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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Mar 2015
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    How do I trouble shoot for a grounding issue?

    My les paul artisan has a buzz
    When I touch the pickup cover of any of the 3 pickups it goes away.

    I checked and the braided metal wire is indeed grounded to the pot.

    So how do I check the connection from the metal braid to the pot is good?

    How can I confirm this is actually a grounding issue?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member guitplayer's Avatar
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    Re: How do I trouble shoot for a grounding issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by bzdup View Post
    My les paul artisan has a buzz
    When I touch the pickup cover of any of the 3 pickups it goes away.

    I checked and the braided metal wire is indeed grounded to the pot.

    So how do I check the connection from the metal braid to the pot is good?

    How can I confirm this is actually a grounding issue?
    sounds like a ground problem. Ground wire not connected/contact with the tailpiece studs/bushings?
    " Never Mind Your Face, just show us your card"

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Dale O's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
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    Mequon,WI
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    Re: How do I trouble shoot for a grounding issue?

    My new standard does the same, humm / buzz. When I touch the strings, bridge or tail piece it goes away. I checked all grounding and everything is secure.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Jun 2007
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    England
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    498

    Re: How do I trouble shoot for a grounding issue?

    Does the hum / buzz stop when you touch the strings or the tailpiece? If not then it is likely to be a broken ground connection to the tailpiece. If you have access to a multimeter you can check this by setting it to read ohms and checking the resistance between the tailpiece and the back of one of the pots, it should read a very low value (1 - 2 ohms at the most). If the noise does stop when you touch the strings then it is not a grounding issue but something else causing interference.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Yelly's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    Cornwall, UK
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    Re: How do I trouble shoot for a grounding issue?

    Some Les Pauls with the can around the pots did not have a string ground in the first place. This would possibly account for your symptoms. They are usually drilled for the ground wire to tailpiece stud, just no wire fitted.

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    England
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    Re: How do I trouble shoot for a grounding issue?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yelly View Post
    Some Les Pauls with the can around the pots did not have a string ground in the first place. This would possibly account for your symptoms. They are usually drilled for the ground wire to tailpiece stud, just no wire fitted.
    That's a good point. I don't know if this applies to the OP's guitar but as far as I know it is Norlin era guitars from the mid to late 70's that were made this way. I have encountered a few that have lost the shielding can from the control cavity over the years resulting in them picking up excessive RF / EMF interference. If this is the case the solution would be to either obtain and fit a replacement shielding can or to add a tailpiece ground wire.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    on the middle & bridge pickup of my L.P. Custom
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    Re: How do I trouble shoot for a grounding issue?

    You need a DVM meter to test continuity. You need to see if the bridge/tailpiece that connects with the strings also is connected to the pots. The pots need to be connected to each other and connected to the bridge/strings.

  8. #8

    Re: How do I trouble shoot for a grounding issue?

    Or just a few pieces of wire, a battery and a flashlight bulb... Plug in a guitar lead and test for continuity between the long part of the other end of the guitar lead's plug (ground) and the bridge. I have an old multimeter with a buzzer continuity tester; great for this sort of thing. If there is no continuity then your ground wire is either missing or has somehow disconnected from the bridge.

  9. #9

    Re: How do I trouble shoot for a grounding issue?

    I had a "grounding issue" that I could not figure out for the life of me. Turned out it was an issue with the actual outlet. Try another outlet / plugging the amp in somewhere else to see if that eliminates your issue. Sometimes the simplest fixes are the right one.

  10. #10

    Re: How do I trouble shoot for a grounding issue?

    This can happen when your amp is plugged into one outlet and pedals/other goodies are plugged into another outlet that is not on the same circuit. In this case, it's not bad grounding but an electrical interference issue. Florescent lights and anything with an electric motor running (ceiling fans, heaters etc.) can also disturb the electromagnetic force and make a guitar buzz.

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