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Eliminate noise from EL wire

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ~Ethan~, Mar 28, 2013.


  1. ~Ethan~

    ~Ethan~

    Dec 3, 2008
    Abilene, TX
    So I did this to my squire the other day...

    IMG_0486_zps85696bb6.

    And I'm getting a high pitch noise when I put power through the wire and have my bass plugged in to the amp.
    I know the noise is typical with the wire on it's own, but how can I stop the pickups from picking up the interference? A friend said copper tape would make it worse, so is there anything else I can use to shield the pups?

    I really want to keep it on the bass, I love how it looks, but if I can't play it while lit that kinda defeats the purpose.
     
  2. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Short answer, your friend is wrong. Shield the bass. It should help at least a little.
     
  3. Smilodon

    Smilodon Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Norway
    The easiest would be to get rid of that el-wire. Those things are very noisy. You could acieve the same effect by making a thin sheet of actrylic glass the same shape as the PG and stick that underneath the PG. You then mount some leds into the sheet of glass to make the edges glow.

    If you want to stick with the el-wire your best bet is to shield pickups and cavities. Make sure that the shielding have no gaps in it.
     
  4. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    It looks very cool, but the downside is the high frequency power supply for the EL.

    Shielding will help, but only a little as the noise source is so close to the pickups. In this case, even the wires inside are picking up the noise. You could try adding a capacitor to try to roll off some of the noise without cutting too much of your sound. Since it would need to be there all the time, just put it across the output jack. Start with a 0.01 uF and gradually get larger until you find the compromise. You could also try replacing all the wires with shielded cable.
     
  5. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    You might also want to try a large value capacitor on the wire's power line to filter out noise. Maybe something like a 100µF electrolytic.
     
  6. ~Ethan~

    ~Ethan~

    Dec 3, 2008
    Abilene, TX
    thanks for the tips guys! I'll see what I can do. I figured he was wrong about that, cause it is called copper "shielding" tape right? lol
     
  7. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    As long as the shielding is grounded, it's working as shielding.
     
  8. ~Ethan~

    ~Ethan~

    Dec 3, 2008
    Abilene, TX
    I've determined that it's not so much the pickups that's getting the noise, it's the input jack. I tested this with a guitar holding powered wire and bringing the wire and power supply separately to the pickups and then the jack. The wire only affected the jack. So I'm thinking if I get some shielding tape and cover the jack area then I should be fine. Just want to make sure before I commit to $10 +shipping and have it go to waste.
     
  9. You've basically put an EMI source right next to your pickup. It isn't a good idea to do that unless you have a piezo-only bass. There is no good way to keep the bass quiet with a magnetic pickup.

    You might consider active pickups, however, because of their low output impedance.
     

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