1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Installing Fender Noisless Pickups in a Marcus Miller Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by breezeprz, Mar 4, 2008.


  1. breezeprz

    breezeprz

    Mar 1, 2008
    Philadelphia
    Greetings bassers! I have found this forum to be very helpful with the rewiring of my MM Jazz. I followed the steps The sticky articles on shielding the control cavity and pups. What I'm noticing now is a nasty hum when one of the pickups is silenced. The whole reason I did the shielding and cleaned up ground loops was to eliminate the hum. What gives??

    Anyway, I bought a pair of Fender Noisless pickups thinking this may be the way to go. My concern is with the FMEQ and whether or not those type of pickups will be compatible with the electronics. Has anyone done this? Also, which one is the bridge pickup? Yellow/Black wires or White/Black?

    Cheers,
    Goose
     
  2. BobKos

    BobKos

    Apr 13, 2007
    The bridge pickup is longer. I never swapped out pups in a MM. Fender uses the noiseless pups in both passive and active instruments, so I can't see where there would be a problem with installation. Truthfully, I'm not sure the noiseless would have been my first choice of pickup, but it depends on what you're looking for. You were getting the hum because of single coil pups. The noiseless pups should fix that problem. Any of the available split / stacked coil humbucking pups would achieve the same fix for you.
     
  3. I had the same idea, so I actually took in my 4 string Marcus Miller Jazz bass and they measured the Noiseless pickups and told me that it will not fit without routing as the pickups were ever so slightly bigger than the cavity.

    Let me know how you go.
     
  4. So shielding does not cut the hum of the single coil pickups?? :(
     
  5. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    No. Shielding may help make the bass quieter, because it wasn't shielded in the first place, which is like adding insult to injury. But you will never make single coils quiet. You can only remove one layer of noise.. the stuff you got from not being shielded. That's why humbuckers were invented.

    Getting back to the original post... the noiseless pickups should be noiseless with only one on. I suspect they were not wired up correctly, or that there's a bad connection or a broken wire on the pickup.

    When in doubt find a qualified guitar tech.
     
  6. The hum cancling effect is provided by both pickups up full. One coil is reversed polarity from the other. The hum that is picked up by both pickups is cancled when added togetger, But my concern is, you will lose the true "Marcus Miller" tone by replacing the pickups. He quotes when he is playing the back or front pickup he will wait until its time to play before he turns down either pickup so people don't notice the hum.
    If That's what you want though, go ahead good luck.

    :bag:
     
  7. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    These are the noiseless pickups from Fender.. they are stacked hum canceling pickups. The bottom coil cancels the hum, so you don't need them both on like with single coils.

    The fact that they are humming means something is wired wrong.
     
  8. breezeprz

    breezeprz

    Mar 1, 2008
    Philadelphia
    A lot of great feedback here. Thanks for all the input. Here's where I am with this:

    I installed the noisless pickups by filing down the corners of the pup cases. I also had to file a bit of the pick guard to make the neck pickup fit. They're definitely a tight squeeze, but it is possible to squeeze them in there.

    After soldering the connections for the noisless pups this was the outcome...they worked as they should've in passive mode with the exception that there was a strange "snapping" sound every time I touched one of the volume pots. When I switched to active mode, I got a nasty hum and that "snapping" sound was accentuated even more.

    I would imagine that the pickup wouldn't work at all if I had nicked one of the pup wires. So this leads me to believe that there is something more to it, like an incompatibility with the FMEQ.

    Perplexed,
    Goose
     
  9. remigioremigio

    remigioremigio

    Feb 17, 2008
    this hum was excactly the reason i sold my MM-V. i really don´t like this about the bass. but hey! i´ve tried it.
     
  10. breezeprz

    breezeprz

    Mar 1, 2008
    Philadelphia
    I'm not giving up on this bass. I know it can sound better. It's just a matter of putting together the right combination of pickups and proper wiring. So far, there's been improvement from doing the simple re-wiring to remove ground loops and a little shielding to help.

    I'm going to go back in and re-solder all my connections. I got a snazzy, new de-soldering tool to help tidy things up a bit. I'll post an update if it makes any difference.

    Goose
     
  11. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    That snapping sound is an indication that something is wired wrong. You are either missing a ground, or you have the ground and hot mixed up somewhere.

    The fact that it happens only in active mode shows it's something with the way the preamp is wired into the circuit.

    Check all the wires. Not just on the pickups. Something has changed from the stock wiring. I think you have lost a ground somewhere. Did you try doing "star grounding"? I'll bet that was the problem.

    Ground loops do not occur in things like basses and guitars. You have only one ground, at that's at the amp, via the output jack. You need to have two ground reference points to get a ground loop. The difference in ground potential at any point in the bass is negligible.

    I wish people would stop spreading this myth! :(
     
  12. breezeprz

    breezeprz

    Mar 1, 2008
    Philadelphia
    Yes, I did "star grounding". That's not good? Shoot! So should I return the wiring back to the stock configuration and try the noisless pickups again?


    It didn't make much sense to me other than the fact that there could be back-feeding between pots. Then again, how is star gounding much different--when you're connecting all the same "ground" wires together anyway. I'll restore the wiring back to factory specs and re-install the noisless pickups.

    Thanks for the input!
    Goose
     
  13. breezeprz

    breezeprz

    Mar 1, 2008
    Philadelphia
    Ok, here's the update. I returned the wiring of the bass back to factory specs. I swapped the stock pups with the noisless (careful filing of the pic guard to squeeze this slightly oversized neck pickup in place). I also cleaned up some of the solder spots making them as neat as possible since I've been in and out of the cavity about 4 or 5 times now.

    Finally, the noisless pickups work as intended. No hum.

    However, I get a buzz unless I'm touching the strings or the brigde. I'm still researching to see if there's a way to get rid of that. Anyone know how to resolve this??

    Peace,
    Goose
     
  14. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    There's nothing wrong with it, except that often a vital ground connection gets left out.

    There's nothing to "back-feed"... The back of one pot is at the same potential as another. Look at a standard jazz bass.. all the pots are on that metal control plate.

    OK, now I would do some shielding work, and replace the wires to the jack with shielded cable also.

    I've never seen the inside of a MM Jazz so I don't know what they have in there, but in general they are skimpy with shielding. make sure there is some under the pickguard, under the pots and stuff.
     
  15. Thats a bridge ground issue, not shielding. Where do you have the bridge ground soldered to? I replaced my oem line with a bigger 22 ga wire, dusted some chrome off the bridge bottom and used copper tape. After this nuclear proofing, the bridge ground buzz still existed and a $4 Switchcraft jack cured it. Go figure.

    David I used the shielded wire I got from Stew Mac for the + line to the jack but did not ground it. Should I jsut ground the sheilding to the jack?
     
  16. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've got Sadowsky HC pickups in my Marcus Miller. No problem.
     
  17. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    How is the ground getting to the jack, with a separate wire?

    Yes the shield in the cable should be grounded, otherwise it's a sourse of noise as well. If you are already running a separate ground wire to the jack, then just ground it on one end. The jack end would be fine.
     
  18. breezeprz

    breezeprz

    Mar 1, 2008
    Philadelphia
    Hmmm...I'm sure that if the bridge weren't grounded, touching it wouldn't get rid of the hum. So, it is in fact grounded properly. Using the higher guage wire might not be a bad idea, but I'm fine with leaving well-enough alone.

    I have read, though, that the hum is caused by E.M.I. picked up by the pups. So, I believe that I should be able to eliminate it by wrapping the pups with copper shielding and grounding that to the equipment ground (I've done this before with very good success). What bothers me about it is the fact that these are Fender Noisless pickups. You'd think that Fender would've thought to shield them, but no.

    Updates pending. I'll get to it on Monday.

    Goose!
     
  19. breezeprz

    breezeprz

    Mar 1, 2008
    Philadelphia
    Here's an update:

    The neck pickup is almost twice as loud as the bridge pickup. Does this have anything to do with the way they're wired? Or should I look into replacing my pots with different impedance ratings? The inductance of the Noisless pups is way different than the stock pups.

    Curious...
    Goose
     
  20. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    I went through this with one of my basses that had been wired up hastily (its been sort of a test bass until recently). The bridge was grounded very well, and it had a Switchcraft jack, etc.

    But I hadn't shielded the control cavity because all the wires are shielded and the pickups are humbuckers. I added some foil under the pots, and Voilà!, that noise went away.

    Why is Fender so skimpy with shielding? You take a Ric 4001. Single coils and all, and they are pretty quiet because they use a lot of shielded cable.

    I think the bottom line is cost, justified by "we've always done it that way and people expect us not to change".

    By the way, Bill Lawrence designed those pickups.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.