Mike Slinn

Guitar Pickup Hum

Published 2024-04-21.
Time to read: 3 minutes.

This page is part of the av_studio collection.

Recently I purchased a Godin 5th Ave Kingpin P90 Cognac Burst archtop guitar. I purchased it because the guitar:

  • Sounds good for the guitar style that I want to record
  • Is very responsive
  • Has delicate voicings
  • Is easy to play (my arthritis is becoming problematic)
  • Features a neck pickup (this is the only pickup I ever use)
  • Represents good value

This guitar does not have the richness of my Santa Cruz FS2, but for playing in an ensemble or recording, the 5th Ave has a unique tonal quality.

However, the P90 pickups used in this model guitar are famous for amplifying environmental EM radiation; the noise often manifests as a noticable hum. Godin offers a similar model, with Seymour Duncan P-Rail pickups, but humbucking pickups do not provide the same sparkling tone as their noisy single-coil cousins.

Mitigating Hum

There are many reasons for hum. I found that when playing through my EVERSE 8 battery-powered PA that hum was greatly reduced in my studio, and non-existant when playing outside.

For indoor performance, I decided to get a Boss NS-1X noise suppressor.

Because quick setup at an indoor venue is important to me, where noise is all to common, I also got the small Outlaw Effects NOMAD-ISO Rechargeable Pedal Board. This pedal board has an internal battery, which means I do not have to plug it in to power it. This reduces one of the main sources of electrical noise, while reducing setup time.

This article recounts my experience with this collection of devices.

Boss NS-1X Noise Suppressor

Boss is a Roland brand. Oddly enough, the Boss Boss NS-1X is a newer model than the Boss NS-2. The NS-1X is digital, while the NS-2 is analog.

The NS-1X weighs 460 grams. This article describes how to use the NX-1X.

Product registration was straightforward. The Boss NS-1X Owner’s Manual is provided online and as a PDF.

The INPUT jack also serves as the power switch. The power turns on whenever a plug is inserted into the INPUT jack, and turns off when the plug is disconnected. When you aren’t using the NS-1X, disconnect the plug that’s connected to the INPUT jack.

Outlaw Effects NOMAD-ISO-S Pedal Board

The Outlaw Effects NOMAD-ISO Rechargeable Pedal Board is available in two sizes (small and medium), and is provided with a really nice bag. All inside the bag there is a full inch of padding (including top, bottom and all sides). The outer shell is nylon. The bottom has hold-down straps.

The same battery is provided for the small and medium sized boards. The internal 12,800 mah battery is rated for 10 hours, assuming 5 pedals, each requiring 9V DC @ 100mA. It takes 3 hours to charge the battery from empty. I could tell from the blue status lights that the pedal board was nearly fully charged when I first opened the package.

The board itself weighs 920 grams. The padded bag is slightly heavier than the board it protects, and the miscellaneous hardware necessary to attach effects to the board also adds weight.

The documentation makes no mention of the (provided) velcro strips which must be used to attach effect boxes to the board.

Line 6 Verbzilla

I have an old Line 6 Verbzilla. It is quite heavy, at 1020 grams. I decided to put in on the pedal board.

User manual.



Everything worked as advertised.

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