For anyone struggling with ground noise on their stock Jazz.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Crazy Ivan, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. Apparently the Fender Wiring scheme on almost all passive Jazz Basses involves grounding the jack through its contact with the control plate, which seems to be working pretty miserably. Probably something no other brand would do, but possibly that no other brand could get away with. There's only one Fender after all.

    When I had both pickups on my Squier VM on full, the noise I'd get when not touching the strings would be unbearable (almost as loud as the note even), so I tried something.

    I soldered the jack's sleeve (ground) terminal to the back of the tone pot with a nice sturdy thick wire.

    I still get that noise, but at a fraction of the volume. It should hold me over until I get my shielding kit and wage the ultimate campaign against noise.
  2. yes, yes and yes. when i first got my jazz the hum when not touching the strings/bridge or jack port was terrible.

    took it in, and the stock grounding was there, but was terrible. the tech had to solder another grounding wire on to lessen the problem.
  3. Gary Lynch

    Gary Lynch

    Nov 18, 2008
    Sonoita AZ
    Is this true for all the USA Fender, MIM, MIJ, and Squire line or is it more pronounced in one of the lines?
  4. don't know - could be just a few of the bad ones slipping though the cracks.

    mines an 08 mex jazz
  5. My 08 MIA Standard is fine. My 06 MIM Deluxe is TERRIBLE, but for some reason the stock pickups are really nice. It's a fantastic sounding bass except for the ground problem. Very vintagey.
  6. jaseOZ

    jaseOZ Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    Ocean Grove. Australia
    I just bought a new Mark Bass rig and have noticed that my Gibson Thunderbird has this issue I think.

    If I touch the strings or the lead jack where it's plugged into the bass there's no noise...If I don't touch anything there's this little buzz.

    i tried my old epiphone Thunderbird and it doesn't do it.

    It's not really an issue when playing but could it cause damage to my amp or anything?

    Should I bother getting it looked at if it's not a problem when playing?
  7. lol - you've got the exact same rig i have......where'd you pick it up from?

    as for the hum, it could be just the general house wiring.

    all my basses hum when you don't ground yourself by touching the bridge/strings/jack point.
  8. This is a good point. A couple years ago, I spent many frustrating months shielding the crap out of my basses to try to completely get rid of the hum. When I started gigging more, I noticed that my basses were fine at the bars and clubs and would only hum at home. I checked the home wiring and sure enough, open ground! I've since become less picky about hum unless it's too obvious. Even with the most amazing shielding, once in a while, I'll get hum and I'd go crazy if I didn't just put up with it.

    For instance: I was at a gig in a dumpy bar playing a jazz bass with EMGs. The EMGs have the quietest circuitry I've ever heard and no hardwired grounding because of their design. I'd never had a single problem with hum or noise with this bass before in many different venues. Yet here at this crappy bar, I was getting a TON of humming from my bass. The sound guy insisted that it was my bass and NOT the giant glowing neon Budweiser sign directly behind me on stage....
    After that, a little hum once in a while didn't bother me anymore!
  9. lol - fire the sound guy?

    i'm no expert, but if the epiphone is a passive bass, there will be no string grounding?
  10. jaseOZ

    jaseOZ Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    Ocean Grove. Australia
    hey I got the mark bass set up from the bass centre in Melbourne.

    Yeah the gibson and the epiphone are both passive pickups I'm pretty sure...I'm no expert either though. in fact I had no idea what this problem might be until the guitarist suggested grounding issues.
  11. Gary Lynch

    Gary Lynch

    Nov 18, 2008
    Sonoita AZ
    I just received a brand new/used MIM Fender fretless Jazz. There is no noticeable hum from this guitar. After I put on La Bella tapewound flats, adjusted the action, and spent one hour with a Peterson strobe adjusting the intonation, the bass sounds great. There are so many variables in strings, action, intonation, pickup adjustment, preamp EQ, and amplifier EQ, I find it's seemingly endless regarding the tones that can be achieved. I am very happy with the stock pickups. I play clean and they sound great after what I have mentioned.

    Awhile back I bought a Hum X, from

    It will drop any problem ground without getting the shock of your life.
  12. do either of the basses have a battery box on the back, or do you have and eq knobs on the front?

    yeh - i see the guys at the bass centre too.....

    mel at the bass center fixed my last grounding issue, and is currently doing the install on my new pickups and pot. you could let them have a look at it
  13. jaseOZ

    jaseOZ Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    Ocean Grove. Australia
    yeah i might drop it in to them, was thinking of getting a set up too.
    Cheers for the advice
  14. get in quick - mel goes on holidays from thursday for two weeks
  15. jaseOZ

    jaseOZ Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    Ocean Grove. Australia
    ok I have monday off might give them a call and see if that's convenient.

    What's the worst that can happen with a grounding problem?
  16. stewart8980

    stewart8980 Guest

    Apr 11, 2008
    Rhode Island
    my 07 MIM Jazz is incredibly silent.
  17. by not fixing it? not sure. perhaps a short circut which I don't think would be good.

    I'd say that the bridge ground is gone or loose. if that's the case, the fix shouldn't be too bad. if it's something else, then I'm not sure.
  18. I just bought a used MIM jazz. 01. I took the bridge off- I usually go over my basses completely. the ground wire under the bridge was pulled back and not touching the bridge. Judging by how tight the bridge screws were I would say the bridge had never been removed and the ground wire porblem came that way from the factory. If you are having hum problems check the ground wire under the bridge