I recently bought a fender Sq vintage mod jaguar and have had trouble with buzz or humming when not touching ant metal part on the guitar ... Is it worth returning my guitar and getting a new one or will I just get it repaired?? (Buzz or humming remains when touching the strings??)

  • 2
    Hi - The way you describe it, it doens't sound like Feedback is the right word - do you mean buzz / hum ? Feedback is when the strings themselves whine in sympathy with what's coming out of the amp when the string(s) are left to ring, usually a higher harmony of the chord/note that was played, and for rock/blues etc using a distorted guitar sound, is sometimes quite desirable. Could you confirm ? cheerz ... Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 10:41
  • Righto- Could be the cable. One which isn't properly screened might do that. It might be worth trying another guitar of similar type to see if that does it too (Similar type = similar pickups really - ie if it's single coil pickups, use one that has those) Maybe get a guitar friend around to try ? BUT you say "remains when touching strings" - I believe the strings are supposed to be earthed (certainly are on my strat) - the fact that it remains if you touch the string hints that they're not eathed. Probably worth experimenting by running a wire from the lead's earth to the bridge. Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 12:58
  • Process of elimination - change guitar cable; change mains cable; try a different mains socket [another room at least, preferably another ring main]; try earthed & non-earthed sockets if they are available in your country; change amp. Take everything to someone else's house & test the same routine again. Test string grounding by comparing touching strings to touching the jack surround, with a damp finger. [Don't do that whilst touching anything else, just in case] If you feel a tingle, get your power checked by a professional.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 13:02
  • this question is possibly the same as this one, and it has a good concise answer: music.stackexchange.com/questions/7491/….
    – amalgamate
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 13:59
  • I have restored the question to its last version. Please post comments and answers separately, rather than editing them into the question. If one of the answers helped you figure out the problem, you can vote for that answer, or mark it as accepted by clicking the check mark under the voting arrows. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 2:55

2 Answers 2


Do you mean feedback while muting the strings, and while the amplifier is set to high volume? If all of these are true, I think this may be microphonic feedback. In other words, some slighy loose coil windings in a pickup is vibrating at high volumn and inducing a squealing signal.

Does this happen with only one pickup selected, or all of them?

If necessary the offending pickup can be taken out and dipped in wax to prevent this problem. Make sure you research this carefully first though as the wire is very fragile!

As for returning - only if Squier normally dip these pickups to prevent microphony. If they normally don't do this, then yours may not have been done properly. You might like to talk with the dealer and see if this is regarded as a fault. I saw this once (on a cheap guitar I used to have), it was only when using extremely high gain, so I just ignored it.

  • It is happening with all pickups at just a quarter up on the volume...could it be the amp itself...I've tried it with a squier strat and it was the same problem with the buzz disappearing when I touch the metal part at the pickup...it is a roland cube 80gx Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 11:16
  • Input not pickup sorry Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 11:23
  • Could it be the cabe? Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 11:36
  • 1
    A buzzing (or similar noises) that disappears as soon as you touch exposed metal parts - in that case it's probably some sort of interference as user2808054 has said. Maybe caused by noisy mains devices like refrigerators/fluorescent lights/LCD monitors, things like that. It's quite common, it's possible to reduce it by screening the guitar & pickups with foil and making sure the bridge/strings are properly earthed, though I just live with it!
    – Andy
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 12:00
  • 1
    By the way you might like to look at some of the answers on this thread: music.stackexchange.com/questions/31506/…
    – Andy
    Commented Apr 10, 2015 at 12:05

This is a pretty common problem in cheap guitars (and even some not quite so cheap ones...). The reason is insufficient electrostatic shielding, i.e. any interference from fluorescent lights and whatnot can happily bleed right into the signal wires in the guitar. The reason this disappears when you touch the strings or bridge: thereby you connect your body to the guitar's ground level, thus turning your belly into a (rather crude!) EM shield.

Really, this is just a horrible feat of sloppiness by the manufacturers; but alas, they can get away with it. Any decent guitar should be internally shielded; this can be done either by cladding the interior with metal foil (you can do that yourself!) or by fully encasing all pots and using only coax cables between them.

An alternative is to use active electronics. The low impedance makes the circuitry itself much more stable to interference. (Shielding is still not a bad idea...)

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.