Can't get within five feet of my amp

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by KennyC, Aug 31, 2020.

  1. Back in Black

    Back in Black Gretschie

    200
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    Hey CG,

    Yes. The guitar was purchased new from the ''Twelfth Fret'' on the Danforth in Toronto, summer, 2005.

    As a matter of fact, when I built the Malcolm Young ''Salute Jet'', I grounded the bridge the same way, just seemed like the logical thing to do.

    On the MY Jet, the base is pegged, so no worry of damaging the ground.

    I have no photos of this grounding detail, but I will take some the next time I change strings.

    Rickenbacker does the same thing, the ground protrudes through the body and is coiled up under the metal bridge base.

    Best,

    BIB.
     
    G5422T likes this.
  2. KennyC

    KennyC Electromatic

    32
    Aug 28, 2020
    Morristown, TN
    I did that in the beginning. Same noise in all three switch positions.
     
  3. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Just wondering, as I've never had or seen a Gretsch grounded on the bridge like that.

    Interesting. What factory is the guitar's builder? First two letters will tell?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  4. Back in Black

    Back in Black Gretschie

    200
    Jun 22, 2020
    Ontario Canada
    Hey CG,

    JT04031715

    BIB.
     
    Medium John and G5422T like this.
  5. Runamok

    Runamok Gretschie

    444
    Aug 25, 2017
    USA midwest
    I’ve resisted this topic for awhile now, but I can’t help myself...

    Every time I see the thread title, “can’t get within 5 feet of my amp”
    I want to ask if its got a restraining order on you.
     
    KennyC and Medium John like this.
  6. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    usa
    Thanks. I've never seen or run into one of those.

    Grounding the tailpiece is a "hole" lot easier! Lol
     
    Back in Black likes this.
  7. KennyC

    KennyC Electromatic

    32
    Aug 28, 2020
    Morristown, TN
    Update: Today was the 14th and I made the trek for my appointment to get my Gretsch looked at. Neither the tech nor myself was able to reproduce the problem. We tried the Gretsch on three different amps, even taking the amps up to full volume. No noise. Given what I had already done and the fact that I have 11 guitars and none of them display this problem on any of my amps or interface, only the Gretsch with the TV Jones pickups, we come to the conclusion that the pickups are sensitive to something in my house, although it had the same hum in an amp at a local guitar store where I live. So tomorrow I will begin the process of elimination and try and find the culprit. I was glad that there wasn't noise in my guitar. We both tend to think it is something that the TV Jones are sensitive to because: no hum from my other guitars, no hum from the amps themselves without the Gretsch plugged in, I have a dedicated circuit with proper grounding for my musical equipment and in addition I use a power conditioner. So there is something that the pickups are picking up. When I find the culprit I will post about it.
     
  8. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    That is very strange, indeed. I can’t even imagine something that would affect one set of pickups, but not another. TV Jones are great pickups, but they are just pickups, and work like other pickups. I don’t have any ideas of what could be causing this, but whatever it is, I’d wager that it’s going to be surprising.

    A number of years ago, I bought a ‘68 Custom Deluxe Reverb. It sounded great, but occasionally it would get a nasty crackling sound. I took it to the dealer sent it in for warranty service. The tech called and said he couldn’t duplicate the problem. I went to his shop and, sure enough, it sounded perfect. I took it home and after a few weeks, the crackling came back. I used every troubleshooting trick I know (and I know quite a few) to no avail. It didn’t matter which guitar I used, it wasn’t a defective patch cord, i tried another Deluxe Reverb in the same outlet and the problem was confined to that one amp.

    I took it back to the tech, and it sounded perfect. He’s a good guy, and poked around but found nothing. This went on for years. Having done tech work in another field, I knew that no tech can repair a problem which can’t be duplicated. Eventually, I put the durned thing away and ignored it. When it was coming up on the expiration of the warranty, I took it out, played it, heard the crackling and, once again, as soon as I took it to the tech, it was perfect.

    I was literally thinking of taking it out back home, and ceremonially cutting it in half with a chain saw, while someone else took a video. But before I got that far, the tech reached into the amp and duplicated the sound. He could duplicate it at will. It turns out that the reverb cables were the absolute best RCA cable that 25 cents could buy. The tech slapped in a set of vintage spec’ cables and the amp breathed a sigh of relief. It’s worked perfectly, ever since.

    All I can advise is to eliminate variables. I think I’d start by tripping the breaker for that room and use a good quality extension cord from another outlet, not on that breaker. If the guitar and amp are working ok, then turn the breaker back on and see if the noise comes back. If so, you know that the source of the noise is on that breaker.

    If there’s a smoking gun, it is the fact that when you lay the guitar flat, the noise goes away. I’m not sure what the answer is, but I’m certain that the fact that when you lay the guitar flat, the noise goes away has great significance.
     
    KennyC likes this.
  9. KennyC

    KennyC Electromatic

    32
    Aug 28, 2020
    Morristown, TN
    Thanks Synchro. I hope I can find it in short order tomorrow, but maybe not.
     
  10. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    I wish I could be there. I’d love to see what this prune out to be. Remember, when you hear the beating of hooves, think horses, not zebras. It will almost certainly be something simple.
     
    KennyC likes this.
  11. KennyC

    KennyC Electromatic

    32
    Aug 28, 2020
    Morristown, TN
    I've spent the morning trying to find what the culprit is. Nothing to report yet. However, no matter where in my house I plug my amp in, same noise. No matter what electrical devices or circuits I have disconnected, same noise. I did record the noise because it is even present in my interface with this Gretsch. The noise is fairly broad band wise, but the peak intensity falls at 542.3 Hz. So whatever the culprit is, it's greatest intensity is around 542 Hz, with the next intensity down around 40 Hz. At this point I am certain that the noise being picked up is coming from the guitar. All my amps are quite or don't make this noise with other guitars. I happen to think that I had an old Crate Limousine amp that is battery powered packed away (got it out 2 years ago and ordered new battery and replaced it). I pulled it out and it was still charged up. I plugged the Gretsch into it (on battery power) and still have the same noise. But this at least gives me a portable option to walk around with guitar and amp in tow and wait for the noise to dissipate or grow louder. On the upper level of my house the noise was the same in all rooms using the Crate. I went outside on the back deck and I could not tell if the noise was there or not. There is a hardwood factory down the street and during the day the noise pollution is quite loud. So I will have to wait till after 5 pm today and try outside again. Below are two pics from the wave file that I recorded. First one is JS Spectrum analyzer that comes with Reaper and the second is of Ozone 8 Advanced EQ and using a filter band (number 3) you can see it's peak at 542.3 HZ and this made the wave file virtually silent in headphones. I did not run through my monitors. More to come latter.

    Update: I was able to go out into my yard after 5 PM today with the battery powered amp and walked all the way to the boundaries of my property. The noise never went away. One thing that is in the back of my mind is our local electric company replaced all electrical meters with smart meters. If it could be the smart meters causing this, then that is out of my control because I live in the city and surrounded by houses with smart meters. Argg. Perhaps I'll just turn my living room into a large Faraday cage.

    Screenshot 2020-09-15 115559.jpg using eq.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  12. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Synchromatic

    862
    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Now that you have the crate/portable amp option that the noise is still present on, can you now take it back to your local repair shop and show them seeing as they could get the noise to happen when it was there? If it does it at your house then I would think it would do it there.
     
    KennyC likes this.
  13. Teledriver

    Teledriver Gretschie

    Age:
    52
    444
    Feb 12, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    Here's a thought too- maybe shoot video on your smartphone of this happening, then show the tech.
    You mentioned smart meters...is this some strange 5G or odd WiFi thing happening? I'd think that TVs are just pickups, but this sure is strange!
    Another thought- ghost hunters and electricians us EMF detectors. I have one. Maybe borrow one and cruise around your house/property???
     
    KennyC likes this.
  14. KennyC

    KennyC Electromatic

    32
    Aug 28, 2020
    Morristown, TN
    Stefan87,

    I was there the entire time with my guitar yesterday. The tech spent 45 minutes with me playing the guitar on various amps and there absolutely was no noise, deadly quite. He even turned the gain up to an insanely amount (something I would never do as I only play clean and at lower volume) and there still wasn't any noise. So what ever is happening is local to me.

    Teledriver,

    Smart meters are replacing analog electric meters in houses around the country. The electric companies are electing to do this for a couple of reasons. One is it eliminates the need for a meter reader and it also is purported to be accurate. The smart meters do broadcast a signal to the local electric company. I have read about interference to audio equipment via smart meters. One in particular was about a recording studio who found that smart meters from nearby units were wreaking havoc on their guitar recordings. They never followed up and posted their resolution, but they did spend a lot of money have an RF expert determine the causation.
    _______________________________________________________________

    I finished up an email while ago to EHX and provided the two pics and an audio file of the noise to see if they thought their Hum Debugger would resolve my issue. Hopefully I will hear back from them tomorrow.
     
  15. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Tucson
    Admin Post
    What puzzles me, is that it happens only with this guitar. The frequency response of pickups doesn’t vary that much.

    Ok, here’s a test, use a speaker cable for a patch cable, or sacrifice a cheap extension cord and make a patch cable out of it. Try that with other guitars and see if you get the same sound. What you are doing is simulating a shielding problem. If the same sound happens, using an unshielded patch cable, with another guitar, then you have a) duplicated the problem and b) pointed to a shielding problem in the 6122.

    I say this only because I want to help, but I’d bet big money that the problem is with the shielding in the guitar. I would guess that there is an EMI problem at your house, but your other guitars are able to reject it. The shop lacked that source, so the problem couldn’t be duplicated there.

    Smartphones and tablets are great EMI generators. See if the 6122 is affected more than any of your other guitars by bringing a smartphone or tablet closer to several different guitars while they are plugged into the amp.

    I will warn you that dealing with the harness in a closed top, trestle braced guitar, is no picnic.
     
    KennyC likes this.
  16. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Synchromatic

    862
    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hey KennyC, yeah I know they had it yesterday but think about how many times people take their appliance/car/truck or what ever to the shop with a fault that they deal with everyday to the technician/workshop to get fixed only to not have the fault present itself to the technician, it happens all the time here at work on machinery, people say there machine has a fault, they bring it in, our guys will work it for hours and won't get the fault to happen, give it back to the customer and the machine faults straight away for them, same scenario has also happened with our new car we just purchased.

    Just thought that seeing as now it does it on your portable amp then you can at least get the guitar to fault on your gear at the workshop if that makes sense as your whole set up is now mobile, or maybe go for a drive with your guitar and the crate amp and see if it will still do the fault in a different area, then you can narrow it down to the location at least.
     
    KennyC likes this.
  17. slickfaster

    slickfaster Synchromatic

    672
    Dec 29, 2009
    USA
    You been playing with a Ouija lately....Sounds like an exorcism might be in order..
     
    KennyC likes this.
  18. KennyC

    KennyC Electromatic

    32
    Aug 28, 2020
    Morristown, TN
    For tonight/today I'm through trying to find the cause. Tomorrow is a new day. I will take my battery powered amp and guitar tomorrow and go for a ride to the country, so far back in the woods that nobody could live behind you! :) I will see what results this brings.

    Thanks for all the responses/suggestions I appreciate it.
     
    Jelly Roll Horton likes this.
  19. slickfaster

    slickfaster Synchromatic

    672
    Dec 29, 2009
    USA
    Holy water and a blessing. And I will say a prayer for you and your guitar tonight. Not kidding
     
  20. KennyC

    KennyC Electromatic

    32
    Aug 28, 2020
    Morristown, TN
    Two experiments this morning. Now that I have the battery powered amp going, I shut off the main breakers so I killed everything in my house. Noise was still there on the battery powered amp in my house and outside. So I turned everything back on and put my amp in the front seat of my truck and strapped the Gretsch in the back seat. Was going to ride out into the country to see what happens, but just as soon as I switched on the amp (still parked in my driveway) - silence. I drove around the neighborhood just for the heck of it and never did get any noise. Come back home, get amp and guitar out of truck. Turn amp on - noise. I just guessing that the truck acted like a Faraday cage and blocked the offending interference. So for now I'm just going to wait and see if I hear back from EHX and see if they think their Hum Debugger would be a viable option.

    BTW, here is a link to the audio file that I recorded of it yesterday through my Clarett 8Pre.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1W90pXpm1fw3LGWsS1TsB93U5PdFOEEQA/view?usp=sharing
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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