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Click-clack sound from Music Man

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by GreggBummer, Sep 11, 2019 at 10:40 AM.

  1. Rayjay

    Rayjay Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    I’ve found in my experience there is something about Music Man’s where the pickups seem to have a natural compression and you can’t dig in “all the way” like you can on a P. I got the best results playing soft to moderate with compression to level it out and add some fatness.

    Edit: to clarify, when you dig in you get a noticeable clipping out sound.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 3:26 PM
  2. landrybass


    Oct 23, 2011
    I’ve never cared for the big pole pieces in MM pickups, because of the clack. Consider a different pickup (Aguilar just released one which looks awesome!) or do like Joe Dart and slap a couple strips of tape over the pole pieces.
  3. I had that problem REAL BAD with a '90's Fender Jazz Plus 5. It had a switch to go from active to passive. Switched to passive the clicking went away. I didn't like passive and wanted active so I put up with it. Everyone else told me they didn't notice the clicking until I pointed it out.

    Then we went into the studio and everyone heard it. So I bought a MusicMan Stingray and still had the problem but the overall tone of the instrument seemed to compliment the clicking. I dig in way too hard but . . that's my style. I've not had this issue with passive instruments, so I bought a Precision for back up and recording.
  4. I also found that heavier gauge strings helped with the clicking a little.
  5. IBJammin


    Apr 16, 2015
    Is your pickup loose? Like, can you wiggle it? What happens if you tap on the pickup (not with a string)? Loose pickups can cause that. Solution for that is replace the foam or otherwise secure the pickup (if that is the issue).
  6. BigBear77

    BigBear77 Supporting Member

    Aug 30, 2017
    either raise your action, or if you like it where it is lower the PUPs; or both.
  7. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Upgrade the preamp to a 2-band clone, switch to an alnico pickup.
    That'll settle the "clack".
    Your ear may hear MM in your head, but what you are playing doesn't have the same electronics payload.

    The same things come up when MM guys get into ceramic vs alnico, 2-band vs 3-band, series vs parallel religious flame wars.

    Up to you whether you like series or parallel for your use case after that.
  8. The pickup is secure. It’s set pretty low as well.

    As far as tape on the pickup, I’ll give it a try.
  9. Flog

    Flog a Viking in Tejas

    Oct 18, 2017
    Denton, Tx.
  10. This is almost certainly caused by inadvertently touching the strings against the pole pieces - lower the E side of the pick up a little.

    I have had this issue in several situations until I learned better:-

    1) Band recorded live from the desk - bass DId
    2) Digging in too hard
    3) Muting the B on a 5 string - only audible particularly badly in solos or breakdowns

    Remember a Stingray has far more dynamics than a P bass - which was essentially designed to replace the role of a double bass so it could be heard (pick up technology and amp technology not developed in those days), and to create precise notes. Back in the 70s guys would play them very hard to get a punchy sound.

    You really don't need to dig in as hard for an aggressive sound on a Stingray because it was designed with all that in mind in the first place!! But if your technique involves that then lower your pick up as described, maybe raise your action a bit, and maybe cover the pick up poles under the E and A with electrical tape. Turning the treble down a big might help also!

    Have fun!
    GreggBummer likes this.
  11. TOflybass06


    Jan 3, 2019
    Does it only happen when you are playing with a string above the string you are playing (for example when you are playing on the A string, or the E string when you are playing a 5 string)? If so, adjust your string saddles or truss rod to get the proper string height.
    BassistDale likes this.
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    raspy tone??

  13. Holdsg

    Holdsg Talkbass > Work Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    2 words for you


    dr doofie likes this.
  14. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    He has the OG US-made Sub, so it already has the 2-band preamp and alnico pickup.

    Maybe he has the treble knob up too much along with too heavy handed.
    jgroh likes this.
  15. Cave Puppy

    Cave Puppy "Humph Bo, he's wond!" - John Lennon

    Jan 13, 2015
    If the action is too low either from the neck not having enough relief, string height set to low, or the nut being cut too deep, all this will cause the strings to sit lower which in turn will cause a clacking noise when your finger, when done "plucking" a string, hits the one below it (or above), and causes the string NOT being plucked to contact the fretboard. I know of what I speak.
    BassikBrad, GreggBummer and Kaplan like this.
  16. ThingsAbove


    Jul 11, 2011
    Rub Crisco into the strings... that ought to smooth 'em right out.. Scientifically like speaking; it should pull the EQ down 1.2kHz per spread.
    Rabidhamster likes this.
  17. I have had that problem in the past. It was not the pickups or pole pieces. It was the strings striking the frets. The answer was to play lighter and raise the action up a bit.
    sears and arbiterusa like this.
  18. Try using an amp that doesn't have a horn in it.
  19. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Interesting. I have the same issue on my Cort fretlesses. Not on my Warwick, not on my Steinberger, not on my old Squier fretless Jazz, just the Corts. After a LOT of analysis (like you, I can EQ most of it out but don't want to) I have found it's caused by the string whacking against the end of the fingerboard. I've dressed one and that seemed to make the problem largely go away, I'm thinking I may have a bit of barely visible "ski jump" right at the end of the fingerboard.

    This is probably not your problem as you play a fretted. But it would be worth it to try and hunt down exactly WHERE that string is striking your fretboard.

    Flats clicked too, for me.
  20. Check to see if the strings are making contact with the last fret.

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