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Get the Hum Out

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mophead, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. mophead

    mophead Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2004
    Texas Panhandle
    Bought a 60's reissue Jazz used. Nice Mexi bass. Very nice neck, very nice finish, nice pickguard, and very noisy when the tone pot is all the way up at idle.

    For reference, I also have a 99 MIA Jazz, clear ash that is the standard by which I judge all others. This one will probably never leave the stable.

    When comparing the two basses, the MIA is extremely quiet regardless of where the tone pot is set. The Mexi is loud requiring your fingers be on the strings to keep the noise down.

    So, as any good bass player should do, I start by replacing the pickups on the Mexi with pickups out of a 97 model MIA jazz to try and acheive that same quiet.

    The noise is still there. Perhaps somewhat more quiet, but possibly because I think it should be more quiet because I spent money for pickups. Nonetheless, it does not approach the MIA as far as being quiet at idle.

    Anyone have experience with replacing tone pots? Looked in the archives and see volumes of data on pickups, but very little on the controls on the plate.

    Or other areas I should be considering? Wiring, grounding, voodoo spells perhaps?

    I really like the sound I get out of my MIA Jazz and am not looking for a different sound, just trying to replicate the quiet at idle sound in the Mexi.

    Any thoughts appreciated!
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    hum is inherent with traditional single coil design other than when both pups are cranked. For most of the pups I've ran, it's my experience that any winding that removes hum takes some tone with it. If you've got a quiet pair for whatever reason, you're lucky in that respect.

    Sheilding (pup/control bay) and ground plates can reduce external interference. Making sure your bridge ground is optimal can help. I suppose some pots may make a difference but I haven't heard of any that do a better job than any others when it comes to hum.

    Obviously trebling up is going to enhance noise.

    Then of course theirs the noiseless/hum-canceling/hb J pups. Fact of the matter is the Fender CS J's I've got sound so much like many of them (and SD Antiquities, Frailins, Areo Type I's) that it's splitting hairs. If you want the Fender Vintage pups tone SD classic stacks are the only JHB's I've run across so far that do that. Even some HB's can have some hum but comparatively it's typically non-existent. So that would be the route to go if hum is an issue for you.
  3. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    "Sheilding (pup/control bay) and ground plates can reduce external interference. Making sure your bridge ground is optimal can help."

    That would be where I'd look if I were you...

    - georgestrings
  4. What Dan1099 says below makes a lot of sense to me now. I put a ground plate in the cavity under my Bridge Pup and the hum was almost completely wiped out. I was getting the same symptom before this of having to touch my hands to the strings to stop or reduce the hum.
    Thanks, Good Info.
  5. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Needs Shielding. If touching the strings does get rid of the hum, it's because your body is now part of the shield, protecting the electronics from interference from behind the body of the bass. Check out Lyle Caldwell's shielding tutorial in the pickups forum. It's linked to in one of the stickies. I followed his procedure, and my Jazz bass is dead quiet now, as long as both pickups are matched, volumewise. I HIGHLY reccomend it.