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Author Topic: Neon Buzz  (Read 587 times)

Jeremy Young

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Re: Neon Buzz
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 01:18:45 pm »

Obviously this was someone's brilliant vision in order to justify spending what they did.

Perhaps that person needs to be convinced that it would look "way cooler" behind the bar?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Neon Buzz
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 02:00:44 pm »

Obviously this was someone's brilliant vision in order to justify spending what they did.

Perhaps that person needs to be convinced that it would look "way cooler" behind the bar?

Or somewhere it "can be seen".  Once the band sets up it's obscured, ya know? ;)

They spent some serious coin on this and it would be nice if it "lived" somewhere it could be an attraction rather than a distraction - cool to promote live music, not so much to make some guitars unusable.
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Keith Broughton

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Re: Neon Buzz
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 08:34:27 pm »

Nope, Neon Buzz is not the name of a retro group, but maybe it should be...

A former student of mine is now the A1 in a Wash DC club where they've installed a giant neon guitar pick sign on the back wall of the stage. Something like the neon heart in my picture, and maybe 6 feet tall. Yup it's a real neon sign with a step-up 120-volt to 50-Kvolt-ish transformer. This is a new club and they've discovered that any guitar that gets anywhere near this thing buzzes like crazy, especially ones with single-coil pickups. He's tried different grounding techniques including Ferrite cores on the transformer leads which didn't help. And he built a few 1/4" guitar cables with small shunting caps inside to try and short out the buzz, which helps a little but guitars players don't want to mess with their tone. I told him that this big sign 5 feet away from the guitars is basically a huge radio antenna, and that trying to ground the transformer is futile. However I suggested that perhaps someone makes a DC or ultrasonic neon power supply to make the 50KV or so needed, and that either going DC or 20KHz would move the interference out of the audible range.

Anyone here play with this sort of thing?
I had exactly the same problem in a country bar some years back and it turned out, when I opened the transformer box, there was a poor connection and some small arcing.
Tightened all the connections and problem solved.
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I don't care enough to be apathetic

Brian Jojade

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Re: Neon Buzz
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2017, 06:59:30 pm »

If they would have asked me in advance, I would have suggested some sort of LED solution. Heck, for the amount of money they paid for a actual neon sign, they probably could have gotten a blown glass tube in the proper shape and strung a bunch of mini LED's inside of it. Retro-Cool with modern technology.

LEDs aren't always the solution. I had one venue with LED front lighting that would cause havoc with any single coil pickup devices.  If the guitar player faced the lights, buzz.  If he turned his back to the lights, it was fine.  It wasn't a ground loop issue, as the buzz was still there even running wirelessly.  The problem was mitigated to a slight degree by putting a steel screen in front of the LED lights.  The LEDs were finally replaced, and now the problem has pretty much been eliminated.  Totally crazy.
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Brian Jojade
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