzzing from my Eastman T185. I've unplugged everything else electronic in the area, turned off lights, etc, and none of that made a difference. Initially I assumed it was my amp, but it goes away when I unplug the cable, so it's definitely in the signal itself.

I noticed some odd behavior, though. My volume pots are set around 80%, and the buzz goes away below maybe 40%. At 100% the noise changes in character - tightens up and gets more treble. This happens identically on the bridge & neck pickups. But in the center position the noise gets way quieter.

Does anyone with a better understanding of wiring than me know what this suggests about the cause?

It's also worth mentioning that my tone pots are push-pulls set up to tap the humbuckers into single-coils, and tapping makes no difference to the buzz.

User avatar
Peter Wilcox
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Weird buzzing behavior

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Adam Beaudoin wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 1:59 pm
I set up in a new space, and I'm getting an irritating buzzing from my Eastman T185.
Does it still happen in the "old space" or in a different space/room?
Does it make any difference if you rotate the guitar or yourself or the amp?
Any difference if you touch the strings?

I assume you haven't changed anything in the guitar, cabling or amp.

When you say "unplug the cable" I assume you mean from the amp. Does it still buzz if you just unplug it from the guitar and connect the tip to the shaft with a wire (ground the tip)?
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

Adam Beaudoin
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:36 pm

Re: Weird buzzing behavior

Post by Adam Beaudoin »

Peter Wilcox wrote:
Mon Dec 07, 2020 2:52 pm
Thanks, Peter!

I'll have to check next time I'm in that other space. I could definitely check it in an adjacent room, though since it's not the amp itself, and everything in the room was powered down, I'd imagine it's something less localized like the wifi router or refrigerator on the floor below.

I can try rotating myself/the guitar in the AM, see what that does.

There's a slight difference when I touch the strings - but only because there's a minor ground hum beneath this sputtering noise that is responding to it. That hum is there when the amp is on with no input, this noise isn't.

Amp, guitar, and cable have all been in use, in one configuration or another, for a while without this issue. I haven't been using this amp for a while - in the other space I was using this guitar and cable, but plugged into a spare amp. Not sure that matters, though, if the noise isn't coming from the amp?

I did mean unplugged from the amp, yes. I'll try what you're suggesting - okay to wrap the wire around the channel behind the tip before connecting it to the sleeve, or is that already officially sleeve there? Only asking because that would let me do your test without actually touching the wire, which I know from sloppy form in my early days would introduce its own noise.

Bob Francis
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: Weird buzzing behavior

Post by Bob Francis »

Try a different cable too. I have had cables act like AM antennae.

User avatar
Peter Wilcox
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:31 am
Location: Northeastern California

Re: Weird buzzing behavior

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Adam, I think first you have to see if it's the room, so if feasible go back to the place it worked ok and hook it up to the old amp like everything was originally. If it works ok there, hook it up to the new amp there to see if it's the amp. If it's ok, take the old amp to the new room and hook the guitar up there and see if the problem recurs - if it does, then it's the room.

Actually, try a different cable as Bob suggests before you do any of this. :)

And yes, you can wrap a bare wire around the tip and onto the sleeve so it stays put.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

Post Reply