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Old 09-03-2007, 11:27 PM   #1
Roflcopterrr
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Why did my guitar pick up a radio station?

I was playing my guitar (humbuckers), and I hear a very faint noise in the background. I turned the amp up some more and behold, I hear a radio talk show!! Why is this, and how can I fix it? :P
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:29 PM   #2
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lack of shielding of the electronics cavity, and potting of the pickups.
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:45 PM   #3
electricsnake
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not to steal your thread or anything but i'd like to listen to the radio on my fender 5 watt is it possible?lol
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Old 09-03-2007, 11:46 PM   #4
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i can hear my cellfone's ringtone thru the amp if i put it close enough to the pickups. pretty cool **** yea.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECistheBest
lack of shielding of the electronics cavity, and potting of the pickups.


exactly. happend to me with my strat. theres horribly bad shielding with those single coils. it wasnt so much the guitar though. that time it had to do with the bad shielding on my instrument cable. it did it once and i cant get it to do it agian. lol
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:14 AM   #6
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Whenever I get a text message I hear what sounds like fuzzy morse code coming through my amp.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:15 AM   #7
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^ that happens with all speakers, if the phone is near them.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:29 AM   #8
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Haha never heard of that before, that's pretty damn cool.
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Old 09-04-2007, 12:41 AM   #9
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yea there are a few things you can do to fix it....

one big thing is cheap cables. If you get bad, or maybe i should say cheap, cables with improper shielding that can pickup outside signals. So spending a few extra bucks on cables can go a long way. Id recommend monster cables. they are made well and have a lifetime warrenty. So save ur reciept, and if they ever break you can take them right back to were you bought them and get a new one for free...

As for the guitar. good shielding can sometimes help. Ive never noticed any problems with my gibson, but I guess they know their wiring. One thing you can do with this is get shielding tape...something like http://www.musiciansfriend.com/prod...Tape?sku=364741 seems like it would work great
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:27 AM   #10
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To get specific....(in a simple matter)

/\/\/\/\WARNING SIMPLIFIED SCIENCE CONTENT!!!!/\/\/\/\
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/

*puts on his ham radio geek hat*

An antenna is a piece of wire which receives the entire radio spectrum (from am radio all the way up to cellphone frequencies and beyond)

it works best when for receiving when it is at a "resonant length" (although it can be close and still work)

the lower the frequency the longer the antenna wire has to be.... (and vice versa)

the LOOOOOOOOOONG wrapped wire of your pickups are probably pretty close to the resonant length of an am radio antenna, (your pickup have a lot in common with the am antenna in your pocket radio/clock radio/car stereo).

that fact combined with poor shielding and the fact that you might live close to the transmitter means that you might hear the station coming through your amp in a very "muddy" fashion with the amp turned WAY up...

/\/\/\/\END SCIENCE CONTENT/\/\/\/\
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/


hope that helps...
-David
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Old 09-04-2007, 03:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *kas
Whenever I get a text message I hear what sounds like fuzzy morse code coming through my amp.


happens all the time
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Old 09-04-2007, 04:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetalMusicianAl
i can hear my cellfone's ringtone thru the amp if i put it close enough to the pickups. pretty cool **** yea.

I've always meant to try that - like when Paul Gilbert yells "GET OUT OF MY YARD!" at the end of that song through the pick-ups - I'd love to do that.
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:26 AM   #13
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Press buttons on your TV remote near your pickups with the amp on, you get beeping sounds. It's all radio frequency.
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:39 AM   #14
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my phone controls my ps2 controller.

unpauses dvds etc.

its so annoying.
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Old 09-04-2007, 09:32 AM   #15
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when i first bought my crybaby, i took it to my friends place, used a tele and a fender amp, we picked up some indian radio station, and changes channels when we pressed around the pedal

kinda funny when it happened :P
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Old 09-04-2007, 10:38 AM   #16
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Nobody mentioned amp grounding...true, the most likely cause is insufficient guitar shielding or low quality cables, I agree with that 100% but the grounding in the amp can cause radio pickup too, but it's not as common as with guitar shielding and cables. A good cable with a broken spot in the shielding can do the same. They do tend to get stepped on a lot...wiring polarity of the building versus the polarity of the amp can contribute as well. That's why a polarity switch is often mounted on back of the amp, radio noise and loud hum can result if the polarity is reversed. You can also get a nasty shock when you touch a microphone. That and the wire screen on the mic pulling out moustache hairs made me start using a foam windscreen on my vocal mic.

I always recommend sheilding guitar cavities after doing my guitars, it makes a big difference not only in radio pickup but overall noise reduction. Guitar Nuts has a good tutorial on shielding. I use heavy duty aluminum foil available at any grocery store and spray glue. Just adding a layer to the back side of the pickguard makes a big difference, doing the entire cavity is like picking up an entirely different guitar, you'll hear overtones you never knew the guitar could get, they were covered up by noise, static and hum. Be careful with it, you don't want the foil touching the pickups, switch contacts or internal wiring contact points.

If it turns out the amp may be contributing, have it checked and possibly star grounded by a competent tech. Just a loose solder joint can create an antenna situation. If the wiring in a tube amp is sloppy, you can get all kind of noises, not just radio. The heater wires must be kept away from the tubes as much as possible, without resorting to excess wire length. If too close they will pick up noise, including radio sometimes, but usually static and electronic interference from the tubes and transformers. Ineffective grounding and ground loops make great antennas.
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Old 11-03-2007, 04:05 AM   #17
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I get a country station through this beat up jimi hendrix wah that sumbody gave me...

at the emd of one of the songs on battle for los angeles (rage) tom picked up a radio station thru his amp during recording, dont remember which song tho...
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Old 11-03-2007, 04:22 AM   #18
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When my amp was against my PC i used to pick up BBC Radio 2!

Great when Zane Lowe is on, **** when its techno and im trying to practising Black Label Society!

Sorted it by moving my amp!

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Old 11-03-2007, 07:04 AM   #19
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I have minimal feedback coming from my DiMarzios unless i provoke it, (getting closer to the halfstack...), never heard a radio comming out of my gear, I recently bought an Wylde OD from ebay for 40 bucks, sounded nice as a gain booster on my drive channel, but if i stopped playing you could hear the radio, i took the pedal out of the line and the channel was as clear as it could be. My noise gate cures the Radio ism but other than that it had never been a problem.
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Old 11-03-2007, 08:51 AM   #20
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Is this with Tubes, SS, or both/all amps/lame ass pickups etc?
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