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Electric towers and Jazz pickup noise...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by RumbleMan3, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    So I live right next to these BIG powerlines or electrical towers whatever you want to call them, and I’m gonna buy a jazz bass soon, a Fender MIM Geddy Lee jazz bass, and like most jazz basses, you get slight noise from the pickups when you start to have one on more than the other.

    The shop I tried the bass was right next to tram lines and had lots of LED lighting and stuff and all that, and made the pickups pretty noisy, not very loud, but enough to annoy you and want to never solo on one pickup only. The guy at the store said that that is as bad as it really gets, with all the activity and interference around. I though yeah it’s not a problem, I wouldn’t be like this at home...

    ...then I remembered those giant electrical towers at the end of my street.

    This MUST effect my pickups won’t it?

    I haven’t bought the bass yet but if I bring it home and find that the pickup noise is too bad, what are some solutions? All I can think of is a pup swap to a pair of noiseless. This seems like the most practical and most simple option I guess. The guy at the store said he could put them in for me if the noise really bothered me. I went to Bass Centre in Melbourne, Australia. I’m lucky enough to live here in the same city as Basscentre These guys absolutely ROCK!!! Service excellent, stock excellent, prices excellent.

    So yeah. That is my situation. What do you guys think?
  2. MrWolf14


    Jun 28, 2015
    Munich (Germany)
    ...unfortunately I believe you need to try it in your home.
    That will be the only test that makes sense.
    And ... if it's really that bad, you'll have a good excuse to start modding your bass. ;)
    Ciao, Domenico
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yes they can cause noise, but the store fixtures you experienced will likely be more than that because they are so close and building wiring comes at you from all sides and the cieling as well. Plus all the transformers and devices to control the lighting are very noisy. The power lines just pass in a straight line far overhead.

    You can properly shield the cavities of the bass to good effect, but single coils are inherently noisy. Thats why humbuckers were invented.
    RumbleMan3 and rogypop like this.
  4. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    I have a few LED lights in my home, and lights with dimmer switches. This will add to the noise?
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Yes but bear in mind that just because a bass is susceptible to noise does not mean you will get noise everywhere you go. Humbuckers and shielding will make the bass silent. Even then, if you always plays with both pickups balanced, the two single coils will function as a humbucker making a pickup swap unnecessary.
    96tbird and RumbleMan3 like this.
  6. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    What do you mean by shielding? Like those chrome pickup covers? Thanks.
  7. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    No, those are just aesthetics. Shielding is internal and it lines the control/pickup cavities. Shielding protects against RF interference (the noise you get that stops when you touch metal/strings/bridge.) It is typically either conductive paint or copper foil tape. The brass plate you'd find under the pickups on older basses was vintage shielding.
    RumbleMan3 likes this.

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