electric current on my strings

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by geeyza, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. geeyza


    Apr 6, 2004
    hi all,I wander if anyone can help me?I have an active Fender Jazz(MM4),and I run it through a Q tron and a SABDDI to my pc (or sometimes to my pocket amp) at home when I practice.I get an electric current through the strings,and it really bothers me,if I touch the strings lightly it really hurts and all (fingering hand).I ve always had that but it wasnt that strong (still annoying though) till I bought my Q tron couple of days ago.And the strange thing is that it wasnt that strong yesterday or the day before.Could it be a grounding problem?I really appriciate your comments.
    Thanks for your time
  2. what else are you touching along with the strings?
    when i had 100's of things hooked up to my amp and pc and touched the strings on my bass and the metal on my computer i got electrocuted but it was small.
  3. geeyza


    Apr 6, 2004
    hi joshsmog,thanks for your reply mate.I found out what causes that.it is my computer.when I plug my bass straight into the computer I get that electric current coming through the strings,funny thing is,if I hook up any pedal before the pc,the current seems like getting stronger.I cant say I get a shock,but it feels like a constant mosquito bite!
    I tested my pocket amp with the pedals as well,they are ok.Seems like me ol' computer dont like me ol' bass.
    Now I need to find out why does that happen?anyone any ideas?
    thanks for your help again mate,well appriciated,cheers.
  4. Mongeaux


    Apr 14, 2004

    I used to have a MIM jazz bass that did that to me all the time. The problem went away when I put in new pickups.
  5. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Crappy soundcard? Bad ground for PC power supply? That sounds really annoying!
  6. geeyza


    Apr 6, 2004
    thanks mongeaux,cheers mate,I cant afford new pups at the mo,but, I ll av to find out wots appening.sounds really strange,because it dont happen if use an amp,(when I do gigs), ,so I reckon it is not the pups in my case,probably it is somefing to do with the pc sound card.thanks again for all the feedbacks,cheers mate,niceone.
  7. XxBlackOrchidxX


    Dec 23, 2003
    if the plug(electrical outlet) is not grounded right, you complete a current by touching the strings.

    this happened to me, half of my garage is carpeted. but as soon as | took a step onto the cement |de get shocked because the plug that the amp is in is not coirrectly grounded, (| no longer have this problem due to my wireless system)
  8. I've had this happen before on my Ibanez Musician bass and Aria Pro II bass. After looking at the wiring diagrams, I just figured it was because the circuitry is grounded through the bridge, which is of course attached to the strings. Both the strings and bridge are metal, and therefor conduct to each other, and thus, we have a shock.

    I had a setup once where I didn't have a big enough Mic stand, so I set up a smaller on ontop of my 4 x 10 and put my head ontop of a piano chair. I turned the head on and reached up to grab the mic and ZAP!

    Later I found out I had apparently completed a circuit between my bass and the mic somehow.
  9. In your particular case, you were popped by out of phase circuitry - you/your bass/amp and the PA and it's circuit.

    We need pkr2 in here to help with sorting out some of the myths and facts about string grounding, amp grounding, and house circuit pitfalls.

    I carry a circuit checker in my gigbag to check outlets everywhere I plug in. If it shows a fault in the wiring, I don't plug in. I also carry my own high amp extension box for my rig that has a GFCI - ground fault circuit interrupt box to further protect me. I've been in a small electrical accident that moved my carcass about 6' involuntarily and I don't want to do that eeeever again. :bag:
  10. You should always check your AC electrical outlets for proper wiring. A $3 tester from Home Depot, or the hardware store could save your life.

  11. bassplayer347

    bassplayer347 Guest

    Dec 24, 2003
    You see some strange things in bars sometimes......

    We played a club once where the wiring looked brand new. So we thought "No need to check the wiring", boy were we wrong!
    After setting up the guitarist turned on his amp and by accident brushed his hand across his guitar, which was sitting in it's stand...... and got zapped. We pulled out our handy-dandy circuit tester and dicovered that some wood-be electrician had saved a few bucks and attached the ground to the neutral wire to save a few bucks. Not a good practice, but I've seen it done before. But also (and this is a very big but).. they had also reversed the hot and the neutral wires, making everything that was grounded hot, amp chassis, mixers, guitar strings, ect., ect.
    It's a wonder nobody was killed.

    After that we always checked first, plugged in later.