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Crackling sound from my spector?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Son of Bovril, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Ok, I have an older Spector Euro LX 5 that I bought 2nd hand, it has the EMG pickups and the EMG preamp inside

    It seems to randomly start making this very loud crackling sound, sometimes when I'm playing or sometimes If I just have it plugged in. After eliminating all other variables I concluded it is definitely the bass and at first I assumed it must be the jack, so I had that changed, still the sound is there, so I had the guitar techs look over the electronics and there are no bad soldering joints or anything like that...

    I know you guys can only speculate as to what the problem could be but if anyone has experienced this or could have a suggestion as to what could be causing it I would very much appreciate the help :atoz:
  2. Sorry if this sounds very "basic" but......Have you tried changing the battery?
    I heard that when batteries start dying the bass tends to sound distorted.
  3. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Yeah, check the battery first.
  4. milo


    Jul 22, 2004
    change the cable
  5. MrRumble


    Aug 8, 2006
    Plymouth, MN
    Cable or jack.
  6. the battery seems fine although the velcro strap installed for holding it doesn't seem that secure... could a battery moving around slightly cause noise?

    @ milo: tx yeah I did try that, I'm certain it is somewhere in the bass, not anything else in the chain
  7. tx, did already change both and neither seems to have fixed it :(
  8. I have virtually the same bass, only a four string. When I got the bass, also second hand, it had the same problem. After changin my battery, battery clip, cable, and everythin else, turns out mine was the jack. Not all cables are created equal. Some 1/4" jacks are bigger around than some other, less expensive ones. The guy I bought the bass from had used monster cables and my regular old off the shelf ends weren't as big. The jack, which was used to and had been stretched by, the monster end of the Monster cable. I used a Monster until could change the jack, and the problem, which was intermittent anyhow, disappeared. First, take advice above and change the cable. Also? Regardless of how good the solder joints are, change the battery clip. For less than three bucks, you can get good, hard plasic battery clips at Radio Shack. A bag of 5 or ten. I change all my clips out because the connections in the typical soft rubber ones can start to ground each other out. And, make sure none of your hot signal cables, be it for power or signal, is touching the shielding in your cavity. That will also cause some crazy noises. This may not help, but hopefully it'll lead you to the culprit. And yes, that velcro is weak as a battery clip. If you wanna check that, tape up the entire battery in electrical tape after puttin it on the clip, taping the clip to the battery, then put velcro on. That may help, not sure.
  9. Thanx Nameless, that point about the different sized jacks is a good one! I use a different cable at the bandroom and last time I played there the noise didn't happen, will check that out tonight!
  10. Anytime. I realized after I'd written you are in South Africa, so my suggestion about headin to nearest Radio Shack may have sounded ignorant, I'm not sure you have them there. But yeah, I avoid so called "high end" cables for that reason. They "stretched" the barrel jack of my Smith and I had to replace it after no issues in ten years wit it. When I got the Spector, it had similar issues, I figured was the same cure, as the guy I got the Spector from used Monster cables. Tried it? And it worked for me. So, replaced Jack wit new one, and have sworn off $50 dollar cables. Heh. Keep me posted. Cuz I still have my Spector, and am learnin about it. You may teach me a few things. Luck, man.
  11. chris.gotfunk


    Mar 21, 2007
    Ashburn, Va
    Another thought I have (not sure if this was mentioned) is dirty pots. If the bass has dust or any kind of tiny debris in the pot, that can cause scratchyness. Best way to test is to turn the knobs and if they crackle... that is more than likely the case. Get some electronics cleaning spray (not sure what kind is best) and spray it in there and just twist and turn those pots.
  12. Tested it last night with the other cable and it was still doing the crackling :(

    it's very intermitent and happens with me just standing with the bass plugged in but not playing

    Even when I turn the volume knob all the way down on the bass, the crackling still goes through to the amp and makes the speakers jump like mad but there is no sound coming from them?
  13. That's a new symptom. Speakers move, but no sound? My Spector acted exactly the same way. Intermittent problem, but since put in new battery harness and jack, the thing is silent. Man, that a tough one. If speakers are movin, no sound, or maybe a slight thump, I think it's a power issue, i.e. the battery positive or negative is touchin the shield paint in cavity. Does the cracklin happen if you move the cable around in the Jack? Maybe the barrel jack is loose slightly, and it's connections are not taped or shrink wrapped, and the movement of the cable is makin those connections touch the shielding paint. If the jack is rotating slightly, because of it's loose nut, that would have the connection touchin only when the jack has rotated to the right position, causin the intermittence of the issue. Speakers movin wit no noise really leads me to believe it's a power issue, as that's how you test a speaker system to see if wired correctly, in phase. I take a speaker cable wit one end removed, plug in the other end to the cab and touch a 9v battery to the bare wires at other end. The speakers move, but no sound. This touchy, as it may have to do wit the amp at this point. Those Spectors strong, could it just be input gain clippin of your amp? Just runnin ideas. And suggestion above of dirty pots also a good one. Hmmm... I'll think a bit.
  14. Thanx man, yeah I've done that with the 9V and a cab to check phasing, I'll have to check out the battery situation in the cavity again and see if I can find anything in there...

    The crackling doesn't start by moving the jack but if the crackling is already happening then fiddling with the jack does sometimes stop it
  15. I HATE puzzles. Heh. Especially when you, or I, KNOW from experience it's somethin so dumb as to make ya not wanna share how dumb ya were for not findin it in first place. Heh. I can tell you it's goin to be somethin very small. If you've done all that to check it out, and it still does it? Either we missin somethin very small (VERy likely), or, there IS somethin wrong wit the preamp (HIGHly UNlikely). Best thing ta do in this case is open her up, plug her in and play her. Preferrably in a quiet location at home. NOT at practice wit impatient guitarists, etc., makin it hard to hear. While open and plugged up, and your amp at a MODest level, wit horn off if possible, start lightly manipulatin connections, including pulling slightly on the pickup leads comin into the cavity. Start wit the connections on the jack, follow each wire to where it goes, and look at all solder joints. I just fixed an EMG loaded guitar wit a similar issue, turns out the connection on the back of one of the pickups was loose, and I plugged it back in (some EMGs come euipped wit molex connectors that elimimate solderin new pickups in). Once I had the plug on tightly, it ran beautifully. Also, on the board of the preamp in the cavity, there should be two dip switches that may have become in between settings. You can check those. And, check the molex connectors to the preamp wherever they appear. Wit the installation of a new jack, etc., one or more of those could hve come a bit loose. Hope this helps, and I'll post if think of anythin else.
  16. I opened it up and did like you said with it hooked up, all the solder joints seem to be ok and the switches are either way (what are they for by the way?)

    I did find that if I messed with the battery attachment it started crackling... so it could be that as you mentioned in one of your earlier posts, I'll make a plan to get hold of a replacement. Till then I've taped the battery connection up but not sure if it'll solve the problem.

    Hopefully this is where the actual problem lies, it's an easy fix if so. Will test it tomorrow at band practice and see if it crackles any more

    thanx for your help :)
  17. Very nice. I had a strong suspicion it was the battery hook up. When findin a replacement, make sure it's the hard plastic kind, not that soft rubber they usually are. The soft ones bend, and are really prone to interior failure from just rmovin batteries all the time. The hard plastic ones are easier to remove from battery, causin much less stress. The switches are to fine tune the treble control to one that either suits your horn better (you can tweak it to be above or below the crossover point of your cab's horn), or, for what you like the extreme highs to sound like. I adjust my switches to CUT the right frequency on this bass, cuz it's top end is frightening and I have to cut my treble control a lot to get the tone I like. A full explanation and eq points for the different positions of the switches is on EMG's site. Really good site, wit diagrams and explanations of their circuits, and active circuits in general. I hope it's the battery clip. If not, stay in touch. Either way, keep me, and others here, posted. May help future Spector owners. Luck, man.
  18. battery? Cord? Could be dirty pots like another member mentioned.
  19. Pietzsa

    Pietzsa Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Orange, Texas
    I had a Spector that I actually thought was a bad Aguilar pre-amp and replaced under warranty only to have the same issue with a new preamp. My problem was more of a high pitched constant drone. Turned out to be the wiring in the battery connection harness had allowed the pos/neg wires to touch inside even with the cover on it. Mine had the internally 18V volt doubler from a single 9V battery. Aguilar and PJ Rubal couldn't figure it out but I finally figured it out. May be worth looking at. Its the part where the battery connects to.
  20. milo


    Jul 22, 2004
    I changed my EMG preamp in rebop because it sounds as there were scrachy pots.
    Bass was under warranty.Now my bass is 2 and half years old and my jack is giving me headaches(scrachy noises,no sound,cable must be in right position) and I must change him.
    Is there a chance that Neutrick gold plug is wider than other plugs and is widening connectors in jack to the point of no return.
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