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Need To 'Tone-Down' Pups On A MIM P-bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SurferJoe46, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. I want to take the brightness and noise out of one of my Ps.

    I think it might take a resistor or capacitor across the pot for the tone - is that a good idea?

    What I've done so far:

    1) [don't laugh] I put some Elixirs on (45/100) and they then got a coat of wax. It works, but I know this is just not a great idea.
    2) Lowered the pups as fr as they would go
    3) Stuffed a sponge below the strings near the bridge - now it sounds like a Hofner.
    4) Changed every possible amp-EQ setting and turned off all the Piezzos
    5) Added a compressor/limiter
    6) Notched-out the highs as much as possible

    I've done everything but stand in water when playing.

    If I can't get this P to shut up, it goes on CraigsList.

    Will the resistor or cap work? What value(s)?
  2. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    Try a .1 uF capacitor. That should darken it.
  3. TY. Radio Shack, here I come.

    Hopefully this makes it all well. I really am spoiled after playing my SR500.
  4. Yeah, a 0.1uF capacitor should do it.

    I wouldn't use a resistor on the tone pot, that will just decrease the volume.
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    noise? as in hum?

    are you trying to fix 60Hz hum by killing all the treble in your tone?

    maybe you have a bad pickup.
  6. Not 60Hz at all - nor fluorescents either.

    Just nasty, noisy string metallic sounds that I feel should not be carried by the pups to the amp.

    Neither of my Ibanez basses are noisy at all - it's just this MIM P-bass.

    Every time I press a string to the fretboard, it makes an amplified 'click-pop' sound and I cannot touch the strings with either finger/hand without some noise getting picked up.

    As I pluck a string I can hear my fingerprint grooves moving over the string. This is the only bass that make this ungodly noise.

    I checked for grounds and they are all good and show zero-Ohms, so it's not the human factor with static electricity or human capacitance etc.
    Strings-to-output jack 'shaft' is zero
    Strings to pots are zero
    Tuners to bridge are zero
    Bridge to pots and output jack shaft is zero.​
    There are no OPENs or floating or missing ground-points anywhere.

    It's just plain ol' playing/fretting/plucking noise that these pups hear. I swear I can hear my heartbeat in the amp - and again I don't have any other guitars that make this much noise.
  7. denton57

    denton57 Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Easy..Get some LaBella flats! And a Lollar pickup ;)
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I agree, get some flats, or even some D'Addario half rounds.

    And why not just turn the tone control down on the bass?
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Sounds like you need flatwound strings.
  10. I'm going to try some flats. I just haven't decided on a brand. I am going to install a MusicMan pup with another pot to blend the two (then) pup - the stock and the MusicMan.

    I even dropped the pups that are on it now as far into the body as possible - it made a small difference.

    This brand (D'Addario ENR71) was offered to me as a very good alternative for the Elixirs at GC today. I decided to wait it out a while yet - explanation to follow ---------

    That's what I did at first.

    Yeah - I agree.

    I had a pretty long conversation with a couple of bass-guys at GC today. I was there buying something else (it's in the blood, ya know?) and I told them about my carnauba wax job on the strings and they told me that they'd never heard of waxing the strings - until another guy showed up and he said he rubs candle wax on his "Hi-Beams" whatever they are, until they settle down.

    Something about he likes the feel of them on his fingers - but not the sound. I dunnow - I don't think stainless steel would ever get quiet ------- but what do I know? I always thought S/S strings were hard on the fingers.

    I'll just try to improve my playing ability and tough it out a short while.

    Maybe it's me - but really NONE of my other basses, which includes my new acoustic Ibanez AEB, make anywhere near the amount of string whistle and fret noise as this one P-bass.
  11. I agree, flatwounds and check your pickup height.
  12. Flabass


    Aug 11, 2008
    St. Petersburg
    D'Addario Chrome Flatwounds
  13. +1 Chromes
  14. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    If you are getting a whole lot of clacking - probably a good setup is in order. If it were me I would make sure there is enough relief in the neck and be sure that the strings aren't too low... I see a lot of basses with the action way too low. They play super fast and sound like cr@p. After the setup, I would get better pickups ...

    FWIW - wax on the strings sounds like a terrible idea...
  15. Guess what? I raised the bridge adjusters and things are mucho quieter.

    Like I said - the next step is a Musicman and another pot in the pickguard.

    I MAY be able to live with this Fender P after all! :D

    Thanks!!! Many times - thanks!

    Next thing I want to find a tri-colored pickguard white/red/white.

    Seriously - this is getting better n' better :hyper:

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