MIJ Fender buzzes in front of amp

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by midnight, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. Subject line sums it up. My 6 year old MIJ Fender fretless is a wonderful bass and is nice and clear until I stand in front of its amp (Yep, easy solution: don't stand in front of amp!). Is this a common problem? Is there a common solution? :) It starts off as a low hum when I am close to the amp, then increases to a loud buzz when directly in front.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Simple reason: 60 cycle hum. Silgle coil pups have a tendency do pick this up if the source of power is noisy. The only solution is to replace your pups with hum cancelling ones. However I wouldn't and I'd just try to stand away from the amp.
  3. There's another solution to replaceing pickups, thats a lot cheaper as well. Copper shielding tape. It may or may not work however. Yes, its the simple 60 cycle hum... The EVIL hum.
  4. Thanx for the info! I won't sweat it and will just endeavor to not stand in front of the amp. Just out of curiousitys sake tho, how do you install copper shielding?

  5. The copper stuff comes in a tape form or you can buy it in sheets. It has an adhesive back so you trim to fit and adhere in place. Simple!
  6. Don't want to be a smarta** but the copper tape does not solve the problem coming from the single coils. But it is always good to have a good shielded bass.
  7. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    There are a couple of things going on here. #1, your amp's power transformer is not designed to contain the magnetic field that makes it work, so your bass is picking that up. This is pretty common, because most amp makers don't want to spend the extra $$ for a power transformer that contains the fields better.

    #2, true single coils will always be susceptible to this kind of stray magnetic field. Copper foil is an electrostatic shield, and will stop radio frequency noise, but won't stop magnetic fields. The right answer is a humbucking pickup or pair of pickups.

    You didn't say if your Fender was a Jazz or Precision. The standard P bass pickup pair is in fact a humbucking pair, and should be insensitive to this kind of noise.

    J bass pickups are each single coils, but a good J bass (or clone) will have one pickup that is reverse magnetic polarity and reverse wound. When both pickups are on, the hum cancels out. My Carvin is set up this way. It buzzes if either pickup is soloed, but is nice and quiet if both pickups are on at once.

    You can get all sorts of replacement pickups that will quiet the hum... for a price.

    I guess this is really a pickup question, huh?