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Post new topic Gold Tone LS-8 HUMMMMMMMMMM...
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Author Topic:  Gold Tone LS-8 HUMMMMMMMMMM...
Todd Weger


From:
Safety Harbor, FLAUSA
Post  Posted 30 May 2019 10:21 am    
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So, I picked up a brand new GT LS-8 for a great price about three months ago. Plays and sounds great - BUT - I have bad single coil hum that I can't seem to get rid of. Not the Norelco shaver "buzzzzzz," one can sometimes get, but that lower end 'hummmmmm' that one can dial out with a Stringmaster blend knob.

I opened it up to see about the ground wire, and everything there was good. I don't want to have to fool with an expensive hum canceler, so if that's the case, I'll live with it, but wanted to see if anyone has figured out a solution to this.

Thanks
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Nic Neufeld


From:
Kansas City, Missouri
Post  Posted 30 May 2019 1:30 pm    
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"that lower end 'hummmmmm' that one can dial out with a Stringmaster blend knob."

That sounds like 60 cycle hum, common to single coils...some worse than others though. The blend knob works by blending in a reversewound/reverse polarity "neck" pickup in series, giving you basically a separated humbucker pickup.

I have an SX 8-string...I normally love soapbar pickups (at least on fretted guitars) but I had both string balance issues and the hum you mention. I swapped it out for a Lace Alumitone...it was slightly cheaper to get the "Bass Bar" than the steel-targeted "tone bar" but the customer service folks said it was basically the same product, so that's what I put into it. Solved both of those problems...not super cheap but an option (and there are plenty of others as well).
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Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 30 May 2019 6:13 pm    
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If it's pretty loud, you probably have a ground issue, or a bad pickup. It's not too hard to track it down.

If you touch the output cable sleeve (assuming it's metal) does the hum go away, or change in any way?

Does using an alligator clip from a string to the output cable sleeve do anything?

Can you inspect all the electrical connections, meaning have you ever done that before?

Little things can make hard to find and irritating until you do. One thing to look for is bad solder on ground connections. Another is a single strand of wire sticking out and touching somewhere it should not. A bad pickup is also capable of some trouble.
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RICK ABBOTT
Sho~Bud D-10 Professional #7962
Gibson Console Grande, Lazy River Wiessenborn
Session 400, Bassman Amp W/Altec 418,
1953 Stromberg-Carlson AU-35
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Todd Weger


From:
Safety Harbor, FLAUSA
Post  Posted 31 May 2019 8:52 am     Thanks for the tip
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Nic Neufeld wrote:
"that lower end 'hummmmmm' that one can dial out with a Stringmaster blend knob."

That sounds like 60 cycle hum, common to single coils...some worse than others though. The blend knob works by blending in a reversewound/reverse polarity "neck" pickup in series, giving you basically a separated humbucker pickup.

I have an SX 8-string...I normally love soapbar pickups (at least on fretted guitars) but I had both string balance issues and the hum you mention. I swapped it out for a Lace Alumitone...it was slightly cheaper to get the "Bass Bar" than the steel-targeted "tone bar" but the customer service folks said it was basically the same product, so that's what I put into it. Solved both of those problems...not super cheap but an option (and there are plenty of others as well).


Hey Nic - thanks for that tip. The LS-8 is based on the old Oahu Tonemaster design, and the metal pickup/controls plate has a 3-3/4" x 1" cut for the pickup they use, which is just about the same size. I appears that J-bass p'ups are about the same length, but a 1/4" narrower, and may work. I think the Aluma J-bass might could do the trick. If so, it would be well worth the $$ as I really like this steel otherwise. I even like the tone of the stock pickup, but hate the 60-cycle hum.
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Todd Weger


From:
Safety Harbor, FLAUSA
Post  Posted 31 May 2019 8:59 am    
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Rick Abbott wrote:
If it's pretty loud, you probably have a ground issue, or a bad pickup. It's not too hard to track it down.

If you touch the output cable sleeve (assuming it's metal) does the hum go away, or change in any way?

Does using an alligator clip from a string to the output cable sleeve do anything?

Can you inspect all the electrical connections, meaning have you ever done that before?

Little things can make hard to find and irritating until you do. One thing to look for is bad solder on ground connections. Another is a single strand of wire sticking out and touching somewhere it should not. A bad pickup is also capable of some trouble.


Hey Rick - thanks. Yeah, I did open her up, and found the ground wire was attached right (I thought it had come loose). I think it's just this single coil p'up. I did the test you recommended, and it doesn't change anything. It's not they typical Electric Shaver buzz, but that 60-cycle hum. I need to either try shielding, or a different p'up. Thanks.
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Joe Burke


From:
Toronto, Canada
Post  Posted 31 May 2019 9:25 am    
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I got a Lollar pickup for my 6 string Gold Tone. I don't recall having the same issue as you, but I do consider it a great improvement.
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Rick Abbott


From:
Indiana, USA
Post  Posted 31 May 2019 10:22 am    
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Yep, Todd, I'd go with a new pickup. Just by chance, did you also try a different amp? Other cables?

Those gold-foil style pickups being made now would sound great. I forget who is making them. I have an original 60's 8-string GF, and it has such a huge tone.
_________________
RICK ABBOTT
Sho~Bud D-10 Professional #7962
Gibson Console Grande, Lazy River Wiessenborn
Session 400, Bassman Amp W/Altec 418,
1953 Stromberg-Carlson AU-35
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Todd Weger


From:
Safety Harbor, FLAUSA
Post  Posted 1 Jun 2019 6:28 am     Thanks
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Rick Abbott wrote:
Yep, Todd, I'd go with a new pickup. Just by chance, did you also try a different amp? Other cables?

Those gold-foil style pickups being made now would sound great. I forget who is making them. I have an original 60's 8-string GF, and it has such a huge tone.


Oh yes -- I tried different cables, amp, how I routed it, everything. It's always had some 60-cycle hum, but it seems worse now. Not sure why. Ground it definitely attached. I don't get the hum with my Teles. I do with the Stringmaster, but only using the one pickup. When I blend in the second pickup, it turns 'humbucker' an goes away.
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 1 Jun 2019 7:02 am    
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Since you've already opened it up, I'm assuming you verified there's a ground wire in contact with the bridge. If not, that can be an issue.

These things work, albeit not perfectly. And they really aren't all that expensive, especially when purchased used. Be aware that they do require a special and unconventional power supply:
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Joe Burke


From:
Toronto, Canada
Post  Posted 1 Jun 2019 10:54 am    
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Also worth taking your gear to a different house? Make sure it’s not allergic you your electrical panel?
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Harrisburg, Oregon
Post  Posted 2 Jun 2019 4:37 pm     Simple solution for me...
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I was having the same issue a couple of years ago.
Got a lot of those weird new lights in my place.
Simple solution for me was when Tom Bradshaw mentioned using the shortest cords possible.
I'd been using the same longer ones I take to gigs, so at home replaced them with short 3 and 4 foot long cords I already had and no more hum.
Not sure if that will work for every situation, but did it cheap for me. Very Happy
_________________
Inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
2017 Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 Polished Aluminum covering.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners.
Clinesmith Triple 8 Console, Birdseye Maple.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Short A6th.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Long E6/9th.
1950's? Blankenship D-8 6&3 PSG Restored.
1956 Dewey Kendrick D-8 4&3 PSG, Restoration Project.
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Todd Weger


From:
Safety Harbor, FLAUSA
Post  Posted 4 Jun 2019 6:19 am    
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Thanks, everyone. Joe, it definitely is worse in some venues than others, but is always there to some degree. I ordered an Alumitone J-bass bridge pickup to put in there. If it doesn't help, I can always return it.

But I'm really hoping it will work. I understand it's not good for distortion tones, but I never play this steel in that way (I have other for those gigs).

Andy, I definitely use cables that are probably longer than necessary. Thanks for the reminder!
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Todd Weger


From:
Safety Harbor, FLAUSA
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2019 5:29 pm     Aluma J-Bass did the trick
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Well - I got 'er done!

Once installed and strung up, I have to say - WOW. Super clean and super quiet. Definitely not a 'vintage' type of tone, but very nice, distinct and clear. Lots of good string separation, too. I was a wee bit off on the mounting, even after many trial and error attempts, but it's all in there and works great.

I wanted the chrome one, but everyone was on backorder, so I went with the anodized black.

If you have a Gold Tone with hum issues, the Alumitone "Aluma J-Bass" pickup will fit in that control plate slot. It takes a bit of fussing around to get it lined up right to fit, but it's worth it, at least to me.

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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2019 5:45 pm    
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Good job -- looks great!
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Andy DePaule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Harrisburg, Oregon
Post  Posted 5 Jun 2019 5:47 pm     Beautiful Steel...
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Hi Todd,
Beautiful Steel you made there.
Is it an arched top? Looks to be.
Really nice finish too!
Best wishes,
Andy Very Happy
_________________
Inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th; http://luthiersupply.com/instrument-gallery.html
2017 Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 Polished Aluminum covering.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners.
Clinesmith Triple 8 Console, Birdseye Maple.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Short A6th.
Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel Long E6/9th.
1950's? Blankenship D-8 6&3 PSG Restored.
1956 Dewey Kendrick D-8 4&3 PSG, Restoration Project.
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Joe Burke


From:
Toronto, Canada
Post  Posted 6 Jun 2019 7:12 am    
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Nice One Todd!
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Jack Hanson


From:
San Luis Valley, USA
Post  Posted 6 Jun 2019 7:30 am    
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Jack Hanson wrote:
Good job -- looks great!

By the way -- what's up with those two little squares of Velcro on either side of the bridge?
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Todd Weger


From:
Safety Harbor, FLAUSA
Post  Posted 6 Jun 2019 2:14 pm    
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Jack Hanson wrote:
Jack Hanson wrote:
Good job -- looks great!

By the way -- what's up with those two little squares of Velcro on either side of the bridge?


Heh-heh... I put a small piece on the backside of my Fred Kelly "slick picks" and then attache them there. That way, I can make sure they stay there for when I need 'em!
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