#1
Hi guys.

So I moved into a new apartment building and it's a little shabby but great otherwise. Either way, my guitar amp gives a whining noise. Not constantly, but almost constantly a couple of nights ago, and fairly often :/ Sometimes there's a clicking noise that repeats a few times coming from it, but it only lasts for a couple of seconds. It's there regardless of distortion or volume.

I tested with my effects unit that lets you plug in earphones to make a silent guitar - identical results within the earphones.

I highly doubt it's a problem with the guitar itself, but I don't think the amp is dying either because the effects unit has the same result, they both function great otherwise and everything's in good condition.

Could it just be that it's because of the electricity being used in the building? Like the clicking sound only occurs occasionally and I'm 90% sure only when the lift is in use. And today it didn't appear as much at a time where most people in the building were likely napping.

It's like... I hear about people hearing radio signals through their amps, and I think it might be a similar case. It's a busy area the building is in too with lots of truck drivers who use radios, so maybe...

Also it does lower its volume if I let it sound and then put my hand on the strings, but I'm sure only because the guitar signals are 'competing' with it. The tone remains the same. I'm certain it's not the guitar that has a problem, I checked my pickups and the strings and they seem fine.

It comes and goes.

I can't test with other places yet, but I will when I get home.

Should I be concerned, or is it safe to practise with my amp despite the annoying sounds?

I can't record yet (don't have the internet to upload stuff), but it sounds like the sound with the TV static in the beginning of this video. Sorry for the crude example :P



Thanks for any help.

Edit: confirmed by just turning on the amp without anything plugged into it - the whine still appeared, my guitar is fine. Sweet relief. Now I'd just like to know if my amp is too.
Last edited by Spinnerweb at May 5, 2017,
#2
Spinnerweb It sounds most like shoddy electrical wiring. Or rather, you're just getting interference from other appliances. If I plug a fan on in the same circuit I have my amp, it will make noise. Washing machines, lighting, etc. all can cause noise. Also if you keep your phone near your guitar (in your pocket) or on your amp, you are bound to get interference.

Curious, what amp is it? If it is a tube amp, you might could check some of your tubes just to be sure none of them are microphonic.
#3
Quote by Spinnerweb


Could it just be that it's because of the electricity being used in the building? 

Yup. 

Most RF interference will be picked up by the guitar or the cable, but interference caused by house wiring will be picked up by a poorly isolated power supply in the amp. At one point we were playing some back-of-the-flatbed gigs with a big diesel generator providing power. Those things can be so miserable power-wise that I pulled out a server-grade APC UPS (uninterruptible power supply) with a battery the size you'd find in a car, and started using that and a Carvin AC120 between the mains and the amp. The end result was a near-pristine power supply and a LOT less random noise coming out of the amp.  One interesting side effect was that when the generator lost power, everyone else was silent, but I was still banging away, looking around to see where everyone else went. 
#4
Will Lane I think it's solid state. I'm a bit of an idiot, you see, but it's got a metal housing in the back so I'm pretty sure solid state.

Thanks for your replies both of you, I thought it might be the electricity. So, do I have to worry about it damaging my equipment while playing? Or is it just an inconvenience?
Since I kinda played for four hours today anyway... yeah, I can't help myself.

dspellman That sounds pretty cool really, did you pull a Dave Grohl and keep going and let the audience pick up the rest for you?
Last edited by Spinnerweb at May 5, 2017,
#5
Quote by Spinnerweb


dspellman That sounds pretty cool really, did you pull a Dave Grohl and keep going and let the audience pick up the rest for you?


No, I looked around like an idiot. It's my signature move. 
#6
Sounds like everything's been covered. But anything can cause it. My cell phone makes mine click. The tv, computer, and pellet stove make it hum. The band's practice space picks up some hardcore, almost cult level, religious radio station.

Nothing like a free audio quote of how God hates you, created man, and is ready to destroy us too, followed by some random black metal jamming.

I've tried quality leads there, but the only way to cut out the radio was with a gate.

Best way to fix your noise is with an isolated power supply.
#8
Spinnerweb
Single coils on guitar?
I had a very consistent clicking sound out of my amp but only using the strat, it appears to be related to my Phillips Hue bulbs.
I also think that Ethernet over home wiring may be a slight issue because I get a quiet Morse code type sound (don't know how else to describe it) and it matches the blinking on my switch.

I haven't been able to shut everything down and test that due to the server and other items always being used.
#9
sounds like a dirty electric line.  It could be bad wiring but it is more likely to be an appliance in the apartment.  Try unplugging your router, modem, computer, fridge, microwave, and popcorn popper if if have one.  There is also a chance that the dirty electricity isn't even one of your appliances, it could be caused by someone else in your building.  If unplugging your appliances doesn't help you may have to find a power conditioner.
Not taking any online orders.
Last edited by CorduroyEW at May 5, 2017,
#10
33dbNope, humbuckers. I like Gibson body types lel :P

Thanks for all your help, all of you. I suppose to fix the noise I'd need to put in some work, but I don't have to worry about permanent damage either way or someone'd have said that by now.
#11
The only permanent damage is emotional when you go to show some one that cool riff and get nothing but noise! Then you just know they are judging you

Unless your power is really screwed up, then its just noise. You would probably need a quality conditioner too. My livewire one got rid of the pops and crackles from my house power. But nothing has killed the noise from the guitar/cables other than a gate.
Last edited by Liaztraht at May 6, 2017,
#12
Is it something like...

"You never buy me new tuuuuuuuuubes!"
"Is that all I am to you, that you can turn me on when you want me and turn me off when..:<*CLICK*>"
"This basement is so cold and dammmmp"
"You never take me anywhere. Don't you play out? What's wrong with you?"
"This cable plug smells like another amp! Are you cheating on me?"
"I'm not going to make a sound until you take your stinky socks and that disgusting pair of skidmarked underwear OFF OF MEEEEEE!"
#13
Quote by dspellman
Is it something like...

"You never buy me new tuuuuuuuuubes!"
"Is that all I am to you, that you can turn me on when you want me and turn me off when..:<*CLICK*>"
"This basement is so cold and dammmmp"
"You never take me anywhere. Don't you play out? What's wrong with you?"
"This cable plug smells like another amp! Are you cheating on me?"
"I'm not going to make a sound until you take your stinky socks and that disgusting pair of skidmarked underwear OFF OF MEEEEEE!"

Ha ha! Get it? The amp is whining, ha ha!!
#14
Quote by dspellman
Is it something like...

"You never buy me new tuuuuuuuuubes!"
"Is that all I am to you, that you can turn me on when you want me and turn me off when..:<*CLICK*>"
"This basement is so cold and dammmmp"
"You never take me anywhere. Don't you play out? What's wrong with you?"
"This cable plug smells like another amp! Are you cheating on me?"
"I'm not going to make a sound until you take your stinky socks and that disgusting pair of skidmarked underwear OFF OF MEEEEEE!"


You're married, aren't you?
#15
Quote by Spinnerweb
You're married, aren't you?

Guys who have been married a long time don't hear that stuff. 
Those are mostly long-time or live-in girlfriend whines.