Noises that get better or worse when you touch the strings are often related to a bad ground. Single coil pickups like you have are also prone to electrical interference.
Whenever "troubleshooting" a problem like this, you have to break the problem down into it's basic components and eliminate them...
Best answer: Noises that get better or worse when you touch the strings are often related to a bad ground. Single coil pickups like you have are also prone to electrical interference.
Whenever "troubleshooting" a problem like this, you have to break the problem down into it's basic components and eliminate them one-by-one. If you are using any stomp boxes, take them out of the loop and just plug the guitar straight into the amp. Now you have 3 components: guitar, cable, and amp.
Actually, there is a 4th component....the location. You can easily eliminate this by plugging your amp into a different circuit or moving to a different room.
The most likely source of noises is the cable. Start by replacing it with a new one (ore one you *know* is good. Everybody needs a spare cable, so invest in another one. It does *not* have to be a super expensive cable, medium quality is fine.
If the noise is still there, the next most likely culprit is the output jack on the guitar. These are notorious for failing....or developing a loose connection that crackles. The only way to check this without special equipment or disassembly is to wiggle the cable plug. If the crackle gets worse or better, you've narrowed the problem down. (This assumes you're using your new cable. If you aren't, the problem could also be with the cable plug)
If the output jack on the guitar is okay, try the same "wiggle test" at the amp input. If all of these check out okay, you have to determine if the problem is in the guitar (most likely) or the amp. If you have access to a friend's amp, try plugging your guitar in to it. Or vice versa...plug a friend's guitar into your amp.
There really is nothing in the amp that is user serviceable except perhaps a loose speaker connection. If the amp has an issue, it will need to go to a repair shop.
There are a lot of potential problems with the guitar that a *reasonably handy* person can fix. Every electrical part that moves is a potential problem. The pots (volume and tone controls) can get dirty. If they crackle when you rotate them, spraying switch cleaner (DeOxit) into them often helps. You have to remove the pickguard to get at the underside of the pots. The same test applies to the 5-way switch. Look closely for any loose connections (they'll need to be soldered). There should be a ground wire running to the bridge. Make sure this is making contact at both ends. If any of this sounds to complicated, bring the guitar to a tech.
Even if the issue isn't the jacks or cable, I have a tip which will protect them in the future. Always loop your cable between the strap and guitar. This acts as a stress relief in case you tug on the cable. The same is true at the amp end....loop the cable under the amp handle. This protects both the cable ends and the jacks.
4 days ago