What Causes the Annoying Hum in Electric Guitars?
Electric guitar enthusiasts have no doubt had to deal with annoying buzzing or humming that makes the guitar sound sluggish and muffled. The source of these unwanted noises are magnetic fields generated by neighbouring electronics, such as cables, transmitters, wifi, and even indoor lighting directed towards the guitar’s pickup. These magnetic fields resonate with the wire coils wrapped around the pickup to produce an electric current that is then amplified and converted into sound.
What is the Solution?
Eliminating unwanted interference can be achieved by lining the cavity under the pickup with an electrically conductive material. Traditionally, copper foil are used. While effective, this technique is cumbersome, and the material is prone to tearing, which creates gaps where signals can penetrate. An easier and more effective way to reduce noise and achieve a smooth, clean sound is to use a guitar shielding paint like MG Chemicals’ 841WB Water-based Nickel Conductive Paint, which achieves better coverage and is far more durable. The paint acts as a Faraday cage around the wire coils blocking external fields so that only the magnetic fields from the guitar strings being strummed are picked up. Our electric guitar paint is water-based, eliminating the hazard of paint fumes, adheres well to wood, and is very easy to clean up.
How to Apply Electric Guitar Shielding Paint Inside Cavities
- Using a capo, take off the neck without removing the strings. Remove the pickguard.
- Clean the surfaces to be painted with Isopropyl Alcohol, MG 824, to ensure they are free of oil, dust, and other residues.
- Using a brush, paint the cavities and back cover of the pickguard with 841WB.
- Let the coat dry for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- For optimal results, apply a second coat and let it dry for 24 hours at room temperature.
- Test resistivity using a multimeter. The reading should be close to 0.
- Reassemble the guitar.