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Ground wire?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by joshsmog, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. hey i installed new pickups and obviously did something i wasnt supposed to, stuff buzzes when i dont touch something metal on the bass and it makes me pretty mad.

    which wire inside my bass is the gorund wire and what should it be attached to?
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Typically, there's lots of ground wires, but probably the one running from the bridge is what most people would think of. EMG and many others recommend cutting it cause if you go sucking on microphones in the rain it's been known to smoke more than one bassplayer.

    Hard question to answer without knowing what pups you've put in and what you've jacked with. Some passive pups are hard to kill, like some of Duncans stuff. If you haven't jacked with anything else, don't, cause at least that narrows the search, assuming everything was fine before the swap. Backtrack what you've done and see if you crossed something up or if there are any wires that may have come loose or gotten crossed in the process. And obviously, make sure it's the bass and not the chord, jack, or amp. Don't assume it's your work till you've double checked the quick stuff. Although highly unlikely it occurred about the same time, stranger things have happened.
  3. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    The ground wire from the bridge is usually soldered to the back of one of the pots. Since the "buzzing" stops when you touch something metal, this ground seems to be working.

    What kind of bass do you have? And, what kind of pickups did you install?

    Many manufacturers have wiring diagrams available on their websites.

    You may also be able to find some help here: http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/index.php
  4. i installed seymour duncan basslines quarter pound p and j and i didnt bust up any other wires.
  5. one thing i found out with pu-buzzing.

    When i'm in my 'study/relax' room at home, my bass buzzes like crazy when i don't touch any metal parts. i searched the problem in the bass/cable grounding
    Resently took my bass & combo and went for a jam.. kinda scared for the buzzing, afraid to embares myself. i plug it in, as i do at home, and guess what, no buz! at all!
    Whole thing made me check my home situation

    ---> No grounded sockets
    ---> Bass, combo, hifi amp, 3 pair of hifi speakers, computer all packed on 3 square meters.

    It figures, right?
  6. well, i get my monitering buzzing through my J pickup but even if i turn everything off theres still a buzz and then i touch the bridge and it makes a tck noise and stops. sometimes it i rub my feet on the ground and touch the bridge it clips my amp.

    if this is normal stuff alright ill be annoyed but at least ill know nothings busted.
  7. dave251

    dave251 Wendler Instruments

    Feb 5, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    Well- Your quarter lb. J pup is a single coil...and it's going to buzz...you'll have to learn to live with it. The P bass pup is humcancelling, so it should be quiet when used by itself.

    Regarding the "pop" when you touch the metal, try inverting the polarity of your amp rig...or you may have an fx device out of polarity with something else in your signal chain.

    Sounds to me like it's working correctly; you actually did it right. BUT, you'll still have to play detective on the rest of your rig.

    BTW, you can shield the control cavity and the lead wires from the J pup...that will help a bit.

    Good luck.
  8. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    The dude has a good point about trying a different locale. Try another room, or if you live in an older house, try a place with contemporary wiring that has grounds.

    But I've played hell trying to shut a Duncan hotstack up, and it's a humbucker. I've shielded the control cavity and even ran copper foil to the back of the pup and grounded it per recommendations of a dude that it worked for. I've transplanted other pups into that bass (no hum) and put the Duncans in another bass (hum). But I've got a wall of basses so it's not a critical factor - but those pups are going.
  9. Assumer


    Mar 26, 2003
    Hey I have a grounding question. When you run the wire to your bridge, do you just lay it under and let it contact the tightened bridge, or do you actually solder it to the bridge?
  10. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Just lay it under the bridge, but make sure that bare wire contacts the bridge when it's tightened down. Often there will be an impression left in the wood where the wire has been and if the bare wire is laying in that groove it may not make sufficient contact. You can just lay the jacketed wire back in that groove and pull the bare wire off to the side out of it and that will work.
  11. Assumer


    Mar 26, 2003
    sounds great. THanks
  12. It seems to me that Duncan pups for whatever reason may be the cause of the humming. I have a set of antiquity II's in my fretless and I have everything wired right and they still buzz, untill I touch metal. I'm thinking of selling them and getting some barts or Ultrajazz's. So If anyone if interested let me know.

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