Is it my house wiring?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JellinWellen, Dec 21, 2013.


  1. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    So lately I've noticed my noise and hum increases substantially depending on where I stand in the room. The worst places for me to stand are:

    Next to light-switches
    Right next to walls that have light-switches installed into them
    My amp (I get a major jump in idle hum the closer I stand to my amplifier head).

    My question is, is this due to an issue with my house wiring? Because at music stores I can't get a peep out of my bass. Regardless of volume level. If it is my wiring, is there any way to combat it? Thanks.
  2. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
  3. tmdazed

    tmdazed

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    do you have florescent fixtures or dimmers wired up in the circuit?
  4. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Nope, although I just moved my rig out of the room and into the middle of the hallway and plugged it in there. At least 95% quieter on all accounts. I walked back through the door with my bass plugged into the hallway rig and as soon as I stepped through the doorway I heard the noise get louder from there.

    The light switches and walls in the hallway do nothing in terms of noise. Same goes for being really close to my amp head.
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  6. jastacey

    jastacey

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Houston,Tx
    How old is the house?
  7. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Not too old, 20-23 years old. Mid 90s I believe
  8. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    What kind of bass, pickups and shielding in the bass?
  9. P Town

    P Town Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Is your bass shielded?

    Is your house haunted?
  10. knarleybass

    knarleybass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    Location:
    Tustin, CA
    Disclosures:
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    I would say it's the wiring in the house, or it could be that you are close to the power pole transformer
  11. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    The room is adjacent to the breaker right outside, but I don't remember if the transformer is there or in the backyard.

    My bass is a precision and yeah everything is shielded and grounded on my bass. It could probably use some more/better shielding but it seems to just be sensitive to that room and certain others for the most part.
  12. Jim C

    Jim C Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Odd for a Precision as the dual pup acts as a humbucker.

    Here's one for you all though.
    I just moved into a remodeled house with 2-200 amp panels, and a full set of inspections.
    Ive had this 72 J bass for a long time and haven't played it for a few years.
    Just fell in love with it again.
    It sounds reasonably quiet with 1 pup in the 1940's rehearsal house with a single 100 amp service and non-grounded outlets.
    It sounded the same at my old house (circa 1965) with grounded outlets.
    It buzzes like a chainsaw here (same amps have been tried at all locations).
    No dimmers or florescent (including CFL's) turned on in the basement where I practice.
    I can only assume RF. It is quiet with both pups up.
    For you EE's; is it possible that there is that much noise on the line coming in?
    Would finding a circuit on the other side of the buss bar potentially help?
  13. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Location:
    N.H.
    AC Circuits may not be grounded. Possible miswire in the switch box.
    An easy way to check is a 115 VAC outlet tester.
    Home Depot, $15 or so. Just plug it in ,LED's tell you
    whats going on.
    Great tool for any gigging musician.
  14. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Ill have to grab one and see about it this weekend
  15. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Location:
    Spokane, Washington
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    So if your amp is plugged in in the room, and you are standing in the room with your bass, it makes noise, but when you leave the room, the noise decreases -- and when you have the amp plugged in in the hallway, and you're standing in the hallway, it doesn't make much noise, but when you walk into the room, the noise increases?

    Have I got that right?
  16. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Yes you've got it right, the noise does increase when I walk back into the room. Although it still isn't as loud as when the amps in there as well.
  17. 1954bassman

    1954bassman

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Hickory, NC
    1- you have tried a different cord, right?
    2 - could be the bridge ground wire has come disconnected.
  18. ahc

    ahc

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    No. Virginia
    It's the NSA.

    :bag:
  19. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    [​IMG]

    More seriously... amps can be quite noisy. My Ashdown head has a fan in it, and single coils pick up the motor noise no problem. Even an amp without a fan will produce some noise. Sit your bass on top of your amp when it is all plugged in and running. I imagine inadequately shielded wiring in the walls will be noisy as well. I used to be able to pick up CRT monitors as well, when they were still in vogue.
  20. Neon Scribe

    Neon Scribe Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA; Nyack, NY
    RF can be a real problem. I live about a mile from a major FM and TV transmission tower in Seattle and have had severe trouble, including a G&L L-2000 that picked up the local NPR station! Most of the time it has been fixable with improved shielding and grounding in the instrument, but sometimes it couldn't be eliminated completely. Active electronics seem to cause the most trouble. I've notice the noise changes depending on which direction I face while playing. You may have to use a different bass to eliminate the problem.
  21. jastacey

    jastacey

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Location:
    Houston,Tx
    Is the main panel box on any of the walls? ..... if it is, it could be all the wiring home runs, are converging to that point and with all those circuits fanning out from the breaker panel, makes for a very electrical noisy place

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