What is dBuz?
Aero dBuz is a unique device that removes 99.99% of ground noise (the buzzing which occurs when you lift your hands off the strings of your instrument), without altering the music. dBuz fits into the product category of noise control, a major problem for musicians, but which receives little industry attention. Until the arrival of dBuz, ground noise control was achieved by continuously keeping your hand on the strings, or use of a noise gate, a threshold device causing loss of music content in quiet passages.
dBuz requires no modifications to gear or instrument, and is literally plug and play because it’s incorporated into a standard instrument cable (dBuz Cable), or cable extension (dBuzX). dBuz is a product for every musician who plays an electrified instrument, because whether the ground noise is persistent or intermittent, dBuz eliminates it automatically.
How dBuz Will Help You
Two important dBuz features:
1. dBuz is almost 100% efficient and virtually eliminates ground noise, so musicians no longer have to keep their hand on the strings to stop ground noise buzz. Bridge saddle grounds are much less efficient.
2. dBuz utilizes current limiting to prevent electrical shock. Ideally, dBuz replaces the bridge saddle ground, because the current limiting feature won’t function if the bridge saddle ground is also connected. To be clear… dBuz will eliminate ground noise even if the bridge saddle ground is connected, but the presence of the bridge saddle ground disables the dBuz current limiting feature.
dBuz also cures many grounding problems that, up till now, have be notoriously hard to fix:
- Aluminum bridges – Aluminum oxide and/or powder coat prevent grounding.
- Plastic coated strings – the plastic interferes with grounding.
- Acoustic instruments including Upright bass – don’t have a central ground point.
- Independent bridge saddles – no longer have to be electrically connected together.
- Graphite shielding paint or Copper shielding foil – create a ground loop, a 2nd path to ground.
- Wireless setups – with no obvious path to ground.
dBuzX & dBuz Cable, What’s The Difference?
dBuz Cable is a 10, 15, or 20 ft music cable with the dBuz sensor built into the instrument end of the cable.
dBuzX is a cable extension. It’s a 2 ft long music cable with the dBuz sensor built into the instrument end, and a locking female connector a the other end. This female connector is designed to fit just beyond the strap button, and a standard instrument cable is plugged into the locking connector. You choose dBuz Cable if you need a cable. You choose dBuzX if…
- You want your cable to disconnect at the instrument.
- The setup is Wireless.
- You already have a lot of cables.
- You want something small to store in a gig bag or case, dBuzX is smaller than dBuz Cable.
What is a Bridge Saddle Ground and Why it’s Unsafe
Though dBuz can be used in conjunction with a “Bridge Saddle Ground” (BSG), Aero recommends you disconnect BSG and use only dBuz, and here’s why….
BSG is a wire, which at one end is in contact with the bridge saddle (or attached to the claw in a Strat), and at the other is soldered to a ground point in the control cavity. The wire is usually (but not always) installed in a hole drilled in the body of the guitar, from under the bridge saddle into the control cavity. If the bridge saddle is made of electrically conductive material (metal not wood), the strings and the musician (when touching the strings) are also connected to ground.
The intent of BSG is too remove ground noise from the instrument by grounding the strings. In a perfect world, grounding the strings is not a problem, and a BSG will remove ground noise approximately half the time. In the imperfect world, where your instrument is plugged into an outlet with AC hot and neutral reversed, or you have an old amplifier with a 2 prong plug without safety ground (that’s reversed) , and your unlucky enough to touch ground, e.g., touching your strings while standing on a concrete floor in bare feet, or touching your lip to a microphone whose metal case is correctly grounded, well… you get zapped, and it’s hair raising!
At home you might be able to make sure your amplifier is plugged in correctly and all electrical outlets are wired to code. However, at live venues, the electrical outlet ground is not always where it should be. This is why I always keep a “Receptacle Tester” in my gig bag, and use it to check all the outlets where the band will plug-in gear, and if possible this includes the outlet powering the house PA. Testing venue outlets lowers the chance that an outlet is wired with a reversed, hot and neutral, or hot and ground. dBuz just adds another layer of protection.
Why dBuz is a Safe Noise Ground
Introducing the dBuz current limiting circuit….
Current kills! A few musicians each year die from electrical shock. This is why dBuz includes current limiting. When electrical current flows through a muscle, e.g., those in the hand, it causes them to contract, in what’s known as a “death grip,” and because you won’t be able to uncurl your fingers from the strings, you remain in contact with the current source. After current enters the hand it flows through the arm, chest, heart (and all other major organs except the brain) towards the feet, and earth ground. Among other effects, this current can stop the heart. dBuz NEVER allows this scenario to occur, because the limiting circuit quickly interrupts the current. As the dBuz circuit begins to work, you may feel a sting, but current won’t continue to flow. dBuz is designed to be worn on the hip, below all major organs, and fails open circuit.