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Guitar Pedal Noise Eliminated Forever

guitar pedal noise

This One Device Will Banish Guitar Pedal Noise From Your Rig Forever

All guitarists know that sound. That annoying buzz that cuts into all conversations in the band room when our amp is switched on. Guitar pedal noise can be a real pain.

We don’t know exactly when it started. It might have been that cheap cable we found in the bottom of our gig bag. Maybe the extra power supply we picked up to power the 18V delay pedal was producing the noise. It was probably our sub-par soldering skills we used to put that DIY distortion pedal from Musikding together.

But it’s always there. And it keeps us up at night. Like tinnitus, constantly gnawing at our soul.

But fear not, fellow axemen (and women!), there is a solution to our woes!

And I almost sent it back to Thomann.

Troubleshooting Guitar Pedal Hum

The first step to eliminating noise in your guitar pedal rig is finding the culprit. If you have multiple power supplies, it might just be that this is the problem. If you power all your pedals with one supply like me, then you have to keep searching.

Remove each and every pedal one by one in your pedal rig until the noise is gone. Alternatively, you can start with one pedal and keep adding others until the noise returns. It might be a combination of pedals causing the hum so make sure you keep track of the noise level while adding and removing effects until you are sure you have found the culprit.

Once I found the pedal causing the noise in my signal chain, I went straight to the web to try and find a solution.

Researching Pedal Hum Gives A Lot Of Results About Acoustic Guitars

I spent ages researching guitar pedal noise and how to get rid of it. After countless youtube videos of guys talking and talking without just SHOWING ME THE GODDAMN SOLUTION I was on the end of my tether.

I then researched DI boxes and spent hours on the Radial website trying to find something for electric guitars. But every article I read, every device I found, every single one was giving me a solution for acoustic guitars – a problem I didn’t have.

My electric guitar rig was causing me a headache and I couldn’t find a solution.

Then I came across this little fella.

The Palmer Line Isolation Box

guitar pedal hum

The Palmer PLI-01 is a line isolation box built for eliminating ground loops that cause hum in a guitar rig. It uses a mono isolation transformer with quarter-inch jack sockets to eliminate noise in balanced and unbalanced signals.

It costs 69€ on Thomann right now. This is not an affiliate link, I’m just saving you a Google search. 😉

The reviews on Thomann have mostly been left by guitarists who use two guitar amps simultaneously. Inserted between the pedal board and one amp, they managed to remove the hum that was being caused by the two different power supplies.

So when I bought mine, I thought the best place to put it would be after all my pedals.

Wrong. And I almost sent it back!

Inserting the Palmer PLI-01 into my rig between all my effects and my amp DID NOT remove my guitar pedal noise.

But putting it straight after the offending pedal DID.

Guitar Pedal Noise Gone Forever

So all you have to do, is find the pedal causing the noise in your guitar rig, insert the Palmer PLI-01 Line Isolation Box, and voila – guitar pedal noise is history.

Here is the isolation box in action. You will notice the loud hum at the start, and the absence of it at the end. The rest of the hiss is just my phone limiting the audio lifting up the noise floor.

I can’t tell you how happy I was when I heard that comforting hiss coming out of my Deluxe Reverb again. My drummer was happy too. He freaking hated that guitar pedal noise.

So this is what worked for me, and I had to share it. Did it work for you too?

Let me know in the comments!

About The Author

Nick Braren is an audio engineer and musician with over 15 years experience in the studio, on stage, back stage and front of house. He is the owner and operator of Upaya Sound, guitarist and vocalist of Vandemonian, father of 2 and husband of 1. When he’s not in the studio or in the band room he’s either travelling in his van or at the beach – or both.

Mixing Engineer

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