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I get a buzzing noise from my guitar when idle. However, when I touch the strings or touch any metal parts (strings, bridge or the metal portion near the output jack), the noise goes away completely. What is the reason for this and how can I completely eliminate this.

I understand it may be grounding issue. I am connecting my guitar to a roland cube20xl amp. I tried with a different guitar and the noise was much lesser. Could something be wrong in my guitar?

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Are you using only single coil pick ups? Do you have the option of trying the same amp with humbuckers? Is there a difference? –  filzilla Oct 11 '12 at 18:03
I'm using PRS guitar having Humbucking pickups already. –  Bijoy Thangaraj Oct 12 '12 at 1:50

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Your guitar is picking up mains hum. This is very common, and as you correctly surmised is due to how the components are grounded and shielded.

Usually this is simple to fix. The first items to check are:

  • your guitar lead and amp - does the noise go away if you use different ones?
  • all solder joints. Are they all solid?
  • all components are grounded, with short connections to the common ground?
  • is there a grounded shield? And if so, is everything connected to it?
  • move the selector switch - does the noise vanish in some positions? This will indicate a dodgy connection in the positions where the noise occurs.
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terminology check: by lead, you mean the cable? –  luser droog Oct 13 '12 at 4:12
Yes, the lead from guitar to amp- common source of problems as they flex and are plugged in and our. –  Dr Mayhem Oct 13 '12 at 10:33

It does sound like a grounding issue.

The first place to check will be the jack socket on the guitar. There should be 2 wires attached to it. One that connects to the tip of the jack - this is the hot (the wire that carries the signal from the guitar) and one that connects to the outer sleeve of the jack - this is the ground.

The ground wire is usually black. Follow this wire and make sure that it is connected to the back of every tone and volume pot and the outer sleve of the switch. There should also be a wire that goes off the the bridge which grounds the bridge, strings and tuners.

If you find that all the wires are connected correctly, it could be your guitar lead that has a fault. Try a different guitar lead.

Hope this helps


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