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Little Mark II + Jazz Deluxe = Hiss/hum

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mcbrood, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. mcbrood


    Jun 27, 2006
    Hi guys,

    I picked up a spankin' new MarkBass LM II and USA jazz deluxe (all up US$1750 incl. California tax @ Guitar Center - is that a good deal?) while in the USA a few weeks ago (I live in New Zealand). Got back home, and had the voltage on the switched to 230V for use in NZ (by authorised MB distributor).

    Had my first gig with the new setup on the weekend (running into an SWR Goliath III 8 ohm, also have a SWR 15" Basic 2-way if I need to get scary loud)- STOKED with the gear and tone (love the MB head), however, I had an annoying high hum/hiss coming through the cab (mostly tweeter).

    Tried the ground lift switch, no help. I never had this hiss with my old setup at the same venue (Trace Elliot AH300SMX into same Goliath cab, Mexi jazz bass) so I don't think it's a grounding issue at the venue. Interestingly, the noise was worst when the mid control on my BASS (not amp) was turned up. The treble knob had less effect. Hiss was still present with all bass controls set flat...

    Now, it's quite difficult for me to isolate the problem by swapping in other basses/amps at the mo cos the gear's in another city to me, so.... I thought some of you MarkBass/Fender eperts might be able to tell me if noise like this is typical, or where I should start the quest to fix it. It wasn't loud enough to be audible while playing, but enough to be annoying.

    Could it be an issue with the voltage conversion? Is the bass likely to be at fault? They call the pickups "noiseless", but is the USA deluxe preamp usually noiseless also, or is it just typical preamp hiss?

    This rig is the bisness (have to consign myself to the long list of MarkBass converts here sorry), so I'm keen to sort this little issue out.

    Thanks guys :)
  2. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    You know what, I have a USA active deluxe Jazz bass 5 that I picked up new a while back that hisses something terrible when the bridge pickup is on more than about 30%, unless I cut the treble to zero. Different eq knob than yours, but I suspect that maybe there's a problem with the electronics on these basses? Can you try to see if maybe it only hisses with one of the pickups, or is it with both?

    Anyway, I'm going to have mine converted to passive for the old school thing, so I'm not too worried about it. But in any event, I would suspect the electronics on your bass, although of course I may be wrong.

    Good luck!!!

  3. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Can you try it with another bass (or instrument)? I'd go about the process of removing pieces from the equation to find the culprit. Shouldn't take too long. Also, could the venue be part of the problem?

    liam's suggestion was the first thing you should check. Going off-center on the balance of single coil pickups can cause that though usually not exactly as you described (turning the treble on the bass usually makes it more noticeable, not the mids).
  4. mcbrood


    Jun 27, 2006
    Yeah I'm gonna try that, just won't have the chance for a few days...was really just wondering if hiss like that was out of the ordinary at all? I demoed the bass and amp together in Guitar Center in the US and never noticed a noise. That made me think perhaps it was caused by the voltage conversion in some way...?
  5. bassbinge


    Sep 17, 2004
    new zealand

    I gonna presume that the price is a missprint as you can get a markbass combo here for that price NZ$
  6. mcbrood


    Jun 27, 2006
    That price includes the markbass head AND the MIA fender jazz deluxe. You most certainly can't get a deal like that here in NZ...! The Markbass is on the receipt at US$450 + 8.5% tax...
  7. deBont Amps

    deBont Amps Commercial User

    Apr 10, 2007
    deBont Amps
    That's an awesome deal! Congrats!
    FYI the groudlift is just for the Line output. It doesn't do anything for the speakeroutput. Easiest way to check what's going on is to disconnect your bass from the amp at the amp side (if you leave the cable connected without a bass, it acts like an antenna). If the hiss is gone, it's the bass/cable. If you still have it, it's the amp/cabs. Then take it from there...
  8. mcbrood


    Jun 27, 2006
    Thanks, seems an obvious thing to try but didn't think of it during the last-minute setup for the gig :) I'll give it a go ASAP.

    I had remembered reading on TB that it was tough to get GC to move on the price of MB stuff, so I was pleased with the deal I got. I just told the sales dude I was getting on a plane home in 3 hours and it needed to be worth my while carrying the stuff home; they were pretty good about it. Still, wasn't sure how much the Americans here regularly haggle off the tag price of things. Regardless, it's about 40% of what I would've paid for that setup here in NZ.

    The New Zealand MB distributor hasn't been able to get any little mark IIs in for months so I was stoked to pick one up, especially at that money!
  9. bassbinge


    Sep 17, 2004
    new zealand
    My bad didnt see the + jazz deluxe,must read posts more carefully before posting replys!
    I wish i had known about markbass before i had gone through my bass amp purchases.
    2 amps and cab from states and cab from Aus.
    Sucks to be a Kiwi wanting good quality,reasonably priced gear sometimes.

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