buzz that can't be fixed

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by latigid, Apr 14, 2014.


  1. latigid

    latigid

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    I have a mid 90's Fender P Bass Special. Also known as the "cowpoke". This is a Mexican P/J bass.

    There is a electronic buzz when I plug it into the amp, or into a PA system. The buzz is worse on the J pickup, and much worse with the treble turned up.

    I've turned down the treble knob, and tried playing exclusively on the P pickup. That makes the buzz better, but it's still there. I had a reputable guitar tech in Atlanta (former Steve Howe) go through the electronic looking for loose or cold solder joint, and clean all contacts. Even after that, the buzz remains.

    I'm hesitant to rip things out. I'm looking for advice on what to replace, and what brands you would recommend.
     
  2. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.
    I call it a hum, but it could be a buzz, J pups are single coil from the factory, and they always have some hum, P pups are 2 separate pickups, normally wired as "humbuckers", I have heard some P basses hum just a touch, but they are quiet by nature, J's are noisey by nature, the mods that get rid of the noise also tend change the tone, some, (like me) really like the J tone, and live with the hum.
     
  3. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.
    If there is a battery in the bass, it's active, if not, it's passive
     
  4. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.
    shielding the cavity that the J sits in cuts the hum down a bit., use adhesive copper tape, it helps a bit, I just live with the hum, my Getty lee hums, but I'm in love with the sound, so it's ok for me.
     
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  6. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.
    There are several double coil j replacements, they do not hum, I never used one, others might know how different they sound
     
  7. latigid

    latigid

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Thank, Growl. I should mention for the first 10 years I owned it, this hum or buzz wasn't apparent. I wonder if the preamp is known to go bad.
     
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    Is the hum affected in any ways? Is it affected by touching strings/metal? How about certain rooms or appliances?
     
  9. latigid

    latigid

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    On my P/J, it is less with the P pickup and more with the J. The sound is more pronounced with the treble knob up.

    It doesn't seem to be a grounding issue, since touching strings or bridge makes no difference. Different environments produce the same sound.

    I guess, can preamps still work, but start making noise?
     

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