#1
I've had my guitar (Dean ML X) for a few years now (probably around 6 or 7 years) and I've always noticed a weird buzz when playing but just thought it was my gear or how I had my stuff set up since I didn't know much about tone. Well this past month I've wanted to start recording, and when I did I noticed a very annoying buzz coming from it. After some research and testing I've come to the conclusion that it is from the wiring in the guitar and not my equipment.

My question is, where could it be coming from?
I know this could be a problem with grounding and I've done a lot of research. After looking at some diagrams everything looks fine, although I'm sure something is off since I've never done wiring in a guitar before.

I tried taking pictures of everything. Sorry if they are bad, I can take better pictures and upload them if need be.
Here is a link to the imgur album of the pictures, they were HUGE when I linked them to the board.
Wiring Images Album


I would go ahead and ground each pot together since it seems logical to me, but like I said, I've never done this and would like to be sure before I do so.
#2
buzz I talked a lot about with another member on here, I have a few ideas and I'll go over them. Hold on I'll edit this before as it's a lot of writing.

ok so if you touch the strings and the buzzing goes away that is a grounding issue. With a ground wire it is a trail going out of the guitar. So pot to pot , even the switch is in the circuit. You have an internal ground which grounds the bridge and out of the guitar. Seymour duncan illustrates this well on their diagrams.

however buzzing comes from a lot of places
really high output pickups have a tenancy to do so , honestly I like them for this.

if there is no shielding in your guitar. You can copper shield your guitar for more clarity. I spoke to another member about how this guy brought in a 7 string and it had no shielding. We put the copper tape in it and grounded it to the volume pot and the gain went to probably 6 or 7 on my marshall so a big improvement. Copper tape is on ebay or you can over pay for it from Dimarzio (3$ from china , 20$ from a guitar shop)

next I'd get a powerbar from a place like bestbuy or any other electronics store that has RFI and EMI protection. I wired up a friends washburn and I don't look at diagrams as I solder every day and I knew my wiring was right without any doubt. Long story short he needed the guitar re-fretted as he was too cheap to get a warmoth neck and instead approached a local builder in Toronto and it was a horror show how poorly the guitar neck was fretted ... anyways .. .my friend who is a legit guitar tech plugged it in and it was crystal clear how it sounded. The solution was indeed the powerbar. Even ZZounds sells them.

complete overkill without resorting to active pickups
*nickle braided wires help to wire a guitar I'd like to imagine, Gibson and Seymour Duncan have certain (but not all) pickup models like this. The nickle braiding creates a faraday cage like on the copper shielding. No idea how well it works for designing a complete wiring harness for it though I'm yet to try it. Ebay for nickle braided wires.

the shorter the distance between pots the better for grounding apparently works excellent too. Eric Johnson calls this the fly or floating wire technque. It makes harnesses look neater too which is a plus.

since your guitar cable is fine I'm not going to suggest anything and I'm sure you've used noise gate pedals.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at May 31, 2015,
#3
I knew I forgot to explain something and that was it. The buzzing does go away when I touch the strings, bridge, etc. and that's how I came to the conclusion that it was the grounding problem. Tomorrow, unless otherwise stated, I'll ground each pot together.
Did you get a chance to look at the pics on the link and see from there? I'm not sure if it'll help but I added them just in case.
I did start using a noise gate also.
#4
yeah this ones an easy fix then, I added the extra pointers for people who want ultra clarity in their guitars because the term buzz is very broad in the guitar world.

look for a loose wire and remember it's a trail going out of the guitar. The only "anomaly" is if the input jack wires are in the wrong places. I put a mexican strat together and the tip and sleeve were soldered in the wrong places (i was tired or in a rush) and it buzzed.

so anything on the backs of the pots is ground , as always solder flat not like antennas if anyone else reads this who is new to soldering.

and have a path going out of the guitar. Guitars with tremolos this is the easiest way to ground the strings because of the claw being right out in the open. I like how Peavey guitars solder ground to the bottom of the claw instead of top. This I saw happen on a Peavey Wolfgang guitar (Korean) . Horrible guitar for many reasons but it was a cool trick.

when in doubt for wiring harnesses seymour duncan illustrates them best. Without any doubt this is a string grounding issue.