2022 Squier FMT HSS Strat noise...

James64

Squier Talker
Feb 7, 2012
15
Florida
Is this amount of noise normal and will shielding fix it?
. I just bought this! It's too pronounced to enjoy. I'm not sure if I should keep it. Everything else is really good (neck, setup, tone (while you are touching metal).

It isn't the 50/60Hz noise that's the problem, it's the RFI buzzing (not fret buzzing). No lights on in the approximately 15 year old house. I have tried different amps, different rooms and different guitars. My stock MIA SSS Strat's RFI noise is low and not loud enough to be a concern. Same goes for my CV50s SSS Strat and my Squier Deluxe SSS Strat but I shielded those with copper tape.

Thanks for helping!
 

James64

Squier Talker
Feb 7, 2012
15
Florida
I think I have a lot of noise in the electrical system of the house and that the shielding of the other guitars is enough to take care of it! That video was shot some time after 9:30 PM. I have playing/testing it at night these past couple nights. Today, I played/tested it at 2 PM. The noise is significantly less. It's low enough to be acceptable. My CV50s is dead quiet at 2:15 PM (well except the 60Hz hum), no noise. I had shielded the cavities and the back of the Pickguard of the CV50s. I recorded both at 2:15 PM. I will test some more tonight, but it seems like I just need to shield this guitar.
 

Reverend Bow

Squier-Meister
Jul 2, 2022
368
Southwest AZ
Does the noise reduce when you touch the strings?

I would pull the covers, check the tremolo claw ground wire, and the grounds on the back of the pots.

Also, is there still noise on the switch 2 and 4 pickup positions (neck/middle and Bridge/Middle)?

If you like the way the guitar plays, that is 80% of the battle, the electrics are not hard to fix/change/modify
 

James64

Squier Talker
Feb 7, 2012
15
Florida
It was buzzing in every position including position 1 - humbucker. I believe that it is properly grounded. 8.8k ohms from the part of the output jack that contacts the cable tip, and bridge, 0 ohms from the part of the output jack that contacts the cable sleeve, and bridge. I plugged it in and ran a wire from the strings to the nut under the volume knob, no change in noise.

Ok. I think I figured it out. I believe that the buzzing in the FMT HSS was caused by the 7 overhead-recessed-LED kitchen lights that were probably on when I made the video and they are on a dimmer. Even though they were not dimmed. I usually do not have them on! They were not on during the afternoon. Last night, I tried the FMT HSS with the those lights off and the noise was significantly less (it was playable). When I turned them on, game over.

The interesting take-away is that the fully shielded CV50s Strat makes barely any noise (you'd have to really pay attention to it) when the lights are on, and is dead silent when they are off.

During my extensive research of shielding, I came across a YouTube video in which the guy was arguing that shielding does nothing. So, I got side tracked. At this point, I disagree with him, at least in my case.

Soon, I will shield the FMT HSS and make another video (stitch them together in fact). I will post the results so that someone else can learn for this.

Thanks for the help.
 

Hal Nico

Squier-Nut
Dec 21, 2020
933
UK
Have a read here,



:)
 

James64

Squier Talker
Feb 7, 2012
15
Florida
Now I'm curious!

Does Lonn think that there may be a bad ground in the guitar or in the house?

If it's the house, then Hal Nico's suggestion of buying a device might help.

The bad noise occurred with the kitchen LED lights on with the dimmer all the way up (full brightness). I'd say that a good 80% of the noise in the FMT HSS went away when I shut those lights off, which made the guitar playable. With those lights off, 95% of the noise in the full shielded CV50s SSS was gone.

People generally say that dimmers are bad for electric guitars. So then my question is: Is having the kitchen LED lights on with the dimmer all the way up (full brightness) causing the noise in the video or is it a bad ground in the house?
 

James64

Squier Talker
Feb 7, 2012
15
Florida
I stuck a GFI Receptacle Tester into the outlet that I have been using and it came out fine (wired correctly). I haven't checked anything else.
 

James64

Squier Talker
Feb 7, 2012
15
Florida
Ok. Tonight, the noise was back with the FMT HSS. It didn't matter if the lights were on or not! So it isn't the dimmer. My two other fully shielded Strats were dead quiet though. So, while I will shield the FMT HSS, I'd love to find the electrical grounding problem in the house. Guess, I'll have to do some research into how to do that.
 

Hal Nico

Squier-Nut
Dec 21, 2020
933
UK
Ok. Tonight, the noise was back with the FMT HSS. It didn't matter if the lights were on or not! So it isn't the dimmer. My two other fully shielded Strats were dead quiet though. So, while I will shield the FMT HSS, I'd love to find the electrical grounding problem in the house. Guess, I'll have to do some research into how to do that.

Buy one of these and start testing your wall sockets/outlets,

 

James64

Squier Talker
Feb 7, 2012
15
Florida
Great idea. I checked most of the outlets in the house. I certainly checked anything that might be on the same circuit (breaker). I did not unplug the refrigerator for one thing. I will finish... but I'm not thinking that that is the problem.

I turned on the amp at 7 AM... and there was very little noise. The noise is bad at night. I wonder if they regulate the power after a certain hour, or if my neighbor is up to something?

I will have to check the earth ground. Years ago, when I was after this same noise (before I shielded any guitars), I decided that maybe the Florida clay doesn't provide a good ground, especially because water can barely penetrate it. So, I dug a 5' trench, 2 or 3' deep and buried another long ground stake under peat moss, top soil and some trap rock. I connected the wire to the existing ground stake. So, house --> original ground stake --> my horizontal ground stake. Now, maybe that created the infamous ground loop even though there is only 1 ground wire coming out of the house? Anyway, soon I will disconnect my additional horizontal ground stake to see what happens.
 

Hal Nico

Squier-Nut
Dec 21, 2020
933
UK
I will have to check the earth ground. Years ago, when I was after this same noise (before I shielded any guitars), I decided that maybe the Florida clay doesn't provide a good ground, especially because water can barely penetrate it. So, I dug a 5' trench, 2 or 3' deep and buried another long ground stake under peat moss, top soil and some trap rock. I connected the wire to the existing ground stake. So, house --> original ground stake --> my horizontal ground stake. Now, maybe that created the infamous ground loop even though there is only 1 ground wire coming out of the house? Anyway, soon I will disconnect my additional horizontal ground stake to see what happens.

You might be better off starting again using some of the info from these videos,

 

James64

Squier Talker
Feb 7, 2012
15
Florida
I don't know if you gentleman have any experience with Florida clay, or at least the clay that is in this part of Florida. Nothing really grows in it. You could plant a mailbox in it with no need for cement. The only way to pound a ground stake into Florida clay is with at least a mini sledge hammer and a fair bit of time. Water conducts electricity. Water doesn't permeate the Florida clay. You could dig down 3 feet and make say a 1' by 1' hole and fill it with 1' of water. The water will be there for days. So, my thought (years ago) was to create something that traps a bit of water. The original ground stake is still pounded into the ground. Soon I will detach my horizontal ground stake... but I am willing to bet that it will not affect the noise that the unshielded guitars are picking up.

This Squier FMT HSS has no shielding paint or copper foil. I will shield the FMT HSS and make another video. A before and after...

All of the other electric guitars in the house have either shielding paint or copper foil, and they are all quiet.
 

Boyd L

Squier-Meister
Dec 11, 2021
172
Kentucky
I have similar concerns and circumstances. My Bullet Series strat sounds exactly like the sound produced in your video. However my MIM Fender Standard, my Squier Standard, and my Mustang/Bullet hybrid all produce the "typical" hum associated with single coil guitars. My Squier Deluxe and My Reverend Trickshot are both silent until strumed. All guitars duplicate the same characteristics in multiple residential locations.
My diagnosis (such as it is) is a bad ground on the Bullet Series. Its hung on the wall (out of sight, out of mind) so long I'd forgotten its annoying sound til I saw this thread. I may have to start with the claw and work my way through remelting the pot grounds in the interest of academic progress. 👨‍🎓
 

James64

Squier Talker
Feb 7, 2012
15
Florida
Reverend Bow, I don't understand your post: "your bridge/Tremolo Claw ground wire isn't... grounded". Does it refer to me or to Boyd L's post about his Bullet Series?

I have to pull the pick guard and look around.

I pulled the back cover plate off, put one end of an Ohm meter on the Claw and the other to the guitar cord (with it plugged in) and I got 0 Ohms.

I ran a wire from the low E sting to the nut underneath the Volume control knob and the noise did not go away. I figure that if there is a bad ground inside, then this wire just created the path to ground. Am I wrong? Is this test invalid?
 

Syco

Squier-Meister
Sep 11, 2022
290
Tuttle, Oklahoma
Great idea. I checked most of the outlets in the house. I certainly checked anything that might be on the same circuit (breaker). I did not unplug the refrigerator for one thing. I will finish... but I'm not thinking that that is the problem.

I turned on the amp at 7 AM... and there was very little noise. The noise is bad at night. I wonder if they regulate the power after a certain hour, or if my neighbor is up to something?

I will have to check the earth ground. Years ago, when I was after this same noise (before I shielded any guitars), I decided that maybe the Florida clay doesn't provide a good ground, especially because water can barely penetrate it. So, I dug a 5' trench, 2 or 3' deep and buried another long ground stake under peat moss, top soil and some trap rock. I connected the wire to the existing ground stake. So, house --> original ground stake --> my horizontal ground stake. Now, maybe that created the infamous ground loop even though there is only 1 ground wire coming out of the house? Anyway, soon I will disconnect my additional horizontal ground stake to see what happens.
If it increases at night ..... it's a home problem . For most of us that don't like the dark , when the sun goes down we turn on lights . Are you using LED's or CFL's ? Since it's the evening , you probably also have higher usage of T.V , Internet , Cell phone etc etc all of which can cause a little more pull on the old electrical wires . Just my crazy theory ..... Whatever it's worth .
 


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