#1
Old 03-09-2004, 12:38 AM
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Why is my amp buzzing?

My guitar ampilfier has started to have a buzzing sound in the background. It's so faint as to be unnoticable on the lowest pick-up setting and loud enough to be really distracting on the second highest and highest settings. Anyone got any thoughts? Any more information I could give? I'm pretty much a novice with guitars and amps, having done any formal training (not much!) on an accoustic.
#2
Old 03-09-2004, 12:43 AM
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It's most likely to be failing filter capacitors in the power supply circuitry. As they age, electrolytic caps are prone to drying out, especially if they aren't used often. Bad caps are the primary cause of hum in audio equipment. It could also be a ground loop problem, but if the amp is doing this all by itself with nothing else connected to it, chances are it's the caps.
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#3
Old 03-09-2004, 02:46 AM
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It's stupid of me but I didnt' try fooling around with the amp before without anything plugged in. It doesn't make anything but the hiss of the volume being up too high when the amp doesn't have my guitar plugged into it.

The buzzing goes away when I've got my finger on the strings, could it be something to do with the pickups maybe?
#4
Old 03-09-2004, 02:55 AM
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Does the guitar have so-called humbucker pickups? These are wound such that any common-mode induced hum is cancelled (or "bucked") out. Also, be sure that the cable is in good shape. Worn, frayed or crushed cable will be significantly less able to perform well, and could easily be the source of the hum. Also, see if you can determine if there's anything else that might be causing the problem plugged into the same circuit.
#5
Old 03-09-2004, 05:51 AM
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Can you narrow down the possiblities? The way you describe it the buzzing could be caused by the guitar or lead or amp. Do you have a spare lead to try, do you have access to another amp or guitar? Just what do you mean by 'pick-up setting'?

If the buzzing stops when you touch the strings that sounds like an earthing problem.
#6
Old 03-09-2004, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Clanger
Can you narrow down the possiblities? The way you describe it the buzzing could be caused by the guitar or lead or amp. Do you have a spare lead to try, do you have access to another amp or guitar? Just what do you mean by 'pick-up setting'?

If the buzzing stops when you touch the strings that sounds like an earthing problem.
If you tell me what to do

I've got two leads, they both have the buzzing. I don't have access to another amp or guitar I don't know anyone else with an electric.

Pick up setting is probably the wrong term; the switch that controls what pick-up is used? Basically the only switch on the guitar itself (not including dials).
#7
Old 03-09-2004, 06:26 AM
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Silentgoldfish, my amp does the exact same thing. What kindof amp to you have?

I've always attributed it to grounding and I'm pretty sure some pro told be that was the case but I've never worried about it enough to try and fix it. Any advice is appreciated.
#8
Old 03-09-2004, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UselessGit
Silentgoldfish, my amp does the exact same thing. What kindof amp to you have?

I've always attributed it to grounding and I'm pretty sure some pro told be that was the case but I've never worried about it enough to try and fix it. Any advice is appreciated.
A Peavey Sudio Pro 112.
#9
Old 03-09-2004, 08:17 AM
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Check out the environmental factor - ie is there anything nearby generating a magnetic field that affects the pickup.

PC's and CRT monitors/TVs are bad at this.

Turn off everything in the room (and in neighbouring rooms if you can) apart from the amp.

Until I got a TFT monitor I used to turn off the CRT on my PC to record my guitar (nTrack rules)

Si
#10
Old 03-09-2004, 08:42 AM
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I'll 2nd environmental factors as a possible cause. Does it affect the sound on every pickup? If it's a strat-type (normally 3 single-coil pickups) then quite often the pickup selector is a 5 position, rather than 3, and one or both of positions 2 and 4 will connect two of the pickups out of phase (much like the humbucker that QED mentioned). Does that make a difference?

This is going to sound daft, but if you're wearing the guitar (while it's buzzing) and you do a 360 degree turn, does the quality or the volume of the buzz change? (This would implicate some EM field). Is it affected by how near to the amp you are? If it has started recently, I'd really suggest trying a different lead.

Oh, one more thing; is it possible you can take the guitar/amp into the back garden on an extension cord (if you have both a garden and a cord etc). Same problem?

QED, IIRC you're pretty hot on electrics - I don't know what the differences are in the States, but I know I've had intermittent problems in the past which were down to faulty psu's on neighbour's gear (had to be on the same phase, of course). Are there filters available that could be tried out? Or is there no chance of it being this?
#11
Old 03-09-2004, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxes
QED, IIRC you're pretty hot on electrics - I don't know what the differences are in the States, but I know I've had intermittent problems in the past which were down to faulty psu's on neighbour's gear (had to be on the same phase, of course). Are there filters available that could be tried out? Or is there no chance of it being this?
That sounds like the ground loop problem I mentioned earlier. If one piece of equipment is connected to another and both are plugged into the mains with grounded plugs, then the potential for a ground loop exists. To break the loop, you use a 1:1 tramsformer on the connection between the two culprit devices.
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