grounding issue?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Feef3412, Jun 1, 2020.

  1. Feef3412

    Feef3412 Guest

    Apr 30, 2020
    I have a 2015 American Standard Fender Jazz that is completely stock. Just noticed this week (has it happened in the past? I don't think so, but I could be wrong) that there seems to be a grounding issue. When I plug it in, there is a hum. The hum goes away when I do 1 of 3 things: touch the bridge, touch the screws on the neck pickup, or roll off the treble completely. The hum gets LOUDER when I touch the bridge pickup screws. It's not a string issue (tapewounds...but I get the same results with flats and rounds). I've read enough to know that it could possibly be fixed by shielding the electronics cavities. And it's not the amp. My other bass does not hum at all. Anyone got an easy fix?
  2. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    OK, the bridge is grounded so that's good. You need to take a closer look, Am Std's are usually shielded with conductive black paint. Check the bridge pickup cavity as this is where you seem to have a problem, a wire could be pinched or earth could have come loose.

    In the past I've used the silver conductive paint which costs more but is better than the black paint or the copper shielding tape for all the cavities. Grounding everything to a single ground point also helps.
  3. Feef3412

    Feef3412 Guest

    Apr 30, 2020
    I'm not an electronics guy...certainly a mechanical guy. So you'll have to elaborate on a couple of things: "earth could have come loose," and "grounding everything to a single ground point."
  4. Samatza


    Apr 15, 2019
    If you’re not comfortable with this type of work then at least have a look under the bridge pickup for any loose wiring.
    The rest requires some expertise and if not done properly can make the issue worse.
    If you have access to someone that can do this type of work ask them to check it out for you.
    Feef3412 likes this.
  5. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Denver, CO
    If touching the bridge makes the buzz go away but touching the strings does not, then this is an issue that is indeed specific to tapewound strings. The reason there is a ground path to the bridge on passive basses is to ground your body when you are touching the strings. As it turns out, your body is essentially a big antenna for noise, which you in turn introduce to the bass through the pickup coils which sit near you at all times. Since tapewound strings are wrapped in non conductive nylon, there is no longer a connection to ground your body from the bridge while you are playing as there would be with standard nickel or steel wrapped strings. If tapewounds are a must then extensive shielding can definitely help protect the noise from your body from getting into the signal path, but another trick that I’ve done in recording is to run a wire from a grounded connection (like the bridge or the output jack) to the skin of my waist (held in with my belt). In the long term, the best bet when using tapewounds is just to do a really good shielding job, or get inherently quieter pickups like EMGs.
  6. Guys that wear metal hardware can take good advantage. Get an alligator clip lead 3 or 4 feet long, and clip one end to the ear or nose ring, and the other end to the bass bridge; instant shield, even without touching the strings.

    Make sure you disconnect before putting the bass down.
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  7. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Major points for ingenuity but I would probably just give the bass a proper shielding job and be done with it.
    mcnach likes this.