A customer brought in a Les Paul and stated that it would buzz loudly in various circumstances. He tried to show me how and plugged it in. He said when it happens he could touch the strings or one of the pots in the control cavity and it would go away. I knew it was a ground. We turned on a high gain stomp in hopes of reproducing the buzz and it played fine. But as we all know when you go to the doctor all is well. I knew the customer knew what he was talking about because he is a professional teacher and player. He brought the guitar in to have a set of Lollar Imperials installed. I did that and then a little checking and found the ground wire to the Stop Bar insert was broken. You can check that wire by using a VOM and measuring the resistance from the outside of the input jack, that is ground, to the Stop Bar. It should be less than 1 ohm. If it’s not and your guitar is buzzing and barring any other problems that is why. It is not a common problem to have but it is a problem with Les Pauls and occurs occasionally. The wire breaks off where the Stop Bar insert has applied pressure. It appears to be connected but it is not. So check this wire if you are having this problem. Les Pauls are very stable guitars as noise goes and there is no magic with them. If your LP is buzzing it is because of single coils like P90’s, very sloppy wiring or a bad ground somewhere. Shielding will make little to no difference. Here are a few pics of how this wire can be broken.
Les Paul Buzzing
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