Buzz? Always check dimmer switches first

Deek

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So, the very day I get two new pedals and an extra pedal power supply and my amp is buzzing like crazy. I try different guitars buzz still there. I systematically unplug and plug every single thing in home studio. Still buzzing. This took an hour or more easy. I take the amp in a different room. No buzz! What the heck. Back in the studio. Buzzing like crazy. By pure luck my wife turns off the kitchen lights downstairs and... buzz is gone! Despite the same dimmer switch being there for years, apparently a bulb is going bad and that was the maddening source of my awful buzz. Soon these lights will be replaced with LEDs and new dimmers, but my trouble shooting sequence was thrown completely off by the new gear. Perhaps this will help someone else. Always check those darn dimmer switches!
 

DarrellV

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Yup!

We use dimmers at my church and hadn't really had a problem with the humbucker Lesters, but my new P-90??

Yeah, that was noticeable. :run:

So I spent last Saturday night shielding the guitar..

Kinda the opposite of what you're doing, but I can't change the dimmers and we already have LED bulbs....

But those dimmers tho......:mad:
 

Deek

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Yup!

We use dimmers at my church and hadn't really had a problem with the humbucker Lesters, but my new P-90??

Yeah, that was noticeable. :run:

So I spent last Saturday night shielding the guitar..

Kinda the opposite of what you're doing, but I can't change the dimmers and we already have LED bulbs....

But those dimmers tho......:mad:
Well the new LEDs and dinners might be a problem for me too. Didn’t Edison invent lightbulbs 150 years or so ago. Why is this still a thing? :)
 

DarrellV

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Well the new LEDs and dinners might be a problem for me too. Didn’t Edison invent lightbulbs 150 years or so ago. Why is this still a thing? :)
He did.

But the dimmers have only been around since the 70's or so.

If you are handy or want to pay some one you could move the wiring off of the kitchen circuit and have it tied into the room next door that doesn't buzz.

Or run a lead from the other room for now.

Sounds like the studio outlet is wired with the light downstairs.
 

Deek

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He did.

But the dimmers have only been around since the 70's or so.

If you are handy or want to pay some one you could move the wiring off of the kitchen circuit and have it tied into the room next door that doesn't buzz.

Or run a lead from the other room for now.

Sounds like the studio outlet is wired with the light downstairs.
Kitchen is being remodeled (so much fun) and I swear it is not on the same circuit. Studio has its own. But the light is right under the amp downstairs. It only started this with a bad bulb, but I will definitely take some time to sort this out since I am currently without drywall in the kitchen and can do anything we need to. Good luck and may your playing be him and buzz free!
 

eddie_bowers

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I would warn against those nasty lighted switches too (so you can find the switch in the dark). Those induce noise even when the switch is off. I removed all of them from my house.

We just moved to LED in my kitchen and living rom area (all one open area). I went through testing all kinds of bulbs. I found the Philips Warm Glow bulbs to be the best. Not only are they quiet electrically, they get more amber when you dim them just like an incandescent. I love them!
I did get better dimmers too. The Lutron Diva CL 153P has a trim lever to optimize the dimming range. I didn't want to get anything that had active electronics that stayed on when the switch was off (based on my lighted switch experience).

My main guitar has P90s. All this fighting with electrical noise (most EMI not direct line noise) prompted me to go to Kinman pickups. OMG they are fantastic. Dead silent, but great P90 growl. The downside is you have to deepen your pickup route in most cases. It was 100% worth it.
 

pillbug

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Yes, EMI would affect it regardless of same circuit or not.
 




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