Pickups

Dynas noisy as h*ck…anything i can do?

1

as some may recall, my Gretsch is a early-00s Pro Jet that i gutted and rebuilt/rewired with a G-brand B3, bar bridge, and most significantly a set of Tokiwa Dynas. in general they're quite all right though i would go to Duncans if i were a rich man, but my problem is that they appear to pick up magnetic interference out of the air something fierce; if i aim the face of the guitar towards a working TV set or fluorescent lamp it buzzes, and when i took it onstage at the Jefferson Theater here (which is notorious among local players for its noisy, generally dodgy wiring) it hummed so loudly as to be almost unplayable.

so, what's wrong, and how can i fix it? did i do something wrong in the wiring (which is what i suspect)? would grounding the pickup housings (you can't really call them "covers," can you?) help? should i chuck my harness and get one of the TVJ conversion kits? or does anyone have any other ideas?

2

How do they sound in the center, dual, reverse polarity position?

Are you wired up for that?

3

If the theatre has dodgy wiring and is known for it, anything single coil will hum in there, probably some humbuckers even.

I've found that grounding the shells on those MIJ dynas càn help though, yes.

4

It wouldn't hurt to line the pickup and control cavities with thin copper, or copper tape (which may be easier - if the cavities are smooth enough and clean enough). Ideally, they'd all be grounded together. You'd solder a braided ground wire to the copper (or tuck it under the tape, after removing the adhesive from area where the ground wire makes contact); there should be passages from all the cavities which communicate with each other to run it through.

You might also copper-tape the backs of the control cavity covers.

Stew-Mac should have that copper tape.

5

Is there any such thing as finding the sweet spot in the room?

I find myself having to do that with many single coil pickup guitars.

6

Like Proteus said, the best thing you can do is add better shielding to your guitar. Make sure that your stage signal lines and AC lines do not run alongside each other---cross them at 90 degrees. Complain to the venue, but I doubt that they'll improve their wiring until someone gets electrocuted. At all of our theaters, sound and stage feeds went thru isolation transformers, and lighting was totally separate. Lighting dimmers, fluorescent and neon lights, and refrigeration and HVAC motors all cause noise problems.

7

Other than shielding the pickup cavities, there is not much you can do. At one place I play, the venue’s refrigeration system “plays” through my amp. Chilling sound.

8

Some venues may need humbuckers. Excuse to buy another guitar.

9

I have a similar issue in my house. It has dichroic lights with dimmer circuits and single coils all buzz. It’s turned me to playing humbuckers most of the time and , although i have always had a pref for singles, I’m getting to like buckers.

Please let me know how the shielding goes

10

Suck it up and enjoy the tone. Avoid light dimmers, or old school SCR controlled dimmer packs. Don't play Bogarts in Cincinatti, or First Avenue in Minneapolis.

11

I have a similar issue in my house. It has dichroic lights with dimmer circuits and single coils all buzz. It’s turned me to playing humbuckers most of the time and , although i have always had a pref for singles, I’m getting to like buckers.

Please let me know how the shielding goes

– eCastro

Dichroic glass does nothing to cause buzz---they're just color changing filters. It's the dimmers that are the issue. The real need is to use proper shielding and especially braided jacket coaxial wire in your guitars.

12

Some venues may need humbuckers. Excuse to buy another guitar.

– NJBob

i work with Charlie Pastorfield, who is kind of the king of Charlottesville and plays everywhere in the area all the time; the wiring at the Jefferson was so annoying that he eventually got a Strat with those narrow-field Strat-sized humbuckers solely for playing there.

shielding would be kind of difficult; as i've noted before, this particular Pro Jet is chambered so extensively that there really aren't pickup cavities per se.

the center pickup position doesn't indicate anything amiss...it doesn't seem to cut the hum as far as i recall. it's sitting on the sofa right now, so i'll check it this evening.

sounds like it's grounding the PU covers. maybe a new harness later on, but i rather suspect it wouldn't make much difference since rewiring from stock didn't change the bzzzzz level significantly.

so what would i do then, connect the PU cover to the negative lead from the PU?

13

Is there any such thing as finding the sweet spot in the room?

I find myself having to do that with many single coil pickup guitars.

– crowbone

well, it depends...in a living-room setting the amount of interference is directly proportionate to how directly the PU is facing the source, i.e. if the PU is pointed straight at the TV turning 30° to the side kills 80% of the noise. at the Jefferson nothing helped at all; it got somewhat quieter in one specific spot near my amp and thus i stayed rooted to that spot for the entire set.

14

i work with Charlie Pastorfield, who is kind of the king of Charlottesville and plays everywhere in the area all the time; the wiring at the Jefferson was so annoying that he eventually got a Strat with those narrow-field Strat-sized humbuckers solely for playing there.

shielding would be kind of difficult; as i've noted before, this particular Pro Jet is chambered so extensively that there really aren't pickup cavities per se.

the center pickup position doesn't indicate anything amiss...it doesn't seem to cut the hum as far as i recall. it's sitting on the sofa right now, so i'll check it this evening.

sounds like it's grounding the PU covers. maybe a new harness later on, but i rather suspect it wouldn't make much difference since rewiring from stock didn't change the bzzzzz level significantly.

so what would i do then, connect the PU cover to the negative lead from the PU?

– macphisto

This whole discussion has me wondering if I can calm the buzz in my new ‘57 Dou-Jet. The “Cavities” are huge. Can I line just the passageways that have the wires and directly under the pickups? It does sound great in the middle, but I tend to favor the bridge pickup.


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