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Troubleshooting guitar buzz #2975028
02/11/19 05:08 AM
02/11/19 05:08 AM
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cmarquis Offline OP
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I'll get right to the point:

Ibanez RG8 with brand new DiMarzio pickups

>

brand new cable (tried multiple)

>

2i2

>

amp sim signal chain

I keep getting this thin, ugly lo-fi sound with a weird buzzing sound. It really comes out in my palm mutes, as seen here.

https://soundcloud.com/curefordisco/sample2

It's something in my DI, I've determined. I can hear it through my real amp too. I went through and cleaned up all the solders and made sure none of the wires were touching, etc, but it didn't help whatsoever. Anyone know where this sound is coming from? I'm hoping my signal gains some clarity with any potential solution as well because something is clearly wrong. Thanks for your help!

GP Island
Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: cmarquis] #2975301
02/12/19 12:40 PM
02/12/19 12:40 PM
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Larryz Offline
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WELCOME ABOARD CMARQUIS! If it's in the DI and you also hear it in your real amp, leave the DI out of line and see if you still hear it in the amp...if you do, it's either the guitar, the amp or the cord (new cords can also have flaws). Or, it could also be coming from your electrical house wiring. Try them all at another location...just a thought! cool

ps. my DI's have a ground lift switch...try it first if yours has one.

Last edited by Larryz; 02/12/19 12:43 PM. Reason: ps.

Take care, Larryz
Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: Larryz] #2975329
02/12/19 02:48 PM
02/12/19 02:48 PM
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Winston Psmith Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
WELCOME ABOARD CMARQUIS! If it's in the DI and you also hear it in your real amp, leave the DI out of line and see if you still hear it in the amp...if you do, it's either the guitar, the amp or the cord (new cords can also have flaws). Or, it could also be coming from your electrical house wiring. Try them all at another location...just a thought! cool

ps. my DI's have a ground lift switch...try it first if yours has one.


All good thoughts. Couple of additions - are your new picks active, and are your strings hitting the pickup, or getting right on them when you palm-mute? I'm hearing a high-frequency "squawk" in that sample that's almost like digital glitching, but could be the pickups responding microphonically.

If you have access to a battery-powered headphone Amp or Multi-FX, plug into it, and listen for the noise. (A battery-powered system is totally isolated from any in-house wiring or grounding issues.)

Keep us posted.


"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

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Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: Winston Psmith] #2979286
03/08/19 03:35 PM
03/08/19 03:35 PM
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cmarquis Offline OP
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Sorry for the confusion, by DI I meant the direct output of the guitar, not a DI box. Do you think a DI box would help clean up the signal? I've heard conflicting thoughts about this.

I've tried moving around my room with the equipment (including rolling away from the setup with my guitar) but nothing seems to help yet. Would another room be a better location perhaps? I don't want to uproot my studio but if you think it'll be a good diagnostic tool, I'll give it a shot.

Here's a clean track, if it helps: https://soundcloud.com/curefordisco/sample99

Thanks for your help!! Hopefully we can get to the bottom of this.

Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: cmarquis] #2979288
03/08/19 03:52 PM
03/08/19 03:52 PM
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Larryz Offline
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I would leave the DI box out of the equation and not add one in the lineup until you find out if it's the guitar buzzing. You won't have to move the whole studio, just take the guitar and amp to another location. Try another guitar through the same amp and cord at your location. Try a different cord. Try a different amp. You should be able to figure out if it's the guitar buzzing...good luck! cool

Last edited by Larryz; 03/08/19 03:53 PM.

Take care, Larryz
Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: cmarquis] #2979296
03/08/19 04:40 PM
03/08/19 04:40 PM
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Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: cmarquis
Sorry for the confusion, by DI I meant the direct output of the guitar, not a DI box. Do you think a DI box would help clean up the signal? I've heard conflicting thoughts about this.


A DI box will not clean up anything coming out of the guitar. It will only prevent, or minimize, additional noise from being added later in the signal chain. If that noise is coming from your pickups, that's where you'll need to attack it. Nothing later in the signal chain will fix that, except very expensive software.
Even humbuckers are not noise free. I find them somewhat quiet, but not nearly as quiet as manufacturers would have you believe. Are the pickup cavities shielded in foil, or metallic paint? Is the pickup wiring a twisted pair, with a braided shield tied to ground? Is the bridge connected to ground with a tiny bare wire?


Scott Fraser
Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: Scott Fraser] #2979300
03/08/19 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Originally Posted By: cmarquis
Sorry for the confusion, by DI I meant the direct output of the guitar, not a DI box. Do you think a DI box would help clean up the signal? I've heard conflicting thoughts about this.


A DI box will not clean up anything coming out of the guitar. It will only prevent, or minimize, additional noise from being added later in the signal chain. If that noise is coming from your pickups, that's where you'll need to attack it. Nothing later in the signal chain will fix that, except very expensive software.
Even humbuckers are not noise free. I find them somewhat quiet, but not nearly as quiet as manufacturers would have you believe. Are the pickup cavities shielded in foil, or metallic paint? Is the pickup wiring a twisted pair, with a braided shield tied to ground? Is the bridge connected to ground with a tiny bare wire?


For that matter, is it certain that this is an electronic issue, and not possibly a matter of physical vibration, like string or hardware buzz?


Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

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Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: Larryz] #2979378
03/09/19 02:03 AM
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cmarquis Offline OP
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All of the wiring passes the eye test. I've double checked it against manufacturer guidelines, even adjusting for wire color differences between Dimarzio/Ibanez, and cleaned up the solders at one point after I got better at it.

The pickup cavities don't appear to be shielded or treated at all. They are just empty slots in the wood with a fabric lining, likely because the stock pickups worked in them as it was. Thoughts?

Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite


For that matter, is it certain that this is an electronic issue, and not possibly a matter of physical vibration, like string or hardware buzz?


I have had string buzz issue with the fretboard but this noise happens regardless of fret buzz. I do have a bit of electronic buzz when I am not touching the strings, which I know is usually a minor wiring issue. Could this be related? This ground buzz never comes through in recordings unless I don't have a noise gate and leave open strings, so it doesn't seem like a related issue.

One of my concerns is the fact that my tone sounds poor even when the palm mute buzz isn't as noticeable. I've been through threads and threads of tutorials and advice for setting up signal chains and I'm using similar equipment/programs as most laptop guitarists. I wonder if there's an underlying issue that will, or won't be fixed if I can figure out either the clarity or the buzz.

I really appreciate everyone's time helping me with this.

Last edited by cmarquis; 03/09/19 02:05 AM.
Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: cmarquis] #2979454
03/09/19 03:53 PM
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Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: cmarquis
I've been through threads and threads of tutorials and advice for setting up signal chains and I'm using similar equipment/programs as most laptop guitarists. I wonder if there's an underlying issue that will, or won't be fixed if I can figure out either the clarity or the buzz.


Laptop guitarist, hmmm, so there's a laptop nearby. See what happens when you get as far away from the laptop as possible. Also turning so the pickups are at various angles to the computer. Laptops are a huge source of RF radiation.


Scott Fraser
Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: Scott Fraser] #2979458
03/09/19 04:19 PM
03/09/19 04:19 PM
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d / halfnote Offline
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Is there any sort of "packing" or container that can used to eliminate interference from such a computer source ?


d=halfnote
Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: d / halfnote] #2979466
03/09/19 04:44 PM
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DocPate Offline
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Going back to your original post. Is the only "new" part the pups?

"Ibanez RG8 with brand new DiMarzio pickups"

Have you isolated these?

Check this out: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1118023

Last edited by DocPate; 03/09/19 04:45 PM.
Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: DocPate] #2980251
03/15/19 05:33 PM
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cmarquis Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Is the pickup wiring a twisted pair, with a braided shield tied to ground? Is the bridge connected to ground with a tiny bare wire?


None of the wired are twisted together coming out of the main black tubing from the pickups.

Originally Posted By: DocPate
Going back to your original post. Is the only "new" part the pups?

"Ibanez RG8 with brand new DiMarzio pickups"

Have you isolated these?

Check this out: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1118023


I did buy the guitar used. It was in great shape as far as I could tell. I don't have the steady buzz described in that thread, its the sputtering sound on top of my palm mutes that I'm more concerned about, and the poor quality that seems to be some sort of electronic program.

Also, I took an extra long cable out of the room away from my laptop and I still have the same problem, FYI.

Thanks again guys.

Re: Troubleshooting guitar buzz [Re: cmarquis] #2980967
03/20/19 01:55 PM
03/20/19 01:55 PM
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Who knows. Start with a clean open tone. Then add muting. Play and let it sustain without touching the guitar. .... Maybe the bridge isn't grounded..... Maybe it's Mechanical. Who knows. If there is no buzz add dirt and move from there. Could be a hundred different things. Does it change with volume.


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