#1
I have an issue with a 68 Fender Bassman Silverface head. When I am playing through it, if I touch anything while touching the strings i get a small shock. I am guessing this is a grounding issue. Last time I used it, one of the strings on the headstock that wasn't clipped touched something metal, caused an arc and the strings literally caught on fire.

The plug is only two prong, so I am not sure if that is the problem. Any recommendations would be great.

Also, the amp is 120 / American Voltage. I live in Germany where it is 220 voltage so I have to run the amp through a transformer, so not sure if this is part of the problem.
#2
Quote by Scorpios
I have an issue with a 68 Fender Bassman Silverface head. When I am playing through it, if I touch anything while touching the strings i get a small shock. I am guessing this is a grounding issue. Last time I used it, one of the strings on the headstock that wasn't clipped touched something metal, caused an arc and the strings literally caught on fire.

The plug is only two prong, so I am not sure if that is the problem. Any recommendations would be great.

Also, the amp is 120 / American Voltage. I live in Germany where it is 220 voltage so I have to run the amp through a transformer, so not sure if this is part of the problem.



Are you being serious?

If so, why are you still using it? You aware aware this could literally kill you right?
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#3
iv had that same problem happen with my guitar, it was bad wiring so I rewired my entire guitar with premium copper and insulated wire and replaced the ground wire to the bridge.
#5
I think OP is kill.
My Gear:
Ibanez Jet King 2
Ibanez RGDIX7 MPB
Ibanez GRG 7221
OLP John Petrucci
Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro
Squier Stratocaster (modified)
Harley Benton CLD-41S (Acoustic)

Peavey Vypyr 30.

Boss CH-1 Super Chorus
Boss DD-3 Digital Delay
Boss FRV-1 '63 Fender Reverb
#6


We had a guitarist who observed none of the electrical niceties. One day while setting up we heard a thump, turned around and found him knocked out on the stage. He'd apparently walked up to the mike, guitar in hand, fretting hand clutching the strings, put his lower lip on the mike to say, "Testing, 1-2-3" and zapped himself solidly enough that it put him right on his butt, out cold.

He was fine about 20 minutes after that. Stayed inside during rainstorms, though, from then on.
#7
Does the amp have a 2 prong or a 3 prong plug? (I'm not sure what year they started using 3 prong) If it's a 2 prong plug then your amp should have a ground switch and you will get shocked if the switch in flipped the wrong direction. The 2 prong plugs were not safe and should be replaced with a 3 prong plug and have the ground switch disconnected by somebody that knows what they are doing. If you have a 3 prong plug already then there are hundreds of things inside your amp that could be causing you the shock. Either way, you need to take it to somebody that knows what they are doing in order to have the issue fixed. Don't try and fix it yourself unless you know the detailed inner workings of your amp.


Edit, it is possible that the transformer isn't properly grounded too. I moved to Britain from the USA about 12 years ago and brought all my gear with me so it all runs on step down transformers. Something I have learned is that even though most step down transformers accommodate a 3 prong plug they don't actually have the 3rd prong (earth) grounded to anything. This isn't a problem for most electronics but a guitar amp need that 3rd prong to be grounded. I've opened up the transformers that I use and have wired the ground myself but I have the electrical experience to to this. My advice to you would be to make sure you take the transformer with you when you bring it to the tech so that he can check and make sure that is properly grounded.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Mar 9, 2016,
#8
Quote by CorduroyEW at #33871441
Does the amp have a 2 prong or a 3 prong plug? (I'm not sure what year they started using 3 prong) If it's a 2 prong plug then your amp should have a ground switch and you will get shocked if the switch in flipped the wrong direction. The 2 prong plugs were not safe and should be replaced with a 3 prong plug and have the ground switch disconnected by somebody that knows what they are doing. If you have a 3 prong plug already then there are hundreds of things inside your amp that could be causing you the shock. Either way, you need to take it to somebody that knows what they are doing in order to have the issue fixed. Don't try and fix it yourself unless you know the detailed inner workings of your amp.


Edit, it is possible that the transformer isn't properly grounded too. I moved to Britain from the USA about 12 years ago and brought all my gear with me so it all runs on step down transformers. Something I have learned is that even though most step down transformers accommodate a 3 prong plug they don't actually have the 3rd prong (earth) grounded to anything. This isn't a problem for most electronics but a guitar amp need that 3rd prong to be grounded. I've opened up the transformers that I use and have wired the ground myself but I have the electrical experience to to this. My advice to you would be to make sure you take the transformer with you when you bring it to the tech so that he can check and make sure that is properly grounded.



Its a two prong
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#9
^that is your problem. You really should get a 3 prong cable installed on your amp. The 2 prong plugs have a lot of health and safety issues.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Mar 10, 2016,
#10
Yeah add a 110v 3 prong cable. hook the ground wire to the chassis of the amp.
It is really easy to do, just not sure how available a 110v 3 prong plug is in Europe. You can easily order them from ebay or amazon though.
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#11
^most of the step down transformers sold in the EU have a universal socket that will accommodate just about any plug so the TS doesn't need an exotic cable. I like to cut them off old microwaves, refrigerators, and vacuum cleaners when I go to the scrapyard. The only catch is that if you have a regular cable used in 220v then it is easy for somebody to plug it into the wall and blow it up.
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#12
That thing is old enough to need a restoration to be up to modern safety standards. According to the schematics, there should be a ground switch with a capacitor from it's pole to the chassis. It, and every other paper and electrolytic cap in there, should be replaced because they do not age well and become very leaky.

The cap on the ground switch is wired with one side to the chassis and the other side to either the hot or neutral side of the AC line, depending on the ground switch's position. If it gets too leaky (which it apparently already has), it will let enough current through it from the line to the chassis that you will feel it. Eventually, it will short and then you'll be in real trouble.

I would stay the heck away from that thing until you get it restored and rewired to modern standards.