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Intermittent popping sound. Passive Gibson EB with dual Humbuckers

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Rocksolid, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. Picked up a Gibson EB 2014 5 string, brand new from interstate. Sounds great, neck is killer, but it has this intermittent pop going on. It can happen when I have the strings muted with my left hand and not playing, it can happen while playing (no, I'm not slapping and pushing the string on to the pole pieces, nor is my finger touching the pole pieces), and it can happen when it is just sitting on my lap with no hands touching it.

    It is bizarre and doing my head in. It's not a deal breaker, but it isn't right either. I could return it, but these aren't made any more, and I want one.

    I've spoken to the shop, and they are working with me, and my trusted tech to work this out, but no luck yet.

    We found a badly tinned earth wire on the output jack. The strands seemed to be touching another terminal. fixed that and it's still the same. The barrel output jacks on these aren't great quality, you can push the lead to the side and sound cuts out, so we replaced the output jack. It is an inherent flaw with this style of Jack says the Tech. I agree.

    The push/pull pots are sealed units and the tech says they either work or they don't. Gotta take his word for it.

    More playing and exploring today. It seems to be more related to the bridge Pickup. It doesn't seem to pop when the neck Pickup was solo'd. I touched the screws holding the bridge Pickup in and there seems to be heaps more noise than when touching the screws on the neck Pickup. Could I be onto something? Looking for any insight and thoughts from people that may have had something similar, or have any ideas.

  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    You could have an issue with the coil or the wires connected to the coil. Or something shorting somewhere. Only way to know would be to pull the pickup and look at it. I also disagree with your tech that a push/pull pot works or it doesn’t. I’ve had those intermittently do weird things.

    Question: is the bridge pickup noticeably quieter when soloed?
  3. Thanks for your reply.

    Volume of both pickups played both together and solo'd is pretty constant. No issues there.
    I had a look under the bridge pickup yesterday and everything looks pretty normal, but in saying that, I don't really know what I'm looking for.
    The popping sound didn't seem to be happening as often yesterday when in played it. Very strange. I really struggle to be believe it will fix itself though.
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    It is a conundrum. But at least it doesn’t seem to be an issue with a pickup coil at this point.

    Any chance it’s environmental? Possibly an outside source of interference? Or a cable or amp channel/jack issue? I had a cellphone that used to cause a popping noise every so often if it were near one of she basses I owned. Friend had a TV that would sometimes do the same. Or nouse on a wall outlet. Some home control devices can bleed weird rhythmic noise into an AC line some gear will pick up if plugged into it. Are you using any smart home type controllers or devices?

    I’m curious what’s going on since I play Gibsons most times.
  5. I'm hoping it isn't an outside source. Tried with a cable, tried it with wireless, multiple different rigs, and on different circuits within my house. Used multiple other basses in the same setup to ensure it wasn't the setup itself.

    The bass is essentially new/old stock, so it wouldn't been sitting out on display for quite a while I expect. Could that have an impact, and if so, in what way?

    Completely stunned that this bass was sitting there available to be honest. A friend who was near the store I purchased from played prior to purchase and didn't notice anything.It sounds great, neck is awesome. Can only assume it wasn't purchased because it didn't say fender on the head stock.
  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    You do run into a bit of a prejudice against the Gibson look and sound. They get a different sound than a Fender does that’s for sure. But you will find real bargains from time to time because of that. I’m not complaining. :laugh:

    But yeah. You do have an odd issue on your hands. Since it’s a pasdive bass that dies simplify things but I can’t help thinking because it’s intermittent and a popping sound as opposed to just a pop, it doesn’t sound like anything mechanical or electrical on the bass itself to me. Not too many opportunities for that on a passive instrument. Since it’s passive it has to be: shielding, grounding, bad wiring connections, or a defective component in the circuit if it’s the bass. There’s just not that many places for it to hide in that simple a circuit. But I could be wrong.

    Have you contacted Gibson and asked about it? I ran a web check and I’m not seeing any backchatter about your issue. So it doesn’t appear to be a common problem.
  7. Yeah it's a head scratcher for sure. I'll keep you informed!
    40Hz likes this.

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