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Buzz issue when tone knob is turned up

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by citizenchris099, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. First off let me start w/the standard "im a noob so forgive me" intro
    I have searched the forum looking for posts that sound like my issue and have learned quite a bit though I'm not sure how much any of it has to do with my specific issue. Also if this is in the wrong forum I apologize

    Im using a Squire Affinity J-Bass and the Fender Rumble amp. It was a gift and I plan on getting a better bass/amp someday but for now I gotta go w/what I got.

    My problem is simple, when I turn the tone knob up on my bass I get a pretty bad buzz. The amp does not buzz by itself. Only when the bass is plugged in and i turn the tone knob up do i get a buzz.

    I know its not specifically something wrong w/my bass/amp as I've taken both to two other houses and no buzz at all. I've plugged the bass into another amp as well at one of my friends houses and no problem. At my friends houses I used the same 1/4 cable that I did at home as well.

    So its obviously something to do w/my apartment. The question is what specifically.

    Thanks for any and all assistance :)
  2. old wiring, with bad grounds or no grounds at all will cause a hum.
  3. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    You have bad grounds, and/or things like light dimmers in your house.

    Shielding he bass will help reduce noise in your house, but it's the power outlets and not the bass or amp.
  4. thanks so much for the replies :)

    so i should google "shielding bass" or "bass shielding" ?

    also will a power conditioner help at all?
  5. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
  6. Just checked the Amp again for any sounds by itself

    at half volume their is no real audible noise

    at full volume their is a noticeable hiss (as apposed to a buzz)

    with all eq bands maxed and volume maxed their is a sound akin to a static hiss

    if I plug just my 1/4 cable in (sans Bass) it procudes the exact buzz i described in the OP

    same with my compostie (rca) cables I connect to my laptop. if i plug just the composite cables w/o the laptop...buzz

    not sure if this helps or not
  7. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Nothing is 'broken' - that buzz is a characteristic of single-coil pickups, which your Jazz bass has. Shielding & grounding help, but will never eliminate the buzz, at least in my experience. That's the price you pay for the "single coil tone". If shielding and grounding really eliminated hum, there wouldn't be any need for split-coil pickups, humbuckers or other hum-cancelling designs, would there? :meh:

    The buzz produced from just having the cable plugged into the amp is normal too. So is the slight amount of hiss at high volumes. All your gear is fine.

    I also do not think a power conditioner will help reduce the noise in any way. If you need a 'magic box' to eliminate the hum you might want to check out the Electro-Harmonix Hum Debugger. It's an effects pedal that goes between your bass and the amplifier - it uses digital signal processing to mathmatically 'subtract' the hum from your signal. $120.
  8. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan.

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    Or you could get a set of Dimarzio jazz bass pickups for about $100.
  9. THE SAW


    Sep 14, 2006
    I own a 62 Jazz bass that buzzes when the tone knob is turned up high even when the pickups are OFF.

    Who turns the tone up past 1 anyhow? ;)
  10. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    The problem is psychoacoustic, you hear more buzz when the tone knob is up because there's more signal in the ranges where our ears are more sensitive.
    Unlike citizenchris099 you seem to have a wiring issue.
  11. I'm so green to this scene guys thanks so much for the help.

    I get that hum is normal I guess I was just thrown off by how loud it is at my apt and completely gone at my friends/families houses.

    Is it abnormal to turn the tone knob up? I must admit that even when their is no buzz when im at my friends house...I really don't like the sound

    will look into the Dimarzio pickups.
    I've looked into Seymore Duncan and they seem rad

    I'll check that Electro-Harmonix Hum Debugger...does it really work
    even in conditions such as mine??
  12. not just you. got the same thing :p

    btw how much will humbucking pickups help the issue i described in the op?
  13. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    You dial it until it sounds good.

    A lot. Another excellent, if not the best, humbucking J-bass pickup for your consideration is Wilde J45.
  14. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Just a note: I recently picked up a Jazz and found a buzz that didn't abate when I touched the strings. At first I thought I had some issue in the gear I was using, or that the shielding was poor. However, I opened up the control plate to find that the ground wire leading to bridge simply fell out of the routing hole, and therefore must have not been touching the bridge. Popped off the bridge, fed the ground wire through and problem solved. If your buzz doesn't change when touching or not touching the strings, the issue I describe above is a quick and easy thing to check for, and the solution if needed is free.
  15. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
  16. this was one of the first bits of troubleshooting I was given. ruled this out though when I took my gear to two other home studios and had no hum/buzz at all
  17. if the Electro-Harmonix Hum Debugger works in real life as well as it does in the demos on youtube i think this could solve my problem :)

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