Bad earth

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by kevinod, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. kevinod


    Jun 29, 2002
    Cork, Ireland

    I'm not sure whether this is the right forum to put this q in, but I just was hoping you guys could confirm something for me... I'm pretty sure I'm right but have got 'expert' opinions that tell me otherwise.

    I have a 4 string, fretted, passive, Tanglewood Rebel 4K bass. When I plug it into an amp, with the bass hanging on my shoulder with a strap, (and heres the important bit) not physically touching the bass apart from whats leaning against me, theres a buzzing noise via the speaker. Not just a slight one, its very noticable. Also, as the sales guy suggested, I'm not just sitting right next to the amp when this happens.

    The instant I touch any metal part of the bass (i.e. strings, part around the jack, bridge) the buzzing stops, the instant I let go again the buzzing is back.

    This for me should not happen, there should be (relative) silence from the speaker while I'm not touching the bass and not playing. Its simply a bad earth in the bass, right?? Shouldn't it earth through the cable to the amp some way??

    Reason theres any doubt in my head, I brought it into the shop I bought it in (while still under warranty I'm slow to mess with it myself), they took a description of the problem, and sent it to their repair guy. This guy they tell me makes his own basses and all, fair enough, sounds like the guy knows what hes up to then. Only problem is 2 days later I get the bass back with an explanation that the guy didn't do anything to it, said all basses make this buzzing noise.

    Even when I touch (not play, just touch) a string it gives a spike in the speaker. I don't think it did this all the time, was it just I noticed it recently but I'm pretty sure it hasn't been. To back up the claim he picked up a bass on display (new) and plugged it in, exact same effect. Other people I've played with have noticed and commented though, so it seems to be an unusual noise to be happening.

    Please let me know, its really bugging me!!
    thanks in advance,
  2. You are right kevin, it's a grounding problem.
    Both of my basses had the same problem, but adding some shielding and rewiring (removing ground loops) solved it.
    Not all basses make this buzzing-noise, only the ones with crap wiring. (wich is probably most of them)

    Check out the guitarnuts site for info on rewiring, shielding and grounding :
  3. Open her up! heehee

    Check the wire that grounds the bridge. Sometimes it is soldered onto it, other simes just screwed down. If its screwed down undo it and clean that are with steel wool, strip the end of the wire a bit more to get a fresh contact, screw it back on.

    If its soldered, clean it up still if you cannot get your hands on a soldering iron. If you can, resolder the joint.

    Rewiring maybe an option, depends on how much cash you have.

    Also check your guitar lead and make sure the wires inside are nice and secure.

    You are correct, it is most likely grounding, the reason the tech gave it back... *shrugs* probably got better things to do that will give him more pay.