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Grounding problem?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nowontonsforme, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. Every time i make first contact with my strings i get a slight click. its really annoying when tapping. anyone know whats causing this and a way to fix it? thanks!

  2. describe your bass...


    pickups? humbucking/single coil? how many?

    bridge grounded?

    this will help determine which action to take...

    but for starters, if active bass...then it would be strange to have this problem...

    if passive, then your bridge may not be grounded...
  3. MTD saratoga, bartolinis (dual J setup), with (im guessing) a bart ntmb in it stock, or a modified version thereof. 9V

    I havent taken i apart enough to tell if the bridge is grounded or not, the bass is brand new. Theres foil shielding covering all sides of the electronics cavity. i thought you werent supposed to ground the bridge with active electroincs?

    Ive had power troubles before (have a power conditioner though), but im fairly convinced that its coming from the bass itself and not something later in the signal chain.

    It happens regardless of whether i plug in through my di box or right into my amp.
  4. you're right about not having to ground the bridge on active. that's one of the reasons why I asked. I have a P-bass copy that I assembled myself with EMG's and no bridge grounding (no cavity shielding either, and the bass has been dead quiet since day one).

    that foil shielding of your control cavity...is it grounded properly to the same potential as your potentiometer cases?

    when you don't touch your strings, do you hear any slight "hiss" that goes quiet with you touching the strings? (after the click).

    do changing settings on your bass change the quality (pitch, intensity) of this click? if so, which changes has which effect?

    I'm thinking what's happening is something is being picked up via the pickups and then being amplified through your preamp.

    as a test, wrap a bit of wire around one of your strings behind the saddle and then without touching the bass, touch the wire...does the click happen?...if so, then take the loose end of the wire and wrap it around the shaft of your cord plug and push it it (to connect it to ground)...see if that fixes it...if it does, then the bridge grounding will fix the problem...why it is there? who knows?
  5. yes, the pots, pickups, and shielding are all grounded together in a solid solder point. the jack is grounded onto one of the pots


    yes, cutting the highs completely almost eliminates the click. it also changes along with the volume. the pickup blend seems to have no effect.

    grounding the bridge did not stop the click

    thanks for the help!
  6. hmmmm...

    it is definitely being amplified by the preamp...so it is not related to your cord (well we've eliminated SOMETHING)...

    can you bypass your preamp? if you can, see if it is there in bypass.

    I'm really interested in helping you with your problem...apparently, it isn't a unique problem, see here:


    HMMMM....what do we have here...

    from Pedulla's website

    I don't know...perhaps an email to Bartolini is in order.
  7. hmmm, i did just try to raise my neck pup yesterday.... perhaps the pup(s) is(are) grounded incorrectly? Ill lower it back down and see what happens or if anything changes.

    no passive option on the bass.

    that thread seemed to be more about setup and technique when reffering to clicking. this is definitely an electrical thing. Ill shoot an email to bartolini in the morning and see what they say.

    thanks again for the help, lemmie know if you have any more ideas!
  8. moving the pickup back down did nothing, but i noticed that if i touch both sides of either pickup without touching the strings, the slight buzz/hiss intensifies, and then goes away when i touch the strings.
  9. hmmmm...if you dial out that pickup, does the problem go away? if so, it may be just as you say.
  10. happens on both pickups. the buzz intensifies when i touch any pickup(s) thats running through the preamp. but the buzz doesnt change if i touch the pickup thats NOT running through the preamp.

    bartolini doesnt have email customer service. I have to find a fax machine. no one told me that.....

    my preamp is an NTMB-918FL with a 3 pos switch for the mids instead of a pot and a switch.

    Theres a couple iffy looking wire connection that connect the wires of the pickups to the 'black boxes' of the bart pre. Theyre covered with electrical tape, and make a heck of a lotta noise when i move them around. Ill take the tape off and see if i can resolder the connections and maybe find room to use wire nuts or a proper crimp connection and see if this eliminates the problem. It's bedtime here, ill let you know tomorrow what i find.

    thanks again!
  11. you're probably on to it...there's no way those wires should make a noise when you move them around...keep me posted
  12. ^tried that, did nothing. I took the strings and the pickups out and checked them over. the pickups look fine, they both behave the same when messed around with, which leads me to believe theyre either both faulty, or both fine. Seeing how bartolini has a pretty good name for themselves, im inclined to believe the latter.

    I have a AGDB-918 dual buffer that sends the signals from the pups to the blend pot. I believe my problem is happening before the buffer.
    When i touch the wires coming from the pickups BEFORE the shielding is peeled away nothing happens. but if i touch the single wire that runs into the buffer, the buzzing gets worse. the length of unshielded wire is like 3 or 4 inches. is that really enough to pick up interference in a shielded cavity? or do i have broken wires inside the insulation? they were bent at a pretty hard angle originally, but its hard to believe they both broke together...

    heres a pic... im out of ideas for the moment... The yellow and orange wires after the crimp connections (which connects the original pickup signal wire (after the shielding) to the AGDB-918) are the places where the interference seems to be the most sensitive.
  13. I'm beginning to think that i may be thinking about this all wrong.

    what about these ideas?:

    could outside power problems be causing this? i know the power in my apt is very iffy. i have a cheap fruman rp-8 power conditioner that i run everything through.

    should i take off the bridge to see if the bridge is grounded with the mystery wire?

    does anyone think i have internally damaged or faulty bartolini components? They all look very solid and undamaged on the outside since theyre dipped in epoxy and all, but that doesnt mean they couldnt have been damaged before they were dipped...

    anyone?? anything??
  14. hmmmm...those yellow and orange wires...they're from the pickups to the dual-buffer, correct?

    the braided wires come from the pickups and then are fed into these barrel connectors to the dual-buffer.

    first off...that braid, that needs to be connected to ground (i don't see how it is). Get an ohm-meter and check the resistance from the braid to your cavity shielding, it should be nearly zero.

    secondly....that braid, should in no way contact the orange or yellow wire. Again an ohm meter check here, should register at LEAST resistance in the K-ohm range (if not open circuit).

    If you have some small clip leads, you could try grounding that braiding to your cavity shield and then seeing if that fixes the problem.

    That photo and description is very good, I think you need to get ahold of someone at bartolini
  15. the braid is connected to the shielding just underneath the barrel connections in the pic. I redid all of those connections and made sure the yellow and orange wires were connected to the pickup leads correctly. The only other idea i have in that direction is to shorten the length of wire between where the shielding braid is removed to ground and the dual buffer. im not going to try that just yet.

    ill have access to a fax machine on friday, im gonna poke around with an ohm meter until then. i bumped a thread and emailed another user who was having the same problem with their bass a few months ago. hopefully theyll have something... thanks again.
  16. Gianni


    Jul 4, 2001
    Palermo - Italia
    I have a similar problem on a G&L1500, in which the original preamp was exchanged with a Seymour Duncan STC3p, and on a G&L2000 with its original preamp.

    In particular I hear a tiny scratch when the string touches a fret, particularly if I touch the fret with a finger.
    The same noise is produced when I touch and/or move one of the tone pots in the 1500 and anyone of the pots in the 2000.

    In the 2000 the noise remains also if I shut down the preamp, bypassing it and disconnecting the battery

    My impression is that this problem arised abruptly some months ago for the 1500 and some days ago for the 2000.
    I can say that I have noticed it in the 2000 after having rewired one of the 2 serial-parallel-single coil switches I installed years ago, but I am not sure that the problem is due to this operation, taking also into account that the switch works properly...

    What I have noticed today, after some tweaking, is that the noise disappears if I touch the bridge with one hand.
    Precisely: if I make the string to touch the fret using a finger of the left hand, while I touch the fret with another finger, the tiny scratch happens; if I am touching the bridge with right hand, the scratch does not happen.

    I have not tried to use the basses outside my home, or with some device using batteries, in order to be sure that it is not something regarding electrical power in my home...

    Please let me know if you find an answer...I will do the same...

  17. Well, I emailed MTD yesterday and Mr. Tobias has offerred to fix this for me after NAMM. I wish I could figure it out myself, but sending it off to him seems like the next best scenario.

    Michael Tobias answered my email within two hours and offerred me a solution (on one of his Korean models no less). This is EXACTLY why I bought an MTD. Best luthier around!!!

  18. fantastic! after he fixes it, please share with us the solution for future reference.

  19. R Briere

    R Briere Bass-ically Yours Supporting Member

    Nowon........I spoke to Mike about the bass as well. Please keep me in the loop on this one as I like to be sure that ANY MTD customer is well taken care of. :^>)
  20. thanks for following up rich, ill be sending the bass off early next week. This weekend im going to try and exhaust any other possiblities and try and narrow down the problem to the bass. im already pretty convinced, but i wouldnt want to waste Mr. Tobias' time. I'll be sure to ask for a detailed (or as detailed as possible) explaination of the solution once its fixed. Ive met a number of people who have had this problem before and havent figured it out.

    I hope it doesnt take too long, ive finally added my hipshot xtender, and restrung the bass EADGC. It sounds phenomenal except for the click. I hope to have it in perfect working order soon. :D