#1
I've heard this is possible and also that people have picked up chainsaw ignitions through their pickups while playing. How is this possible? Has anyone ever picked up a radio signal with a guitar?
#2
Electromagnetic signals can be picked up and amplified by instruments designed specifically to pick up and amplify electromagnetic signals. It's possible because that's the whole point of an electric guitar.

You're basically waving an antenna around. A lot of design goes into getting pickups not to pick up interference. Any sufficiently powerful electronic device can cause EMF interference, and does - all the noise you hear from your guitar is interference of some sort, so there's nothing special about radio interference except that you can understand it.
#3
I happens to me regularly, eg a couple of days ago, when I'm doing pickup mods or repairs with the guitar plugged in. Every time I touch a hot wire, I here the local radio. Like Roc says, the system acts as a receiver for all sorts of EM radiation. Good shielding will help to prevent it.
#4
Quote by Tony Done
I happens to me regularly, eg a couple of days ago, when I'm doing pickup mods or repairs with the guitar plugged in. Every time I touch a hot wire, I here the local radio. Like Roc says, the system acts as a receiver for all sorts of EM radiation. Good shielding will help to prevent it.
thats great. I'd like to create that effect as an option on a guitar. When you did it, Tony Done, did you simply touch the hot wire of a working circuit with your hand?
#6
It used to happen to me all the time in the early '80s as early teen getting my first electrics...
...which were garage sale junk.

I don't think it's happened since now that I've thought about it.
#7
The ceiling light in the room where I play audibly buzzes, and I can get FM through the amp whenever it's turned on and the guitar is in a certain spot in the room.
#8
Quote by guitarkid8
The ceiling light in the room where I play audibly buzzes, and I can get FM through the amp whenever it's turned on and the guitar is in a certain spot in the room.
active or passive? And solid state or tube?

I used to pick up cb radio sometimes on my stereo speakers, they werent even always plugged in when it happened.
#9
Isnt there something about avoiding ground loops or the wiring will act as an antenna?
#10
Passive, solid state. If I ever am in the same situation with actives I'll post up the difference (if any).
#11
Quote by geo-rage
I've heard this is possible and also that people have picked up chainsaw ignitions through their pickups while playing. How is this possible? Has anyone ever picked up a radio signal with a guitar?


Happens all the time. You'll see it referred to as RF (Radio Frequency) interference. Most guitars sold these days have some kind of shielding (RF paint, copper tape) built into the guitar to help ward this off, and grounding the guitar correctly is important. Some cables will let RF interference gum up the works, and some amps, not grounded properly, will suddenly become receivers. In the old days it wasn't unusual to find yourself competing with a powerful radio station...
#12
Quote by geo-rage
thats great. I'd like to create that effect as an option on a guitar.


I've been saying this for years.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#13
It has happened to me quite a bit not so much where I live now though. I used to live not far from an interstate and picked up quite a bit of trucker C.B. radio action.

I alway thought it could be a good effect as well if only it was consistent and reliable, I suppose you could always record some yourself and blend it into the band mix.

Everytime I hear this radio interference I can't help but think of the scene in This Is Spinal Tap where they are playing at an air force base and the lead guitar player Nigel walks off stage becaue he is pissed about the air traffic controllers broadcast interefering with the bands amps, classic scene.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
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#14
Thanks for the experiences. Common sense says that if this was a good idea then people would be doing it already.
Last edited by geo-rage at Jan 19, 2017,
#15
call radio station.
make a request.
jam along with you favorite tune!
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#16
Quote by gregs1020
call radio station.
make a request.
jam along with you favorite tune!


you win.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


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youre just being a jerk man.



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#18
Sort of related but funny one day a pulled in the driveway after coming home from work early on Friday afternoon and War Pigs by Black Sabbath came on the radio, it was summer so I had the windows rolled down.

Now here is where it gets interesting, here in Indianapolis every Friday we have what we call the 11' oclock whistle which is the city testing our air raid sirens to make sure they are working in case they are needed for a weather alert etc. Anyone familiar with War Pigs knows that the intro has air raid sirens in the background. So on this day as I pulled into the driveway the song came when the city began testing the sirens and I'm tripping wondering why the sirens are so damn loud on Sabbath.

After a few seconds I realised what was going on and had to chuckle.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

#19
Used to always happen at rehearsal. Our singer/rhythm player used to set his mobile phone on top of or near to his amp. Every time he got a call, we would get some cycling noise through his amp while the phone rang.
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#20
Quote by ryanbwags
Used to always happen at rehearsal. Our singer/rhythm player used to set his mobile phone on top of or near to his amp. Every time he got a call, we would get some cycling noise through his amp while the phone rang.
yeah that used to be a thing. Phones dont tend to do that anymore.