Bass Hiss with high Treble?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bryn503, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. Bryn503


    Jul 5, 2011
    Hello, i have been playing bass for almost 2 years now, but i know virtually nothing about bass/guitar electronics. Anyway, the bass im playing is a Cort Action DLX. The bass is active, and when i turn the treble up, i get a good amount of hiss through the amp. The hissing stops when i touch the strings, which through searching this forum, i seem to think means it needs to have the shielding fixed. Anyway, i was wondering how difficult of a job this is to do, and how much it would cost to have the local luthier do.

    Off topic, does anyone have any links to web pages that explain bass electronics to people with no knowledge? I would really enjoy getting into the electronics of basses, but need a place to start my research.
  2. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009

    The word has to be wrong here. "Hiss" makes a noise like steam escaping from a leak. I'd say what you have is what we call "hum" even though it seems to be higher frequencies rather than a low tone. Basically what it is would be higher harmonics of 60 Hz power hum. The key is it goes away when touch something grounded (strings, jack etc.) Real "hiss" would not go away that easy! (trust me! :))

    So this means your bass needs shielded. The surest way to do this is to get some copper foil. Stew-Mac sells some with conductive glue and you can get more common non-conductive glue copper foil at stained glass places. In either case you also need to get a cheap soldering pencil and some rosin core electronic solder to tack pieces of copper foil together so they are all connected and connected to ground (barrel of jack). Personally I don't trust conductive glue to stay conductive through the years.

    There are beaucoup videos and instructions on this online, some even here in stickies, so I won't give details. But the basic idea is that if you enclose all electronics inside a water-tight conductive box (like copper) that is GROUNDED, it will keep all electronic noises out of your electronics. I say "water-tight" because that is the ideal. Obviously you can't achieve that in practice since for one thing the tops of the pickups have to stick out! But the closer you get to it the better. So you line the cavity AND put foil on the "lid" be it a pickguard or panel on the rear. AND you have to make provisions for the lid to make contact with rest of the box! Dig?

    Copper foil solders pretty nicely so that's good soldering practice. And copper foil always works as shielding when properly installed (sometimes conductive paint has problems). And it will greatly improve the noise level in your bass. Great way to get your feet wet in electronics. And after that next step would be changing pots and the like.

    Good Luck!