Ibanez BTB33 Volo Static/Buzz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by LeonD, Apr 25, 2018.

  1. I have a stock Ibanez BTB33 Volo bass. It's been fine for years. Picked it up the other day after sitting unplayed for a while and got a nasty noise. Hard to describe. It's somewhere between a mid frequency buzz and static. Almost like the cord wasn't pushed in all the way.

    Here are some facts about the bass and what I've tried.
    • The bass is all stock.
    • I've tried it with different charged batteries, different cables and different amps. And I tried the amp in different parts of my house. The noise stayed the same.
    • The noise is the same (volume and intensity) where ever I set the bass' volume.
    • The volume of the plucked note does change when I increase the volume however.
    • The bass' eq does affect the sound of the static/buzz. All three bands.
    • The pickup balance affects the tone of the noise.
    • I went into the control cavity and poked the wires around to see if any were loose. I touched all the wires and it did not change the noise.
    • I tapped on the body and it did not affect the noise.
    • At one point while playing/testing, the noise stopped. I did nothing apparent. The noise was quiet for about two minutes then it began again. I have no idea what this was about.
    Any idea what's causing the noise and a possible fix? Or is it time for a new preamp?

  2. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Yeah, seems the right time to put in a new preamp.

    If it were me, the Bartolini HR-5.4AP/918 pre would be my first choice, since I presumed it should go well with Bartolini and Ibanez Engineer's designed BH1 pickups. Even might consider throwing in the BH1 pickups drop-in replacement: any of the Bartolini H65 pickup variants. But then the pre would be Bartolini HR-5.2AP/918, since I would use the mini switch for coil switching offered by some of the H65 pickup variants.
  3. Thanks for the reply Aidil.

    That's kind of what I was thinking, it's new preamp time. Unfortunately, I actually kind of liked this preamp in this bass.

    I appreciated the specifics on the Bart preamps. Back in my Spector days, I had a bass with a TonePump pre that I really liked. I picked up another TonePump for a project I was planning. Project never happened and I still have the pre. I'm thinking of trying it in the BTB33 assuming I don't have to open up the pot shaft holes.
  4. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    you mean you wouldn't want to drill a new hole for additional pot or mini switch, right? or you mean you want to use the current Ibanez pots with the TonePump?

    the first was also my goal of suggesting the pre on my previous post.
  5. The eq on the TonePump has special pots. I'm not sure about the taper but I know there isn't a center detent. I already have the pots that I need.

    The current eq knobs are small but I don't know if it's just the knob that's small or the knob and shaft. The TonePump shafts are full size. I know I could ream out the existing holes if they are small but I don't know if I want to or not.

    I like your recommendation and wouldn't hesitate to go with it if I didn't have the TonePump and four pots on my shelf here mocking me. :nailbiting:
  6. bassfish1


    Mar 18, 2016
    I bought a "brand new" 2016 SR 505 which I have enjoyed for 18 months until the static problem showed up in my bass. Tried the same things you did, batteries, cables, amps. Disconnected the output jack and connected the loose wires to the cable plug - same noise. Doesn't change with volume control but EQ's affect the tone of the noise. I believe the IC (integrated circuit) chip on the Main Board is kaputt.

    I had this same problem in a Fender Squire practice amp someone gave to me. I fixed it by ordering new chips, replaced one chip on PC board that was a "pop out" (not soldered to the board) and bingo the amp was like new. I am guessing the same problem is happening in my bass. Probably going to order a new main board. Just FYI.
  7. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Fresno California
    Happened to my 20 year old Ibanez ATK 2 years ago. Not worth replacing anything. It’s now retired :)