#1
Hi all,

Looking for some help with troubleshooting a 20 year old Squier Strat, please. I've just started using this again after several years and have noticed that there is quite a pronounced increase in buzzing from the amp when the volume pot is anywhere between about 3 and 9. Does anyone have any suggestions as to a possible cause? Happy to post more info if necessary.

I've also noticed that the general buzzing from through the amp decreases when I touch something metal on the guitar (strings, bridge etc). Is that normal? For all I know, it did this when I played this guitar regularly years ago and I just didn't notice (poorer quality amp and headphones at the time).

Thanks in advance,

wrathkeg
#2
Quote by wrathkeg
Hi all,


I've also noticed that the general buzzing from through the amp decreases when I touch something metal on the guitar (strings, bridge etc). Is that normal? For all I know, it did this when I played this guitar regularly years ago and I just didn't notice (poorer quality amp and headphones at the time).

wrathkeg


the buzzing sounds like a bad earth. id check all the joints, maybe even resolder them all.
#3
Bad ground, but those are pretty old, and rather cheap and noisy pickups to begin with. I wouldn't expect much from them.
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#4
thanks for replies. just to check: would the bad earth/ground account for increased buzzing when the volume pot is at less than 10? or just the increased buzzing when not touching something metal?
#5
Both. Since the pickups are a bit on the noisy side, to begin with, you'll notice that buzz more when...

- not plugged into a properly grounded wall outlet (not all 3-prong outlets are "properly grounded, necessarily)
- if your guitar has a short or loose connection in the pickup or cord jack
- if you use a higher volume on the amp
- the more gain/distortion you have on the tone, the more you'll notice
- if a pedal in your chain isn't functioning right or has a short/loose connection
- if you're playing around florescent lights or some radio signal that your pickups are reacting to

Not sure if that helps, but that would be some things to check for to narrow it down.
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#6
thanks for all the suggestions. some responses, since you took the time to help...

- not plugged into a properly grounded wall outlet (not all 3-prong outlets are "properly grounded, necessarily)

I've checked with numerous outlets, including some that I know are correctly earthed, so I'm confident this isn't the problem
- if your guitar has a short or loose connection in the pickup or cord jack

Entirely possible. Will check.
- if you use a higher volume on the amp

It's worse the higher the volume, but even at low volumes it is very noticeable.
- the more gain/distortion you have on the tone, the more you'll notice

Yes, though it's noticeable at no gain.
- if a pedal in your chain isn't functioning right or has a short/loose connection

Don't have pedals connected.
- if you're playing around florescent lights or some radio signal that your pickups are reacting to

I've switched lights off, and everything else I can control (e.g. router, computer) and that doesn't seem to have an effect.

So, from these options seems like a short or loose connection. Thanks again for your help.
#7
I have an old Strat Plus from the 90s that does the exact same thing. Gold Lace Sensors in it too, which are normally very quiet. I've been through the whole guitar and changed out all the pots and rewired/reshielded it. The buzz persists. It's the only guitar I have that has this issue so I doubt it's anything to do with the rest of the rig.
#8
Well, it might just be normal buzz then. Single coils are noisy. If you have an amp on, have the volume wide open, and listen for any buzz, you're definitely going to hear buzzing! You'll never get rid of that. I have lace sensors too, and even they have "some" buzz at certain volumes and gain levels.

It sounds like you've checked everything and the normal single coil buzz might be something you'll just have to get used to controlling. Some tips would be....

- be great at palm muting when you're not playing
- use that volume knob when you're not playing anything for a while during songs

Other than that, welcome to the wonderful world of 60 cycle hum
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#9
Actually I'm pretty sure it's a grounding issue. I just can't figure out why. It's just like the OP's situation. It's fine at 10 but as soon as the volume it rolled back it buzzes. It also buzzes a little worse when I touch the strings. All grounds are connected properly. The only other thing I can do it rip out the copper foil in it and go back to the painted shielding underneath. I'm thinking maybe its a ground loop due to the two layers of shielding in there. If it isn't that, I'm out of ideas. One of these days I'll work on it again and see if I can figure it out.