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#102033 by D38
Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:10 pm
Hi there

I've just installed a DiMarzio True Velvet single coil in the bridge of my Tele and it sounds flippin' great BUT against the neck humbucker there is a low frequency hum when the single coil is in use. This disappears when the humbucker alone is selected. Is it not an earth problem...

Have I just encountered the 'legendary' 60 cycle hum and if so what is the cure for it?!?

Help! :o

#102120 by Starfish Scott
Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:29 pm
copper shielding
#102122 by mistermikev
Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:59 pm
D38 wrote:Hi there

I've just installed a DiMarzio True Velvet single coil in the bridge of my Tele and it sounds flippin' great BUT against the neck humbucker there is a low frequency hum when the single coil is in use. This disappears when the humbucker alone is selected. Is it not an earth problem...

Have I just encountered the 'legendary' 60 cycle hum and if so what is the cure for it?!?

Help! :o


If I understand you correctly sheilding is the wrong answer.

you are combining a single coil with a humbucker... 3coils
- you can never have (perfect) hum canceling in odd numbered pairs because one coil will always be left without a coil to cancel hum.
you must have only two coils, and opposite polarity to cancel hum.

you can split the humbucker and assuming you split the right coil you will get hum canceling when the single bridge is combined with the single neck.

easy to test... get a diagram of wire color for your neck pu or trial and error by combining either coil with the bridge coil and seeing if hum gets canceled.

note: extremely uneven matches in coil output will result in no hum canceling as well.

hope this helps... feel free to post up a pick of the wires for the humbucker and I'll take a shot at telling you how to wire it...

nice call on the velvet dimarzio pickups... I really like them myself.

#102132 by Jonny Deth
Sat Feb 27, 2010 7:58 pm
Copper shielding helps but isn't the miracle youtube videos and DIY sites lead people to believe. If you own a 65 dollar strat that feels great, plays great, sounds great but has a nightmare of hum, the shielding will knock a lot of it out but lay it through a lead distortion and it's going to resurface.
The only guitars I've experienced copper shielding completely eliminate noise are those with humbuckers.

Mistermikev gave a good option, split the coils on the humbucker and figure out which will cancel it out. Sometimes this means reversing the polarity of a pickup to get opposing signal polarity.

My suggestion, since you obviously want the single coil sound untainted by a hum canceling coil, is to patrol the room with guitar in hand until you find a clean zone. You can always find spots in a room where you're not within range of the EMF of 60 cycle electricity. Then if you can live with the change, relocate your gear or live with having to sit/stand there when you want to play that guitar noise free.
My second suggestion, and this will likely be the most effective and costly, is try different gain pedals. The right pedal will give you a lot of useful gain without jacking it up to the point that the 60 cycle is intolerable.

Fortunately for me, I designed and built my own overdrive which gives me a lot of gain with zero noise. I don't even get grounding buzz. Look into some of the new affordable boutique brand pedals hitting the major wholesalers and try one of their overdrives. The right design targets specific frequencies and clipping characteristics so that less is more. 20 dB of gain from the right boutique pedal is equal to the performance of a common commercial design at 60-90 dB of gain.

#102140 by Starfish Scott
Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:36 pm
I guess it's a good thing I haven't copper shielded any of my guitars yet.. lol

I have to laugh, I get exactly ZERO hum via my Fender 60th anniversary strat but I just don't prefer the tex mex setup.

NO SIR, I DO NOT> lol

#102300 by AirViking
Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:26 pm
you can also doble up on suppression.

A pedal, mixed with a duel channel suppresion cable (like Horizon makes)
will take any pre amp buzz out of your line.
#102452 by D38
Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:33 pm
Thanks everyone, great suggestions. I'm going to live with it as I've only become aware of it because I recently bought a JMP50 mkII combo which is fairly gain sensitive and it notices. It's not unbearable though plus the True Velvet is perhaps THE best Tele bridge pickup I've heard...lines up well alongside the US Vintage 52 specs on my other Tele. TWANNNNG!
#102649 by GhstDog97
Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:36 pm
A lot of single coils are nice low hum pups. They should run fairly quietly. Posters are definitely right about parallel coils cancelling hum, but I was under the impression that modern single coils are low hum also. Did you check the grounding of your single coil at all? It may not be properly grounded. Touch the phone jack when it's plugged in and see if the hum goes away. I can't guarantee anything, but a lot of time this means grounding is bad which is easy to mess up. Very easy. I have been working on my project guitar for two days now. It is a custom pickup configuration but all single coils. I am having a doozey of a time getting rid of the hum, but I think it is a grounding problem because I have to infer a wiring diagram rather than just blindly copying.

#102710 by mistermikev
Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:16 am
unless you mean 'fender noisless' ie 'toneless' when you say "modern pickup" pretty much any single coil is going to hum a little unless it is being canceled by another single coil with opposite polarity.

a trick that I absolutely love is to take an additional single coil, wire it up to a simple spdt switch and direct to the volume knobs sweeper...
then wrap it in electrical tape and toss it in the cavity somewhere...
when you turn it on you get all the hum canceling of a humbucker but you get no sound from the p/u wrapped in tape and buried in the gtr.

turn it on when you are using a pickup with the same polarity as it (not rev) and you get a cool 'out of phase' sort of 25% volume cut.

#111179 by DW83
Tue May 11, 2010 2:01 am
You will generally get some hum in the neck position no matter how much you shield. As a last resort you could try an electro harmonix hum debugger.My custom strat has fairly noisy pickups but the hum debugger does the trick

#119893 by AJ6stringsting
Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:54 am
DW83 wrote:You will generally get some hum in the neck position no matter how much you shield. As a last resort you could try an electro harmonix hum debugger.My custom strat has fairly noisy pickups but the hum debugger does the trick


I was about to recommend the same product. That Hum Debugger is GOD SEND !!!!! 8)

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