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House wired wrong for amp usage

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Itburnstopee, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Itburnstopee


    Dec 2, 2018
    Hey, I’m new here and to bass in general. I bought a used bass and amp, I have confirmed they both work before buying, and again at guitar center for a diagnosis on this issue. The amp is a brand new acoustic B30, the bass is a somewhat used esp Ltd 4string but in great condition. I have had them looked at and they both worked just fine at guitar center, all wiring is good too. However, the amp doesn’t work in my house. It turns on, the little light turns on, and the wire will make that buzz noise when I touch the end/plug into my guitar, but when I try to play it makes no sound at all. I’m wondering if my house is just wired weird, but it sucks because I haven’t been able to actually practice or learn.

    Anyone have any experience with this kind of problem? Amp and bass work in every outlet I’ve tried except the ones in my house.
  2. Where are you located? US?
    If so, get a five dollar outlet tester at the hardware store, the one with three lights on it and check your outlets.
  3. Raf Seibert

    Raf Seibert

    Dec 16, 2013
    It could be your house wiring, but it may not be. My house is wired with no ground at all (just two wires) which means that I never pass the test with those little testers. Those testers are a very good thing to use if you’re playing out, however, at home I have used a variety of amps with no trouble.

    I’ll be following this thread to see what it turns out to be. It’s a curious situation.
  4. His amp should still work even if he has a two wire system. It certainly is not ideal and could possibly be hazardous.
    I’m curious as well to see if he lives in the US where everything is standardized or someplace else that might have some strange wiring things going on.
  5. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    It's a 30 watt amp

    I'd be more curious if the same instrument cord or same bass was used to test the Amp in the store and at home

    Could be as simple as bad instrument cord or bass output jack not working or active bass with a dead battery

    If by chance this amplifier uses a switch turd power supply. If by chance your house voltage was low it could be causing problems.

    Doubtful but yah never know
    PillO and RyanOh like this.
  6. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Torrance, CA
    I'm not aware of any Guitar Centers outside the US. Therefore the OP is in the US. OP stated both amp and bass were tested.

    OP hears the normal buzz when touching the tip of the cord. So, probably down to the bass.

    @Itburnstopee , you are turning the volume up on the bass, correct?

    - John
  7. Raf Seibert

    Raf Seibert

    Dec 16, 2013
    Well, in addition to the wiring, I wonder if he’s using the same cord from the bass to the amp and from amp to cab?
  8. byacey


    May 16, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    Because he's getting hum when he touched the tip of the 1/4" connector, this tells us the amp is working somewhat, if not perfectly fine. If it goes silent when plugged into the bass, I would say it's a problem with the bass, or the patch cord being used.
  9. Exactly, look at the bass for an intermittent short in the input jack. The cord might be shorting out as well.
  10. Wisebass


    Jan 12, 2017
    Lost in Space
    No second post?

    He just electrocuted himself testing?


    PillO, beans-on-toast and JRA like this.
  11. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass!

    Get one of these first.
    Power Gear 3-Wire Receptacle Tester-50542 - The Home Depot

    Then get one of these.
    Power Gear 500-Volt Digital Multimeter-50953 - The Home Depot

    Then come back to us and we'll walk you through how to use them. We need more data to help you and these two gadgets will give us that data.
  12. Itburnstopee


    Dec 2, 2018
    I actually tested the bass and cord with the amps in store to factor out all variables, and every time it worked with no issues and sounded great. I even replaced the battery just in case though

    Yeah I’ve made sure the volume knob was turned all the way up while attempting to get it working, so I know it’s not that lol

    And @twofingers, I’m going to try picking those items up today if I get a chance to go out, I will report back to update. This really is an odd situation to me. Even though I don’t really know what to look for and at I do not believe the problem is in the bass or amp since I have had no issues all other times I’ve tested them

    Thank you everyone for the responses so far, really hoping we’ll get this solved
  13. byacey


    May 16, 2008
    Alberta, Canada
    I don't see how if the amp is powering up, and makes noise if you touch the tip of the 1/4" patch cable plugged into the amp, that any AC house wiring would prevent the bass from working, once patched into the amp.

    Being a 30W amp, it should be quite portable. Power it up at a friends house and see if it works, or doesn't work there.

    I think you're barking up the wrong tree.
    JRA and Lobster11 like this.
  14. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Measure your wall AC voltage to ensure that it is 120V or so.

    Turn off the shape and distortion. Try the amp with headphones plugged in and see what happens.
  15. Blues Bass 2

    Blues Bass 2 Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2001
    Davenport Iowa
    Look , if all the other stuff in your house works plugged into the outlets in your house the problem isn't your electricity .
    PillO, DirtDog, Itburnstopee and 2 others like this.
  16. Itburnstopee


    Dec 2, 2018
    So I sort of got it working now, however not perfectly. I attempted to check all the wires again just in case I did miss something, all connections look good, however I pulled my cord out of the jack while playing with the strings and it made noise. I figured out if I leave the cord about 1/8th inch out of the jack that the amp does now make sound. I suppose this works for now and I can start practicing until I further solve the issue, and means it’s not the house(thankfully y’all were right about that lol). But now it raises the question, what’s wrong with the jack? Is it possible that the prong on this cable is just too long? It’s just a standard 10’ Live Wire brand cable

    Hey that being the issue makes as much sense to me as it does to everyone else in this thread, I completely agree with you man. It’s just when both amp and bass have worked perfectly in the other places I tested except my home I’m willing to entertain the possibility. I’d think if it coincidentally goes from working to not working between trips to guitar center and friends homes that it would have worked at least one of the many times I’ve tried playing it here.
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    There have been numerous example of parts (such as plugs and jacks) being manufactured without concern for industry standards. It's likely what you are experiencing as well.
    PillO and Itburnstopee like this.

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