Boss VE-8 Problem

I hadn’t thought of using my Boss-VE8 as an A/I with my laptop but having given up with the UM2 I’d been struggling with, I decided to try it. So, on Friday I took the Boss out of its box and hooked it up. Would you Adam and Eve it, as soon as the guitar was plugged in I got what I took to be mains hum. Couldn’t get rid of it by turning down the volume. Holding the body of the VE-8 or the phono jack of the cable where it connects to the guitar reduces the hum but doesn’t eliminate it. Thinking it was a mains induced problem I tried it yesterday with batteries. Still the hum…******.
Edit: I meant to say that the jacks of my cable are TS. Could this be the issue? Should I try a TRS cable?

FYI (and if anyone is interested!)
As someone who had no interest in using electronic boxes, especially with my acoustic guitar, the reason I have the VE-8 is because I’m a big fan of K T Tunstall. Last year I won a Tone City Pedal from Anderton’s and having no idea what I’d ever feel like using, a friend advised getting the reverb. While I was waiting for Anderton’s to supply this (there was a long delay) I remembered KT’s use of ‘stuff’ so looked up what she used. I then asked ‘The Team’ and was allowed to pay the difference and upgrade to the VE-8, which KT promotes, quite possibly because of a commercial hook-up.

John, that’s cool and based on my experience using my Play Acoustic, which is TC helicon’s equivalent of the Acoustic Singer, it’s worth exploring.

Not so cool is the hum.

Have you tried plugging in just your mic, which I assume would be using an XLR cable? If it also hums then it would (maybe) suggest it is not a cable issue.

What that might be, is beyond me. Some kind of interference? Perhaps make sure all the goodies that I might generating interference, like a wireless router are powered off, out the room. But I could easily be talking total nonsense saying that.

Also beyond me to comment on TS vs TRS cables, assuming there is no hum when plugging in the XLR cable.


Something sprang to mind when I quickly checked the spec on Thomann, it has a ground switch. Same on my Mustang, so I checked the VE manual online and found this, may get you sorted ! Nice piece of kit by the way :sunglasses:

Yes, I have tried the mic alone and it doesn’t cause the hum. I can’t think of anything that may create interference.

Yes, I was aware of the ground switch from the off and it doesn’t help with the hum.

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Have you tried both your acoustic and your electric guitars, John?

I don’t know enough about cables to know if the type of cable could be the cause of a hum.

Yes, I also tried the electric, which had the same issue.

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Might be worth asking in The Gear Page there are a few threads dedicated to the VE 8.

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I suspect a ground loop or similar.

Are you running this into a laptop or a desktop PC? Laptop PC power supplies are notorious for creating hum. Also, the power supplies that BOSS provides aren’t that great.

I would try one (or more) of the following:

  1. Remove the VE-8 power supply, if you are using it, and run on USB power from the PC/laptop (I think it should work like this)
  2. Run the VE-8 on batteries rather than using the power supply
  3. Alternatively, if using a laptop, disconnect the laptop power supply and run the laptop on battery whilst recording



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I think batteries have already been tried… the power supply I agree is usually the issue.

Good suggestion though in terms of the laptop ps I’ve had that issue before

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Yes, so far now, the only way I can get it switched on without hum is on batteries with laptop unplugged. USB doesn’t take power to the VE8 from the laptop.
As it’s the case that If I touch the casing or connector sleeves on guitar cable the hum disappears is there a workaround for this? I’m thinking of something like the straps you were advised to wear when handling memory modules. Going back a few years since I did that sort of thing so I don’t know if that’s still standard practice!
EDIT: came across mention of running an earth from the the cable socket on the guitar to your foot!

Good news that you have a working solution, John.

Have you had a chance to make some test recordings on your laptop, be it Zoom, Quicktime, or Reaper, yet.

Hope that is all sounding good and leads to you playing at the next OM on Feb 19th.

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Just this weekend I have noticed that I think I feel an extremely low power electric shock on the insides of my wrists when they contact the edge of my MacBook but only when it is charging via the MagSafe charger, which is not original equipment. Only apparent contacting the sharp corner where one plane meets another at 90 degrees. Don’t feel it on my hands. Only on very sensitive inside wrist. Thought this might be connected to issue with Boss.