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Thread: Music man silhouette special silent circuit

  1. #1
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    Music man silhouette special silent circuit

    Hi I just bought a blemished music man silhouette from musicians friend a couple of days ago my question is I can't really tell if the silent circuit is working it seems I get the same hum if the battery is in or out. The tone seems like it changes a little for the better with the battery out of it. I have a Steve Morse 4 pick up guitar and it seems like it makes the same amount of noise in single coil on that guitar in single as the silo. I don't really turn up that much because I play in the bedroom mostly . I turned the amp up all the way its a 15 amp blues jr and it was just as noisy as my other guitars some of the having noiseless pick ups some of them not didn't seem to matter if the battery was out or not. It seem just as loud in Humbucker mode as in single as well . It also one time didn't work in position 2 wondering if this is normal or should I send it back the noise dosen't bother me as much as something might not be working as it should and I might have a problem down the road especially with the 5 way switch other than that its a nice playing sounding guitar any thoughts

  2. #2
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    First, make sure you're using a new/good battery.
    2nd, some house circuits are noisier than others. Try different outlets in the house along with different cables as well...
    Enjoy Your Balls!!!

  3. #3
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    Based on what you've described, it sounds like the hum is in the amp. How old are the tubes?
    “You’re always learning about this thing every time you pick it up.” - Keith Richards

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  4. #4
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    I was thinking might be a amp issue the tubes were changed about a year ago the tech found a issue with the way the jack was soldered into the board he fixed it but i'm wondering if there might be other issues it might be my house electric as well thanks for the input

  5. #5
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    I'll second the amp as well. I bought a limited edition BJ last xmas. It was my first Fender 'hot rod' amp, and I really liked the clean tones, but it got pretty noisy as the gain went up. After 5 months it self-destructed... one of the pc boards shorted, which is a common problem with those apparently. I got it repaired under warranty, but just didn't trust it anymore.
    I took the hit and traded it in on something else (better... much better!) just a couple of weeks ago.
    Also, your 5-way switch probably just needs a good cleaning... that is common as well.
    Good luck!
    Enjoy Your Balls!!!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjbebop View Post
    I'll second the amp as well. I bought a limited edition BJ last xmas. It was my first Fender 'hot rod' amp, and I really liked the clean tones, but it got pretty noisy as the gain went up. After 5 months it self-destructed... one of the pc boards shorted, which is a common problem with those apparently. I got it repaired under warranty, but just didn't trust it anymore.
    I took the hit and traded it in on something else (better... much better!) just a couple of weeks ago.
    Also, your 5-way switch probably just needs a good cleaning... that is common as well.
    Good luck!
    What did you get?

    Yeah, the clean on Blues Jr is nice, but I've heard about the gain noise pretty consistently. My little Blackstar is the same way--as soon as you add any amount of gain it gets noisy no matter what you plug into it. Experimented with tube combinations to tame it a little bit, but ultimately realized it's in the circuit and there is not much to do to attenuate the noise. It is what it is. I only use for late night/quiet practice, so it's tolerable. Of course, when you turn it to 11 and play the noise goes away, right?!
    “You’re always learning about this thing every time you pick it up.” - Keith Richards

    '14 GC HSHP
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    '14 ASS Semi MM90 - Honey Burst
    '16 Axis - Trans Gold Quilt

    Mesa Boogie Mark V 25
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  7. #7
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    I had this LE Blues Jr Amethyst... I really liked how it looked and just by chance it matched my Starry Night quite well...



    Longer story short, it and another one of my old favorite amps got traded in for a new Blackstar Artist 15.
    I got a great deal on the Artist 15 and it sounds amazing for my purposes. Like you, I just play at home these days at low volumes, and this amp sounds sweet and huge!

    Which Blackstar did you have that was noisy? Their quality is usually top notch, which again may be a sign of other causes for your noise issues.
    How are you getting along with the Silo now?
    Enjoy Your Balls!!!

  8. #8
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    Starry night is a great finish. Looks great on the AL.

    After playing a GC and ASS, I bought one more ASS semi and an Axis. All I play now.

    My Blackstar is a HT-1R. It's a tiny little head that uses two preamp tubes. It sounds great for what it is and it seems to be good quality for what it is, but is a bit noisy. Mind you, the other two amps I play are pretty much as noiseless as it gets, so I might be spoiled. I like the Blackstar, though. It's a fun little head for practice without pissing the neighborhood off.
    “You’re always learning about this thing every time you pick it up.” - Keith Richards

    '14 GC HSHP
    '14 ASS Semi HHP - Black Cherry Burst
    '14 ASS Semi MM90 - Honey Burst
    '16 Axis - Trans Gold Quilt

    Mesa Boogie Mark V 25
    Suhr Corso
    Black Star HT-1
    Bad Cat 2x12

  9. #9
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    Let's not hijack the thread folks, thanks.

    The silhouette special only uses the silent circuit for the neck pickup. It is wired to both single coils, but is defeated in all other pickup positions. It is only required for the neck single coil because all other positions are naturally humbucking...

    1 - Humbucker
    2 - Humbucker coil 1 and middle single coil
    3 - Humbucker coil 2 and neck single
    4 - Middle single and neck single
    5 - Neck single on its own.

    Note the middle pickup selection (no 3) is not the middle single coil on its own but the neck pickup in parallel with one coil of the bridge pickup (that combination is hum cancelling).

    The Silent Circuit is adjustable (there is small trim pot on top of the unit in the control cavity).

    There should not be any change in tone in any pickup position whether the battery is in or out. If the battery is connected properly and the silent ciruit is working, you should hear clicks if you remove and replace the battery when the guitar is plugged into the amp. If not, eigther the silent circuit is not working or the battery wires may have come loose.
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  10. #10
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    Dr Kev, very nicely put, thank you.

    They also just created a blog about the Silent Circuit.
    What Is The Silent Circuit? – Ernie Ball Music Man

    Glenn |B)
    1. Silhouette Special in Fuschia Sparkle (Hardtail) [1/01/2002] [1 of a kind from CLB]
    2. Silhouette Special in Gold Sparkle (Hardtail) [7/12/02] [Made for Matchbox 20]
    3. Albert Lee 3 MM90's in White Sparkle (Hardtail) [8/14/01]
    4. Albert Lee HH in Black Sugar (Hartail) [1/06/11] BFR

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    Let's not hijack the thread folks, thanks.

    The silhouette special only uses the silent circuit for the neck pickup. It is wired to both single coils, but is defeated in all other pickup positions. It is only required for the neck single coil because all other positions are naturally humbucking...

    1 - Humbucker
    2 - Humbucker coil 1 and middle single coil
    3 - Humbucker coil 2 and neck single
    4 - Middle single and neck single
    5 - Neck single on its own.

    Note the middle pickup selection (no 3) is not the middle single coil on its own but the neck pickup in parallel with one coil of the bridge pickup (that combination is hum cancelling).

    The Silent Circuit is adjustable (there is small trim pot on top of the unit in the control cavity).

    There should not be any change in tone in any pickup position whether the battery is in or out. If the battery is connected properly and the silent ciruit is working, you should hear clicks if you remove and replace the battery when the guitar is plugged into the amp. If not, eigther the silent circuit is not working or the battery wires may have come loose.
    Learn something new every day! Had to check the MM site and lo and behold you're spot on. My Silo Spec was my first electric guitar, got it 15+ years ago and never knew that. Whoops!
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  12. #12
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    Oct 2015
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    thanks for your replies

    Quote Originally Posted by DrKev View Post
    Let's not hijack the thread folks, thanks.

    The silhouette special only uses the silent circuit for the neck pickup. It is wired to both single coils, but is defeated in all other pickup positions. It is only required for the neck single coil because all other positions are naturally humbucking...

    1 - Humbucker
    2 - Humbucker coil 1 and middle single coil
    3 - Humbucker coil 2 and neck single
    4 - Middle single and neck single
    5 - Neck single on its own.

    Note the middle pickup selection (no 3) is not the middle single coil on its own but the neck pickup in parallel with one coil of the bridge pickup (that combination is hum cancelling).

    The Silent Circuit is adjustable (there is small trim pot on top of the unit in the control cavity).

    There should not be any change in tone in any pickup position whether the battery is in or out. If the battery is connected properly and the silent ciruit is working, you should hear clicks if you remove and replace the battery when the guitar is plugged into the amp. If not, eigther the silent circuit is not working or the battery wires may have come loose.
    Thanks for the info I never tried replacing the battery wile it was plugged in I'll give it a try . I tried it against my G&L with zex coil pick ups the noise is about the same . Ive been playing the silo for about a week and really enjoying it. I think I enjoy the 12" radius of the morse and the G&L a little more still pretty nice though

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