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alt.guitar.rickenbacker Frequently Asked Questions
Section - 5.17 How can I reduce the hum my guitar/pickups are putting out?

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   "Sounds like you have a fairly "noisy" recording environment. It 
    would be a good idea to see if you can isolate the source of the 
    hum and reduce it as much as possible.  Poor grounding, ground loops 
    and dimmer switches are common culprits. Make sure your guitars are 
    properly grounded internally as well.  Using amps with two-prong 
    power plugs? Get 'em upgraded to three-prongers.

    I got rid of much of the noise in my little home studio when I 
    junked all the dimmer switches in my house. My guitars with 
    single-coil pickups (meaning just about all my guitars) are way 
    less noisy now. I can pretty much kill the hum completely by being 
    careful about where I sit or stand while playing."

   [daverk,, 11/15/1998]

   "Another thing you can do with the single-coil equipped Ricks to 
    help some with the noise, is to take the pickguard off, completely 
    remove the wiring harness from the lower pickguard, and cover the 
    entire underside of the pickguard with aluminum foil tape, the 
    sticky-backed stuff with peel-off backing, that you can find in 2" 
    wide rolls at the local hardware store in the dept.  Where the 
    heating/ductwork supplies are.  The stuff is used to wrap around 
    the junctions of the duct pipes.  While this does not completely
    solve the problem, I have found it does help noticeably, and I have 
    done this to nearly every Rick I have had."

   [RICK12DR,, 11/16/1998]

   "Done right (and preferably with coil foil tape) this can help... a 
    bit.  Unfortunately, if you leave the wiring harness intact with its 
    daisy chain ground, and then also short out the pot and switch shell 
    with the tape, you'll have a wonderful ground loop, likely to make the 
    problem worse than better. Cut the foil back around the pot mounting 
    and make sure the foil only touches ground in EXACTLY one place.

    The far better solution is to remove or otherwise eliminate the 
    source of hum in the environment. My studio is right on the ocean, 
    for instance, and I pickup the radar of ships in every piece of gear 
    (especially in bad weather!). The trip is to have one central ground 
    point to which everything is connected, even if you have to have to 
    rewire the plugs in the recording area. In my studio I make sure that 
    I and other guitars players are also personally grounded with a clip 
    lead to a watch strap or something like that, but you must be sure 
    that all of your wiring is correctly polarized and grounded, otherwise 
    you run the risk of electrocution."

   [John Hall,, 11/16/1998]

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