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Got damn buzz! Please help!!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by darren051234, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. darren051234


    May 17, 2012
    ok. Long story short
    I've grounded, shielded and even grounded to the shield.
    my mexican jazz bass is still giving off a buzz.
    it goes away when i dial down the tone knob
    i really wanna solve this problem as it is really annoying during recording or playing on solo. all i can hear is noise.
    is there a way to solve this before buying noiseless pickups?
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Are both volume knobs maxed? If one pickup is dialed in more or less than the other, buzz ain't going away. Either noiseless or split coil pickups will solve that.
  3. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    In what playing situations does this happen? Dimmer switches, fluorescent lights and any number of non-bass electrical wiring issues can contribute to buzz.
  4. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Nicer pots? They're really cheap, even for the good ones. I would try that before new pickups. DW has a point too. You are less likely to get buzz with one or both volumes dimed.

    Edit to add: Fretless has a point as well. It could be something to do with the power where you are. Dimmers, florescent lights, and neon lights are all big buzz producers. Other power quality issues can come into play as well. Have you played the bass somewhere else? Have you played anyone else's Jazz at your studio? Have you played the bass through another rig?
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  6. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Right. If this happens everywhere, then home wiring is less likely to be the culprit (although it could still be contributing). If the OP has only played at home, then all possibilites are still on the table.
  7. darren051234


    May 17, 2012
    I did bought this second hand and it is a 1997 MIM Jazz.
    I was a my friend's recording studio and there was a hack load of buzz. BUT it could be I was sitting in front of his mixer and all his pre amps/ converters/ EQs and computer.
    I just tried playing it at home with my ****** practice amp, it's fine, but to me (im picky, sorry) there is still noise when amp is turned up.
    those noise just kinda ge slightly louder when both pickup in on max. but it does die away fair a bit when i dial down the tone.
    I've heard those pots are really ****, will they be an issue?
    or is a power conditioner gonna help?
  8. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    I just posted about this in another thread regarding American active Jazz Basses. Mine is a 2009. I changed the strings and found the ground wasn't very good under the bridge, I addressed that but still have a mean hum. I even posted on Fender's facebook page how ridiculous this is. It has the American "Noiseless" pickups installed from the factory. I have Stratocasters that make less noise than this thing. There is a ton of articles about this on the web. Some show a ground loop issue with the way the guitar is wired. Does yours have active noiseless pickups? Just curious if it is the same as my issue? The only other possibility would be a poor or lack of ground to your amp.
  9. darren051234


    May 17, 2012
    when i was attempting to record at my mate's place, I have switched off all the lights. however the buzz comes in and out as i move around with my bass. is that a hint of something?
  10. darren051234


    May 17, 2012
    mine is a passive vintage stock mexican Jass pickup. u have a link of ur other thread?
  11. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
  12. Yes, it means that the noise is being broadcast into the room by an object containing a transformer. The pickups are pulling it in from the air, so power conditioners and the like won't help.
    Did you shield the underside of the pickguard? The pickup cavities? All shielding is grounded?
    If you've done all of this, you'll need to identify the noise source and remove it or yourself from the vicinity.
    To use your bass as a locator, turn one pickup off and the other on. This should make the noise much louder, and thus make it easier to identify the offending appliance.
  13. darren051234


    May 17, 2012
    I have shield everything: pickguard, the control cavity plate.
    next thing im gonna try is shielding right underneath the pickup.
    apparently it gives better tone and less hum?
  14. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    Groom Lake, NV
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yeah. Single-coil pickups and inadequate shielding.
  15. darren051234


    May 17, 2012
  16. It is not possible to have a ground loop in an electric guitar/bass. It's a common myth.

    You need proper shielding of all cavities, and the shielded cavities need to all be connected to ground.
  17. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
  18. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    So let me throw another question into the mix. If you have noiseless pickups shouldn't that eliminate any hum from an outside frequency source? My bass has noiseless pickups and hums pretty bad. I know there are sources for the noise were I play, but I am surprised at how loud it can get. My strat with single coil regular pickups is quieter. Maybe my issue is with the active side of the bass.
  19. Ground loops are a common myth in guitar wiring, or at least they are in internal wiring of the guitar. They can occur between amps and pedals, but not inside the guitar, no matter how many redundant ground paths you have.

    Read here for more info, and for an explanation on the pointlessness of star grounding:

  20. VBassRookie


    Dec 20, 2012
    It was an article about star grounding single coil "passive" pickups. I understand that, all my strats have noise no matter how I shield to some extent. But with active you introduce a second power source. This is where you get the issue.

    It's not a matter of how many redundant paths you have as long as there is one path of least resistance it all goes to the right place. The issue happens when you combine two powered circuits. It is shown in the link above.
  21. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I would say no; the noise-cancelling characteristic is designed to offset hum caused by the fields of the two pickups. External factors, such as dimmer switches, which affect all of the electronic aspects of the setup (beyond the bass itself) may still cause an issue. I'm stretching my limits of knowledge here. If the electrons are in an organic molecule, I could wax on for days. Once you put them into a piece of copper wire, I get stupid. But, my response seems logical to me, for what it's worth.

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