The Workbench

Hmmmmm! I gotta hum!


Yep, I gotta hum! It's on my dear ol' Gretsch G5125 with DeArmonds. With the pickup selector switch in the middle / both pickups position all is quiet. In the neck OR bridge position there is the hum. And this same problem is with my Telecaster with single coils! Any ideas? All help will be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks, Steve


Is there a cell phone in your pocket?


Is there a cell phone in your pocket?

– Suprdave

...or are you just happy to see me.


Oh, you beat John to it, Bob. LOL!

Seriously though, I had a friend who had a noise issue and it was because his phone was on in his pocket.


Isn’t that normal for single coils? Have you tried changing the cable?

I would think it’s normal, but a bad earth might be making it worse.


Did it just start humming as you describe, or has it always been this way?

It's common for builders to wire single-coil pickups so that they hum-cancel in the middle position (as though they were one humbucker with the coils very far apart). But I don't remember Gretsch having done so on the 512x series. If not, it could easily have been done by after-modder.

Little can be done about one-pickup-at-a-time single-coil hum. It was the reason humbuckers were developed (by people who cared less about tone than noise).

You can ignore all this if the neck and bridge pickups, on their own, were previously quiet enough to happy you up and have now turned noisier than they were. In that case, something is wrong with the guitar (probably a bad ground), the veil has suddenly dropped from your ears, or you're defying the natural course of things by developing more acute hearing as you age.

If it's the latter, please let us know what supplements you're taking.


It hums because it doesn't know the words.

Actually, I agree with Proteus' thoughts.


Most modern single coil guitars have reverse-wound neck pickups so they're hum-bucking in the middle position. I don't like it, but that's the way it is.


You gotta hum? I gotta sing! LaLaLa...

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