New Fender American Standard...Should I Return It?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by YBnormal, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. YBnormal


    Jun 17, 2013
    I picked up a brand new Fender American Standard P-Bass from a local dealer after testing it at the store. When I brought it home I noticed a fairly loud buzz when the tone is turned up. The buzz reduces when I touch the volume knob, control knob or the input jack. It doesn't change when I touch the strings. I changed cords, tried a different amp that I have and still have the buzz. My other basses do not buzz. I took it back to the store to have it serviced and they could not find anything and even let me play it again there. It sounded great.

    I'm 7 days into my 14 day return policy. Should I return it or is there something else I can try?

  2. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Check the lights and wiring in your house.
    Do any of your other basses have passive single coils?
    If it didn't do t at the store I would say there isn't anything wrong with it.
  3. YBnormal


    Jun 17, 2013
    Thanks for the quick response. The other basses are active.

    What should I check for in the home wiring?
  4. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Hard to say. I chased lights and grounding in my house to find out what was causing my Jazz basses (and only my Jazzes) to hum.
    I finely found out it was a neon light on the other side of the house.

    A good shielding of the bass could help too.
  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Have an electrician come and check the common neutral (the white wire when you're wiring a socket) to the house supply.

    Did the bass have electrostatic noise in the store when you did not touch the strings, and did it go away when you did?
  6. YBnormal


    Jun 17, 2013
    It didn't have any noise in the store.
  7. cyco739z


    Mar 25, 2013
    Boston Ma.
    Try it at a friends house.
  8. It's EMI, coming from something in your home. Could be a light dimmer or TV or something. No biggie.

    NOW: if touching metal parts like knobs and the jack reduce the noise but touching the strings does NOT, the bridge ground is not functioning. Fix this and you're golden.
  9. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Try flipping the ground lift switch on your amp.

    If your amp does not have a ground lift, get one of those little 3 to 2 prong adapters for your amp plug.

    You might also want to try different outlets in your house.

    Either way it sounds like it's the wiring in your house.
  10. Do NOT do this, ever.
  11. YBnormal


    Jun 17, 2013
    This is exactly what happens, but still only seems to be a problem at home, not the store.
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    Therefore it isn't the bass. I wouldn't return it.
  13. georgestrings

    georgestrings Inactive

    Nov 5, 2005
    You should not advise people to do this, as it is not a proper fix, and can be dangerous...

    I agree with the others, OP - if it didn't do it in the store, it's not defective - the issue is with your house electrical... You can buy an outlet tester for $10 or less - which will verify proper ground and neutral polarity - or verify it with a multi-meter, if you have one and know how to use it...

    - georgestrings
  14. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    If it's only happening in your home, it sounds like a shielding issue. Check the shielding tutorials for information about how to do this.

    All the best,

  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I vote for:

    1) It's not the bass, it's the house...either wiring or an AC motor, fluorescent light, etc.
    2) Get an outlet tester at Home Depot or ACE Hardware - you should test outlets anyway.
    3) Add shielding
  16. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    If it is stopping when you touch the plug, but not stopping when you touch the strings, then the ground connection to your bridge is not connected.

    The way these things are designed your body is being abused as a shield by grounding you via the strings via the bridge.

    It's probably a 50 second repair but in any case I'd use it as a hint and properly shield the thing instead of doing the above life-threatening nonsense.
  17. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    I've used ground lift (and/or a 2 prong adapter as needed) to stop hum from old wiring for more than 40 years and never had a problem.

    Have I just been lucky?

    Not trying to be an ass about it, I'm just never too old to learn something new.
  18. Maybe. If you understood the purpose of that ground lug you might have thought twice before defeating it.
    Here's why:
    It is possible for an amp to fail in such a way that the chassis becomes electrified. Since it's attached to the chassis, the ground lug will send all that current to ground, which will immediately trip the service breaker for the outlet you're plugged into, removing the danger.
    Remember that the ground wire in your instrument cable is ALSO attached to the amp chassis........
    And your bridge ground.......and strings.........all attached to the amp chassis........
    If the lug is defeated, the amp may continue to function, and you might not even know there's a problem.
    UNTIL you are holding your bass/strings and then touch something else that IS grounded, like a microphone, other equipment, etc. Then you get zorched, and maybe die. It's happened.
  19. +1, as I said earlier. This is the problem, guaranteed.
  20. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    I just wish people wouldn't post so much random other stuff in between when it's so clear-cut.

    There is one more exotic explanation and that is tape-wound strings. With those even grounded strings won't ground you. Then there's no choice but to shield.