Modern Gretsch Guitars

There are just some places you can’t bring certain guitars

1

Been really bonding with my Dyna Country Club lately and it has often been my electric guitar choice for solo gigs, but... I brought it to last night’s gig at a restaurant that is inside an old train station. There is something a little funky with the wiring in the place. I ran the Club through my Helix using amp and cab sims and then into the Bose system. The Dynas buzzed and hummed like nobody’s business and I couldn’t dial out the noise. Very annoying and distracting. I tried the Club there once before and it was noisy then as well. I used my Johnny A and Tennessee Rose respectively the last two gigs there, with no problem whatsoever. So as much as I love what the Club has to offer, it will not be seeing that venue again.

2

I’ve had the same happen.

Single coil v. Buckers. Now you know. If you gig at a new place in the future, bring both Dyna and bucker, or default to buckers.

3

I thought maybe you meant like you can't bring the guitar below to a jazz gig!?

4

You have to cut the power to their lighting system. We've actually done X shows with just 3 clip lights on mic stands because the light dimmers were louder than my guitar. Bogarts in Cincinnati had the loudest lights of any venue in the USA. First Avenue in Minneapolis used to be horrible too, but they finally updated their 1940's lighting system and now its bad, but not horrible.

5

I always knew single coils could be a problem, but this is the first place that they've been that bad. Wish I could cut the power to their lighting system, but then no-one would be able to see their meal. I used to play at one place where noise from the refrigeration compressor would come out through the amp. Wasn't really noisy, but I could hear it. I always used Filtertrons there, but it didn't help.

6

House light, stage lights, HVAC, refrigerators and freezers, fluorescent nd neon lights, and myriad other things can cause serious issues. Our theaters all ran sound and stage power thru isolation transformers. High tension lines and radio transmitter nearby are other sources. Whenever possible, avoid using power directly from dimmers. Found that out the hard way. Generator power can also be iffy. We didn't know if we'd get a new one or a WWII surplus generator. Much fun.

7

A short while back we had a gig in the function room of a rather swish hotel/golf club about 20 minutes from the area where we all live. The deal was we had access from 4.00pm for load in, set up (gear, PA, lights, check everything) then leave before 6.00pm so that the staff could finish off doing what they needed to do before guests arrived for pre-dinner drinks in their best bib and tucker from 7.00pm. We weren't needed until 9pm for a 9.30 start -- too long to hang around, but plenty of time to go home for a while. We had everything set and ready to go with 30 minutes to spare, so just switch on to double check and -- buzz through the PA and the amps. Now we never get buzzes through anything -- our frontman is contracts manager for a large electrical contractor and is almost OCD about all things with wires. Everything was isolated a bit at a time, cables changed but still the buzz and the venue's events manager (a real stickler) was flapping about as if everything was about to go up in flames. About five minutes before we were supposed to leave, one of the staff opened a little panel in the wall -- and turned off a hidden dimmer switch. No more buzz. I hate dimmer switches. I thought we'd moved on a bit since the days I lived on Merseyside and at one regular venue we played we had to run an earth wire out through the window and attach it to a large screwdriver hammered into the car park. Well you gotta do what you gotta do.

8

at one regular venue we played we had to run an earth wire out through the window and attach it to a large screwdriver hammered into the car park.

jeez.

9

you should see the Jefferson Theatre in Charlottesville. as the name implies, it's a former movie theater converted to a music venue by removing the seats from the main floor. it is notorious among local musicians for its atrocious wiring. the one time i played there the Dyna Pro Jet hummed so badly that i had to stand rigidly in the same posture at a precise angle to the amp for 30 minutes. Charlie Pastorfield says that he eventually put Strat-sized humbuckers in one of his guitars specifically for playing there.

are the pickup covers on the Country Club grounded? that killed 90% of the hum from the DPJ.

10

at one regular venue we played we had to run an earth wire out through the window and attach it to a large screwdriver hammered into the car park.

jeez.

– macphisto

I LOVE that story. Sorry you had the experience. But, sure am glad you shared it. Thank you.

11

The old SCR dimmers throw off a huge RF field. It comes through the air as a radio wave...grounding or changing circuits etc has no effect on the hum. Old theaters tend to have old theater lighting. When venues were first installing actual sound systems back in the late-70's, the installers usually knew about the problem and avoided it. Strangely, that info seems to have been lost along the way, and there are noisy new systems turning up too.

12

The old SCR dimmers throw off a huge RF field. It comes through the air as a radio wave...grounding or changing circuits etc has no effect on the hum. Old theaters tend to have old theater lighting. When venues were first installing actual sound systems back in the late-70's, the installers usually knew about the problem and avoided it. Strangely, that info seems to have been lost along the way, and there are noisy new systems turning up too.

– Billy Zoom

We've got two converted movie houses---one even was an old vaudeville venue---in town. Wiring is beyond atrocious. How they ever passed electrical inspection is beyond me. I've worked with a huge variety of dimmers, from saltwater to rheostat to SCR and beyond. The SCR types were the noisiest.

13

I've had that happen from lights at the assisted living home where my mom was, had to use Filtertrons when playing there.

14

fluorescent lamps are the worst. worse than pointing the pickups at the TV set.

15

I remember back in the good old days of my childhood, where running an electric mixer, blender or an plug-in electric shaver in the house was a definite "no-no" if my dad was watching an "important" sporting event on TV... unshielded AC electric motors and old-fashioned two-prong house wiring would send interference directly to the TV screen in the form of a gazillion squiggly lines.

16

ah, yes. and the ground switch on amps. it's a bloody miracle a third of us aren't dead. i got a couple of good zaps to the lips, but nothing that got into Stone the Crows territory.


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