Fuzz face wooden enclosure noise

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Fuzz face wooden enclosure noise

Postby froghunter » 13 Aug 2014, 15:24

Heloo,
first post here, but i have been around for a while.
Recently i finished my first project (a JH fuzz facehttp://www.montagar.com/~patj/jhfface.gif) housed in a wooden box.
I build it straigt away without any testing and the result was really good with a problem of a little noise when the effect was active (a constant zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, is this what we call hum?).
Unlikely i do not have any equipment (multimeter etc) to carefully chech what's going on and my only debugging tool is a led to check the solder joints.
The circuit is soldered on a simple prefboard (not the one with premade lines) using an old cheapo soldering iron and bad quality solder (the floor of my room was full of hundred mini solder balls :P ).
After finishing the project i learned that building in wooden enclosures creates a lot of grounding problems, so i added a small aluminium film which i connected with the circuit grounding. I also put a piece of cloth under the circuit so that solderjoints do not touch the wooden bottom. However the noise is still there.

So i want to ask opinions about what should i look for next.
1-Should i resolder the whole circuit?
2-Should i cover the whole box with metal film and connect it with the jacks grounding?

What i have noticed it that when the circuit is outside the box (hanging on the air) the noise dissapears. When i touch the circuit (joints or jacks) the noise comes back.
I know that maybe my question is really noobish and the information provided very little, but if you have any ideas that could help me find out what's going on, i would really appreciate it.

Thanks in advance
frog
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Re: Fuzz face wooden enclosure noise

Postby astrobass » 14 Aug 2014, 14:55

The fuzz face is an inherently noisy circuit. I've always found they introduce a non-trivial amount of hum. Grounding to an aluminum enclosure definitely helps. The guitar makes a difference too. Single coil pickups usually sound better with a fuzz face but do nothing to help with hum.

You could line the interior of the box with that adhesive copper stuff they sell for shielding pickguards and control cavities in guitars. Just make sure the bottom attaches in a way that ensures firm contact between its shielding and the rest of the box's shielding.
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Re: Fuzz face wooden enclosure noise

Postby astrobass » 14 Aug 2014, 14:58

Just to be clear though, when you play, the actual notes are WAAAY louder than the hum, right? You're not talking about hum that's as loud as what you're playing?

Because if the hum is as loud or nearly as loud as the notes coming out, it sounds like a build issue. If it's just obnoxious but doesn't interfere with actual playing, then that's pretty normal.

If you want a well behaved fuzz effect that won't give you loads of hum, you'll probably find you're happier with a big muff based project.
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Re: Fuzz face wooden enclosure noise

Postby froghunter » 31 Aug 2014, 11:29

Thanks a lot for your answers :)

Yeah, the hum is not so loud compared to the guitar notes. It happens when i stop playing (and some times through pauses when playing).
So i guess it's part of the thing :D
I will try to increase the alumium surface, or add copper foil though the whole box and see if it helps. I also have to find a better way to connect the ground wire with the alumunium (currently the wire is wrapped through a screw that holds the alumunium with the box).
I also realized that some wires are probably too thick and maybe using thinner ones will improve the situation.

Thanx again :)
I will update soon with my results :P
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