Help, I Think I Have Dirty Power!! And Happy New Year!!

SFG001

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So after much time spent chasing down the reasons for noise issues, I think I have found the culprit. What say your dirty minds about dirty power?! :laugh2: I want to know if that’s really what I have, and what I can do to fix it. Great group of minds here so can’t wait for the feedback!

Problem: A loud hum while not touching the strings. Touching anything metal makes it better, but while playing softly can still be heard and sounds a little like just fizz. The buzz gets better at certain times. Goes away completely when I recently tried the Pocket Pod on batteries instead of on the mains

Gear used: HX stomp, Pod Farm UX1, Bugera V5, Pocket Pod, Mackie CR3 monitors, headphones

1. Checked all cables. No problem.
2. Thought it may have been just the way the humbuckers overdrive my amp and amp models. That wasn’t it, but learned a few cool things about pickups from you guys
3. Learned about high and low cuts. Very helpful, but not the main problem
4. Thought it was studio monitors because I played my rig through our home sound system and sounded great! That happened when I guess it was one of the times the buzz wasn’t as bad. Also seemed to handle the fizziness better than the monitors. Tried it another time and problem persisted.
5. Our basement is unfinished and doesn’t have a lot of things connected to it’s circuit. I don’t think that’s the cause unless something like a fridge or tv that’s on a different circuit can also cause the noise?
6. Had 2 electricians come out to fix some stuff and give a quote on the basement wiring. They both said the electrical work is good. It’s a new house so it’s not bad wiring.
7. Tried an $80 Furman power conditioner. Didn’t help at all.



So my aha moment came when I plugged that Pocket Pod in on batteries and headphones. Perfect! At least what it was intended to sound like. When I connected it to the monitors the buzz came back. That makes me think it’s probably not EMI or RFI either, since I still would’ve heard a noise in this situation too right? unless someone else has some more insight. Also, now I have fears about wireless power meters and cancer, ha ha!

Solution:
Isolation transformer? I’ve seen Furman ones but those are super pricey. Will something like this be the same thing?
https://www.jameco.com/z/GRP-1200-Benchtop-Transformer-Isolation-120VAC-7A-60Hz-450VA_2214336.html

Some kind of pure sine wave inverter?

Or could I just power my rig with an external rechargeable power supply?

Thanks in advance. Really enjoy reading this forum for the awesome guys and great knowledge!
 

SFG001

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Ha ha :) Thanks for the reply. I'll do some more research on those or maybe I'll just buy one to try. Correct me if I'm wrong though, don't those just lift the ground on a 3 prong plug? So will I see any benefit using my HX Stomp which uses a 2 prong plug on its wall wart?
 

northernguitarguy

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You Dirty Man. (in an English accent). Think Liz Hurley.

I posted this on another thread for Macbook P/S issues causing similar problems. Ignored.

Here's the last time. Hopefully it will help you! If it does, please let us know if you go this route.

I did appreciate your help. My problem was fixed by using a proper audio interface, rather than just patching into my Macbook's input jack. Hum gone! However, I thank you for your input.

OP, why not just take the Pocket Pod out of the rig? Can't you get all you want out of the Helix?
 

SFG001

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Oh, sorry for my miscommunication. I don't use all those things in my rig, I just wanted to let everyone know what gear I have at my disposal. I typically use just the HX Stomp into the monitors, and when recording I plug it straight into the laptop.
 

northernguitarguy

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Oh, sorry for my miscommunication. I don't use all those things in my rig, I just wanted to let everyone know what gear I have at my disposal. I typically use just the HX Stomp into the monitors, and when recording I plug it straight into the laptop.
How are you patching into the laptop? Are you using a proper audio interface? I had all sorts of noise when I used to patch directly into my macbook using the input jack. Audio interface cleared it all up.
 

KP11520

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@northernguitarguy

No worries NGG!

You are always on the money!

It happens too often in this section overall though. And that's not you.

And I agree with using the Mic input in rather than a real Audio Interface could certainly be a weak point!

Cheers! And best of luck OP!
 

Jymbopalyse

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Would plugging into a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) help ?

 

SFG001

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dspelman, ha ha! Reminds me when you see a dusty car and someone wrote on the back in the dust "I wish mt wife was this dirty".

So the HX stomp already acts as an interface but I'm definitely going to see if plugging in through a dedicated interface helps. That would at least solve the recording issue but still won't be able to use the Stomp and monitors only.

Thanks for the link to that blog Jymbopayse. I think that sounds quite promising. That's what I was thinking, to somehow get off the mains to a battery or something, but that seems to be a better idea since it looks kinda like it's both. A rep at Sweetwater also just called me out of the blue (ok I ordered some strap locks!) and told me about the Furman PST 8. I'll order one or both. They swear that the LiFT technology is what'll do the trick. Some kind of line filtering.

Either way I'll keep this updated. Thanks guys!!
 

dspelman

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I use a huge UPS (seriously, this thing has a lead-acid battery the size of the one in my Honda Civic) that takes incoming current, charges the battery, while simultaneously pulling power from the battery and feeding it to the outlets.

There are three or four different kinds of UPS; this one provides ultra-clean power to whatever's plugged into it.

The Furman PST 8 won't help you.
 

Fiesta Red

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7. Tried an $80 Furman power conditioner. Didn’t help at all.
Those things are garbage. It doesn't fix my issue either.

Does the noise affect your tone at all? Do you have guitars with both potted and unpotted humbuckers? Is it worse with the unpotted ones?
 

Fiesta Red

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Would plugging into a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) help ?

These don't work really either. I have that particular model. It will protect from surges but does nothing to clean the signal or remove the noise. It's really just a battery backup.
 

SFG001

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That’s what I was afraid to hear. I have all potted guitars. Two Gibson Les Pauls, a Squier Strat and a Schecter bass. It definitely affects the tone. At best it sounds like there’s fizz over the top. When its real bad the hum is louder (when not touching the strings or metal) and the tone seems thinner. Playing open notes like the opening part of Sad But True by Metallica sounds horrible. And not only because of my lack of skill! :)

I contacted Furman and the engineer says it’s probably noise in the signal and not from AC. However, I still get the noise when I have literally just guitar (any of the 4 I have) to cable (I have 3) to HX Stomp (which has a 2 prong plug and not able have its ground lifted via cheater plug) to headphones. I’m about to sell all my gear and get an acoustic! Yeah, no that’s not happening, ha ha.
 

SFG001

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I use a huge UPS (seriously, this thing has a lead-acid battery the size of the one in my Honda Civic) that takes incoming current, charges the battery, while simultaneously pulling power from the battery and feeding it to the outlets.

There are three or four different kinds of UPS; this one provides ultra-clean power to whatever's plugged into it.

The Furman PST 8 won't help you.
K so I'm going to try the wrist strap thingy. And in your link the UPS they talk about is very affordable. Is there a specific terminology or spec I want to look for when I search for a UPS? I guess the ones that only work as a backup won't help, but like the one you have should work? Also, what about those portable camping batteries? Any reason not to plug my equipment into one of those?
 

SFG001

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I did appreciate your help. My problem was fixed by using a proper audio interface, rather than just patching into my Macbook's input jack. Hum gone! However, I thank you for your input.

OP, why not just take the Pocket Pod out of the rig? Can't you get all you want out of the Helix?
Sorry, I missed this. The noise persists when I use the UX1 also, which is a dedicated audio interface that works with Line 6 Pod Farm amp sim software.
 

northernguitarguy

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Sorry, I missed this. The noise persists when I use the UX1 also, which is a dedicated audio interface that works with Line 6 Pod Farm amp sim software.
Drag you haven’t found the source...must be frustrating.
 

SFG001

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Yeah thanks for the consolation. It’s driving me nuts! Ha ha.
 

jaycoyoyo

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IMO your troubleshooting is kind of hopeless until you've tried a proper recording interface. Try Focusrite.
 




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