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Cell Phone Interference

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by WoodyG3, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I noticed the other day that was getting this odd, high pitched sort of interference that sort of sounded like ultra-fast Morse code when playing. It lasted several seconds, then went away. After it happened a couple more times, I asked Dan at Premier Bass what it might be and he told me it was probably from my cell phone. Sure enough, if I have my cell phone on, and in my pocket, it apparently occasionally gives off a signal that is picked up by my bass preamp.

    Just thought I'd share since I figure some others might be getting similar interefence and wonder where it's coming from. If I turn off the phone, or put it a few feet away from the bass, I don't have the problem.
  2. evermelon


    Apr 20, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have had that exact experience with a tonepump preamp, seamed to happen when my phone was refreshing emails or other activity, same thing had to move my cell phone away. I haven't had any issues with my other basses with preamps.
  3. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Yep. It only happens when a phone is using 3G service. I always know when someone in my band gets a text, or a call because we can all hear that sound you describe through our amps.
  4. Neek


    Nov 26, 2008
    South Florida
    This happens to my studio monitors every once in a while, but there are times when I leave my phone on top of the monitors and there are no interference issues. I wonder what the deal is with that?
  5. Comes out of my computer speakers if my phone is too close. Comes out of the whole FOH system if I have the phone too close to the mixer.

    I've got an iphone: "Airplane mode" fixes the problem.

    There's lots of similar issues that can be created by proximity. Our in house headset intercom system picks up nasty noises if someone with a headset on leans too close to their laptop.
  6. Baer


    Jul 8, 2008
    I get the same thing occasionally with my car stereo when my phone is in the compartment right below the stereo.
  7. Different amps are sensitive at seemingly different times.

    My drummer is a notorious texter and sits next to my amp, so i get that lovely sound quite a few times at practice.
  8. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Just the standard thing of NSA checking your emails, texts and current location for political activity. They don't do it constantly, just when they are in the mood...:bag:
  9. aparker82


    Sep 19, 2012
    This is an issues with GSM phones only, has to do with the spectrum they use, GSM would be carries such as AT&T or T-Mobile.

    You won't get this from CDMA phones such as Verizon or Sprint, unless they are the international version and you have the GSM chipset enabled.
    Lownote38 likes this.
  10. Interesting, I did not know that. I'm ATT, so it fits your statement.

    ATT has the worst reception everywhere I go . . . except where I live, where it is absolutely the best.
  11. I've only had Verizon and this would happen to me, even back when I had a non-3G phone.
  12. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Yeah, Verizon on an iPhone is where I'm getting the interference.
  13. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I've got a scientific, subjective, opinionated, biased, in need of a doubleblind test, wood matters, wood doesn't matter, power conditioned, P-bass is the best, Fridge is the best, expensive cabled fix.

    Turn the phone off. :)
  14. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    my old blackberry was always sending my mesa tube amp the cell pulses
  15. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA

    Yep, that works!
  16. oscarscz


    May 4, 2016
    Does anyone have an audio clip of this sound? Im recently getting some noise in my amp and Im starting to think its cellphone interference. Can anyone help me?

    Attached Files:

  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    I have never heard cell phone interference sound like that. The OP does a good job describing it, it is a "click-click-click" kind of sound, like morse code.

    Have you tried different cables with your amp? Have you tried it in a different room or place?
  18. oscarscz


    May 4, 2016
    Yes I've tried it in different rooms, even in the middle of a gig it started, but it only starts when Im receiving or sending a message
  19. Flaked Beans

    Flaked Beans

    Sep 9, 2005
    Meh, back in the day we didn't have cell phones and our amps worked perfectly fine!
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  20. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Does it occur when your phone is not on or near the amp? The issue described in the OP would stop when the phone is moved away from the amp. If this isn't the case with your amp you should really take it to see a tech.

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