Other Guitars

More, Show us your Green :) Can’t get enough :)


Hi Everybody, I've a trouble with my Electro G5128 with DeArmond2000 pups.

When I touch the controls (knobs and selectors or bigsby) or the strings the buzzing stops, so it seems to me to be a grounding problem. Perhaps a solder joint has came loose lately?

Does anyone have advice on a good method to efficiently track down the source of this kind of problem? Help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Alex.


I'd say ground the bigsby but there are others here that know more than I.


Isn't the guitar great...It is one of the only items you can purchase that includes the user as part of the grounding circuit.


You must have constant metal contact to suppress the hum. Everyone here has this problem, certainly with single coil elements. It's normal. Avoid all electrical interference sources like tv's and computers; keeping them away from the guitar helps. For very important recordings, you can wear an anti static computer technician wrist band and connect it to the bigsby. Connecting your amp to a grounded wall outlet also helps. All guitars have such problems.


Same thought here - it's normal. But to (easily) check an internal grounding problem: with the guitar plugged in you can "externally" ground it. Do this by touching the tip of a spare instrument cable to the guitar tailpiece, and the tip at the other end to the input jack of the amp (the grounded part of the jack, the hex nut for instance).

While doing this, don't personally touch the tailpiece, strings, amp jack or anything metal.



As you may have sorted out, you do not have a grounding problem on your guitar. The strings are grounded (i.e. connected to the shield of your cable) and when you touch the strings you become part of the shielding for your guitar.

When you do not touch the strings you are often acting as a noise antenna, making maters worse.

As mentioned, try to get away from sources of noise. A modern problem is the small fluorescent lamps now used in fixtures that used to use incandescent lamps.

With you connected to the ground of your amp, keeping things in order, ground wise, is pretty important.

With polarized AC plugs and generally improved grounding in most buildings, things are pretty good.

Back in the two-prong AC days with no polarity, it was common (almost guaranteed as I recall) to have the ground of your guitar be 120VAC different than the ground of the PA.

So you would finish your blistering solo, step toward the mic to sing your Ooooooh BBBBAAABBYY! backing vocal, then fry your upper lip as you made contact with the mic.

My lesson was to just NEVER sing. Which had benefits to both me and the listener.

I'm not old enough to be truly pre-grounded AC, but many houses and clubs still had no ground outlets for quite a while.


While we are beating these particular bushes,...

There are two typical failures that result in a hum that DOES NOT go away when you touch your strings.

1 . The ground connection inside your guitar has failed. (Almost all guitars have grounded strings. There are exceptions where the maker feels that the shielding is so good that you are not needed as part of the circuit.)

2 . You have a "ground loop".

All grounded items in a circuit should have just ONE PATH TO GROUND. If you have more than one path to ground from a point in a circuit (like your face for example), then there is the possibility of a significant voltage existing between one part of the ground path and another.

At best, this will give an annoying hum. At worst, you get shocked.

The most common way to have a ground loop is to use two amps. You cord goes into one grounded amp, then a patch cord connects the two amp inputs together.

Now your guitar, and your face, have a path to ground through each grounded amp. Hum is common.

In this case, lift the ground on JUST ONE OF THE AMPS (typically by using an "AC adapter"). Now all components have just one path to ground.

If your amp has a "ground lift" switch, this is the reason. Normally you want it grounded, but sometimes lifting the amp ground gets rid of a ground loop. NEVER lift the ground unless you have identified the alternate path to ground for your amp (and thus for your guitar and your genitals).

It is almost always a good idea to have no ground for your pedalboard. The signal cable to the amp will be grounded through the amp. So a grounded pedal board will create a ground loop.

EDIT: Need a disclaimer here: Don't lift any ground on anything whatsoever unless you are very familiar with lethal voltages and how to avoid getting "leath"-ed by them.


I could never resolve this issue on my Yamaha fretless bass, so I screwed one end of a braided copper wire to the bridge, and leave the other end loose to tuck in my pants against my skin when recording with it.

Works a charm. Highly recommended!

(I don't use superglue with it though.)


Mind you, NEVER use any d.i.y. ground wire devices when performing on stage or when you use equipment that is not yours.

If any safety error is made at the place where you perform or if any safety error occurs in the unknown equipment, a d.i.y. ground wire may help to get you killed, because of the very good electrical contact such a wire creates!!!

Register Sign in to join the conversation