Electrocuted? I think I need some help

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Ryan Berry, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. Ryan Berry

    Ryan Berry Guest

    Dec 1, 2001
    Merrimack, NH
    Ok, heres my story. 2 amps, my main rig and backup combo are both broken. They have been like this for a while because I have been playin drums in my band(we currently have no drummer)and not bass anyways, plus I am the president of procrastination. Anyways, we found a guy who is interesed in playing drums for us so Im borrowing a head from my girlfriends dad(old Kusom 250, I think from the 60s). he said if i could get it working i could use it, so i opened it up and all of a sudden it worked. here is my problem:

    Whenever I turn on the amp, i get electrocuted. I can keep playing, but elecricity continues to flow throuh me. This was cool for about 30 seconds and then it wasnt cool anymore. Is there anything I can do to not be shocked while playing bass?

    BTW- fixing either amp is not an option right now.
  2. I presume that this has a two blade plug with no ground...true?

    If so, have you tried changing the position of the polarity switch? It might be on the back, the front or the on off switch might go the other way too. Try them all.

    Before you use the amp again, you should use a voltmeter to check the voltage between the input jack (aka the strings on your bass) and ground. If the voltage isn't 0 volts after changing the polarity switch (or reversing the plug in the outlet...one but not both) DO NOT USE THE AMP!!!! You could be killed.

    By the way, how does your girlfriend's dad feel about you?;)

    Please, please, please be careful
  3. Ryan Berry

    Ryan Berry Guest

    Dec 1, 2001
    Merrimack, NH
    Under closer inspection of the amp, I found a large blue button on the front panel marked "polarity". I pushed this button and now It's fine. Thanks. This will be a fun trick to play on my guitarist.
    And her dad loves me, we broke up a year ago (and obviously went back out again) and her dad said "Ally! What did you do?!?!":D
  4. Great (on both accounts):)

    Just remember that each time you use the amp, you'll need to make sure that the polarity switch is in the correct position so that you don't get shocked.

    And beware of microphones until the polarity switch is set correctly...

    If you're going to be using the amp for a while, it would be best to have a tech disable the polarity switch and install a three conductor cord with a grounding plug.
  5. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Yeah, watch out for touching microphones and the bass at the same time.

    Years ago (early 80's) there was a story floating about town, where a local guitar player had to be hauled away by ambulance after his "newly serviced" amp had a ground problem, and he touched a microphone at the same time his hands were on his strings. BIG jolt that threw him backwards and could have killed him. Apparently there was a problem with the PA wiring as well as his amp, and they didn't mix.
  6. iammr2


    Jun 10, 2002
    You were shocked, not electrocuted. Electrocution is when the person is dead. But you did get the point across.

    Would suggest you look up Gary Thain of Uriah Heep. Monster of a bass player! Was carried off the stage of his last show and now is jamming with Hendrix. Please remember to check your outlets and grounds.
  7. kennyhoe

    kennyhoe Guest

    Jun 5, 2003
    Toronto, Ontario
    Hmm, perhaps someone can help me with my problem.

    I am practicing with my band in my drummer's basement, and after a while, whenever I touch the mic with my lips, i get shocked. Plus, whenever i touch my strings near the pickup with my elbow, i get shocked too. Are there any precautions i should take?
  8. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Interesting. Is there someone there to revive you each and every time?
  9. Saetia


    Mar 27, 2003
    One time a friend way back showed me a trick with his bass, he told me to plug in the bass and turn it on. So I did, he then told me to rub my forearm hair on the strings, it was almost like static electricity pulling my arm hair away from my arm and almost like a pulling my arm hair our sensation. I've tryed this with every bass I've owned as well with many rigs, and it always happens, what is this. I mean I know there is electricity running through the bass, and all of that, I'm just wonder if someone can explain it more scientificly.
  10. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
  11. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Woa! don't do that unless you want to ACTUALLY kill him!!! NOT FUNNY MAN, NOT FUNNY!

  12. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    This story reminds me of an old radio my dad had in the garage. kinda cool radio, it had am/fm/and short wave! it had a metal chasis and plastic knobs. during certain times of the year, damp times of the year I could get a shock while trying to turn on the radio while standing on moist concrete. after I figured what was going on I only touched the plastic knob or did not use the radio at all!