I've got a simple problem/question. After rewiring a guitar, I noticed it had a slight hum, which increased when I strummed the strings (or the pickups were picking up noise for that matter). It was a slight hum and after completely wiring it again, the hum was back again.

I decided to isolate the problem and go to the source; the humbucker itself. Its a four conductor seymour duncan (I've used this pickup only months ago in a guitar before and it worked flawlessly), so I took the bare and green, and grounded them directly to an output jack. I twisted and soldered the red and white together. Then I took the black and connected it directly to the hot output on the output jack. It still hums. I tried attaching it to a perfectly working volume pot. Just as you might of guessed, it still hums. Everything is grounded and I even went so far to take it out of the guitar and have the pickup completely on its own. This didnt help.

When I touch the bottom metal plate of the humbucker, or the metal poles that "pickup" the sound, it reduces the sound but still not as quiet as it should be. I have a perfectly fine working fender highway one with a humbucker and it makes a little sound when its picking up sound, but nothing to noticable.

I understand my amp makes noise and some hum is inevitable. Im pretty sure my amp has a noise gate and when the sound is being picked up some of the hum leaks through when the distortion is high. The amp is functioning properly. I've tried different cables also. The humbucker it just hums on its own when there is no reason for the noise gate not to suppress everything. I took an old epiphone humbucker with no problems too and attatched it to an output jack and it also hums. But like I said, I have a perfectly good working fender as a control. I DONT KNOW ANY OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER.
My EMG's hum when I run too much distorrtion through them. But I would just say, did you check your ground wire on your guitar? Is it grounded properly?

EDIT: just saw that you did ground it, did you try grounding the pickup to the tone pot and grounding the guitar itself to the input jack?

And does it hum with distortion on or does it hum on the clean channel?
Last edited by ethan_hanus at Dec 21, 2009,
Yeah, I know the grounding isnt a problem. The hum is more like interference, not like inproper grounding, which is way louder.


I tried both. There is some hum on the clean channel, but as you might suspect, not nearly as much.
Last edited by ACR4V3N at Dec 21, 2009,
My amp works fine with a fender highway one hss (atomic humbucker). Also, I've used this pickup before and it's worked fine. The trick is, I tried wiring an epiphone humbucker pickup straight to the input jack and it also hums, which leaves me clueless as to what could be the problem. It makes no sense. I think the amp is fine, and I've tried different cables and they work with other guitars/pu's.
Last edited by ACR4V3N at Dec 21, 2009,

I tried this pickup on a different amp at a different house and the humming was still there. Also, the epiphone humbucker had the humming problem.

All I did was wire the ground to ground and hot to hot, and its buzzing with both pickups. What else could be wrong?
No no no, thats not ground, typically with pickups there are three wires, at least. The red is usually hot, the black is netural, and the braided exposed wire is ground for that pickup. The ground wire goes to any random pot, then off of your input jack, a black wire should be connecting to something of solid metal, either your trem claw or your bridge so to ground the entire guitar to the wood. Just because the pickups are wired up right dosent mean that you have your main ground wired up right.
I followed the wiring code for the seymour duncan, which has worked before. As for the epiphone humbucker its got one (white) wire and a bare wire. How could the main grounding be inproper if it is directly connected to the ground for the output jack? I know I'm not getting the prongs on the output jack mixed up either, cause just to make sure I wired them to the opposite prongs and it was really ungrounded then.

Im sorry, I known this is frustrating, but imagine how I feel?

Thanks for your help so far.
Thats what I'm wondering, if all else fails, just screw a steel plate into the cadivity and ground everything to that. I know on my strat everything is grounded to the trem claw via one black wire, and I'm running active EMG's.

But if you can, dont ground to the jack, try to ground to the bridge somehow.