Static Noise from Les Paul Body

Discussion in 'Gibson Les Pauls' started by midirons, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. midirons

    midirons Junior Member

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    I purchased an Iced Tea Les Paul Traditional this evening and noticed when I got home that there is a "static type" noise through the amp (Fender Blues Jr.) when I touch the side of the body and a more noticable static, scratchy noise when I brush my hand across the plastic cover for the volume and tone controls. I had a Dearmond archtop several years ago that did this when I touched the pick guard, but I recall that it just stopped after a while. . I really like this LP and would prefer not to return it although I will if that's the best solution.

    1. Have any of you have similar experiences and if so is this common in Les Pauls?

    2. Do any of you know of a fix for this?

    Thanks for your time. Regards.
     
    kts likes this.
  2. lp_junkie

    lp_junkie Senior Member

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    bad ground between wiring and tailpiece can do that.
     
  3. moff40

    moff40 Senior Member

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    Along the lines of what Junkie said, I'd check the cable and the jack as well, cause it does indeed sound like an iffy ground. If it's happened with another guitar, I'd be incluned to suspect the cable. Try a new cable, just for giggles, and see if you can tighten up the hex nut on the jack.
     
  4. midirons

    midirons Junior Member

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    Thanks for your quick reply. Do you know if I'll be able to detect the faulty ground if I remove the plastic cover? Thx.
     
  5. moff40

    moff40 Senior Member

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    Which plastic cover do you mean?
     
  6. lp_junkie

    lp_junkie Senior Member

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    open the back control cavity, look for a single smaller gauge wire coming off one of the pots and disappearing into the wood, that would be the bridge ground sometimes they get broken or not installed so you get noise.

    plug in your guitar, when it is buzzing touch the strings or bridge, if it quits that's most likely the source of the problem.

    also while you are in there inspect all the wiring look for broken connections etc. if it's a new guitar it would be a warranty issue.
     
  7. midirons

    midirons Junior Member

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    ON the cover, it's the larger one that covers the pots.

    I think I'll remove the cover ansd have a quick look at the wiring and see if there's an obvious problem. Absne that, I'l take it back and wait for another one to come in. Thanks for your help and qick replies. All the best.
     
  8. Torren61

    Torren61 Senior Member

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    Why did he get a new guitar with a ground problem? Where's the QC?
     
  9. midirons

    midirons Junior Member

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    My bad on not noticing the hum. I played maybe 6 Les Pauls before deciding on this one and played it 3 times before purchasing. I didn't notice the hum or noise at all when I played it, although it's quite possible that I just didn't happen to create the condition I did at the house.

    On Gibson's QA/QC and missing this issue.......I'm baffled. As it is clearly a warranty issue, I think I'm just going to return the guitar and ask them to order a new one. I don't think I want a freshly repaired "new" guitar.

    BTW, this forum was quite helpful in learning about LP's and in making my decision to purchase a Traditional. Hope I can contribute in the future. Regards.
     
  10. Lemonhead

    Lemonhead Senior Member

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    It's called static electricity. Is it dry in your house? Are you playing while standing on a carpet?

    Take a fabric softener sheet and rub it on the cover.
     
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  11. G-Minor

    G-Minor Member

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    dont get a new one over this. take it to where u bought it and theyll fix it and youll have the same guitar in a week. but if u go after another u could get one in worse condition
     
  12. bluesyjacuzzi

    bluesyjacuzzi Member

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    might want to check the grounding of the ac recepticle your amp is plugged into even if it only does it on the les paul. I have found they are often more sensitive to a faulty ground situation in the AC line than some other guitars.
     
  13. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    I have a 2000 Classic with Duncans (uncovered). It is dry in my house and my music practice room has carpet. During winter months, I've noticed if I rub my hand on the back of the neck, I can hear static noise in the amp. I believe it to be caused by static electricity. I've had my guitar shielded by a repair shop. The control cavity plate has aluminum tape/foil as does the cavity itself. The noise still happens when dry conditions prevail. I've had the tech check the grounding and he claimed it was fine. Just the nature of the beast, I guess.


    Classicplayer
     
  14. midirons

    midirons Junior Member

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    An update. Thanks to all for your replies. BTW, the noise occurs on both a Fender Blues Junior and a Marshall MG15. I used a brand new cord. Also, I took the guitar back today and we recreated the noise on several Fender amps (tube and solid state) and a Vox GC15(?). You could hear the noise quiet well. Now what was weird was that the manager tried to create the noise and couldn't or at least it was far less discernable. But the sales guy had no trouble creating it at the same level that I did.

    Soooooo, they said they would just get another one for me - new, still in box. The one I purchased was on display and has a few very minor dings and a few scratches on the pick guard. Nothing that was much objectionable.

    On the receptacle, I will check the ground. In fact, my stereo is on that circuit (dedicated) and I have experinced 2 ground loop issues.

    Humidity - I'm in southern Louisiana. Humidity's been at near 100% last couple of days, so I don't think it's dryness. (I did live in Denver for 10 years - that was dry. Had to humidify all of my guitars.)

    There is no humming when the guitar is just sitting there.Touching the strings does not cause any pop or hum.

    I did try the fabric softener sheet fix and that actually reduced the noise but didn't eliminate it. I'm gonna try that again tomorrow.

    Re: Classicplayers comment, maybe it is just the nature of the hobby. The issue is not one that I can't live with. There is no noise at all while playing. And I really like that particular guitar.

    I think the effects of 83135's static electricity theory might be the cause. It's possible that there is some combination of static electricity along with loose or poorly conected ground wire. (I did check it and it does appear to be firmly seated in the wood.)

    Anyway, thanks again. I'll keep y'all posted on my progress. Have a good week.
     
  15. BurstAddict

    BurstAddict Senior Member

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    Don't forget to post pics once you receive the new one!
     
  16. lennon47

    lennon47 Senior Member

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    your lucky they gave you a new one, if that was at my local long and mcquade they would have tried to get their half retarded tech to fix it, ruin it, then give it back to me and say it was my fault
     
  17. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    Midirons,

    I did not mean all Les Pauls suffer from static electrical problems. I certainly don't have it all the time with my Classic, and it is not evident while playing.
    I did read somewhere on one of these forums that there can be "noise" problems sometimes on Les Pauls where the Gibson pickups are swapped out for another make and especially if those happen to be uncovered. That could be the problem with my particular Les Paul....it now has uncovered Duncan pickups. The original Gibsons were the 496R and 500T ceramics. Those also don't have covers on them.

    Classicplayer
     
  18. River

    River Senior Member

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    Just FYI, I suffered the same symptoms after using steel wool. They went away gradually over about a week's time.
     
  19. midirons

    midirons Junior Member

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    Well, I decided to see if there was actually an eletrical circuit across the body using a multi-meter, but it was zero by my meter. It's an economical one so I don't know that it could measured as low as it might have needed to go.

    ClassicPlayer - A guy at my gym brought a Q&A from the June 2006 Vintage Guitar and it discusses the issue that you raised below of the open pickups and the possibility of shielding problems. George Gruhn and Walter Carter said it was more likely plastic parts (pick-up covers) They recommend using copper foils or spraying the inside of the cover wioth carbon paint. They also said that sometimes it's the finish. Not much explanation though.

    In any event, I'll post pics of the new one once I get. Thanks to all for your feedback!
     
  20. Classicplayer

    Classicplayer Senior Member

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    It has been a cold and very dry winter in upstate NY. Sometimes, I have sat down to play my Les Paul, I have noticed that if I rub the back of the neck with the palm of my hand I can hear static electricity crackling out of my practice amp. The guitar has been shielded with heavy aluminum shielding foil in the control cavity and the inside of the control cover plate. A small piece of copper foil tape connects the cover to the cavity and makes contract with one of the plate's fastening screws. I had this work done a couple of years ago by a tech after I experienced a grounding issue. The current pickups are Duncan '59s without covers. I don't think it is the pickups as I really think I had the same noise problem with the stock Gibson ceramics, also uncovered.

    I think that the dry conditions contribute to a buildup of static electricity on the finish of the guitar. I'll have to wait for the warmer summer days to prove this, but I'm willing to bet that it will disappear once the dry conditions leave.

    Classicplayer
     

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