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All my basses hum/buzz through all my amps

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by twinfallsbass, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. @jdh3000 don't ever defeat the ground connection on a power cord. this is what makes the path to ground that causes the breaker to trip during a fault. without a path to ground the faulty equipment will use the operator as a path to ground, possibly resulting in death.

    ground lift button is a different thing.

    edit: quote got all messed up
  2. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016
    I've had to do it that way for years or I wouldn't have gotten through a gig. Maybe I've been lucky so far... I've only been at it 40 years... every musician I've ever played with used them.

    I mean anyone needs to what they feel safe doing.
  3. @jdh3000 perfectly safe if you run your own ground wire outside, haha. unless equipment is double insulated it will have the third prong, and will need it to be bonded to ground to be safe. go ahead and keep defeating it for yourself, but if something goes wrong with the equipment, you will be the ground. so with that in mind make sure when advising others that they understand the risks.

    for clarity, someone above mentioned continuity from the strings to the bond in the outlet. if that is the case, and your amplifier develops a dead short to anything metal within, the strings of your bass will all of a sudden have line voltage present. if the equipment is properly bonded, the breaker will trip or a fuse will blow instead.
    imabuddha and jdh3000 like this.
  4. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    Almost related as it is about electricity in a house. We lost the neutral coming in to the breaker panel. This is a bad thing. Everything got wrecked (almost), even things that were not turned on. The light bulbs mostly made it, and my youngest son and a DC power plant with big batteries, four hour back up, filtering etc., none of his stuff was lost.
  5. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016

    Yes, if there us any doubt about what you are doing, always err on the side of caution. I just never thought anything about it.. The shock from a microphone with a grounded was more than I could stand in a night so I opted to use one. Since going wireless I never had that issue.

    If possible run an extension cord to another outlet, that might defeat a problem if it's not all on the same breaker.

    But this is just what I've done. The ground prong is there for a reason. Proceed in anything electrical with caution...

    A really good safe option is a power conditioner. Since our band has gotten one we've had 0 problems with hum or shock.
    Ours was around $800 but there must be more affordable alternatives out there.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  6. Also fluorescent lighting.
    Loring likes this.
  7. Is this everywhere or just at home? I would suggest a power conditioner as in a Furman or a decent one
  8. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin Estimator Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    May 13, 2015
    Greenville, NC
    Are the receptacle boxes metal? They should be.
  9. @jdh3000 should have mentioned this earlier, but if you have an extension cord made with a two prong cord end on one side, and a GFCI outlet on the other, that will keep you isolated from the building and eliminate the risk of your own equipment killing you. this is not approved by any electrical code, but replacing a receptacle in an ungrounded box with a GFCI is approved as a permanent solution if re-wiring is not already being done.
  10. Rat Blitz

    Rat Blitz

    Jan 6, 2009
    I know this sounds really simple but I was trading a a bass with a guy that came over last month. And the bass starting humming and he thought something was wrong with it. He handed it back over to me and no hum. The problem was his cell phone in his back pocket. He put the phone a few feet away and guess what NO HUM. He said he often wondered why he was getting hum back at home as well.
    Even a device like a cell phone can cause interference and hum.
    Test the circuit and try perhaps in a different room with less electrical devices.
  11. jdh3000


    May 16, 2016
    It was in my last post...
  12. JCW308


    Mar 28, 2000
    I had to remove the dimmer switch on my LED lights in the music room. Same problem that you are having. Problem resolved after removing the dimmer.
  13. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1 Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2012
    Richmond , Va
    Crappy current. Does your gear hum elsewhere?
  14. twinfallsbass

    twinfallsbass Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2005
    Somewhere in AZ
    So I have confirmed the buzzing/hum noise through my amps are the LED lighting and dimmer switch I installed the other weekend. Looks like I’ll either have to play during the day or turn up the music that I play along with. This is really annoying, but at least I know what it is now. Thanks for everyones advice, stay healthy my friends.
    David Jayne likes this.
  15. PaulCISSA

    PaulCISSA Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Northest New Jersey
    Glad you found the root cause. I decided to write to share the same saga at our rehearsal basement belonging to our guitarist. The guy's a home builder. Has a showcase-level home. Just beautiful inside and out. He finished the basement specifically as a music studio and did the same thing - dimmable LEDs through-out. We had our first rehearsal with "all wireless" stage configuration last month. Mics, IEMs, mixer, instruments - all wireless.

    Everything wireless was experiencing drops, noise, loss of connection over 2.4gb to the mixer - it was a complete train-wreck. The first indication that it was internal noise was when shutting the instrument transmitters off, we were seeing a huge noise floor on the signal meters at the receivers. We did a simple test with an old battery powered AM radio (yes I'm old) and the amount of noise was deafening. I returned the next week with an HP broadband RF test set that can hear and plot 1.8hz to 25Ghz. We identified spurious emissions from every fixture in the basement including the controller for his lighting, water conditioner, furnace and A/C controller, and even the public utility gas meter.

    Electrical noise is everywhere, but most of what we use in our craft is equivalent to a lot of wire - therefor - tuned circuits AKA antennas. Anything RF that sees those tuned circuits and is correct or divisible in frequency will resonate and you get noise. LEDs are as bad as welding rigs.
    twinfallsbass likes this.
  16. AGCurry

    AGCurry Supporting Member

    Jun 29, 2005
    St. Louis
    You're in for a bad time if and when you sell your house. Inspectors will be all over that issue.
  17. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Good question, will look into this.

    Luckily it's a rental, so that would be my landlord's problem!
    AGCurry likes this.
  18. Drog


    Feb 3, 2020
    Sounds like a bass player to me, lol
  19. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin Estimator Extraordinaire Supporting Member

    May 13, 2015
    Greenville, NC
    If the boxes are metal then you need to test to make sure that the boxes are grounded. This was standard practice during the era that you say the house was built. Pull the receptacle out of the box and test for voltage between the hot wire and the box. If it shows around 115 volts or so, then the box is grounded. If there is no voltage then the box is not grounded. If the box is grounded then you can run a wire from the box to the ground terminal on the receptacle. You will then be in compliance with electrical codes.

    I know that you're just renting this house but there is an issue of personal safety that you are ultimately responsible for. If you're using amps that have 3 wire plugs and there is no ground, then you are taking your life into your own hands.

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