Hey all,

After a bit of help from some good people in the 'Electric' category I have just picked up my lovely new Ibanez S520 (in blackberry sunburst - more to come on a NGD soon). However I am having a bit of an issue and some difficulty in pin pointing it.

I have had a search around this morning among various sites and forums for solutions but it seems everyone asks very specific questions. Of course I need to do the same but it seems maybe we could sort out a trouble shooting guide (perhaps to sticky) for others to reference to in the future.

Firstly, my situaiton....

The Basics

Ibanez S520---->Zoom G2.1u ---->Peavey Rage 158

The Connections

A brand new Ibanez cable packaged with the guitar
An older cable, unbranded, of lower quality
An older cable, branded but don't know who right now, of higher quality

Could go out and splash some cash on new HQ cables but don't think this is the root cause (I've been wrong A LOT before)

The Power Supply

Zoom G2.1u running off either batteries or USB connection
Peavey Rage 158 on UK style plug to a multi adapter
My home - in the Philippines - inconsistent power supply - 220v - I don't think ANYTHING here is grounded.

Secondly, troubleshooting steps I have taken (this is where we can rearrange things to make a good guide for use in the future)....

1. Swapping back to my old guitar - makes no difference
2. Swapping over cables in each different order - makes no difference
3. Cable in amplifier only - no static/hum noise
4. Cable from amp to Zoom G2.1u output - no static/hum
5. Cable from Zoom G2.1u input to nothing - static/hum
6. Cable from Zoom G2.1u input to guitar - static/hum
7. Swapping between USB power or battery power - static/hum - makes no difference
8. Change guitars tone - treble - static
9. Change guitars tone - mids/bass - static
10. Change G2.1u tone, volume and gain - no difference
11. Changed from standing on carpet to wooden floor - no difference
12. Changed from standing to sitting on sofa - no difference \
13. Amp settings - Clean or OD -
14. Amp settings - Bass - 0 Mids - 6 Treble - 7 not changed/tweaked these at all to check anything
15. Disconnect the power and reconnect it - no difference
16. I still need to try different power outlets - no difference
17. Try all equipment at an alternate location [8Len8] - no difference
18. Need to unplug other devices from adapter bank - no difference

Final thoughts....

1. I can't find but would like a power adapter for the Zoom G2.1u
2. Settings on the Zoom G2.1u
3. Guitar is picking up static
4. Need to unplug other devices from adapter bank
5. Need a static bracelet
6. Can't help but feel it is something between the Zoom G2.1u and the guitar (Seems this is the issue - USB cable related)
7. Something to do with tone settings between S520, Zoom G2.1u and amp
8. Aquire a power regulator [8Len8]
9. Check amp tubes - requires clarification as to the how to...? [8Len8]

Any help to resolve the individual issue is greatly appreciated but more so to put this information into a step-by-step troubleshooting guide for others to look through.

Thanks all Once we have this resolved and I might actually understand what my guitar really sounds like then I can offer an NGD and a review for the Ibanez S520 (only the EX version is listed on 'Reviews' I think).

Thanks to contributor:
Last edited by hydreliox at Jan 21, 2017,
Static and hum are two different things. You are getting both?

Without a ground? That's a likely source of the problem. Does the problem exist when you use your rig at a different location, maybe at a friend's home?
Static and hum are two different things - well, you just taught me something there Well, a half truth - am I correct in saying hum is a cause of electrical supply outputting a 'frequency' (for want of better term) that is picked up and transmitted through audio equipment. And static is from the generation of friction by various devices?

Unfortunately basically NOTHING in this country is grounded - and even when it is, it isn't. Generally a low standard or workmanship and education doesn't lead to a huge amount of success. On the bright side, weather is warm and the beer is cold! Unfortunately my house is also a rental so reluctant to pay to have the work done - and well, the land lady - she's an odd'un....

With that in mind (assuming I can't ground anything) what options do I have to further decipher the issue?
I stated an option to further bubug the situation.

FYI, a static sound can be created by bad tubes. It's not just a mechanical sound. Hum can also be created by ground loops (nothing to do with the power coming out of the wall).

The approach should be to isolate the issue. By trying your rig in a different location that determines if the power in your home is the problem.

If you are sure it's the wall power then go to the Furmann web site and purchase a power regulator. It'll cost several hundred $USD, but will ensure your rig is provided Noise free, constant voltage.
8Len8 Understood the option to try in a different location and can/will do so. I think what I was trying to get at is, in the Philippines options are very limited regarding these things. It is likely that any power issue here will be the same elsewhere, however I do appreciate that this isn't ruled out by not trying it. Thinking back I did loan out my amp for microphone use at a wedding and it was a non issue there. I know the location to not be grounded too, so it could well be an internal issue at my place. I didn't have pedal or guitar at the time plugged into it.

Likewise with the power regulator option. Even if I purchase the item as mentioned there is a 90% import duty on items into the country. This basically means I pay for everything twice - not really a viably economic scenario, albeit even if it solves the issue. Plus, her indoors isn't going to let me drop any more cash on this. It can however be added to the 'things to try' part for others reading here who may have that solution available. I will update post 1 to reflect this.

I'm sure you can appreciate a few hundred/thousand bucks dropped on an item that may not solve the issue is probably lower down on the list of options given my current situation/location.

Thanks for the ideas
For no apparent reason a lot less static last night. Doesn't disappear completely but seems to have something to do with guitar lead on the guitar out jack. Still not had chance to run through the rest of my 'Final Thoughts' list - hopefully a day off tomorrow to do so.


After further testing (can't remember order but will try and update OP soon) I have figured out the USB cable to the Zoom G2.1u is causing the static. So, any ideas for solutions?!
Last edited by hydreliox at Jan 18, 2017,
I think my previous edit didn't show as an update (and I apologise if this appears to be a 'bump') but I would like to continue in the same thread in case others search in future

I read briefly somewhere (the information wasn't too clear to me) that I might need to 'ground' my pedal back to the PC case or somewhere similar where the USB is coming out of. Before I do this unknowingly and damage something is this what I should be attempting? It states to use speaker cable or similar wire.

Of course, I must sound like a complete muppet and will happily self profess to be one. The chances of getting my rental house in the Philippines grounded by the land lady are well, none Let's not talk about safety and building standards - usual rules don't apply in these parts