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2-Band Stingray, excessive noise from electronics

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by StopAstronaut, Sep 1, 2005.


  1. My mid-90s Stringray has recently (I say recently, over the last maybe 9 months) picked up some rather excessive noise.

    It's intermittent high range crackle more than the average earth buzz. It comes and goes at no discernable interval. I've had the pot unit out to see if there's a loose lead, found nothing as yet, except for one wire which was somewhat pinched between the circuit board and the body. I freed up the wire, replaced the electronics very carefully and locked it back down. seemed OK, but now the buzz is back. All the electronics are original, dated 1995. There's some light corrosion on the pickup poles from when the bass was in storage for about a year, but nothing major.

    I've tried swapping leads (my old Proel Stage Cable seemed to be the source of some of it), no real improvement. Tried other amps, no real change.

    It happens through my two practice amps (Roland Cube 30 and Hartke A35), and seems to be exacerbated a bit by bound strings (cheap Peaveys put on there for practice purposes) for some reason. Haven't played through a bigger rig for a while but I suspect I'll see the same thing. Oh, and my Ibanex GSR 5 through the same amps has some low level earth buzz but not the same behaviour at all.

    Now - I don't remember it being this bad ever, but I was stuck with crappy amps for a while and may have been just putting it down to duff gear. Some buzz is taken out by pushing my finger into the electronics area (so earthing), but not all the high range crackle. The same reduction doesn't happen touching on the strings.

    question is this:

    is there anything in particular I should be looking at or changing to try and cut this buzz down? should I be looking at filtering/gating or EQing it out before it hits the amp? Should I pay out for an overhaul on the electronics? Drop a Seymour Duncan pickup in instead? Is it an ambient thing? should I try changing my practice room (which is full of electronic gear)? Think changing strings for unbound will help?

    any pointers would be great. Ideally I want to retain my twangy sound but lose this buzz, so EQing it out isn't a brilliant option.

    cheers!

    Jason
    http://www.sydneypubguide.net/
     
  2. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Indiana
    My recommendations would be the most simple to try.

    1) try a different new battery. some 9 volts fit in Stingrays a little differently than others (slightly different lengths that have better or worse contact with the leads). If you don't have a fresh new battery in there, that is the most likely culprit.

    2) replace the jack, or at least take a really good look at the jack for any corrosion or loose leads, etc.

    Ernie Ball's tech support/repair service is top notch. Try sending them an email, or call if you're able and they can help you out directly.

    Also, try posting over at the Ernie Ball company forum in the bass section. The tech support guys (and Sterling Ball himself, aka 'Big Poppa') are on there almost everyday.

    Ernie Ball forums
     
  3. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    Dirty connections on the jack socket?
     
  4. You know, I didn't even think of the battery. I think it's got one of those lithium photo batteries in there at the moment - maybe we have the culprit. I'll try and grab a couple of more 'standard' ones tomorrow and see if that helps.

    Now I think of it, the lithium ones pump out a bit more charge than a standard. maybe I'm cooking the pots a bit. Time to nick the battery out of a pedal I think...
     
  5. The jack's pretty clean - todd 4ta suggested battery, which is promising...
     
  6. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    Mr 4ta knows his Stingrays. Let us know how it goes.
     
  7. Sure does. just swapped out the 'super duper lithium' battery for a standard energizer, the high-order buzz is now gone. I've got some lower buzz, but that's just ordinary earth, not nasty electronic buzz. Interestingly (and odd as it seems) taking my shoes off and earthing myself against my PC case while in contact with the strings removes a lot of that buzz... Seems I've got crappy nylon carpet here charging me up to hell with static, but at least the vicious high buzz has gone now.

    who'd have thought? Nylon carpet, eh?

    Human Tesla Coil I may be, but at least the bad buzz is gone. I might look into moving my gear into the other (better carpeted) room when it's vacated. the joys of a three-bedroom house!

    So when I move, Wood floors for me!