MIM Fender Jazz Bass Buzzing

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Ashtray666, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. Hello hello,

    I have a Fender Jazz bass MIM, year of 2000. The darned thing wont stop buzzing. (when I am plugged in but not playing). I have redone the wiring so I know that it’s grounded properly. I read online that the neck & bridge have the exact same pickup in them. Could that be the reason why the buzzing is always there?

    I do intend on changing the pickups eventually, once I get more cash. As for milling out the cavity for the bridge that’s no problem.

    I just want the buzzing to be gone

  2. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    The original pickups in a 2000 MIM Fender Jazz Bass would be identical in width, but they would not be identical in structure. The pickups in a Jazz are installed as a pair, each of which is reverse-wound and reverse-polarity from the other. The traditional "hum" associated with these single-coil pickups is cancelled out when the volumes of each pickup are set equally. I own a terrific 2000 MIM Jazz which I've modded over the years in different ways, but the pickups are still original. If somewhere along the way, the pickups in your 2000 MIM were swapped out with, say two neck pickups or two bridge pickups, then yes, that could certainly cause an unpleasant buzz. If that's not the case, and you're certain that everything is grounded properly, then there's something else going on.
  3. @garp could it be a bad potentiometer ?
  4. Bad ground connection?
  5. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    It's certainly possible, though with a buzzing problem, I wouldn't consider replacing pots until I had ruled out all of the other usual suspects. FWIW, all three of my MIMs – including the 2000 Jazz – still have their original pots.

    You mentioned milling out the cavity for the bridge. Is that because you intend to replace the stock bridge? Or is it because the stock bridge has already been improperly replaced with an aftermarket bridge that requires milling? Bear in mind that any bridge needs to be properly grounded.

    Following are a couple of older threads from the Pickups & Electronics forum that might be of some assistance for additional troubleshooting:
    Lastly, here's the PDF schematic/control assembly diagram for the MIM Standard Jazz Bass® (scroll down to Part No. 013-6500, Rev. Date 11/08/99):
    Fender Bass Service Diagrams

    Good luck!
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  6. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Was th buzzing present the entire time you've owned it (new, or used?), or after changing out the wiring?
  7. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    If it were me, I would go down the troubleshooting path:
    • Location: Does it buzz only at one location (ie. At home), or everywhere?
    • Orientation: Does the buzz get louder or quieter as you physically face the bass in different directions (ie. Move the bass from North to West)?
    • Signal Path: Has the amplifier, cabinet, pedals, cables, etc. been verified to be without any issues?
    • History: Has it always had a buzz? If not, then has anything changed on the bass or it's signal path?
    These should get you pretty far with getting a general idea of what's going on.
    ArtisanLuthiers likes this.
  8. My bad on the lateness. Been busy

    I bought this bass used, It’s always buzzed/hummed since Ive owned.

    It would quiet down as I touched anything metal, so I assumed grounding issue. I opened up the control plate and when I saw the insides I just replaced all wires.

    I now learned this can be due to lack of shielding, and or the coils being wrapped the same direction.

    Also yes, if I spin on axis the hum goes away (if I am touching metal). Barely gets quieter if I spin without touching the bass.
  9. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought they were identical as a cost-cutting measure imposed upon that era of MIM Standards.
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Jazz basses hum a little, even when the two mirror pickups are set to the same volume.

    The closer you are to the amplifier, and the closer to parallel the strings are to the speaker, the more hum there is.

    In addition to the instrument cable and output jack, certain AC power conditions come into play--everything from the quality of your house ground and the outlet itself, to the big ceramic insulators out on the power lines. Those insulators can, with age or weathering, introduce significant noise into AC transmission.

    Move your amp to a different building with up to code wiring. Stay away from neon and fluorescent lights, use a good long instrument cable, and stand where the hum is least. Then evaluate your hum. Repeat that with a different amp, if needed.

    Split coil pickups are quieter, but don't sound the same, IME.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  11. I have intentions to put in a set of dimarzio DP149 as replacements. (I found a good deal on em) Can’t quite drop the big bucks at the moment.

    But while I have everything open, it’s still a good idea to line with copper tape or some conductive material for shielding?
  12. Low Commotion

    Low Commotion Supporting Member

    Hmmm... my 1999 MIM Jazz had hum all the time and I didn't really care for the sound of the pickups. So I replaced them. I suspect that this is the same for you.

    I just checked the original pickups because they're still on my workbench. The pickups are identical in size and construction. They are both wound the same way and both are north up. That would explain why my bass had hum (not being reverse wound reverse poles).

    I made the pup cavity bigger, and it doesn't need to be made a lot bigger. I also used copper foil to shield the pup cavities. The new pickups and shielding did make a huge difference. I went with Alnico 5 Fender pups.

    As mentioned above, split coil pups will also make a big difference, but they will not sound quite the same IMHO.
    Ashtray666 likes this.
  13. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    I, too, had read that claim here many years ago, but never verified it, as I've never disassembled my '00 MIM pickups. But @Low Commotion's observation above concerning the '99 MIM pickups would seem to indicate that they are identical. Interestingly enough, I don't get perceptible hum all of the time...maybe my shielding alleviated most of it...or perhaps it's because I've almost always got both volume pots set equally.
    Malak the Mad likes this.
  14. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Have the same problem on my 95 Jazz Squier series. However, I think mine has something to do with a bad pot or two. Adjusting the volume on the neck pickup isn't as smooth as it should be. I know they used some pretty crappy mini pots on the MIM Fender Squier series- so I have full size 250K pots on their way to me later this week. While I'm in there, I have enough copper tape to shield the interior cavities and such, so will do that too.
  15. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    You may want to check what pots are in your bass. Ideally, a passive jazz with stock pickups should use 250K not 500K. You'll get less hum.
    I just got done shielding the bass, still have to wait for the replacement pots in the mail but discovered my MIM Fender Jazz bass Squier series had 500K pots on it and the soldering job on it was terrible, with one pot probably bad.
  16. JoeyLiv


    Jan 3, 2017
    I have a MIM GLB & I get a buzz or that goes away if I touch anything metal on the bass. It gets worse when I turn up the tone knob. Any ideas on how to fix it?
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  17. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Is your amp properly grounded, at the outlet? How long has it been happening?
  18. JoeyLiv


    Jan 3, 2017
    Hi there I use this bass at church and blight it in to the direct box. Ground lift helps.
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  19. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Do you hear the buzz under any other conditions? Practicing at home, any other gigs with different amplification?

    Is your bridge properly grounded?

    Again, when did you first start noticing the problem?
  20. JoeyLiv


    Jan 3, 2017
    Sorry I’ve really started noticing it a few weeks ago it was always there but it’s getting really noticeable. At first it seemed it was only present when one volume knob was on and the other off, it would kind of go away when both knobs were wide open. Now it seems more tied to the tone knob. It’s only a few years old.
    Spidey2112 likes this.