Static electrical interference.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by GuitarAddict, Nov 27, 2021.

  1. GuitarAddict

    GuitarAddict New Member

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    I have been suffering extremely badly from static electrical interference on both my Silver Sky guitars. I know it is the guitars as my Strat is fine with no noise at all.
    I have tried everything, earthing all my gear, computer, mixer, everything, even the metal shelving unit the gear is on and the floor rug etc etc.
    Nothing worked apart from either earthing myself to the main electrical earth, or connecting myself to the guitar earth, but even this started to wear off and the noise was creeping back in.
    I tried the drier sheet thing but it only worked for a few minutes and it left a residue on the guitar.
    Anti static spray same as drier sheets.
    Finally today tried ordinary Mr Sheen aerosol furniture polish and all the noise is gone, and the guitar is all clean and shiny again.
    I thought I’d share in case anyone else is suffering the same.
     
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  2. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Good find, and share!
     
  3. Dirty_Boogie

    Dirty_Boogie Still got the ol' tagger on it

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    I love a happy ending! :)
     
  4. Tucson Thump

    Tucson Thump Mint Heavy Relic

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    Excellent post.
     
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  5. Jhoe Kollen

    Jhoe Kollen New Member

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    Goood post!
     
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  6. Daryl Jones

    Daryl Jones non-practicing pacifist

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    Haven't noticed that issue (yet anyway) but curious as to where/how you applied the cleaner and wiped(?) it off. Using anything other than small amounts of lemon oil on a micro-fiber cloth scares the crap out of me.
     
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  7. GuitarAddict

    GuitarAddict New Member

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    Yeah I used to be like that. I still am but to a lesser extent. I don’t spray the polish on the finger board just the back of the neck and spread it around the edges with the cloth, which are sealed with finish anyhow.
    Lemon oil is just a white mineral oil with a hint of lemon scent, it’s not actually oil from a lemon.
    I’ve had a new development actually. The polish is fine for the guitar body and lasts ages before any static noise comes back, at least a week, the neck not so much, and I find a bit of spit on the fingers wiped down the edge of the neck where the fret ends are works better. Sounds disgusting I know but it works, and it’s organic and if it’s going to damage anything I think I’ll be long dead by then as I’m getting on a bit and just want to play as much as possible in the time i have left, not spend time spraying polish every five minutes.
    Static is made worse by dryness, so a bit of spit seemed worth a try. Not much different to sweat I guess and probably why this problem doesn’t occur during the summer when my hands are far from dry after the first couple of songs, and why strings on my acoustic last 5 minutes before they’re tarnished, sound dull and need changing.
     
  8. Daryl Jones

    Daryl Jones non-practicing pacifist

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    No harm no foul on the spit thing for me, I've been a scuba diver for nearly 40 years so that can't put me off at all. Still do my mask with it before jumping in. Works better than any commercial anti-fog I've found. I knew the lemon oil composition part, not that much different from my clove oil for cleaning and lubing sword blades; straight clear mineral oil works just as well, just smells nicer.
    Maybe I'm just lucky with the humidity balance in my room, stays a consistent 50% with my humidifier on low, but it is a small room.
     
  9. GuitarAddict

    GuitarAddict New Member

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    This is the first winter I haven’t bothered humidifying my music bunker. PRS recommend 40-45% humidity and that’s about where it’s at for the last few weeks since the rain has stopped. I used to go for 50% and I noticed a couple of high frets on both guitars around the neck / body join so kept the humidity slightly lower and the neck has settled back down. Obviously the down side of this is the dry air causing the static problem.
    Still all good, love playing, the silver skys sound so good, had a rare good day today where I’ve felt good and played most of the day. Love music so much, so glad I’m able to play.
     
  10. Daryl Jones

    Daryl Jones non-practicing pacifist

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    It's been mild here this season so keeping the humidity level stable has been pretty easy. Once the real cold (30 - 40 below) hits and the wood stove gets fired up along with the gas fireplaces, the moisture gets sucked right out of the darn walls. But I hate being chilly too so. But yeah, just like to play and enjoy the moment.
     
  11. GuitarAddict

    GuitarAddict New Member

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    One last update.
    I use a small fan to circulate the air in my music bunker, that way I don’t have to have the heaters turned up to max. Turns out a fan blade passing through the air is a very good static generator. Left the fan off today. Virtually no static. Live and learn I guess.
     
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  12. GuitarAddict

    GuitarAddict New Member

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    For anyone that is suffering the same, and it seems after further searching on www that there are a few that have similar problems with nitro finished guitars from various manufacturers; the static problems I have never really disappeared completely despite the furniture polish and leaving the fan off etc etc and as the weather temperature and humidity have both dropped more, the static has meant the silver sky was unplayable. As a last resort i bought a cheap ionisation air purifier and was totally expecting it to make no difference at all, but after leaving it on for an hour or so whilst I was doing some soldering in the bunker, all the static noise has gone. I was sitting quite close to it so i guess it bombarded my clothing with negative charge and I picked up the rosewood SS which was the worst offender and as long as I’m grounded to the guitar strings or bridge, no static noise at all, so £30 well spent. Plus the bunker air smells like a mountain top.
     
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  13. Stinger22

    Stinger22 New Member

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    Static electricity does not just exist in air. The fan blades can build up a charge, if they cannot see a ground, and hold that charge until something with an opposite charge comes close enough to discharge it. They won't fill the air with static electricity.

    Static electricity will build up when two dissimilar materials rub against each other. This can be your fingers stroking against your pick guard. Rub it with a dryer sheet, which provides a lubricant, or a polish and you cur that friction and potential to build up an electrical charge. At 65% humidity there is enough water in the air, a conductor, to discharge any static as it is created so no build up.

    The key to the whole thing is GROUNDING. Make sure everything sees ground including your pickguard and not just the bottom if the pickguard itself is not conductive. Putting a dryer sheet under it will INSULATE they are not conductive. Have the screws holding your pickguard on go through conductive tape or paintand then to ground. Make sure bridge is grounded.

    Static is not the same as hummm such as 60 cycle hum or other voltage leakage or grounding issues which can cause hum.

    Surprised just saw a video on the new SE Silver Sky showing the internals and they seemed to go to great lengths to have the cavity sprayed with conductive paint and tape on the back of the pickguard to try and prevent any static build up.

    Disclaimer: In my work I sold and worked to a manufacturer of conveyor belting and we dealt with static issues. We had special "anti-static" belts which were actually made more conductive by a layer of carbon or actual carbon or copper threads woven into fabric. These would be in contact with the metal parts of the conveyor itself and then to ground.
     
  14. Dirty_Boogie

    Dirty_Boogie Still got the ol' tagger on it

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    Excellent post!
     
  15. GuitarAddict

    GuitarAddict New Member

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    Will try running a grounding wire from neck at joint to body to earth as it is the main problem when it plays up. The pick guard is, surprisingly, not a problem.
    The problem is caused by static discharge between fretting hand and neck, which is picked up by neck pickup. Bridge and middle pickups are much less affected.
    I suspect the finish is conductive to a degree. The guitar is well grounded. I checked all the wiring when I fitted the treble pass circuit to the volume control. ……. Yes it had the problem before the treble circuit was added.
    It is so annoying because I love the guitar in every other aspect, tone, neck profile, locking tuners, etc etc but I’m picking up my strat with noiseless pickups more and more lately as it has no static interference whatsoever
     
  16. GuitarAddict

    GuitarAddict New Member

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    Grounding wire to neck/last fret makes no difference.
    Best thing is a bit of spit on fingers wiped down edges of neck. Stops all the crackles for a while when it’s playing up.
    Humidity is about 45% atm. Hopefully the problem will go away once the cold dry weather is gone. First time in 40 years of playing I’ve ever experienced this problem.
     

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