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Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by caeman, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    Should I be hearing a humming sound when no string has been touched?

    I have a Johnson 5-string bass and I wondering if its stock pickups or electronics are a problem, or if this is a normal behavior.
  2. That sounds like normal behavior to me.

    Just how bad is it though?
    Single coils or humbuckers?
  3. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    To me it seems loud, but this is my first bass, so I have no prior experience on which to base this assessment.

    The web site for the guitar only states J-Style and Soap Bar pickups. I haven't removed the covers to see what it underneath, yet.

    Here is a pick of the model:
  4. Well, I would probably say that it's normal then, but it would be hard to tell if you don't have any prior experience to say how bad it gets.
  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Here's the noobie information you need. There are two types of hum pickup, electric and magnetic. If you have a hum in your bass when you aren't playing and you are not touching the strings and then you touch the strings (or a metal knob or the jack or other metal grounded parts) and the hum GOES AWAY (or becomes much less) Then your bass has a shielding problem. Search online for bass or guitar shielding. You can buy sticky copper foil to do the job.

    On the other hand if the hum does NOT go away when you touch the strings, BUT if you wave the bass around in all manner of weird orientations and can find an orientation where the hum seems to "null out" then you have a magnetic hum problem that can only be fixed by moving away from the source of the hum (usually large transformers etc) or installing hum-bucking pickups in the bass.

    That's the basics.

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