Loud Hum on my Electric Guitar – Fixed

A problem that I have had since I bought my Yamaha Pacifica guitar many years ago is a loud mains hum when I plug it into my Fender amplifier. As the amplifier was new, but the guitar was a used one, I always suspected the guitar.

A friend tried my amplifier with his Fender Stratocaster and it was perfectly quiet, which confirmed that the guitar was at fault. Maybe that’s the reason why the previous owner sold it?

Having taken up the guitar again, to learn and practice alongside my son, I find the loud hum particularly annoying. I have to keep the volume down to such a level that it is less noticeable. Not an ideal solution.

So with the help of Google and Yahoo! Answers, I found a potential fix for the problem. It all pointed to a bad earth connection somewhere in the guitar.
So, being methodical about it, I decided to work through the problem from one end to the other.

First on the list was the output jack socket. I unscrewed this from the guitar body and examined the wiring. The earth wire was hanging on to the socket by a single thread, so I removed it, stripped back the insulation on the wire, and resoldered it.

With the socket screwed back onto the guitar, I gave it a test, and the hum has gone. I can’t believe what a simple fix that was. If I had known, I’d have done it years ago. I imagine it would have been quite costly to have that repair done by my local music shop or dealer.

There are still a couple of minor problems with the guitar, though. If I move the jack plug within the socket, I get a crackle through the amp, so I might invest in a better quality jack socket. Or maybe the existing one just needs cleaning.

There is also a low-level hiss, but it’s not as loud or annoying as the hum, so I can live with it. It’s probably due to the single-coil pickups, which are notorious for picking up unwanted signals. Some shielding inside the guitar body might help with that. If I find the time to experiment with it, I’ll post back on here about it.

May 30, 2012 · Phil Rogers · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Electric Guitar, Electric Guitar Repair

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