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Does dirty house power affect some pickups more than others?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by AMp'D.2play, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. AMp'D.2play

    AMp'D.2play Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    I'm getting some crackling/popping sounds coming through my setup at home, only when using my P bass (Fender 60th Anniv, with stock P pickup). When I use my Lakland 44-02, everything is dead silent. Obviously, I don't hear this when I'm playing, and there is no change in volume. Only during those moments when I'm not actually playing will the crackling start. Not constant, but intermittently.

    I've tried mixing & matching cables, cabinets, heads, basses, different rooms in the house, etc. The one constant is the P bass.

    I took the P bass to a shop last week & he said it all checked out. Static electricity was suggested as a possible culprit. Last week at rehearsal in a different house, my bass was silent.

    I guess the problem could be "dirty power" since we have an old house. No fluorescent lighting, but most rooms have ceiling fans. I get this noise only with the P, not the 44-02, even in the same room. (This is different than the 60-cycle hum, which I also get, but am not as concerned about.)

    Is the P pickup just more sensitive to the environment? I'm plugged directly into the wall outlet, not through a surge protector or other device, so I could try that, as well.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Lakland55

    Lakland55 Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Two things: yes, plug in through a surge protector and see if that has any effect. Also I'd be curious to know if there's an input jack issue that hasn't been addressed yet.
  3. westom


    Sep 11, 2009
    Noise means a current incoming on one wire. And outgoing via another. For example, a defect could exist on the incoming wire. But disconnecting that outgoing wire causes the symptom (noise) to disappear. A solution starts by identifying both wires. Only then can the defect on one of those two wires be more easily identified.

    Static electricity causes no noise when something is properly designed and manufactured. Noise from static electricity means a hard defect exists.

    Even oldest wire (ie 1930s) is perfectly good electricity. Old is only a problem when the wire is defective for the same reason a 2010 wire might be defective. Old does not create noise.

    A surge protector recommendation quickly identifies those without electrical knowledge. One need only view numbers on the box to know that. A protector will list a let-through voltage typically 330 volts. That means that protector does nothing - zero - until voltage well exceed 330 volts. You describe a noise that might be less than 0.1 volts. Numbers that quickly expose recommendations based only in advertising and popular urban myths.

    First paragraph says how to identify a reason for that noise. Your tech shop said noise is gone when not connected to that above described current (noise) loop - the incoming and outgoing path.

    People who professionally solve your type of problem are often bald. Sometimes the solution is obvious. Sometimes involves plenty of head scratching. Best starts by finding the always existing incoming and outgoing wires in an electrical current loop.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    What about noise induced by EMF?
    :) True and funny!
  5. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    I wouldnt be surprised. I moved from kansas city area to houston. The electricity down here is the dirtiest Ive ever known. Adding a good monster brand surge protector etc made stereo system sound better, like it did back home. I ahve similair surge protector for my music gear rig to. Bass processor, synths etc etc. Havent tried listening to it without the surge protector. But Id suspect itd sound a bit off like stereo did before adding surge protector.
  6. westom


    Sep 11, 2009
    The words 'good' and 'monster' are antonyms. Unless ‘good scams’ are part of your vocabulary. Monster has a long history of identifying scams. Then selling a similar product for even higher profits.

    Read numbers even found on Monster's box. A 330 let-through voltage means it does nothing - remains inert - until voltage exceeds 330 volts. How often is your 120 volts exceeding 330 volts? A number that would explain why you are replacing dimmer switches and digital clocks how often? Daily?

    The OP describes a current loop with maybe 0.1 volts. 330 volts and 0.1 volts are same only when one ignores numbers.
  7. I'm not an electronics guy but I am a union electrician and my 2 cents worth(warning actual value may be less LOL)is that any motor,like a fan motor,refrigerator compressor,etc.or anything with a transformer-fluorescent lites,any electronics with an internal transformer,etc.can put harmonics into that circuit.Try turning off the circuit breaker(or fuse)that supplies the recep you're plugging into and see what else is on the circuit.Also I didn't see whether your recep is grounded or not,if it's ungrounded I wouldn't plug my amp into it...and don't assume its actually grounded just because it's got a grounded type recep.See if you read approx.120volts from the ground on your recep face to the hot on your recep.Good luck!!!

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