New hum/buzz on Rickenbacker 4003s

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Polkatronixx, Oct 12, 2020.

  1. Polkatronixx

    Polkatronixx

    Jan 28, 2019
    Hornchurch
    Okay, I'll admit it - I am a total numpty. I had hemmed and hawed about posting this, but I figure it's better to just swallow my pride in the service of getting my issue resolved.

    I recently bought a new black pickguard and truss rod cover for my ruby red Rickenbacker 4003s. I *thought* I took care when installing them - but after I finished, I plugged the bass in to give it a play and lo and behold, I was greeted by a VERY noticeable hum or buzz. I swear it wasn't there before. As it goes away when I touch the bridge or strings, I assume this is a shielding issue. What flummoxes me is that if it IS a shielding issue, it should've existed prior to the pickguard change. The old pickguard was not shielded or anything special.

    Can anyone shed any light on this? Might I have moved something inadvertently that could cause this?

    If anyone cares, the bass looks great with the new pickguard/trc. Almost makes it worth the buzz.
     
  2. I don't think it's a shielding issue. I think when you put everything back together the ground from the neck position pickup got disconnected or disrupted..
     
  3. Polkatronixx

    Polkatronixx

    Jan 28, 2019
    Hornchurch
    Thanks! I will look into that. I don't have a soldering iron or anything, so I probably can't fix it. I'll google it to see what's involved, what to look for, etc.
     
    Gluvhand likes this.
  4. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    The pup wire connections are very small gauge, fragile wire, any competent tech can resolder if you broke one. Check the ground wire going from the cavity to the bridge too, if that got dislodged, it would hum. Check connections at the jack too, easy to break them too. Don't sweat it, probably a simple fix.
     
    Polkatronixx and Gluvhand like this.
  5. Polkatronixx

    Polkatronixx

    Jan 28, 2019
    Hornchurch
    Thanks - will do. It's all a bit of a pain, with the pandemic and all. I've struggled to find a tech in my area in the past and don't fancy a trip into London. But maybe I'll just have to deal with it.
     
  6. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Or...... take this as an opportunity to learn to solder, it’s really not that hard, and a simple “pen” style soldering iron is cheap. I taught myself in a few hours just soldering random components to a piece of perfboard. I then built a few kit pedals, by the end of which I could solder even tiny components. If you post a few photos of the wiring, somebody here can probably spot the problem, maybe save you a long drive and unnecessary expense.
     
  7. Polkatronixx

    Polkatronixx

    Jan 28, 2019
    Hornchurch
    Good idea. I might well do that. I tried to solder stuff when I was a kid (my dad had a soldering iron), but I was terrible. Of course, that was before YouTube and the internet. I am sure I could teach myself if I really tried. I might actually do this - get an iron and maybe post the pics for some expert advice. I wanted to eventually change the pickups and pots on a guitar of mine - this could be how I learn to do it.

    Cheers.
     
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  8. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Absolutely! Im a total YT tutorial freak, pretty much my first source for almost anything i want to learn, its all there, and usually 20 videos for every conceivable thing, no matter how obscure. Something like this is plenty for simple guitar wire soldering. This one has different tips available, the big chisel tip is really only good for simple wiring like jacks or ground connections to pots, but they sell "pencil" tips separately.
    https://www.amazon.com/Weller-SP40N...ng+iron&qid=1602589131&sprefix=weller+&sr=8-9

    https://www.amazon.com/Soldering-we...9Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU=

    I built a few pedals by BYOC, and ended up buying this little soldering station, which is more than adequate for.any soldering ill ever do:
    https://www.amazon.com/Weller-WLC10...ng+iron&qid=1602589131&sprefix=weller+&sr=8-4

    A fun way to learn to.solder is building kits, these BYOC kits are very good quality components, and the instructions are paint-by-numbers simple. I cant read schematics, but I can follow a wiring diagram. Ive built the bass chorus, flanger, big muff, and compressor, they all fired up first try.

    Bass FX
     
  9. Polkatronixx

    Polkatronixx

    Jan 28, 2019
    Hornchurch
    Excellent! I was just looking at the Weller soldering iron kit on Amazon, in fact. I might pull the trigger when I get paid.
     
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  10. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Well, since your shopping.......these are great for cleaning the soldering iron tip. They tend to get a film of oxidation on them between use, even if you "tin" the tip before putting the iron away (which you should do), and this brass wool stuff takes it right off. While soldering, you need to clean the tip with a wet sponge.

    You'll need some 60/40 resin core solder, get the thin stuff, not the thick plumbers solder, and a small tin of flux, which will last for years. Dont get plumbers flux, its too.acidic, you want electronics flux.
    https://www.amazon.com/Soldering-Cl...uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl
     
  11. Polkatronixx

    Polkatronixx

    Jan 28, 2019
    Hornchurch
    I really appreciate all the advice. I am going to make a checklist before I place any orders to ensure I've got my bases covered. Thanks to your help, I might avoid my usual tactic, which is to buy a bunch of the wrong stuff and then have to spend more money getting what I should've ordered the first time!
     
    Gilmourisgod likes this.