Slight electrical buzz...please help.
So here's the situation: I've got an electric bass that has some electrical buzz coming through only when I don't touch the strings. Once I touch the strings, the noise goes away.
Grounding issue of some sort, right?
But here's the catch: If I turn the volume all the way down, the noise goes away. Volume up, noise back until I touch the strings.
So is this potentially a volume pot going out? Or could it just be a loose wire? (I'll pop the cover off tonight to take a look).
This is normal on conventional passive basses with a ground wire to the bridge plate. Without touching the strings, the bass is a large antenna for electrostatic noise. Touching the strings completes the ground and quiets the noise. Turning the volume knob down effectively separates the "antenna" from the "receiver" (the amplifier), hence, no noise. I either switch the standby, or turn the volume down all the way on my bass when I set it down taking a break.
Unfortunately, this is an active bass that just developed this issue within the last few days.
Was doing nothing out of the ordinary, same as usual. One day I heard a buzzing/static-like sound and thought ***!!!
Nope, the ground is fine. You are getting outside interference. What kind of bass? My money is that you have passive pickups with an active pre-amp. You need to give the bass a proper shielding job, there are plenty of guides on here but if you need some advice feel free to PM me, I have lots of experience with shielding basses and try to help remove buzz from all basses even the ones I do not own. Also, you can source copper foil tape locally from stained glass supply shops, something I didn't learn until I had done plenty of basses with aluminum foil tape.
My active and passive basses both do this at church. But only when I am stationed near the drums. The drum kit is an electronic kit and evidently the basses pick up some noise from its control box or the drums and cymbals themselves. Shielding might help but I haven't bothered yet because it is too easy to keep one hand on the strings or turn the volume down.
It is normal for both passive and active basses to (ab)use the player's body as a shield via the grounded bridge.
It is somewhat more common for active basses to have proper shielding but still very rare.
I would have said "needs shielding" but if it just suddenly started........is there a new electrical appliance that might be responsible? Buzzing comes from appliances.
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