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Any ideas how to prevent radio signals?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mcbradley, May 12, 2011.

  1. mcbradley


    May 12, 2011
    I saw a post about someone having trouble with amps picking up the radio; however, I seem to have the problem with my bass and not my amp. I have a 2000 Warwick Corvette Standard 5, and it picks up radio signals frequently. It seems to happen regardless of which amp I'm playing through, whether an SWR Workingman, Mesa Boogie MPulse 600, or even if I'm plugged in direct at my church.

    Is this an issue with the bass itself or possibly the pickups? I'm thinking of upgrading to a Warwick Thumb BO, used of course, but I'm wondering if I'll likely have the same issues. Any thoughts? I've asked the luthier that has done work on my acoustic, and he didn't have any good suggestions. I'm also considering a Lakland 55-02.

    Has anyone had experience with their bass transmitting radio signals? Are there any fixes out there other than swapping basses? Is it something that Warwicks have in common?
  2. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Try using a ferrite choke (google it) to filter out the rf. Cheap and easy solution. I have used this in the past for the same issue and it worked. The choke i bought is a torroid (donut) as opposed to a bead. I loop my instrument cable through it a few times at the end the plugs into the amp and rf goes away. Good luck.
  3. bombpop14


    Apr 10, 2010
    Irvine, California USA
    Endorsing Artist Ampeg Amps
    In my experience it's usually a bad instument cable, or a microphonic tube if you have a tube head. A bad cable is the most likely culprit.
  4. mcbradley


    May 12, 2011
    I'll try to google the "ferret choke." Regarding the instrument cable, I've tried all kinds of different ones. I've tried different amps. The only consistent variable in the equation is my bass, so it would seem to me that it has to be something with the bass, presumably the electronics inside.
  5. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    it's FERRITE, not the animal. It is like the big bead on your power supply for your laptop or monitor. It filters out RF signals riding on the cable. Some clamp on, others are like a donut and you loop the cable through.

    If it IS your instrument, it is possible there is a bad solder joint in there that is acting to pick up the radio signal.
  6. In my experience as well; ^^^ this
  7. mcbradley


    May 12, 2011
    Oh right, ferrite choke. My bad. I'll have to try that. Unless every cable I've used for the last 5 years is bad, it's likely my bass...

    Maybe I can have a luthier look at the solder joint. It does sound like it's not something that is typical with Warwick basses or really any bass. That's good.
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    You can also use a very small value capacitor, about 5-10 pF. Solder between the hot and ground. It will remove the radio frequency content, but not affect the tone.

    You can also take two pieces of solid insulated wire (not stranded) about 2" long, and 22 to 24AWG. Strip one end on both, and twist them tightly together. Then solder the two stripped ends between hot and ground, leaving the unstripped ends disconnected. That's called a "gimmick" capacitor.
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Dude, try the ferret choke! It's a fun dance!

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