Why Is My Guitar Amp Buzzing: Top Causes and Solutions
Whether you’re getting ready for a jam session or intending to record music, an unexpected buzzing sound coming from the amplifier can be frustrating.
As such, it’s common to ask why is my guitar amp buzzing.
Don’t be concerned if this is occurring to you because anyone could experience it.
A buzzing amp might be caused by a number of various elements or variables, which we’ll discuss.
Guitar Amp Noise or Buzz
Before we address the question of why is my guitar amp buzzing, it’s important to know the types of noise that an amp can produce.
If you’re new to using amplifiers, particularly tube amps, you might wonder about the ambient buzzing they produce.
Fortunately, a low buzz or noise floor coming from a tube amp is a regular occurrence.
Usually, the hum or noise will gradually fade once you begin playing.
It’s worth noting that amplifiers with higher wattage produce a louder noise floor.
Higher gain amplifiers or channels produce more natural noise than clean amplifiers or channels.
They are known to produce some audible noise because of the guitar’s pickup.
Why Is My Guitar Amp Buzzing?
Let’s identify the most common causes of why noise or buzz is coming out of your guitar amp.
When it comes to unwanted noise, the most prevalent causes are not the amp itself but the type of guitar pickup you’re using.
Keep in mind that almost all single-coil pickups are likely to produce some buzz.
They are all prone to such occurrence, whether it’s a standard single-coil pickup or a P-90 pickup.
The noise or buzz will only be more evident when you activate the distortion and crank up the gain.
More often than not, the pickups behave as antennas, and since we are always prone to electrical interference, it’s almost unavoidable.
To avoid this inconvenience, find a spot where there’s the least amount of interference.
Or, if you can afford it, use a single humbucking pickup.
It is capable of canceling out the interference because of its design of two single-coil pickups merged into one.
Power Supply and Electronic Equipment
One of the answers to “Why is my guitar amp buzzing?” is the quality of your power supply, which can significantly influence the amount of buzz produced by the amp.
If your power supply is somewhat weak and inconsistent, the amp will create and release significantly more noise.
A consistent, clean source of electricity is needed by any guitar amp to function properly.
The most common solution for this issue is to plug the amp directly into a wall outlet rather than through an extension cord.
Unfortunately, any amp is prone to get radio frequency interference.
Buzz on guitar amps could also be from lighting, electrical equipment, or mobile phones on or nearby your studio.
When you connect your amplifier to a separate circuit than the rest of your setup, you may hear a loud buzz.
This problem may occur even if everything is connected to the same power outlet.
If this reason is the culprit, you’re not alone, as grounding issues are a scourge for any experienced musicians and sound engineers.
In relation to ground loops, guitar pedals can generate a lot of noise if they are not powered separately.
While dealing with this issue, never lift or remove the ground from an electrical socket.
This could solve the problem, but you will be considerably more vulnerable to electrocution.
There are some methods for resolving your ground loop issues.
Usually, connecting everything into the same socket effectively removes buzz from your guitar amp.
If plugging everything on a single outlet doesn’t eliminate the problem, you might try utilizing hardware filters.
With the help of such devices, your amp can be on a different circuit, and the buzz will be less evident or eliminated.
Isolators are another type of device that can help with ground loop problems.
If you’re using guitar pedals, they could be the source of the buzzing even when the guitar volume knob is turned down.
In certain circumstances, the noise is caused by high gain distortion pedals, where the gain knobs and volume are set well above their recommended limits.
When this happens, a buzzing sound coming from your guitar amp could be evident.
However, if everything is in place and you’re still experiencing interference, you’ll need to isolate the issue and locate the problematic pedal.
If all pedals are experiencing the same issue, it could be due to your power supply or your electrical setup.
In contrast, if only a single pedal is causing the problem, you might have to find a replacement for it.
Solutions for Buzzing Guitar Amps
Even when you apply the recommended actions for eliminating buzz on your guitar amp, sometimes the issue persists.
Fortunately, you can consider a couple of solutions for addressing the unwanted sound.
Noise Gate Pedal
Using a noise gate pedal is known as the best way to combat unwanted buzz.
This device is a must-have for guitarists who use a lot of distortion.
It functions by reducing signals that register under the threshold and silencing the buzz to be less audible or completely gone.
Many noise gate pedals have an adjustable threshold, which allows you to set it to low and not influence the sustain.
However, if the buzz coming from the amp is highly audible, the threshold needs to be higher so that the pedal detects it.
High-quality cables could be effective in minimizing buzz on guitar amps.
If you have a huge pedalboard with multiple stompboxes linked together, using proper cables is crucial to ensure that a clear signal is transmitted.
Also, use short cables for connection since the shorter length helps avoid extraneous buzz.
However, be sure that the cables are not tugged too tightly because this might damage the amp’s internal wiring.
Keep in mind that long cables could take in frequencies easier and produce interference.
Guitar Amp Buzzing Causes Are Fixable
Noises coming from the guitar amp can ruin your music session or recordings.
Finding out the source of the buzzing and eliminating the issue can be challenging.
Nonetheless, with some knowledge and proper tools, you can easily avoid such inconvenience.