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Grounded Guitar Amps???


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I started playing guitar in late June.  I didn't know anything, so I bought an electric and an amplifier online without knowing anything.  Now?  I'm finding the flaws in that logic - but heck - how do you Know until you Know??? 

So 4 months later and a lot of practice and I'm finding the flaws in my original purchase decision.

My primary concern at the moment is my guitar amp which very obviously IS NOT grounded.  It's a two-terminal plug.
My home is wired with ground.  But?  Doesn't do me a lot of good with a  two-terminal amp plug with no ground lead.
Needless to say my strings are 'zapping' me.  Not fun.  Shy of buying new (and better equipment) I'm not sure if there is a fix.
Inside wiring in only a black and red lead.  (see picture).  It looks like there is a center ground pole that isn't soldered to a ground wire - but I ain't an electrician.
Two-Pole_Conn.thumb.jpg.f618f7ca62da6911d6c3e722fcde62cd.jpg

Of course, I may have just found an excuse to upgrade.  I've bought so little "stuff" for myself in my lifetime.  I'm always taking care of others while neglecting myself.  But I've found something - electric guitar - that I'm now practicing 4+ hours a day as it just simply fills in all that 'retirement' time I've got on my hands. 
So perhaps the easy solution is - buy a well grounded practice amp.  But still - in the meanwhile???


Mods you can toss this into a Music thread if AsianNow has a thread like that.  I didn't see one offhand.  Do you have a Music thread?  Maybe it's time to start one? 

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6 minutes ago, CALSinCM said:

Needless to say my strings are 'zapping' me.  Not fun

but it does help carry those high notes. 🤣

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A lot of guitar amps have 2 conductor leads.

 

My Fender Mustang amp has a 3 conductor outlet, but the supplied electric cord has a 2 conductor plug. Maybe I should find a better cord.

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Those two wires you show, look to be to the speaker, and I am sure are not the ones assisting you accomplishing those high jumps while You are playing . Have thought getting a boue tooth connection to your amp? That way you are not directly wired to it

 

Edited by sirineou
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2 minutes ago, sirineou said:

Those two wires you show, look to be to the speaker, and I am sure are not the ones assisting you accomplishing those high jumps while You are playing . Have thought getting a boue tooth connection to your amp? That way you are not directly wired to it

 

Yep, those are low voltage, low resistance speaker connectors. Don’t connect those to electrical wires.

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10 minutes ago, Danderman123 said:

A lot of guitar amps have 2 conductor leads.

 

My Fender Mustang amp has a 3 conductor outlet, but the supplied electric cord has a 2 conductor plug. Maybe I should find a better cord.

The bottom line is I'm getting shocked.  I shouldn't be.

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you can also connect to bluetooth headphones and not annoy your neighbors, or send your dogs running for the hills. LOL

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If you decide to get a new amplifier I can thoroughly recommend the NUX mighty Lite.

 

Fantastic little practice amp with a big loud sound.  Includes a drum machine and pre recorded practice tunes to play over. If you download the phone app for it it opens up a lot more sounds although I am happy to just use it with a bit of reverb. Runs on mains , battery or power pack and is very light. Perfect for traveling. Picked mine up from Lazada for around 2200 baht.

 

https://www.lazada.co.th/products/nux-mighty-lite-bt-mini-i2429686962-s8399876361.html?spm=a2o4m.searchlist.list.3.57fa1506drgcyD&search=1

 

 

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Watch this vid, You might get some ideas 

 

Edited by sirineou
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54 minutes ago, sirineou said:

you can also connect to bluetooth headphones and not annoy your neighbors, or send your dogs running for the hills. LOL

My cat thinks I rock.

 

Edited by CALSinCM
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3 hours ago, CALSinCM said:

The bottom line is I'm getting shocked.  I shouldn't be.

You could probably get by with an amp that runs on batteries, with an optional 9v adapter. 

 

But your shocking experience is a bit of a mystery. 

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The 'hillbilly' solution..

Connect a cable to any of the screws on top of the amp and then take it outside to ground it.

Buy a copper rod , hammer it to the earth (about 90%) and connect the cable to the top of  it.

 

 

 

 

Edited by VinnieK
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10 hours ago, CALSinCM said:

My cat thinks I rock.

 

She would. I am sure she relates. 🤣 

My cat also makes some strange high pitched noises. Not unlike my guitar playing 

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12 minutes ago, VinnieK said:

The 'hillbilly' solution..

 

 

A little hill but less billy 😃

Connect a cable to any of the screws on top of the amp and then to the earth pin of a 3 pin plug and plug that into your earthed circuits. 

Edited by sometimewoodworker
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15 minutes ago, VinnieK said:

The 'hillbilly' solution..

Connect a cable to any of the screws on top of the amp and then take it outside to ground it.

Buy a copper rod , hammer it to the earth (about 90%) and connect the cable to the top of  it.

 

Note, doesn't work particularly well if your amp has a plastic case 🙂 

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Buy a length of 3 core mains cable, attach the +ve & -ve to wherever the are already on the amp, and the earth (green?) to somewhere on the chassis. Fit a 3 pin plug to the other end.Done.

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OP, this isn't an amp problem, its a guitar wiring problem. Cheap shielding. cheap circuit design etc.

The earth in the wall outlet doesn't have much to do with electronic circuits, its there to protect if a metal chassis becomes live. Ground or 0 volts in an electronic circuit is a different thing.

The voltage at the input to an amp is 20 millivolts, Unplug the lead from the guitar and touch the tip, that is the voltage coming from the amp, if you cant feel that voltage, then the zap isn't coming from the amp.

Inside a guitar has different components at different voltages, and the pick-ups create (induction) other voltages. 

Its more a matter of getting the shielding, grounding correct inside the guitar, lots of youtube videos on the topic.

 

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Crossy said:

 

Note, doesn't work particularly well if your amp has a plastic case 🙂 

Feels like wood covered with some kind of covering.

 

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Just now, CALSinCM said:

Feels like wood covered with some kind of covering.

 

Wood is pretty non-conductive, so you're looking at grounding any metal panel with the input jacks on, or grounding the lead screen.

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9 hours ago, Peterw42 said:

Unplug the lead from the guitar and touch the tip,

I unpluged the lead from the guitar, i.e., the lead is attached to the amp and my finger is on the lead and I feel a "tingle."  However, I also noticed the central post moves (that's odd).  How can that be the guitar.  The guitar is sitting on the bed with no connection to me?
If I connect the lead to the guitar an touch it - there is no power.

 

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3 minutes ago, Crossy said:

 

Wood is pretty non-conductive, so you're looking at grounding any metal panel with the input jacks on, or grounding the lead screen.

You're over my head.  I don't understand that.

I thing at the end of the day I'm going to purchase new equipment.  I've been play this guitar and amp for four months now - so I see the issues with both guitar and amp.  So I'm planning to upgrade and give this set to my son. 
But - I still need to know what to look for in a new guitar and amp.

 

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12 hours ago, Crossy said:

People pay a lot of $$$ for TENS machines which stimulate the body via mild electric shocks, you're getting it for free!

 

Anyway.

 

Many of the lower-cost amps have low-cost cheap power supplies which leak a bit even though they are supposedly Class-2 or better. Damp atmosphere, bare feet and a sweaty body all help to enhance that electrifying experience.

 

Some amps have a dedicated "ground" terminal for you to hook an earth wire to.

 

You could try turning the plug around in the outlet.

 

Failing that, if you want to add a ground then add it to the screen (outer) of your guitar lead. Maybe via a spare amp input or by adding a lead to the back of an input socket. If the amp has a metal panel with the inputs on it, try grounding that.

 

 

I had same thought of turning the wall plug over. Sounds too simple at first thought but I have learned to check orientation of the two pin plug on my welding machine because it alters the consistency of performance dramatically. I am sure there is an explanation but my grasp of complex electronics is limited . lol

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51 minutes ago, CALSinCM said:

You're over my head.  I don't understand that.

I thing at the end of the day I'm going to purchase new equipment.  I've been play this guitar and amp for four months now - so I see the issues with both guitar and amp.  So I'm planning to upgrade and give this set to my son. 
But - I still need to know what to look for in a new guitar and amp.

 

So is your son into spiky hair from electrical buzzes?

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11 hours ago, Peterw42 said:

OP, this isn't an amp problem, its a guitar wiring problem. Cheap shielding. cheap circuit design etc.

The earth in the wall outlet doesn't have much to do with electronic circuits, its there to protect if a metal chassis becomes live. Ground or 0 volts in an electronic circuit is a different thing.

The voltage at the input to an amp is 20 millivolts, Unplug the lead from the guitar and touch the tip, that is the voltage coming from the amp, if you cant feel that voltage, then the zap isn't coming from the amp.

Inside a guitar has different components at different voltages, and the pick-ups create (induction) other voltages. 

Its more a matter of getting the shielding, grounding correct inside the guitar, lots of youtube videos on the topic.

 

 

 

 

As far as I know there is no voltage at the input of the amp, and if you touch the tip of the guitar lead, it is sending a signal INTO the amp, there is nothing coming FROM the amp. If you hold both the tip and the body of the jack plug, the buzz should disappear. Of course, the ground connection on the guitar output must be connected to the tailpiece/strings, so that you are actually connecting yourself to the chassis of the amp, via the guitar lead/cord, which must be earthed via a 3 core mains cable.

Edited by KannikaP
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I've checked my cable and the central post on one side is loose.  This is the cable that came with the amp.

Can any one recommend a quality guitar-to-amp cable?

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Got one of these a few months back, very nice for the dosh 

 

https://www.lazada.co.th/catalog/?spm=a2o4m.home.search.1.1125719co4VIgb&q=Ibanez RG370AHMZ ปิ๊กอัพ H/H Infinity R&_keyori=ss&from=search_history&sugg=Ibanez RG370AHMZ ปิ๊กอัพ H%2FH Infinity R_0_1

 

Also one of these to go with it, very nice indeed for the money 

 

https://www.lazada.co.th/products/nux-mighty-30se-programmable-digital-guitar-amplifier-i358032965-s702244482.html?spm=a2o4m.searchlist.list.1.68de3e36INDg4T&search=1&freeshipping=1

 

if you got the dosh , they are both great.

 

Ps Guitar leads, most are just fine, just get yourself a solder iron and flux

most of the time its the connection in the fittings, easy fix.

 

 

Edited by Orinoco
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Op

Forgot to say, when i have repaired guitar leads

after all soldering has been done, i hot glue gunned the inside 

of the fitting and screwed it back together quickly, works a treat.

 

Your amp, if your confident, get into the electronics part

usually 4 or 6 screws, have a look there may be an earth tab there already, but not connected.

if not you could connect an earth to the metal casing and just put a new 3 core cable and plug on the thing.

please make sure its unplugged before you do this.

 

You could post a pic of the inside

i'm sure someone can help.

 

 

Edited by Orinoco
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Depending on where you live a 3 pin cable on the Amp might not help. While investigating speaker hums I discovered the earth or ground pin in the 3 pin sockets in my condo studio/office/spare bedroom isnt connected to anything. There is ground on the distribution panel but the wiring is  extended with two core cable.  The new fridge has a 2 pin cable and an earth/ground screw on the back metal plate which has probably never been used on any fridge in Thailand. Its a wonder to me that more people dont get electrocuted when you have ceramic tiles, floods, 220volts.  The modern trip switches seem pretty reliable though.

If you end up playing in clubs,pubs,bars or any kind of bigger commercial building get a radio mike. If you get between two phases of a 3 phase power supply that stuff will kill you.

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