I was playing my guitar (humbuckers), and I hear a very faint noise in the background. I turned the amp up some more and behold, I hear a radio talk show!! Why is this, and how can I fix it? :P
lack of shielding of the electronics cavity, and potting of the pickups.
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not to steal your thread or anything but i'd like to listen to the radio on my fender 5 watt is it possible?lol
my gear:
Jackson DKMG(the one with EMG 81/85's)
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old gear i'll probably sell eventually:
yamaha beginners guitar
gunmetal grey Fender squire strat
Fender 65R amp
i can hear my cellfone's ringtone thru the amp if i put it close enough to the pickups. pretty cool **** yea.
Quote by ECistheBest
lack of shielding of the electronics cavity, and potting of the pickups.

exactly. happend to me with my strat. theres horribly bad shielding with those single coils. it wasnt so much the guitar though. that time it had to do with the bad shielding on my instrument cable. it did it once and i cant get it to do it agian. lol
Whenever I get a text message I hear what sounds like fuzzy morse code coming through my amp.
Quote by Pikka Bird
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Haha never heard of that before, that's pretty damn cool.
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yea there are a few things you can do to fix it....

one big thing is cheap cables. If you get bad, or maybe i should say cheap, cables with improper shielding that can pickup outside signals. So spending a few extra bucks on cables can go a long way. Id recommend monster cables. they are made well and have a lifetime warrenty. So save ur reciept, and if they ever break you can take them right back to were you bought them and get a new one for free...

As for the guitar. good shielding can sometimes help. Ive never noticed any problems with my gibson, but I guess they know their wiring. One thing you can do with this is get shielding tape...something like http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/DiMarzio-Copper-Shielding-Tape?sku=364741 seems like it would work great
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To get specific....(in a simple matter)


*puts on his ham radio geek hat*

An antenna is a piece of wire which receives the entire radio spectrum (from am radio all the way up to cellphone frequencies and beyond)

it works best when for receiving when it is at a "resonant length" (although it can be close and still work)

the lower the frequency the longer the antenna wire has to be.... (and vice versa)

the LOOOOOOOOOONG wrapped wire of your pickups are probably pretty close to the resonant length of an am radio antenna, (your pickup have a lot in common with the am antenna in your pocket radio/clock radio/car stereo).

that fact combined with poor shielding and the fact that you might live close to the transmitter means that you might hear the station coming through your amp in a very "muddy" fashion with the amp turned WAY up...

/\/\/\/\END SCIENCE CONTENT/\/\/\/\

hope that helps...
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Amp: Roland Microcube
Last edited by BMGfan at Sep 4, 2007,
Quote by *kas
Whenever I get a text message I hear what sounds like fuzzy morse code coming through my amp.

happens all the time
Quote by MetalMusicianAl
i can hear my cellfone's ringtone thru the amp if i put it close enough to the pickups. pretty cool **** yea.

I've always meant to try that - like when Paul Gilbert yells "GET OUT OF MY YARD!" at the end of that song through the pick-ups - I'd love to do that.
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Press buttons on your TV remote near your pickups with the amp on, you get beeping sounds. It's all radio frequency.
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my phone controls my ps2 controller.

unpauses dvds etc.

its so annoying.
when i first bought my crybaby, i took it to my friends place, used a tele and a fender amp, we picked up some indian radio station, and changes channels when we pressed around the pedal

kinda funny when it happened :P
Nobody mentioned amp grounding...true, the most likely cause is insufficient guitar shielding or low quality cables, I agree with that 100% but the grounding in the amp can cause radio pickup too, but it's not as common as with guitar shielding and cables. A good cable with a broken spot in the shielding can do the same. They do tend to get stepped on a lot...wiring polarity of the building versus the polarity of the amp can contribute as well. That's why a polarity switch is often mounted on back of the amp, radio noise and loud hum can result if the polarity is reversed. You can also get a nasty shock when you touch a microphone. That and the wire screen on the mic pulling out moustache hairs made me start using a foam windscreen on my vocal mic.

I always recommend sheilding guitar cavities after doing my guitars, it makes a big difference not only in radio pickup but overall noise reduction. Guitar Nuts has a good tutorial on shielding. I use heavy duty aluminum foil available at any grocery store and spray glue. Just adding a layer to the back side of the pickguard makes a big difference, doing the entire cavity is like picking up an entirely different guitar, you'll hear overtones you never knew the guitar could get, they were covered up by noise, static and hum. Be careful with it, you don't want the foil touching the pickups, switch contacts or internal wiring contact points.

If it turns out the amp may be contributing, have it checked and possibly star grounded by a competent tech. Just a loose solder joint can create an antenna situation. If the wiring in a tube amp is sloppy, you can get all kind of noises, not just radio. The heater wires must be kept away from the tubes as much as possible, without resorting to excess wire length. If too close they will pick up noise, including radio sometimes, but usually static and electronic interference from the tubes and transformers. Ineffective grounding and ground loops make great antennas.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
I get a country station through this beat up jimi hendrix wah that sumbody gave me...

at the emd of one of the songs on battle for los angeles (rage) tom picked up a radio station thru his amp during recording, dont remember which song tho...
When my amp was against my PC i used to pick up BBC Radio 2!

Great when Zane Lowe is on, **** when its techno and im trying to practising Black Label Society!

Sorted it by moving my amp!

Quote by .arkness:.
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I have minimal feedback coming from my DiMarzios unless i provoke it, (getting closer to the halfstack...), never heard a radio comming out of my gear, I recently bought an Wylde OD from ebay for 40 bucks, sounded nice as a gain booster on my drive channel, but if i stopped playing you could hear the radio, i took the pedal out of the line and the channel was as clear as it could be. My noise gate cures the Radio ism but other than that it had never been a problem.
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Yeah, that happens to a lot of guitars, Fender, Gibson, you name it.

Jimmy Page's (I think it was) Les Paul was famous for picking up radio signals, and he'd often tune in to some rock station and play along during live concerts.

And then his technician shielded the electronics, and then the fans were very, very sad.

First change your cord/lead then try your guitar thru another amp and last try a different guitar thru your amp. By the process of elimination you'll figure it out. It could be anyone of them a bad cable short in the guitar wireing or amp. Pickups can pickup anything close to them if they are not very good. I noticed ages ago if i walked to close to the TV or Stereo in my room my guitar would pick up whatever was playing on them or sometimes it would just get an annoying hum. I had a speaker that wasn't plugged into anything my cat knocked down and broke on my desk and I noticed a faint sound coming out of it. It turned out to be a radio station. I guess when it fell something jammed in it and it acted like a crystal radio.
I've had this issue with the amplifier being the problem ... microphonic tubes will do this.