Buzzing using headphones with amp

Live sound reinforcement, running PA's and general amplifier/amplification questions and discussion.
Post Reply
Junior Member
Posts: 84
Joined: August 29th, 2005, 4:20 am
Location: Matawan, NJ, USA

Buzzing using headphones with amp

Post by JSnood » September 26th, 2005, 5:43 am

I've got a Peavey Rage 158 and when I use headphones I get a bit of buzzing when I'm not touching the guitar. This is some kind of grounding issue?

I don't get the buzzing when I'm not using the headphones. I'm playing a Fender Stratocaster with 2 Tone knobs and one Volume knob (I realize it's likely they all have that but I just want to present all pertinent details); if I turn either Tone knob down to zero, the buzzing goes away.

The headphones and the cord I'm plugging into the amp are both brand new.

Any ideas about controlling the buzzing?

My teacher, but the way, suggested that when playing all three knobs on the guitar be up at 10 to get the maximum sound from the guitar. He told me to control volume and quality from the amp.

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - A.J. Muste

Guitarnoise Addict
Posts: 3628
Joined: January 22nd, 2004, 7:59 am
Location: New England

Post by Mike » September 26th, 2005, 1:54 pm

Is the guitar shielded?

You can check by taking off the pickguard (de-tune the strings if you have to) and peek in to see if there is a piece of aluminum (it looks like aluminum flashing anyway) on the bottom of the pickguard over the tone and volume pots.

Other than that, try another pair of headphones and make sure everything is plugged in all the way.

It could be a couple of other things, get back to us.

Wes Inman
Musically Insane
Posts: 6522
Joined: December 4th, 2003, 12:32 am
Location: Torrington, Ct.

Post by Wes Inman » September 26th, 2005, 1:59 pm

If your Strat has 3 single coil pickups, you will get a little noise in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th pickup switch positions. A little noise is normal with single coil pickups. So try the 2nd or 4th positions.

I don't completely agree with your teacher. I listen to the tone. If I think it is too harsh or high I turn the tone controls until I get the tone I like. Afterall, that is what they are there for. And your volume control can be very useful as well. You can turn volume down to 6 or 7 when playing rhythm. Besides not being as loud, it will also take some gain out of distortions. You can get great crunch like this. Then, when it's time to solo you crank it to 10. In the old days before pedals this is how guitar players got a good rhythm and lead out of one channel amps. For some guitar players this is the ONLY way to play.

You can also get a great "organ" effect with the volume control. Turn the volume down and strike a note. Bring the volume up. You can make your guitar sound just like an organ. Takes practice.

Listen to your teacher, but don't be afraid to experiment with all the controls. That is what they are there for.
If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis

Guitari Lama
Posts: 7946
Joined: February 19th, 2003, 8:07 am
Location: Beervaria

Post by greybeard » September 27th, 2005, 6:55 am

I agree with Wes - the tone pots are there to modify your sound (along with the pickup selector) - "Albatross" is going to sound lousy with all treble turned up with bridge pickup and "Louie Louie" wouldn't be the same with all bass turned up on the neck pickup.
As for the volume, drop it to 3 or 4 as your normal volume, the overall volume comes from the amp's master volume. Use the gain on your amp to get crunch, over drive or distortion - and then use the volume to adjust the amount of distortion. Once the signal is clipping, turning up the volume pot has no further effect on the volume, all you're doing is increasing the clipping (and, therefore, the amount of distortion).
I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN

Guitarnoise Addict
Posts: 4355
Joined: July 17th, 2003, 10:48 pm
Location: Don't try this at Home!

Post by forrok_star » September 27th, 2005, 7:51 am

You'll find everyone will have their own way of producing tone and volume. Lets see if I can explain my setup. The volume control on my guitars don't increase the volume it increase's the sustain. How this happens is because my first pre-amp (which is really a tube power amp) that is driven into a dummyload. The output is only line level and has no volume. It has 4 12ax7's and 8 overdriven EL-84's from the word go and Equalizers between all the different piece's of equipment in the racks.

You'll need to experiment and find what works best for you and the tone you are searching for.


Posts: 1
Joined: October 3rd, 2018, 9:49 am

Re: Buzzing using headphones with amp

Post by Abicer_Fire » October 3rd, 2018, 9:56 am

I have a similar issue, however, it lies with my amp and not the guitar. I upgraded my speaker in my fender G-DEC and now when I plug in headphones, the speaker itself buzzes. I wasn't aware that the two were on the same circuit, but I guess that would make sense. I have no idea where to look to fix this or how to find the issue.

Post Reply