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What is this noise? (EHX Black Finger issue)

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  • What is this noise? (EHX Black Finger issue)

    Link to sound



    So, over the summer, I bought a second-hand mint condition EHX Black Finger. It's been my go-to ever since. The past few days, I've heard this annoying noise coming out of it. I thought it might be a power-issue because I had my DMM plugged in. Unplugging the DMM seemed to work the first time. A few days later, it came back.



    I thought maybe it was some kind of interference with the small Vox combo. So I unplugged the amp, ran the BF into a mixer, tried different cables, outlets, and anything else I could think of. Nothing has stopped it. It only happens when this pedal is on and now it's been consistent.



    If anyone is willing to subject their ears to some horrible white noise for a few seconds, I'd really appreciate any input. I did a rough recording through the mixer. The output gain is cranked, so it's noisier, but it's that distinct clock/dial-up noise that's bugging me.



    The only solution I can think of is to replace the tubes, because the noise is new and the preamp gain doesn't sound as sweet... but that could be my imagination. I really hope it's nothing wrong with the actual circuit. It was a dream pedal up until now.
    "Anal Doom" in the SG ARMY
    Good business with boneman, vamp hunter d, sirkonks, fuelGTRX, Inscho, dmtnt, arcarsenal72, dacama, Shblay, Mr JinX, Gomez315, lossforgain, GhostLunch
    Guitar - Gibson, PRS, Yamaha, AB763, EL84, Avatar, EHX, Maxon, Monsterpiece, Catalinbread
    Drums - Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 24/12/16/6.5x14, Meinl Byzance Dark 14" hh/21" ride, Meinl Byzance MT 16/18" crashes, Vic Firth, Remo/Evans

  • #2
    Be careful if you open it up. There are some nasty voltages in there. Be sure to wait a while after powering it up to prod around.



    I'm a huge fan of the EHX tube series... all of them... but the construction is sometimes questionable. The 3pdt switch is literally squashed in among other components without any room to budge. It's possible that something came loose there.

    Comment


    • #3
      Eek. Yeah, I'm hoping it's nothing in the pedal. If it's a loose bit, that's one thing... but I've never heard a cycling noise like that and this is my only tube pedal. It's lot more intimidating than a bad switch in a Crybaby.
      "Anal Doom" in the SG ARMY
      Good business with boneman, vamp hunter d, sirkonks, fuelGTRX, Inscho, dmtnt, arcarsenal72, dacama, Shblay, Mr JinX, Gomez315, lossforgain, GhostLunch
      Guitar - Gibson, PRS, Yamaha, AB763, EL84, Avatar, EHX, Maxon, Monsterpiece, Catalinbread
      Drums - Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 24/12/16/6.5x14, Meinl Byzance Dark 14" hh/21" ride, Meinl Byzance MT 16/18" crashes, Vic Firth, Remo/Evans

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds like the clock from the Memory Man(?) So when you remove the memory man it stops? Grounding issues?

        Doubt its your tubes, but wiggle them in a bit in the socket. Maybe they came unseated. My English Muff'n came with a bad tube out of the box new. Didn't sound like that though....

        Comment


        • #5
          The noise in the clip is the Black Finger plugged directly into the mixer with a 6" patch. There are no amps, guitars, or pedals adding to it. I'm stumped and severely bummed out about it.
          "Anal Doom" in the SG ARMY
          Good business with boneman, vamp hunter d, sirkonks, fuelGTRX, Inscho, dmtnt, arcarsenal72, dacama, Shblay, Mr JinX, Gomez315, lossforgain, GhostLunch
          Guitar - Gibson, PRS, Yamaha, AB763, EL84, Avatar, EHX, Maxon, Monsterpiece, Catalinbread
          Drums - Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 24/12/16/6.5x14, Meinl Byzance Dark 14" hh/21" ride, Meinl Byzance MT 16/18" crashes, Vic Firth, Remo/Evans

          Comment


          • #6






            Quote Originally Posted by Bob Doom
            View Post

            The noise in the clip is the Black Finger plugged directly into the mixer with a 6" patch. There are no amps, guitars, or pedals adding to it. I'm stumped and severely bummed out about it.




            EHX's repair services have been very reliable for me, and quick as well. Even if it's your last resort, it's a good one.

            Comment


            • #7
              Shameless bump. I signed up for EHX's board and asked in the help/tech Questions forum... no dice. I sent a question to the email address listed and I'm hoping to hear back.



              Here's my dilemma. I'm tempted to buy a cmatmods Signa-comp from PGS while I can still use the -$25 coupon. That would be a pretty fantastic compressor for $135, if there's nothing I can do for my Black Finger. If I'm lucky and it's as simple as replacing the tubes, I can obviously get away with only $30 worth of tubes. It's just a shame because the BF is such a fantastic pedal, when it was working. I'd love it have it working again but if it's going to be costly, I'd rather switch to a solid-state compressor I can run at 9v.



              So, anybody have any more thoughts? Has anyone heard that rhythmic noise in any other piece of gear? Is there a way to narrow it down to a probable cause?
              "Anal Doom" in the SG ARMY
              Good business with boneman, vamp hunter d, sirkonks, fuelGTRX, Inscho, dmtnt, arcarsenal72, dacama, Shblay, Mr JinX, Gomez315, lossforgain, GhostLunch
              Guitar - Gibson, PRS, Yamaha, AB763, EL84, Avatar, EHX, Maxon, Monsterpiece, Catalinbread
              Drums - Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 24/12/16/6.5x14, Meinl Byzance Dark 14" hh/21" ride, Meinl Byzance MT 16/18" crashes, Vic Firth, Remo/Evans

              Comment


              • #8
                Shameless bump. I signed up for EHX's board and asked in the help/tech Questions forum... no dice. I sent a question to the email address listed and I'm hoping to hear back.



                Here's my dilemma. I'm tempted to buy a cmatmods Signa-comp from PGS while I can still use the -$25 coupon. That would be a pretty fantastic compressor for $135, if there's nothing I can do for my Black Finger. If I'm lucky and it's as simple as replacing the tubes, I can obviously get away with only $30 worth of tubes. It's just a shame because the BF is such a fantastic pedal, when it was working. I'd love it have it working again but if it's going to be costly, I'd rather switch to a solid-state compressor I can run at 9v.



                So, anybody have any more thoughts? Has anyone heard that rhythmic noise in any other piece of gear? Is there a way to narrow it down to a probable cause?
                "Anal Doom" in the SG ARMY
                Good business with boneman, vamp hunter d, sirkonks, fuelGTRX, Inscho, dmtnt, arcarsenal72, dacama, Shblay, Mr JinX, Gomez315, lossforgain, GhostLunch
                Guitar - Gibson, PRS, Yamaha, AB763, EL84, Avatar, EHX, Maxon, Monsterpiece, Catalinbread
                Drums - Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 24/12/16/6.5x14, Meinl Byzance Dark 14" hh/21" ride, Meinl Byzance MT 16/18" crashes, Vic Firth, Remo/Evans

                Comment


                • #9
                  did you try tightening the ground screw that is inbetween the tubes, under the tube protector bar?
                  Originally Posted by Inspector 71


                  I'm only framus in my own mine.









                  Originally Posted by riff ie


                  black hole complementarity, or, you won't feel a thing
                  likewise...









                  Originally Posted by christianatl


                  I plan on riding my ****************sled through the ******************** apocalypse.

                  Comment


                  • #10






                    Quote Originally Posted by arthurdent'd
                    View Post

                    did you try tightening the ground screw that is in between the tubes, under the tube protector bar?




                    Unfortunately, yes. I tried moving the tubes around in the slot to make sure they were nicely seated and checked the screw. It was tight as could be.
                    "Anal Doom" in the SG ARMY
                    Good business with boneman, vamp hunter d, sirkonks, fuelGTRX, Inscho, dmtnt, arcarsenal72, dacama, Shblay, Mr JinX, Gomez315, lossforgain, GhostLunch
                    Guitar - Gibson, PRS, Yamaha, AB763, EL84, Avatar, EHX, Maxon, Monsterpiece, Catalinbread
                    Drums - Yamaha Stage Custom Birch 24/12/16/6.5x14, Meinl Byzance Dark 14" hh/21" ride, Meinl Byzance MT 16/18" crashes, Vic Firth, Remo/Evans

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I doubt that it is the tubes. If you were going to spend $30 anyways, I think that would cover the repair and shipping costs from EHX's repair service.



                      Knowing that it was working fine before, I'd bet that something just came loose inside and needs to be soldered back into place.

                      Comment


                      • Bob Doom
                        Bob Doom commented
                        Editing a comment

                        I finally heard back from customer service.  The only option I was given is mailing it to NY with a $30 money order.  Sigh.  What stings is that this was my concern with getting a tube compressor and I decided to take the chance.  Damn luck.

                        So, yes, I'm bumping this up again... on the off chance that maybe someone might just happen to recognize the issue.  It's worth a shot... fingers crossed.


                    • #12

                      Hi, here an italian Black Finger owner.

                      I these last two weeks I

                      Comment


                      • V
                        V commented
                        Editing a comment

                        The noise in that original clip sounds, to me, like you're picking up noise from a nearby laptop or cell phone.



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