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How microphonic are your Dark Stars?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ZombiCrow, May 6, 2010.


  1. ZombiCrow

    ZombiCrow

    Jun 15, 2006
    Davenport, IA
    I began getting a very high pitched and uncontrollable squeal from my Dark Star today. As I initially sat and poured over my patch cables, pedals, and eventually the guts of the Team Awesome Fuzz Machine, I realized the sound was emanating from my Dark Star, which seems to pick up every little noise coming from my bass, even gentle body taps and the strap locks moving, something that usually only gets picked up when a fuzz or distortion is on.

    So, how microphonic are YOUR Dark Stars, and should I think about getting mine looked at? (it's always seemed noisy, maybe it's finally breaking?)

    Thanks!
     
  2. ZombiCrow

    ZombiCrow

    Jun 15, 2006
    Davenport, IA
    Got a show tonight, and I'll just have to live with it until I can get it figured out. Too bad, too, as I'm really a fan of the pickup, and also of not feeding back un-musically. Thanks for the views, and maybe some of you Dark Star users can chime in later this weekend!
     
  3. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    Mine are not microphonic in the least. They are very quiet and well behaved pickups. It sounds like something is wrong.
     
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Mine isn't microphonic at all. I never experienced an ounce of feedback and it doesn't pick knocks. Mr Hammon is good at fixing these things.
     
  5. Sounds like something is wrong with the pickup. My single Dark Star has always been quiet even right next to a computer. Contact Fred.
     
  6. ZombiCrow

    ZombiCrow

    Jun 15, 2006
    Davenport, IA
    THANK YOU!!!
     
  7. mellowgerman

    mellowgerman Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    I've owned 6 different dark stars... never had a problem with any of them.
     
  8. Serek_Basses

    Serek_Basses Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    I just received a dark star today. dropped it in and noticed about a half hour into playing that it was picking up a lot of pick clack. bent down to pick something up and i heard the strap locks pivoting. it was picking up taps all the way from the headstock....

    not sure if this is ever caused by bad wiring? maybe i have a bad solder somewhere? really like the pickup as well and hope i don't have to send it back...
     
  9. Serek_Basses

    Serek_Basses Supporting Member

    Mar 26, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Bump. I am very pleased with the pickup, but when I tap near the coils with a pick it is pretty loud. Anyone else know if that's just the way it is with these?
     
  10. Dark Stars are very sensitive and have a very high output (higher than many active basses). A pick near the pup would likely be pretty loud. If your amp has an Active/Passive switch or separate inputs, you might want to try the Active option on your amp to see if it works better for you.
     
  11. ZombiCrow

    ZombiCrow

    Jun 15, 2006
    Davenport, IA
    Sent my Dark Star in to Fred to see if anything was wrong about two months ago; haven't heard a thing back! Is he alright, anyone know?
     
  12. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Oregon
    Something is definitely up with the Dark Star I just got. The signal is much weaker than on any other bass of mine. When I crank it loud enough to use, the microphonics and the hum become a distraction (and I'm usually not very fussy bout that). What does get through seems OK, maybe a little on the thin side. Doesn't sound normal, does it?

    I'm guessing something happened to compromise the coil. (Possibly while tinkering...) Gurus, builders, any thoughts as to what might cause these symptoms? (I put in a call and e-mail to Fred but I'm not holding my breath...)

    I'd be fine with paying someone to get this firing on all cylinders again. The Fralin & Lollar web sites indicate they're too busy for exotic repair jobs. Any other recommendations?

    Also, any suggestions for a readily available, physically compatible replacement for swapping / limping purposes? (If all else fails, I might rig in a SCPB to satisfy my single-coil jones while I wait...)

    TIA! :bassist:
     
  13. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Oregon
    Was getting ready to rip it out and ship it off. I checked DC resistance. 6.47K - seems about right - probably not a coil thing. Maybe magnets?

    Yep. One of the side bar magnets was in upside down. Had been glued in correctly but someone later on flipped it for some goofy reason. I flipped it back over (letter N scrawled on both sides, facing out) buttoned everything back up and BINGO!!!

    Now the string signal is a good 20dB or more hotter. Now this thing is a total beast!!. Hella stoked! :hyper:

    This may or may not be your issue if you're finding this thread in a search. But if output is very weak with poor signal/hum/microphone ratio, it's definitely worth a look!
     
  14. heavytrash13

    heavytrash13

    Oct 30, 2009
    I guess dark stars are not being made anymore..I saw one on e-bay for $350 and it sold Right Away!!--None of my e-mails to dark star were ever returned
     

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