How important is it for you to eliminate single-coil noise?

somebodyelseuk

Strat-O-Master
Jan 29, 2022
724
Birmingham UK
Years ago I lived in a wooden house that was right beside a trolley bus line, and it was nearly impossible to record, in that specific place, with single coil pickups, because of the high level of electrical noise.

To fix the problem, I developed a passive device (an open air antenna coil mounted in the control cavity), which eliminated the problem and saved myself from having to switch pickups to stacked humbuckers, which I don't really like, and saved myself some money too.

A while ago, I put up an internet site, and started selling some of these devices, which I build by hand, and I was surprised to find that, apart some top-level guys, I didn't get much response.

So I'm wondering if not enough people really care about removing hum from a classic Strat or, do I need to invest in some serious marketing campaign, to create awareness?

I apologise if this is not the right place to ask.
Not important to me, at all.
Your idea sounds a lot like the dummy coil method that has been done before - apologies if that's not the case.
 

donm1104

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 12, 2017
28
Naugatuck, Ct
SRV did not use a dummy coil.
The "dummy" spoke of in regard to Blackmore is the fact that his middle pickup was non-functional, it was just an empty cover and not wired to the guitar.

Most noise removal at the pro level is done by the studio engineers.
Not to disagree, but Rene Martinez said that he had put a dummy coil in SRV's guitar (at least #1). He said that he removed it after Stevies' death because he thought of it as his invention, and I believe he wanted to see if he could sell the idea.
 

lbpesq

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 15, 2014
1,063
California
Hi, very professional looking product! If I can inquire, what is that thing you are using in the installation video to keep the strings in line? It looks like a couple of tongue depressors with velcro in the middle? Did you buy these or make them yourself? If you bought them, where? They look ingenious ... I want a few!

Bill, tgo
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
8,088
Altered States
Hi, very professional looking product! If I can inquire, what is that thing you are using in the installation video to keep the strings in line? It looks like a couple of tongue depressors with velcro in the middle? Did you buy these or make them yourself? If you bought them, where? They look ingenious ... I want a few!

Bill, tgo

Some guys use a capo at the first fret, or just velcro to the neck at the first, and/or 15th, etc. But velcro glued to tongue depressors would get you to what's in the video. That's more flexible for some work than having the strings attached to the neck. I'm guessing that's what it he used.
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
8,088
Altered States
I've found copper tape shielding did an adequate job for me on my Tele and my P-Bass, both of which hummed like Bobby McFerrin with his lips glued shut when I first got them.

Silent now.

If the current strings on my Strat would finally just wear out, it's next.

My dude: Strings are like electing the "new guy" to political office. As soon as he gets into office, he's an incumbent! Those strings were worn out the days after you installed them. Get to changing them and doing the shielding!
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
8,088
Altered States
The smart meter is just outside on the wall. The junction box it out there too…. How do I check the meter???


You could try shielding it by covering it with aluminum foil. Foil will need to be grounded. See if it cuts the noise. It may also cut the communication when the power company comes by.

Also, try just moving to the other side of the house. As far away as you can get from it. If the noise drops, that's a good indication that it's noisy. It could also be the power lines themselves.
 

AV59

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 3, 2015
2,861
New York
Not to disagree, but Rene Martinez said that he had put a dummy coil in SRV's guitar (at least #1). He said that he removed it after Stevies' death because he thought of it as his invention, and I believe he wanted to see if he could sell the idea.
Well…if the guy who’s trying to sell that says it, it must be true lol

Maybe it is..who knows, but I’ve see a lot of SRV and he always seemed to have plenty of 60 cycle hum onstage.
 
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donm1104

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 12, 2017
28
Naugatuck, Ct
Well…if the guy who’s trying to sell that says it, it must be true lol

Maybe it is..who knows, but I’ve see a lot of SRV and he always seemed to have plenty of 60 cycle hum onstage.
I know what you're saying, I can only take him at his word, but like you say, who knows. When I saw him in the 80s, the arenas were so noisy, and I was so stoked to see him, I wouldn't have noticed anyway. I know a lot of people around here are against it, but I always have RWRP middle pickup in my Strats. Though, I have thought about installing an Ilitch backplate.
 

maxdm

Strat-Talk Member
Dec 19, 2019
28
Estonia
Not important to me, at all.
Your idea sounds a lot like the dummy coil method that has been done before - apologies if that's not the case.

It's similar, in the sense that it is essentially a hum-bucking (antenna) coil, but it's wound in a way that it has low capacitance and inductance, so that it will not affect the tone, audibly when in the circuit.

Most 'dummy coils' make the pickup sound dull, as you probably know.

The reason I am making it available publicly is not because it has not been done before, but because, to my knowledge, there aren't any versions of this kind of device which are easy-to-install, relatively cheap devices on sale, which will do the job. I also was concerned with not altering the guitar, thinking of vintage Strats in particular, which some systems require you to do.

After having spent a month looking for a ready-made solution (for myself), what I found available online was too expensive and difficult to obtain, for my tastes.

For now I build them by hand, with 3d printed enclosures. If I sell enough of them I plan to invest in having them built in a factory setting, enabling me to lower the price substantially, which would be cool.
 

maxdm

Strat-Talk Member
Dec 19, 2019
28
Estonia
There definitely is a market for this. Fender wouldn’t make noiseless pickups if there wasn’t. Looks like you have a cool product, stick with it!

Thanks! Sometimes I think I'm crazy to keep working on it, but as you said, why would humbucking pickups exist?
 

dr_Primus

New Member!
Jun 25, 2022
2
Croatia
I'm here with a heads up on the Quiesound VST1 - I posted this on The Gear Page forum but decided to open a profile here so I can give my opinion (after all... this is the place where I found out about this system).

It works really well, but with a little caveat... I'll get to that later.

The pickups on my No1 Strat are GFS 64 vintage Grey bottom staggered - I really like the sound but wanted to go noiseless...
I was very close to ordering a Mojotone or DiMarzio Area set, but stumbled upon this and decided to give it a go.
If I was unhappy with my pickups in the first place I'd probably buy a noiseless set, but I really like the sound of my pickups so this was the simplest solution (especially since I'm in the EU so didn't have to worry about customs fees)

Initially, since the middle pickup in my set is RWRP we tried to make it work using the Schaller Megaswitch M with the provided schematic but we just couldn't get hum cancelling to work. The maker was extra helpful but we couldn't make it work (truth be told the middle RWRP schematic is very complicated but I am very confident that my buddy who did the wiring for me did it right since he makes Fender Marauder copies which have 4 pickups with 5 switches and 4 pots and all the crazy combinations).
Then my buddy suggested that he will wind me a non-RWRP middle pickup which matches my specs and if it works we'll use that, and if not he'll use it for one of his projects.

Lo and behold, once everything was done I must say that I am a believer.
This thing is as quiet as humbuckers on other guitar that he had laying around in his workshop (generic "Duncan design" humbuckers without cover) and much much quieter than my Strat before the mod, or compared to another strat with Texas specials specs he had there in the workshop (he wound those as well).
We tried it on a fully cranked Fender Blues Junior.

I fully recommend this product, especially if your middle pickup is not RWRP... If it is it will be much more difficult to make it work with the Megaswitch M (according to the maker it works for other people that way - perhaps something is different with the way GFS pickups are wound).

Once I record something I will post a video, until then, here's a picture of the device itself and with the megaswitch for RWRP (you can see it is quite complicated that way)...
I didn't take pictures with normal 5 way switch because the guitar was already assembled... The VST1 is wired between two com lugs of the switch.
 

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MagnusR

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 21, 2013
1,068
Sweden
Since my currently used AC socket is not earthed I have a lot of single coil hum. Actually it's so much I can hardly use the single coils. Fixing the socket is what i need to do.
 

Hal Nico

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 28, 2012
3,756
JAMOADR
Since my currently used AC socket is not earthed I have a lot of single coil hum. Actually it's so much I can hardly use the single coils. Fixing the socket is what i need to do.

I don't know if you caught my link,


There are people in rural areas who have created their own grounding points using a copper or steel pole into the ground on their land and then running a heavy duty cable to the mains supply box. These days best done by a qualified electrician. No amount of guitar screening or gadgets can remove all noise if the ground path to Earth is faulty :/
 

StratUp

Most Honored Senior Member
Sep 5, 2020
8,088
Altered States
I don't know if you caught my link,


There are people in rural areas who have created their own grounding points using a copper or steel pole into the ground on their land and then running a heavy duty cable to the mains supply box. These days best done by a qualified electrician. No amount of guitar screening or gadgets can remove all noise if the ground path to Earth is faulty :/

Required by code in the USA. Two 6' copper rods driven into the ground to the box.
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 20, 2020
5,565
Sante Fe, NM
Years ago I lived in a wooden house that was right beside a trolley bus line, and it was nearly impossible to record, in that specific place, with single coil pickups, because of the high level of electrical noise.

To fix the problem, I developed a passive device (an open air antenna coil mounted in the control cavity), which eliminated the problem and saved myself from having to switch pickups to stacked humbuckers, which I don't really like, and saved myself some money too.

A while ago, I put up an internet site, and started selling some of these devices, which I build by hand, and I was surprised to find that, apart some top-level guys, I didn't get much response.

So I'm wondering if not enough people really care about removing hum from a classic Strat or, do I need to invest in some serious marketing campaign, to create awareness?

I apologise if this is not the right place to ask.
We did the same thing using a reverse wound dummy coil. However, I don’t think the single coil noise is really that big of a problem.
 

Justin226

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 7, 2020
1,581
Brooklyn
Years ago I lived in a wooden house that was right beside a trolley bus line, and it was nearly impossible to record, in that specific place, with single coil pickups, because of the high level of electrical noise.

To fix the problem, I developed a passive device (an open air antenna coil mounted in the control cavity), which eliminated the problem and saved myself from having to switch pickups to stacked humbuckers, which I don't really like, and saved myself some money too.

A while ago, I put up an internet site, and started selling some of these devices, which I build by hand, and I was surprised to find that, apart some top-level guys, I didn't get much response.

So I'm wondering if not enough people really care about removing hum from a classic Strat or, do I need to invest in some serious marketing campaign, to create awareness?

I apologise if this is not the right place to ask.
Hasn’t really ever bothered me, and I’m not enough of an electronics wiz to try to remedy any electrical noise.

That said, my building was built in the 80s. I know many NY musicians living in prewar buildings that say their gear gets veryyyyy noisy.
 


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