#1
When I have the pickup selector in all but one position, there is a buzzing through the amp. It isn't too bad, but it is bad enough I want to fix it.

I opened it up, and took a few pictures. It looks like someone has been messing around inside, they did a messy soldering job. The only thing I could find that was unique about the position that worked with no buzz is that both the red and white wire are connected.

The position that works selects pickups 1 and 2 (I started counting from the neck)

I bought this guitar used a few months ago, it always had this issue

I repair vintage home audio equipment, and I'm studying electrical engineering, so I'm confident in my technical skills, but I haven't worked on guitars before.

pictures here:
https://picasaweb.google.com/Raccoon1400/Guitar?authuser=0&feat=directlink
#2
Buzzing eh... I was going to say Ibanez INF pickups are pretty cheap(assuming that's what the guitar uses).

My Ibanez has them and they will get interference from almost anything you can think of, then again it's hard to say without hearing the buzzing ourselves but I think it's just cheap pickups.
#3
even if they are inf pick ups they are quiet if they are humbuckers

but from seeing the pics there thats messy i think the uitar will benefit from new wiring(an pick ups if it does have inf pick ups)
#4
Is it a 60 cycle hum or is it a grounding buzz (does it stop when you touch strings or metal parts of the guitar)?
The position you have that works is essentially making your neck and middle pickups work like the two coils of a humbucker. It is natural for an SSS guitar to be "noisier" in a position that selects only one pickup at a time. Under that theory though you should get the same effect from selecting the bridge and middle at the same time.
#5
Supersac your thinking of the 60 cycle hum, which is what humbuckers prevent. It doesn't mean they prevent all types of interference or noise.

Since his pickups are single we don't know if they are stacked or have hum-canceling in them, so if they are cheap odds are that they don't have either.
Last edited by BigHeadClan at Nov 30, 2011,
#6
Quote by BigHeadClan
Supersac your thinking of the 60 cycle hum, which is what humbuckers prevent. It doesn't mean they prevent all types of interference or noise.

Since his pickups are single we don't know if they are stacked or have hum-canceling in them, so if they are cheap odds are that they don't have either.


i know i have an ibanex with the inf pups the single coil gets noisy but the humbuekr positions are real quiet even around the computer and lights(i was surprized)

and yeah they probably dont but they should be mostly quiet on the 2 and 4 positions if theyve been wired correctly i still say it would benfit fomr new wiring(and pups)
#7
Hmm mine was quite noisy on the bridge when I'm near my computer (not horrible) but quite noticeable, not sure about the neck but positions 2 and 4 where indeed quiet.
#8
Quote by inkandlead
Is it a 60 cycle hum or is it a grounding buzz (does it stop when you touch strings or metal parts of the guitar)?
The position you have that works is essentially making your neck and middle pickups work like the two coils of a humbucker. It is natural for an SSS guitar to be "noisier" in a position that selects only one pickup at a time. Under that theory though you should get the same effect from selecting the bridge and middle at the same time.


It is a higher frequency than 60Hz. It is actually a bit worse when the middle and bridge pickups are selected. It is the same in all positions where one pickup is selected.
It occurs even when the guitar is not strung, and touching metal parts on the guitar makes no difference.
#9
Very strange. The wiring does look a bit dodgy. Try cleaning that up. Sometimes that is all it needs.
I don't want to say you need new pickups because this seems like the problem of something going bad and I doubt 3 pickups would go bad at once.
Have you tried different cables and different amps? It may not be your guitar at all.
#10
Quote by inkandlead
Very strange. The wiring does look a bit dodgy. Try cleaning that up. Sometimes that is all it needs.
I don't want to say you need new pickups because this seems like the problem of something going bad and I doubt 3 pickups would go bad at once.
Have you tried different cables and different amps? It may not be your guitar at all.


Can someone confirm it is wired correctly? It is messy but looks solid.
The buzz is present for multiple cables and amps, it is definitely the guitar.
My other guitar, an epiphone special II has no noise at all.

I noticed that for all pickups but one the white wire goes to the switch and the red wire to the back of the pot. For one, the red wire goes to the switch and the white one to the pot. It buzzes when the red wire and a white wire are selected simultaneously.
Last edited by Raccoon1400 at Nov 30, 2011,
#11
How many wires are coming from each pickup? In that first shot it seems like you've got a red wire and a bare wire and they're BOTH being grounded. Thats a start...


EDIT: I see that it also has a third wire now. Who did the wiring on this?

SECOND EDIT: Now I'm seeing that all 3 wires are grounded. Red, white and bare. That is a definite part of the problem.
Last edited by inkandlead at Nov 30, 2011,
#12
Its neigh on impossible to diagnose the problem from pictures.

In an ideal world you would de-solder everything, and start from scratch.

I don't think you need new pickups, pots, switch but you definitely should get rid of that horrendous mess of wires as its definitely degrading you're signal, possibly even shorting somewhere causing the hum/ buzz.

Theres lots of info on doing this in the sticky'd threads.
#13
The wiring was like this when I got it, I will redo it much neater.
Looks like some hack was in here, I hate seeing stuff like this. I end up fixing lots of audio equipment that has been hacked.

For all 3 pickups bare is connected to the ground. For 2 red is also grounded and white goes to the switch. For the other one, white is grounded and red goes to the switch.
#14
I disconnected the pickups and cleaned up the solder, now I am trying to figure out what wire goes where. I looked at the wiring thread. The resistance between the bare wire and either the white or red is infinity. The resistance between red and white is 3.9k. I checked all 3 pickups.
#15
I always forget how to use those 3-wire single coils. Try also testing the resistance of the red wire and the other two together. And then the white and the other two together. I think that completes the circuit somehow but again it's been a while since i've used pickups like that. 3.9k is really low even for a single coil.
#16
Quote by inkandlead
I always forget how to use those 3-wire single coils. Try also testing the resistance of the red wire and the other two together. And then the white and the other two together. I think that completes the circuit somehow but again it's been a while since i've used pickups like that. 3.9k is really low even for a single coil.


The bare wire must be ground, and it looks like the red is supposed to go to one side of the switch, and white to the other side. The other side was unused previously.

From what I can tell the 3 wire is the same as 4 wire but the common terminals are connected.

Model is RG430, looking for a wiring diagram. If anyone has one it would help. No idea what the guy who wired this thing was smoking.
#17
You don't need a model specific diagram.

Just search for strat wiring and you'll be fine. As long as it's 3 single coils and a blade switch.
#18
Quote by Raccoon1400
The bare wire must be ground, and it looks like the red is supposed to go to one side of the switch, and white to the other side. The other side was unused previously.

From what I can tell the 3 wire is the same as 4 wire but the common terminals are connected.

Model is RG430, looking for a wiring diagram. If anyone has one it would help. No idea what the guy who wired this thing was smoking.


seymour duncan website has great wiring diagrams.

You also need to find out the color coding for the brand of pickups you have, manufacturers use different colors for different wires.

I don't have heaps of experience but all the single coils I have wired (2 or 3 different guitars) Have one shielded core wire.

Humbuckers I've dealt with have had a red and a white, which I twisted together making it the hot wire. I may be wrong but I believe that the red and white were for the two coils of the humbucker respectively, so as you could wire in a coil tap if desired.

Again, I'm not claiming to be wiring guru, just my experience and some common sense.
#19
I think this makes sense now. There are two coils in each pickup, the red wire for one and the white for the other. Pickups create hum, but that is canceled out when opposite coils were on. The position that was quiet was the only one where both a white and red wire were connected simultaneously, and therefore the only one where the hum was canceled. The hum was louder for the other position where two pickups were connected because they were both connected by the white wire, and therefore the noise added up instead of canceling.
#20
I wired it with the bare wire to the back of the pot and the red and white to the switch, and barely any sound. With only one pickup connected with the white wire, still barely any sound. When I took the red wire and grounded it, that pickup worked.
#21
Then it seems like white should be your hot and the red and bare complete the ground. Give that a shot. Also, if you feel it's easier in trouble shooting. You could wire each pickup individually straight to the output jack to see that they function properly.
#22
I think my pickups are f*ed. That probably explains why they were wired like that, because it is the only way it worked at all. Resistance is infinite between ground and red/white, and from what I've read this shouldn't be. And it is too low between red and white.

When I wire it the way I did in the above post, the hum is back because only one coil is connected.
Last edited by Raccoon1400 at Dec 2, 2011,
#23
You're using single coil pickups. There is going to be some hum. The three wires are for the start of the coil, the end of the coil, and the bare is attached to the pickup as part of the ground. Like I said before, I don't remember exactly how to wire three lead pickups but you should either be just using the red and white wire or yo should be connecting the bare wire and the ground wire together. I'd try the red as hot and the white/bare combo as ground.
#24
I wired the bridge and neck pickups with the red and bare to ground and white to the switch. I wired the middle one with white and bare to ground and red to the switch. The hum cancels when two pickups are selected. If I wire them all the same, the hum gets worse when I select two pickups.