Grounding, annieversary G6118T

Fret speedbump

Electromatic
Jun 27, 2018
20
Sweden
Hello,
I own a Gretsch (G6118T-135) but I have a question... Are the pickups on my an anniversary known to make quite a lot of hum? I suspect I have a grounding issue - but - I just want to ask, just so I have not missed if these pickups are known to cause a huge hum.

I use a Vox PF15R and get just about no electric hum or sound at all, when using my Gibson ES-335., a just a slight hum with my semi hollow 1997 Epiphone Les Paul Elite Florentine.
When I plug in my Gretsch I instantly get a loud electric hum. It does not go away but get a lot lower in volume as soon as I touch the strings. I do own 2 identical Vox PF15Rs' and I get the exact same result with both amps, and in different rooms in my flat.

Could this be caused by any other reason, other than a grounding issue?
How to easiest check the guitar/inside the guitar for any grounding issue?
Thx!
 

Fret speedbump

Electromatic
Jun 27, 2018
20
Sweden
Thx for unbeliveably fast replys...!!
This is my first Gretsch. (I looked at the Fairlane blue G5420T but just fell in love with the casino gold/cherry colour and the sound).
I'm a Gibson/Epiphone guy so, I take it that the pickups in my Gretsch are not hugely well known to be very/extremely noisy...

And there can't really be any other cause to this loud electric hum?
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,350
Petaluma
@Fret speedbump
Does the noise go away when you touch the metal parts of the guitar? If so, then it may not be a guitar grounding issue. If the guitar were not grounded, the sound would not go away.

What may be happening is that your pickups are well picking up electronic noise in the environment, including from your body (which is an ungrounded electronic device). When you touch the guitar, you ground the body, eliminating that source of noise. You can try other experiments.

  1. While wearing the guitar with the noise present, touch something grounded other than your guitarn such as the metal part of a computer. If the sound goes away it is again because you are grounding your body.
  2. While the guitar is making the noise, take the guitar off, put it down and walk away. Does the noise decrease? If so, it is because you are removing the source of the noise - your body not the guitar.
  3. A multimeter should tell you whether your guitar is grounded or not.
There could be other sources of noise but the body is a common culprit. One way to address it is to shield the pickups, which is more practical on solid body than hollow guitar.

Variations between guitars may be due to sensitivity of the pickups and/or shielding - not to the "degree" of grounding (not sure about this but I think grounding is binary - on or off, there is no such thing as "partially grounding" that let's through some noise, but I could be wrong).

Anyway, try these experiments before you tear apart your guitar hunting snipe.:D

Here's a video I found discussing the issue.

 
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Fret speedbump

Electromatic
Jun 27, 2018
20
Sweden
Does it have Hilo’Trons or Filter’Trons? Hilo’s are single coil and WILL hum, but no more so than a Strat or Tele or P-90. Can you compare it to another single coil guitar?

My 1997 (Korean) Epiphone Casino with its P90 does hum but much much lower in volume...
 

Fret speedbump

Electromatic
Jun 27, 2018
20
Sweden
Also try a different cable, just in case the one you are using does not fit the jack in the Gretsch well.
Well, I've tried that as well, and changed rooms in my flat but still the same results... so the possibility that the cables cause the loud hum can be ruled out. And the hum more or less goes away when I touch the strings and/or the bridge...
 
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Fret speedbump

Electromatic
Jun 27, 2018
20
Sweden
.... oh and it won't be the last ...you'll see :)
Hahaha... well I were actually looking at the Fairlane Blue G5420T. I had seen a lot of pictures online but when I saw it in a local music store, I felt really disapointed for the blue being much brighter than I seen online. Then I saw the G6118T-135 and the looks just caught my eyes from that moment. I tried it, loved it, and went home to thing about the bigger price tag. A few days later I found a great deal from another store.

Well, this will likely be my only Gretsch for a forseable future.
I'm and have always been a ES-335 person. I also like to have f-holes on my guitar as a semi hollow/hollow guitar not just sound great, they look just as good.
 

Fret speedbump

Electromatic
Jun 27, 2018
20
Sweden
Just visited one of the local music stores that had one identical guitar for sale. Pluged it in and... wow...silent... so now I'm down to either a grounding issue in my Gretsch G6118T-135 or something for me unknown issue (fequecy issue, electric issue or what else?) In the soecific combination between my Gretsch and my Pathfinder...
 

Henry

I Bleed Orange
Apr 9, 2014
18,350
Petaluma
Just visited one of the local music stores that had one identical guitar for sale. Pluged it in and... wow...silent... so now I'm down to either a grounding issue in my Gretsch G6118T-135 or something for me unknown issue (fequecy issue, electric issue or what else?) In the soecific combination between my Gretsch and my Pathfinder...
Try bringing your guitar to that store that is the only way to make a true comparison. Have you tried the tests I suggested? There can be many sources of hum.
 
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EarleG

Electromatic
Dec 19, 2013
46
Hendersonville TN
Another ground hum issue found here is a cold solder joint ground wire on the master volume pot.
The solder joint looks fine but inside the wire isn't making good contact on the pot.
Usually re-flowing the solder joint pressing on the wire connection point will correct.
 

Fret speedbump

Electromatic
Jun 27, 2018
20
Sweden
The strange problem gets an update.
I visited one of the local music stores today where they have an identical G6118T-135 for sale at the moment. Tried both guitars, in several amps and... no huming from either guitar, in any amp. .
So, my Gretsch anniversary performed fantastic in the store.
My guess now shifts towards if there is any electrical/grounding issues in my flat/in the house..
 

Lucky Jim

Gretschie
Oct 16, 2020
144
Kent, England
I have heard fluorescent lighting can cause humming issues.

And dimmer switches too. There are several types of electrical equipment in the home that can cause humming and buzzing in amplified guitars. Take a look at what electrical items are in use in your home and get someone to switch them off one at a time briefly while you use your Anni and amp to try to find the culprit.

Also as a safeguard, checking the grounding of your wall outlets using a simple plug-in tester is time well spent.
 


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