Problem solution possibilites for humming Pickups

what makes me wonder is, how all virtuosos can be hum-free? i have an old 90’s Fernandes guitar which has noise-pickups. it is HSS and still i couldn’t find solution possibilities for this until couple hours ago. this is what i got so far in searching the hum problem for my guitar Fernandes FR-55. it’s been over a year ago and finally i got the closest possible solution on very first i thought it was the circuitry. so i learn about soldering the components and find out what caused the hum. as far as i could get before the next one is 60Hz cycle hum. It’s called “60 Hz cycle hum” because it’s a signal that oscillates at 60 Hertz – sixty cycles a second. too complicated, why is it audible, since 60 Hz is so low in frequency range? here’s why. we can hear it because it cycles, its harmonic notes is what we heard. 60, 120, 240, 480, 960, 1920, 3840, 7680, 15360, 30720,.. there we can hear them all ringing loudly. creating ground loop is the very first idea in my mind for my guitar, and hum cancelling with humbucker pickups came to next.
but, it against the fact that my guitar is HSS which means i got humbucker, why is it still humming?so i went deeper search about it and still, i couldn’t find the solution. I’ve double-checked the soldering part and grounding, and my fernandes was very neat and i couldn’t take soldering/grounding as the main problem. (it’s japan-made and its circuitry is one of the most neat working i’ve ever seen). even i considered to change the pickups, while i know my fernandes pickups sounds good actually , no need to replace the pickups with the expensive one (Seymour Duncan® works best on my spalted maple tele, but…it means more $$$!!!! ) …the best thing i got so far from learning soldering and grounding is how to keep bright tone when guitar volume knob is being lowered.

if i just could remove the hum…

then, out of nowhere (actually like something already deep inside was screaming).. i had a thought to do modification on pickups and DIY pickups making, and i began to analyze what exactly was wrong with my Fernandes. I’ve written it on paper somewhere which i lost it now, but here they are:

– my humming pickups can’t stand the high gain
– it has very low noise in clean tones, but it gets humming when i raised the amp volume
– when i had fun with the whammy bar, the guitar springs sound creaking into pickups
– when i knocked the body, the pickups deliver the knocking sound, louder than my other guitars

it’s like my pickups act like a microphone. so i whine to Google , just write these words “guitar pickups act like microphone!

and the miracle came.. this guitar-pickup-act-like-microphone problem is called microphonic feedback, which is unacceptable for pickups. a normal pickups will deliver the strings vibration only, and that is what should happen, it is just the very basic idea for guitar pickups.

back to my pickups problem which has the very similar symptoms, the best solution for my fernandes problem is pickups potting. the idea is to wrap the pickups with wax in order to make them in fixed position, so they can’t vibrate and deliver sound other than guitar strings vibration.

now i know exactly what I’m gonna do this time for my Fernandes FR-55. i’ll get the “pickups potting process” into preparation right away. hopefully it works. wish me luck

how to keep bright tone when guitar volume knob is being lowered

Recently i found something interesting on the internet. something that bothers me all these years and left unanswered.  when we play some blues, the volume knob is the key of music dynamics. Anyone would never get satisfied by the mumbling tone when we reduce the volume via guitar volume knob to get less distorted tone in creating smooth clear overdrive sound. and now i got the one of solution on how to keep bright tone when guitar volume knob is being lowered.

to accomplish that, i needed to go to local radio shack in my town and bought a 0.001 uF capacitor and 150k resistor. it was too cheap, so i bought three of each so i can install them on my other guitars. it worth 0.1 dollars for all of them. if you think it isn’t worth for your expensive guitar, you can get the higher quality. but for me, 0.1 dollars works fine on my guitar.

capacitor and resistor
0.001 uF capacitor and 150k resistor

so, how this 0.1 dollar stuff works? first, connect those in parallel. surely i prepared my solder and soldering iron for this. and here is the result:

parallel connected capacitor and resistor
parallel-connected capacitor and resistor

then open the back cover of the guitar, find the volume pot, solder the legs to volume pot. i can’t get better picture of this, but the diagram below will explain where to put the legs.

soldered capacitor and resistor to volume pot
soldered capacitor and resistor to volume pot

i put these components to my Gretsch G5236 electromatic pro jet 125th anniversary, and it was as expected. no more mumbling tones when i lowered the volume knob.

actually it’s like adding some value to the volume pot, i made a video recorded my activity in installing this component, i found it also reduces humming when the volume pot is in half-full position which is great. i recommend you to do this on your guitar.  it’s just cheap and works perfect.


here is the video on YouTube  guitar learner channel :