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Buzz? Hum? Some gross sound that needs to go away

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jazzbassnerd, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    I bought a cheap squier jazz bass. I know, I know, thats problem number one. But moving along. when i have both pickups turned all the way up there is no problem. As soon as i turn one pickup down the amp strats to hum at me. I ussally only like to play with the back pickup on but this is hindering. Also, even with both pickups turned up i have to be touching something metal on the bass or it makes somekind of buzzing noise.

    Please, HOW DO I FIX THIS???????????

  2. there is nothing to fix, that is FACTORY behavior for that bass....

    the two single coils humbuck when used together, turn one down, and you are no longer humbucking!

    touching a string is required to provide "String ground" to short out noise

    best thing you can do is FOIL-SHIELD AND STAR-GROUND the instrument to make it 200% quieter than factory specs!

    see guitarnuts.com for full instructions

    read through that whole site if you want to understand how your guitar electronics work!
  3. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Well, I haven't picked up anything with the 'Squire' label on it recently, but I've owned several Squire jazz basses in the past, and my main bass is one of the first MIJ Jazz basses - and it says 'Squier' on the headstock. I bought it because it played and felt better than the US instruments with the Fender name and cost much less. Yes, the pickups and hardware are a bit cheap, but those things are easily replaceable. Point being, just because it's a Squire doesn't mean it's something to apologize for. I recently went shopping for basses in the $2k-3k neighborhood and came home emptyhanded because nothing I found was _that_ much better than my good old Squire.

    About your hum problems - all Jazz basses have single coil pickups, as opposed to humbucking (the name explains it all) double coil pups. When you have both of the J bass pups cranked up, they work together, like a humbucker, to cancel some of the hum. Turn one down and you may get some more hum.

    What to do about it? Try looking at environmental factors - flourescent or neon lights, electronic equipment, etc. - oftentimes turning off one of these items will make a huge difference. Also, the electrical wiring where your amp is plugged in - is it properly grounded? - get or borrow a cheap tester that plugs into an outlet and shows if there are any wiring problems (this is suprisingly common).

    After you've done those things, think about replacing the stock pickups - they aren't the greatest. You'll still get noise from upgraded J-style pups, but probably less than from the stock ones.

    There are probably some other things to do that I have forgotten/don't know, others will probably post some good suggestions...

    Good luck sorting it out :)
  4. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    thanks for your help!

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