Earthing really needed?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cnltb, Jan 6, 2013.


  1. cnltb

    cnltb

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Hi all.
    I just had a conversation with a friend who says that the bridge on an electric bass does not really ned to get earthed/Grounded.
    he has a wooden bridge on his instrument which as far as I know has no onboard electronics, and claims that he has no problems with his bass.

    Would anyone here enlighten me on this earthing question?
    Thanks!:)
  2. spaz21387

    spaz21387

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Location:
    Portland oregon
    does he have emg pickups?
  3. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    If the bass has magnetic pickups that aren't EMG, it is mandatory to avoid static.
    If it has piezos it is useless.
  4. cnltb

    cnltb

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    he has one single magnetic Haeussel pickup in his bass.
    All passive.
    I believe it is a split coil.
    Avoid 'static' ?
    Are you referring to 60Hz hum?

    The bridge is not earthed(obviously) and the strings aren't either.
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Location:
    Reims, Champagne, France
    I'm not sure what kind of answer you're expecting.
    Yes, a bass will work with no grounding of the strings.
    No, it isn't a desirable practice because without grounding the bass is a lot more sensitive to hum and noise.
    There isn't much to add. If you don't want to ground your strings nobody will get hurt.
  6. Cadfael

    Cadfael

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Location:
    Germany, EU
    Touching grounded strings also has the effect, that the bass player gets grounded.
    This means, that a more or less big ground shield is in the back of the bass which avoids hum an noise from amps, lamps etc. ...

    You may not need this shield when only piezos or low impedance PUs are in use.
    But even the majority of active basses has high impedance PUs built in (and 99% of passive basses).

    Grounded strings can never be wrong - they may not be neccessary in one or the other case ...
  7. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered 8er Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    It's not mandatory. The bass will work fine without it. The advantage of a grounded bridge is, as stated, it makes the bass less susceptible to hum/buzz (but only when you're touching the strings). The disadvantage is that it makes you susceptible to electrocution risks from poorly wired venues.

    Mine are almost never grounded. Good shielding and humbuckers cut out enough buzz for me.

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