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Jazz Bass Hum Elimination?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by shoot-r, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    I LOVE the sound of the stock pick-ups that came in my Fender Road-Worn Jazz bass.
    But, they have a more than normal amount of passive jazz bass hum.
    Atleast more hum than any passive Fender jazz I've owned in the past.
    Is there a way to ground/eliminate this hum without changing out the pick-ups?

    Thanks to all...
  2. Nope. You either get single coil tone, or you get a quiet bass, but you can't have both. If you try to get rid of the hum, you usually lose the tone.
    Crater likes this.
  3. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    I was truly afraid of this. :crying:

    Even with the horns in my cabinets dialed back the hum on some stages makes this bass almost unuseable.

    I'll start my research on a pair of after-market, hum cancelling,
    orginal sounding jazz bass pick-ups.
  4. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Well I would say you can indeed get a single coil sound from hum canceling pickups. it might not be the exact same single coil tone as the stock pickup, but it is possible.

    All depends on the pickups of course. :)
  5. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    Could I get you to make some suggestions as to what pick-ups you'd recommend?
    I've been beatin' around on a jazz of one sort or another for over 40 years and never changed anything on one of them besides strings...but I've not had one buzz like this one either!
  6. Well, I assumed that like 95% of these kind of posts, the OP was after the vintage Fender tone, and you can only get that exact tone from singles.:hyper:
  7. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Right, but there was no one vintage fender tone. it varies a bit. And if you bass doesn't sound exactly like someone else's Jazz bass, well that's a good thing to me. I don't get why everyone wants to use the exact same tones.

    Having said all that, I think my Sidewinder Jazz pickups sound very much like real single coils, and even quite a bit like a Jazz bass. They get a nice burp at the bridge and the neck is deep and buttery.
  8. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    This is not exactly the fix you're looking for, but have you considered series/parallel wiring?
  9. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    If the hum is that loud, perhaps shielding the cavities would help? If it is truly pickup hum, you should be able to cancel it by setting the pickups to the exact same level(making a humbucker). if you can't then perhaps you have a wiring/shielding/grounding issue.

    Hum is generally 120/180 Hz -dialling back your horns isn't going to affect that at all.
    marh415 likes this.
  10. ShoeManiac


    Jan 19, 2006
    New Jersey
    LOL! The timing of your post is really funny. At least to me!

    I had some hum with my roadworn Jazz bass. I love the bass, but I had some very considerable reservations about recording with it since there was some hum present. Some recording sessions got scheduled for my band and I knew I had to do something if I wanted to record with this bass.

    So I decided to do TWO things: first, I was going to get a pair of Lollar jazz bass pickups. I had a chance to try some Lollars in a Nash JB-63, and they sounded awesome! More of that Jazz bass growl, and a great all-around tone. Next, get the control cavity shielded. So I ordered the pickups and scheduled some time with my luthier to get the pickups installed and a shielding job. I opted for the shielding paint, since it's a more long lasting solution. They also did the pickup installation. The result? The bass sounded great in the studio today. And no hum!
  11. Yes, wire it like a P-Bass with the pickups in parallel. One volume and one tone. I'm running mine in series now and there is a slight single coil hum. But wired in parallel the same setup was totally silent. Since you probably have a four hole control plate, you could wire it like a P-Bass and have it volume, tone, series/parallel switch, output jack.:)
  12. LaBassGuy

    LaBassGuy Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    The hum should not be audible when your band is playing. My jazz basses hum too but it's not that bad, especially with the tone rolled back
  13. tedsalt

    tedsalt Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2010
    Kansas City
    That's the nature of single coil pickups. And it varies depending on the electrical at each gig. Keep both volumes maxed then roll one or the other back a little to give it that single coil vibe, then use a kill switch or your tuner mute between songs. Or just run both pups full volume.

    I'm diggin' that single coil vibe ....
  14. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I love Jazz basses, but despise single coil hum, so I've gone with noiseless pickups that sound very close to single coils. My favorites are Lindy Fralin's Split-Jazz, which have strong output and lots of growl. For about half the price, DiMarzio's Area J are excellent as well. They're like traditional singles with a little more thump, and I think they sound great. They punch through in a band mix with an effect similar to the Nordstrand NJ5FS I have in my Jazz V.
  15. Electricblue


    Feb 1, 2011
    Not to be a d*** but how would that fix the hum?

    You could try EQ out the exact frequency in which you get the hum.

    Having the two pickups on together is pretty much the only way to eliminate the hum.

    Has anybody mentioned shielding yet?
  16. Get a noise gate pedal.
  17. allexcosta

    allexcosta Banned

    Apr 7, 2004
    Boca Raton - FL
    Endorsing Artist: MLaghus Custom Basses
    Please guys, listen to some of Marcus Miller's recordings with a headphone, mostly fingerstyle stuff... The hum is there every time and who cares, really...

    NO other pickup will give you that particular vibe. Many split-coils come close, but A/B them in identical basses and it'll be obvious. And once you settle for that single-coil tone, nothing else will do it...

    Shielding solves 90% of the problem. I like conductive paint myself, not that it's better, but I can use some cotton swabs to put them inside every cavity in the bass including the wire channels creating a true Faraday cage and that makes the single-coil hum minimal...
  18. rummy


    Apr 17, 2006
    West Dundee, IL
    Shield the best you can.
  19. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Shielding doesn't get rid of hum (low pitched), which is time varying magnetic field noise, but it will get rid of that electrostatic buzz (high pitched) which is electrical field noise.
  20. MusicBear


    Jan 22, 2010
    East coast, USA
    Proper shielding will eliminate the hum you hear from your Jazz Bass. Older Fender basses had no shielding and newer basses make only a token effort with conductive paint - but, as you point out it doesn't kill the noise.

    Copper foil, properly installed, will eliminate all but the very slightest amount of hum from the original single-coil pickups. Then all you have to do is move/turn a little bit and the bass will be silent when you are not playing, and you will hear nothing while you are playing.

    I've done this to dozens of Jazz Basses, Rics and other single-coil pickup basses. My customers are always amazed that the bass ends up QUIET.

    (There will be some noise from even the best hum-cancelled pickups if they are installed in an instrument that is not properly shielded.)