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I have a semi-hollowbody Epiphone Casino, single coil pickups. Granted some hum is to be expected with this setup, however the hum I have is unusually loud. When I am not touching anything there is slight hum/buzz. When I touch the strings there is a very loud buzz. When I touch both the strings AND one of the pickups, the buzz goes away almost entirely. This buzz ONLY occurs on the neck pickup.

What is causing the buzz? Does the bridge lack proper grounding? or the neck pickup?

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  • Lovely guitar - check the ground wire between the two pups and the jack socket.
    – Tim
    Sep 6, 2016 at 19:45

2 Answers 2

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If you touch your strings and the noise gets louder, there is a good chance your strings are not grounded (or they are coated, as some coated strings do not ground quite as well.) Just by grounding your strings you can bring down the hum.

This is accomplished by grounding a bridge stud, a spring claw, or a trapeze tailpiece.

article on string buzz for reference

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By the sound of it, there is a reverse wiring issue. Hum getting louder when touching the strings rather than quieter is indicative of a ground connection accidentally being wired to output.

If its only occurring on the neck pickup, it is likely that whoever opened the guitar last mistakenly wired the neck pickup's ground to the jack output, rather than the intended wiring of output->output ground->ground. This should be a relatively simple fix if you know how to solder: simply swap the solder points of said pickup.

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  • This is the correct answer, afaiac, and solved my issue. I knew I had a wiring problem, but I also knew my grounding was OK (I'm not sure buzz can get that much louder due to touching the guitar, despite the other answer). I followed your advice and I had indeed wired the hot and ground to the output the wrong way around. The jack plug build is a little deceptive (it looks like the tip is connected to the inner, but it's not: Hot Tip! :D) Jul 24, 2023 at 18:11

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