Buzzing When Not Touching Cable

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Noah Greene, Aug 18, 2020.

  1. Noah Greene

    Noah Greene

    Aug 18, 2020
    I'm getting a loud buzz from the bass when not touching the metal of the cable. Buzz does not go away when I touch other metal parts of the bass. It looks like all the wire connections are solid under the plate. Any ideas? I've tried multiple amps and cables as well.
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Does the buzzing go away when you are touching the metal of the cable? And just what, pray tell, is the metal of the cable? Are you talking about the cable jack cover? Have you experienced this in multiple locations or just one specific area (like a living room.)
  3. Noah Greene

    Noah Greene

    Aug 18, 2020
    The buzzing goes away when I touch the metal cover of the cable at the end that goes into the instrument. I've tried in multiple locations with multiple cables and multiple amps.
  4. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Oh! I just noticed; welcome to TalkBass.
    Given that, it sounds like the bass isn't shielded, or is poorly shielded, and needs to be properly shielded.
  5. Noah Greene

    Noah Greene

    Aug 18, 2020
    Cool. Is it usual for the shielding paint added by the factory when it was made to wear off over time?
  6. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    No, that shouldn't happen and more than the finish flaking off. That doesn't mean it can't happen or that is was adequately shielded to begin with. How surprised would to be to discover that the manufacture diluted the shielding paint to stretch a dollar? Or they they used cheap tuners instead of quality ones that will last decades. Remember they are out to make a buck, and do it as cheaply as possible.
  7. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    if the buzzing goes away when you touch the metal part of the jack on the cable but not the bridge or strings sounds like the bass isn't properly grounded. buzzing due to shielding will not normally go away when you touch a ground. You can get a continuity tester pretty cheap and test your way through the circuit to find the break. I would check that the wire to the bridge is making good contact first.
  8. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Suspended Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Is it a buzz, or a 60 cycle hum?
  9. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    What type of bass is it?

    Your output jack might not be grounded. Some wiring schemes only send a hot signal wire to the output jack and rely on the control plate or pickguard shielding to make the ground connection. If that connection is poor, failing, or nonexistent, this could be your problem.
  10. vid1900


    Dec 12, 2019
    If anyone ever disconnected the grounding lug from the shielding paint, it may not ever make electrical contact again; no matter how well tightened.

    You can check this with a ohm meter, or just buy $5 of copper foil from ebay and properly shield the instrument.

    Customers will bring in guitars they swapped pickups on, and say "I think I wired something wrong...", but when I check it out, the wiring is fine - but the grounding lug is no longer electrically connected to the paint.
  11. Arie X

    Arie X

    Oct 19, 2015
    is this a new issue or this has happened from day 1?
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    Primary TB Assistant

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