Anyone who has played an electric guitar through an amplifier will know that the occasional pop, crackle, or loud screech is bound to happen every now and then.
This can be due to many reasons, and is fairly common, especially outside of a professional performance setting.
That said, there are times when you might find your amplifier making much longer or more concerning noises.
So let’s say your amp is buzzing! It’s annoying and it’s hurting your ears. Why is this happening, and how can you stop it from happening again?
If you find yourself wondering about this, then you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, we’re going to be taking you through everything you’ll need to know about buzzing amps. We’ll cover what might be causing this, and how you can prevent it in the future!
Let’s get into it!
Checking Your Guitar
The source of a buzzing amp can come from a few different sources, but one of the first things you’ll want to check out is your guitar – specifically your pickups!
It’s worth noting that almost all single-coil pickups create a buzzing sound.
This is actually some of the tone that you can hear when you play the guitar through an amplifier.
Depending on the quality of your guitar, you may find that there are different levels of this tone. Typically, more expensive guitars design single-coil pickups that are much quieter than others.
Another thing you’ll want to consider is the grounding of your guitar. The ground connection of a guitar links every piece of metal on your guitar to the amp.
This is vital for safety and allows electricity to travel to the amp. This can cause a constant source of buzzing, especially when you’re not interacting with the guitar or playing any of the strings.
It could be that your guitar is humming due to its shielding. Guitar shields are placed on your guitar to provide shields to the electronic parts of your guitar.
Touch your strings – do you notice that the buzzing gets worse? It could be that your shielding is defective or poorly made.
This is a fairly common reason for a buzzing amp. The first thing you’ll want to do is to double check that your guitar is properly plugged in.
If the cable is loose then it’s likely you might get some additional buzzing sounds.
If you’ve ever placed the metallic part of your cable onto a metallic part of your guitar, you know that you’re likely to get a terrible screeching sound from your amp that goes away only when it’s properly plugged in.
Well imagine that your cable is loose – this can explain a whole host of bad noises!
If your cable is properly plugged into your guitar and amp, but you are still hearing the same buzzing sound, it’s possible there is an internal fault with your cable.
Try it again with another cable – if the buzzing suddenly goes away, then it’s quite likely that the cable is the issue!
If you use pedals then it could be that they are the source of the problem.
Various pedals do different things and depending on how many you have, they could easily be causing the buzzing noise.
Try your pedals one by one, turning them off and seeing what happens to the sound coming out of your amp.
Checking Your Amp
If everything seems fine with your guitar, then the next logical step is to check your amp to see if there are any issues with it.
If this is the case, then unfortunately for you there are a lot of reasons why this might be happening, and many of them are internal.
One thing you’ll want to double check is whether or not your amp is sharing a power source with another electrical piece of equipment.
For example, if your amp is connected to the same outlet as a lamp, the dual electrical current could be interfering with it and causing a buzzing sound.
Generally, you want to make sure that your amp is placed on its own power source without anything to bother it.
This will stop any kind of interference and also make it less likely for the outlet to short.
If you’ve already done this, you’re going to want to move on to make sure that all of the cables are properly connected.
Just like with the cable into the guitar we mentioned above, you’re also going to want to make sure that your amp has been securely connected to the cable.
This is the same with any additional pieces of kit you might have plugged into it.
Next up you can try adjusting the various knobs on the front of your amp, to see if the levels are wrong as this can cause buzzing and a whole host of different issues.
You might notice that the buzzing noise is just a cause of bad audio quality or balancing.
If you’ve done everything right on your end, then there’s a fair chance that there could be something internally wrong with your amp.
This is something you need to get somebody who is more accustomed to fixing them to take a look at.
Your Amp could be buzzing for a whole host of different reasons, but generally its to do with your guitar or a loose cable.
We hope that this article has helped you to understand some of the most common causes of this issue.
If you’re still having trouble, make sure you go through each component separately until you can isolate the issue.