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Loud hum/buzz, no sound from guitar

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Postby amuro_ray32 » April 21st, 2009, 7:23 pm

Hello, everyone,

I'm a complete newbie when it comes to guitar, and this website incidentally, but I decided to learn and pick myself up an Epiphone Les Paul Standard Plus, and a Peavey Vypyr 15-watt amp. I originally went to the store to pick up a simple Marshall 10-watt, but let the clerk talk me into the Peavey with all its built-in effects for 20 dollars more, and kind of regret it.

Anyway, I wanted to plug my guitar into the amp and give it a strum for the first time ever, just to hear it and feel it...But upon turning the power on the amp and raising the volume a little, I was unpleasantly surprised by a very loud buzzing or humming. I was quick to blame the amp for this and got ready to take it back, but I decided to mess around a bit first..

If the instrument is not jacked into the amp, the horrible buzz isn't present. On top of that, when the guitar IS plugged in, and I pluck a string or two, I can't hear it-- this leads me to believe the problem may be with the guitar, which I bought online, so the process is a little more difficult than just taking it back to where I got it and exchanging..

Just to get it out of the way:
-Yes, the guitar's knobs are turned up
-No, I do not have active pickups-- there's no plate on the back to take off and insert a battery
-And finally, strangely enough, when I plug into a tuner, it seems to be able to pick up the signal..

What could that awful sound be? In turn, why am I not able to make awful sounds with the guitar itself? :lol: It sucks to have technical problems right off the bat, you know? I was excited to get ready to start learning the instrument; not learning to fix it-- though, I suppose it'll be good knowledge to have when it's out of the way.
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Postby kent_eh » April 21st, 2009, 10:31 pm

Are you using the tuner that is built in to the amp, or an external one?
If you are using an external tuner, did you use the same cable?
Do you have a different cable available to try?

Try this: plug the cable into the amp, but not the guitar. Should be quiet (maybe a bit noisier than with no cable plugged in). Then touch your finger to the end of the connector on the cable. Any noise (or change in the sound)?

You said you turned up the volume on the amp... Which one? Pre-gain, post gain, master?

Have you tried connecting an CD or MP3 player to the AUX input? What happened?

For anyone else who wants to jump in, but doesn't have this amp handy, the manual is here
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Postby amuro_ray32 » April 22nd, 2009, 9:21 am

Kent:

I was using an external tuner-- a Korg. Also, yeah, I was using the same cable. I do have two cables; one came with the guitar, and one I picked up at my local Guitar Center. I have the same problem with both of them, unfortunately.

Interestingly enough, when I tried plugging in just the cable, as you suggested, I was greeted with a new sound. It sounded more like an ongoing beep. Just out of curiosity after that, I did touch the end of the connector, and the bad buzzing came in each time. However, this happened with both cables I have available.

And all three of those knobs have been fiddled with. Turning the pre- and post-gains all the way down alleviates the buzzing, but then, I can't hear much of anything at all. Same with the master volume, of course.

I attempted plugging my iPod into the AUX, something I hadn't tried yet, just to be sure I covered all your bases. At first nothing happened, but the amp doesn't seem to like doing anything until something is jacked into the main Input. Once I put a cable in, I was able to hear music from my iPod, but the drug-out beep I mentioned earlier is present in the background, albeit a little bit quieter. The buzz comes in if I touch the connector as well.

I hope this information helps.
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Postby kent_eh » April 22nd, 2009, 9:45 am

amuro_ray32 wrote:Kent:

I was using an external tuner-- a Korg. Also, yeah, I was using the same cable. I do have two cables; one came with the guitar, and one I picked up at my local Guitar Center. I have the same problem with both of them, unfortunately.

So the cables are probably not the problem
Have you tried the amp's built-in tuner?

amuro_ray32 wrote:Interestingly enough, when I tried plugging in just the cable, as you suggested, I was greeted with a new sound. It sounded more like an ongoing beep. Just out of curiosity after that, I did touch the end of the connector, and the bad buzzing came in each time. However, this happened with both cables I have available.

That's good. The noise is basically your body acting as an antenna, picking up whatever electrical noise is in the room. That confirms that the amp is receiving some sort of signal from the cable.
amuro_ray32 wrote:And all three of those knobs have been fiddled with. Turning the pre- and post-gains all the way down alleviates the buzzing, but then, I can't hear much of anything at all. Same with the master volume, of course.

Does adjusting them change the loudness of the noise when you touch the end of the cable? It should.

amuro_ray32 wrote:I attempted plugging my iPod into the AUX, something I hadn't tried yet, just to be sure I covered all your bases. At first nothing happened, but the amp doesn't seem to like doing anything until something is jacked into the main Input. Once I put a cable in, I was able to hear music from my iPod, but the drug-out beep I mentioned earlier is present in the background, albeit a little bit quieter. The buzz comes in if I touch the connector as well.


Hmmm.
I think you may be in a position to enjoy the benefits of Peavey's excellent warranty policy.

Take the amp back to the dealer and try it with one of their guitars, just to be sure, but I think they need to replace it.
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Postby amuro_ray32 » April 22nd, 2009, 10:21 am

kent_eh wrote:Have you tried the amp's built-in tuner?


I did just now, after you reminded me it existed. I bought the Korg external tuner because I figured it would be a bit more reliable or accurate.. And, perhaps it's just the crummy unit I ended up with, but the amp's does seem a little shoddy. A slightly new revelation-- When I put the amp in "Clean" mode, I can actually hear a little bit of sound from the guitar! So I'm glad my guitar isn't just dead in the water. Though, the noise from the amp still drowns it out significantly.

kent_eh wrote:Does adjusting them change the loudness of the noise when you touch the end of the cable? It should.


Yes sir, it definitely does. However, the noise only ceases completely when they're all turned completely off. :cry:

kent_eh wrote:Hmmm.
I think you may be in a position to enjoy the benefits of Peavey's excellent warranty policy.


Haha, yeah, fortunately they do have a good warranty policy. In fact, the clerk I dealt with actually recommended just taking advantage of Peavey's policy and having them cut me a check toward the end of the two years by saying the speaker failed or something. :lol: However, my Guitar Center has a 60 day policy with any of their purchases, so I should be able to just switch it out..Or maybe even exchange it for the simpler Marshall I wanted to begin with.

kent_eh wrote:Take the amp back to the dealer and try it with one of their guitars, just to be sure, but I think they need to replace it.


I'll do that. I had a feeling something was fishy about this amp, but I couldn't be sure. Though, I feel a little more confident in taking it back and saying something might be wrong with it now. I didn't want to walk in and feel like an idiot because I still don't really know how all this works yet.. :oops:

Thanks for your help, kent!
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