Yet another hum investigation and fix



  • I'll try to keep this short since much has already been written on this subject.

    Got my Spark a few weeks ago. I immediately noticed a fairly loud hum that was present on all settings and got louder moving from Clean to Metal and louder still moving up from presets 1-4.

    I tried all the fixes I read about but none of them helped.
    -Checked to be sure it had the latest firmware (it did).
    -Connected the USB cable to my laptop.
    -Bought a surge suppressor.
    -Tried 3 different patch cords.
    -Ran an extension cord to another room in my house to get on a different circuit.
    -Swapped power supply wall plug around.

    I did all my initial testing with my Epiphone SG. When almost ready to give up I tried using my Squire Super Strat (HSS) fully expecting it to be worse using the single coils. To my surprise the Spark was dead silent. I glanced at the Spark LED's just to be sure it was on. It was. I tried all 3 pickups and each one was totally silent even turned all the way up. No hum or static on any Spark setting. I then plugged the SG back in and the hum and static returned. Both my Strat and SG work perfectly with my 50 year old Fender MusicMaster tube amp.

    I then contacted PG support, answered their questions and sent in a short video. They're sending me a 3 prong grounded power supply.

    In the meantime I noticed my old laptop used a 19Vdc 4.74A 3 prong power supply with the correct tip. Plugged that into the Spark and then plugged in my SG which resulted in NO HUM or STATIC on all settings! Same for the Strat. At least in my case the hum and static appear to be a power supply issue.



  • @joe-lenger

    You might want to read sarawsons and radu7's replies in the OEM Power Supply & Hum thread...interesting information pertinent to "why".



  • @joetx I wonder at the difference between the Epi SG and the Squier Super Strat in terms of noise production. Might it be that the Epi SG simply isn't shielded around the parts of the guitar where the electronics are so that it is picking up hum and noise from the power supply, while the Squier Super Strat is much better shielded?

    That leads me to wonder whether a lot of the hum issues are as much the fault of poorly shielded guitars as they are the fault of the power supply. Of course a better power supply which doesn't broadcast hum and RF interference is a solution, but that might explain why not everybody is getting the hum issue on their brand new Spark amps.



  • @joetx I have been promised a new power supply. Then dead silence from PG. No idea when or if I will receive mine.
    I paid for my Spark, waited 3 months to get it, now another long wait to have a new 3 prong (grounded) power supply.

    I am bombarded with their Social Media marketing. Maybe it’s time to complain about their power supply in every post.



  • @peterjparkhill Only three months ? I waited six months to get my noisey amp. It works in a couple settings. Not quite the 10,000 tones promised. At least the amp looks good.



  • @peterjparkhill I was also promised a new power supply and my ticket was closed stating that I was on the list to receive one. I have asked at least three times about an estimate of when I might receive the bag as well and that question has been entirely ignored every time. I sent another response asking how they could close the ticket without even answering my question and have not received a response. I also asked if new Amps would have an updated power supply and no response. You would think they would understand our concerns given the incredibly poor logistics they have experienced with the amp roll out, but apparently they think we should just take their word that the check is in the mail. I hope they have resolved their delivery issues but hope is not a credible plan. Communication and performance is needed to regain the trust of those of us still hanging in here with them. I love the Amp, but I'm still on the fence with the company as a whole.



  • @peterjparkhill I was wondering if I was the only one in the same situation and having to wait months for a replacement power supply.



  • @tab @cmcwillieb @JoeTX @peterjparkhill

    It's my understanding that the replacement power supplies that PG had on hand are out of stock and they are waiting for a replacement order to arrive, clear customs, and become available for shipping. Now that would explain the delay, but to not reply to a followup message with that information is a bit shabby in my opinion.

    As to closing a ticket before you have your PS, that doesn't surprise me. They've ID'd the issue, agreed to send you a replacement and you've been placed on the "to be shipped, pending stock" list. If you think about it theres not much more can be done. Its up to restocking and shipping. They don't want to have a mass of open Support Tickets when basically the problem has been ID'd and corrective action has been taken. Probably wouldn't look good for the problem resolved checklist. Just my take. Keoki



  • @keoki et al,
    Closing the ticket before it’s resolved, that is, the power supply is working, is a way of inflating the “tickets closed” and reducing the “average time to resolution”.
    All about reporting a good outcome instead of having a good outcome. Having a reason why customer service is poor doesn’t change that the service is poor.

    That being said, unless we customers, that are experiencing difficulties, mention these problems in their social media marketing there is less incentive for PG to act any differently.



  • Is it fair to assume that orders that haven't shipped yet, should arrive with the updated power supply?



  • @swhalpenny I asked that in a new thread and no one has answered yes.



  • Okay here's a weird twist.
    Sometimes I had hum sometimes I didn't. So I figured, what the hell, I'm playing around. I plugged the SEND of the effects loop of my little Johnson practice Amp into the Spark. No hum, any guitar, any setting. Now it's better than Stereo.
    Doing this also eliminated the "boominess". TheTelecaster now sounds like a Telecaster again.



  • @peterjparkhill said in Yet another hum investigation and fix:

    @keoki et al,

    @peterjparkhill

    Peter,

    Some fair points but It’s been my style in the years I’ve been on this planet to make people think about what they’ve said and perhaps stimulate additional thought. Please understand, I’m not defending PG here but the situation Is pretty much is one of there’s not much can be done about it when it comes to the stock of power supplies. How you feel about their customer service and their behavior is a matter that does warrant some additional discussion based on your experiences and your reply.

    Closing the ticket before it’s resolved, that is, the power supply is working, is a way of inflating the “tickets closed” and reducing the “average time to resolution”.

    There’s a fundamental difference here. I don’t think that PG Cust Svce considers “ power supply is working“ as resolution of the issue. I think it’s “Bad Power Supply, Replace” They’ve evaluated the problem, determined a new power supply Is needed and have taken steps to provide one. Whereas “I don’t have a working Power Supply and they shouldn’t close the ticket until I do” is significantly different. As to the comments the statistics associated with closed tickets and time to resolution, I get that, it was one of my own thoughts as well. But what difference does that make to a consumer? It’s an internal matter. Consumers aren’t going to see those stats but more importantly do corporate statistics matter if one has their issue resolved as fast as it can be resolved? That’s the bottom line here. Now customer satisfaction at how that came about is another matter entirely and I suspect that’s what’s more in play here. I will say from the perspective of a manager that sending out an email telling a customer that their ticket has been closed was a really poor decision on their part. The customer doesn’t have the replacement power supply and is left frustrated, even angry and motivated to diss PG as a whole at every turn.

    (That’s) All about reporting a good outcome instead of having a good outcome.

    A good outcome is in the eye of the beholder. Reporting a good outcome to whom? That closure a power supply ticket is a matter of their internal policies. They could very well “feel“ that having put you in line for shipment when stock ie resupplied IS a good outcome, Of course you don’t, and you won’t feel that way until you have a power supply that works. I understand, however I seriously doubt leaving a support ticket open In this specific issue would enhance the speed with which a container ship crosses the Pacific. I’m simply trying to point out a reality there. But again PG set up a public relations relation minefield by even mentioning ticket closure, and not explaining the situation better, or giving some sort of explanation regarding delivery to subsequent inquiries. I believe that PG CS lacks the manpower and directive they need because that’s affecting how their customer base perceives the company as a whole.

    Having a reason why customer service is poor doesn’t change that the service is poor.

    Agreed! So why is their customer service poor in this instance? Is it because they let slip how they count their beans? or something else? Given the realities of their situation what would you do to change their customer service, such you felt better customer satisfaction. Seriously I have a reason for asking that and it will become apparent to you at the end of my post.

    That being said, unless we customers, that are experiencing difficulties, mention these problems in their social media marketing there is less incentive for PG to act any differently.

    Fair enough, but as I asked above how would you have had them behave differently? I understand that the power supplies are one issue but you raise the spectre of a broader CS problem in handling matters as it relates to all owners experiencing difficulties. What would you do to increase customer satisfaction when a real issue is brought To their attention.

    You’ve raised some fair points Peter, and you now have an opportunity to let them know first hand.

    Guys, please understand, I am not defending them, their policies, or their actions (or inactions) although I’ve addressed Peters reply specifically I’m asking tough questions of you all because I want @Mike to read your replies and suggestions. I certainly consider this forum as good a social Media marketing outlet as any Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, or Twitter account. Don’t respond to me, tell THEM!

    Keoki

    cc @Mike



  • I need to say that despite what PG can do and has done to get owners a new power supply I’m pretty taken back at the communications and/or lack thereof on the part of PG Customer Service. I consider some of the complaints to be associated with some very legitimate Spark issues.