Do I Need a Noise Suppressor? If so, help me pick one!

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Obese Chess, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Hi folks,

    My signal chain is hot enough that even at low volumes at band practice I get fairly significant hum or buzz coming through my amp. This can be stopped by turning my bass all the way down or even by resting my hands on the strings. This is my first active bass so I haven't had to weed this out before. The hum is especially obnoxious at practice, and I can't imagine what it's going to be like live with in-ears.

    My chain is Dingwall NG-2 -> Peterson StroboStomp -> Darkglass B7K -> BBE Opti-comp -> Hartke 2500 -> Hartke 4x10 (I have a 482i Sonic Maximizer that I run through the effects loop of the amp at smaller shows, if this makes a difference).

    Do I need a noise suppressor or something like it, or is my issue rooted in something else?
    If option one: which should I get?
    If option two: what am I doing wrong?

  2. Hum that can be canceled by touching the strings? Is that a grounding issue?
  3. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Possible, I suppose, but I would hope unlikely at this price point.

    Then again, who knows what I goofed up when I changed out the bridge. Would that be a likely point to check? I know there's a grounding wire there.
  4. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    I use a Boss NS-2, but mostly because it powers most of my other pedals too. It does come in handy though.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    A grounding issue would get louder when you touch them strings/metal/bridge. OP, you are getting RF interference. It might not be the bass but that is a potential culprit. The ground wire is a very possible cause, double check it is getting good contact. I am not certain about Combustion pickups but Dingwall shields their Canadian made pickups in foil prior to potting them in epoxy. That being said, they do fail from time to time. I had to add additional shielding to my ABZ4 in order to remedy some RF interference it was getting.

    I would recommend you remove all the your pedals and give it a test to see if it is the bass or not. I would also ensure you try swapping out cables as I have had cheap 1/4" cables give me RF interference before. I would not recommend getting a BOSS NS-2 for your issue. They are tone suckers. If you get a gate the only one to get in my books is the ISP Decimator. At this point I would still troubleshoot though.
    Bassist4Eris and Obese Chess like this.
  6. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    RF Interference is certainly possible and strikes me as more likely. We're a five piece band and we all use wireless in-ears and wireless transmitters. I'll play around with the bass today at practice and see if it hums without pedals.

    If so, I'll check the shielding and make sure that the ground wire is connected.
    If not, I'll look into a pedal - I've had guitarists with good luck with the Decimator in the past. The NS-2 is also popular, but the tone suck issue is new to me. I understand they're not true bypass but I figured that as long as the pedal was on, it doesn't matter, is that not the case? Is the Decimator true bypass?

    Thanks for the help, all.
  7. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    Also change the order of the comp and B7k so that noise introduced by the B7k doesn't get brought up due to compression.

    Maybe also check your power supply and cable placement in relation to your audio cables.
  8. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    I'm not sure I understand this part.
  9. Swimming Bird

    Swimming Bird

    Apr 18, 2006
    Wheaton MD
    I've had noise issues by having my cables akimbo. You may need to rearrange if your board is messy as mine was.
  10. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Gotcha, my board is fairly neat (just three pedals) but I'll check on this! Thanks!
  11. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Okay, the quest continues - the pedalboard is quite tidy.

    I can solve the "hum" issue by touching ANY piece of metal in the signal chain - strings, bridge, even the metal housing of my Darkglass. The hum is not audible through anybody's in-ear monitors, just my cabinet.
  12. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    Yes. That is where a bass is grounded. There should be a wire coming out of the body that is soldered to the bridge. If it isn't there or is not properly soldered, it will cause a hum.
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  13. Obese Chess

    Obese Chess Spicy Big Dad Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2005
    Portland, OR
    It was not soldered when I changed out the bridge as far as I could tell - it's an ABM bridge with individual saddles rather than a one-piece.
  14. MojoPenguin


    Jul 11, 2014
    Europe Bro'
    I had the same issue and it came once from the AC cord of the amp which was faulty, and the second time from bad cables. You might want to check that as well ;)
    Obese Chess likes this.
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Does the issue persist if you remove the board from the equation? I would double check your cables and your power supply. If at all possible, try your rig in another location and see if the issue persists.
    Obese Chess likes this.
  16. morgan138


    Dec 10, 2007
    Yeah +1 for this being some kind of ground issue, not something you need a noise gate for. Which is good news!
    DiabolusInMusic and punisher911 like this.
  17. Obese Chess,
    If none of the above advice work, and the hum is 'B', it could be a 60 Hz hum. I have had luck with the Electro Harmonix Hum Debugger to remove this issue if the sound is coming from the bass and/or pedals. This is not a noise suppressor pedal.
  18. Sunset Shalom

    Sunset Shalom

    May 9, 2016
    I had this same issue with my favorite strat after doing some work on it. I believe the ground was not on the bridge which was the culprit.

    That said your power supply could also be the problem if the noise is only present when using your pedals. If that is the case you may need some isolated power supplies.

    As for a noise gate, I recently got a Line 6 constrictor:

    It is a digital compressor but has a simple gate built into it, I got mine for 45$ which is a pretty sweet deal. It has 3 compressor modes modeled after classic tube comp and 2 different styles of modern pedal comps. The only downside is the tonecore pedals don't have any bypass and are always on, not the worst for a comp/ noise gate though and you can always put it in a switchable loop if you want to bypass it easily. It also doesn't work very well with the comp cranked past 75% or so where it starts "pumping". Personally I find comp sounds at milder levels anyways and this pedal can get plenty compressed if you need it.
  19. DiMarco

    DiMarco Guest

    Feb 4, 2010
    Definitely do not get a noise suppressor. In doing so you would be fighting symptoms instead of fixing the cause.
    Humming gone when touching ground (metal housing of your pedals) means it IS a grounding issue for sure.
    morgan138 and DiabolusInMusic like this.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 23, 2021

Share This Page