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Is it my house wiring?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JellinWellen, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. So lately I've noticed my noise and hum increases substantially depending on where I stand in the room. The worst places for me to stand are:

    Next to light-switches
    Right next to walls that have light-switches installed into them
    My amp (I get a major jump in idle hum the closer I stand to my amplifier head).

    My question is, is this due to an issue with my house wiring? Because at music stores I can't get a peep out of my bass. Regardless of volume level. If it is my wiring, is there any way to combat it? Thanks.
  2. Anyone?
  3. tmdazed


    Sep 29, 2012
    do you have florescent fixtures or dimmers wired up in the circuit?
  4. Nope, although I just moved my rig out of the room and into the middle of the hallway and plugged it in there. At least 95% quieter on all accounts. I walked back through the door with my bass plugged into the hallway rig and as soon as I stepped through the doorway I heard the noise get louder from there.

    The light switches and walls in the hallway do nothing in terms of noise. Same goes for being really close to my amp head.
  5. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    How old is the house?
  6. Not too old, 20-23 years old. Mid 90s I believe
  7. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    What kind of bass, pickups and shielding in the bass?
  8. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Is your bass shielded?

    Is your house haunted?
  9. knarleybass

    knarleybass Commercial User

    Apr 6, 2005
    Tustin, CA
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    I would say it's the wiring in the house, or it could be that you are close to the power pole transformer
  10. The room is adjacent to the breaker right outside, but I don't remember if the transformer is there or in the backyard.

    My bass is a precision and yeah everything is shielded and grounded on my bass. It could probably use some more/better shielding but it seems to just be sensitive to that room and certain others for the most part.
  11. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Odd for a Precision as the dual pup acts as a humbucker.

    Here's one for you all though.
    I just moved into a remodeled house with 2-200 amp panels, and a full set of inspections.
    Ive had this 72 J bass for a long time and haven't played it for a few years.
    Just fell in love with it again.
    It sounds reasonably quiet with 1 pup in the 1940's rehearsal house with a single 100 amp service and non-grounded outlets.
    It sounded the same at my old house (circa 1965) with grounded outlets.
    It buzzes like a chainsaw here (same amps have been tried at all locations).
    No dimmers or florescent (including CFL's) turned on in the basement where I practice.
    I can only assume RF. It is quiet with both pups up.
    For you EE's; is it possible that there is that much noise on the line coming in?
    Would finding a circuit on the other side of the buss bar potentially help?
  12. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    AC Circuits may not be grounded. Possible miswire in the switch box.
    An easy way to check is a 115 VAC outlet tester.
    Home Depot, $15 or so. Just plug it in ,LED's tell you
    whats going on.
    Great tool for any gigging musician.
  13. Ill have to grab one and see about it this weekend
  14. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    So if your amp is plugged in in the room, and you are standing in the room with your bass, it makes noise, but when you leave the room, the noise decreases -- and when you have the amp plugged in in the hallway, and you're standing in the hallway, it doesn't make much noise, but when you walk into the room, the noise increases?

    Have I got that right?
  15. Yes you've got it right, the noise does increase when I walk back into the room. Although it still isn't as loud as when the amps in there as well.
  16. 1954bassman


    Jun 7, 2004
    Hickory, NC
    1- you have tried a different cord, right?
    2 - could be the bridge ground wire has come disconnected.
  17. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    It's the NSA.

  18. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland

    More seriously... amps can be quite noisy. My Ashdown head has a fan in it, and single coils pick up the motor noise no problem. Even an amp without a fan will produce some noise. Sit your bass on top of your amp when it is all plugged in and running. I imagine inadequately shielded wiring in the walls will be noisy as well. I used to be able to pick up CRT monitors as well, when they were still in vogue.
  19. RF can be a real problem. I live about a mile from a major FM and TV transmission tower in Seattle and have had severe trouble, including a G&L L-2000 that picked up the local NPR station! Most of the time it has been fixable with improved shielding and grounding in the instrument, but sometimes it couldn't be eliminated completely. Active electronics seem to cause the most trouble. I've notice the noise changes depending on which direction I face while playing. You may have to use a different bass to eliminate the problem.
  20. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    Is the main panel box on any of the walls? ..... if it is, it could be all the wiring home runs, are converging to that point and with all those circuits fanning out from the breaker panel, makes for a very electrical noisy place