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New T-Bird Pro, active pick ups noise..???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Millertime63, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Millertime63


    Sep 29, 2009
    I just got the Epiphone Thunderbird Pro and love the look and feel. Workmanship is right there with the Gibby but the active pick ups put out a bunch of noise if not touching the strings. I went ahead and shielded the cavities with copper sheilding tape and still the same. I am playing through a GK 700RB with power conditioner and SWR tuner and run -15db with the T-Bird.

    I have always used passive PUs and my P bass has bass lines 3/4 lb p/u's so I am used to no noise at all.

    Any suggestions to a fix...? Anyone else have a T-Bird Pro with noise issues???

  2. Yep, experiencing the same thing with mine. Noise is more noticable the closer I get to my basement (flourescent) lights. Touching the bridge, or the metal jacket around the output jack makes about 90% of it go away, so I thought it was a shielding problem, but have not yet pulled it apart to modify. I did remove the bridge to check the grounding wire. It was just placed between the body and the bridge, not really attached to anything. I wrapped the (stripped) end around one of the bridge screws, but no improvement. So now, hearing that shielding doesn't help, I'm kinda stumped...

    This is the 1st bass I've experienced this on. And they are supposedly "humbucking" pickups, no less! BTW, I also own a Gibson T bird IV, and its electronics are dead-quiet...and have more output than the Epi, even with the active electronics.

    Other than that, I agree, the bass is a great player, & very cool looking!
  3. $Lindz$


    Oct 27, 2008
    Best solution I have found:

    Set the Epiphone on fire and play the Gibson instead!
  4. Nah. This Epi's too nice for that, other than the hum booger.

    The electonics issue will be dealt with, one way or the other. If I have to gut the thing and start from scratch, well, that's what I'll do. I'd rather not, as the tone from what's there now isn't bad (doesn't sound like the Gibson, but has its own sound, which seems to work in the mix, from what I can tell from 1 jam, only had the Pro for a week)

    As for the quality of the pro vs the real deal, play a Pro and you'll understand...
  5. Fender4000


    Oct 26, 2008
    I just got mine today and it's doing the same thing. Just to make sure it wasn't some local noise phenomenon, I compared with two Ibanez's I have (SR500 and BTB556) with it and they sounded fine.

    I have a feeling the buzz is coming from the active eq/pre-amp.

    I'm sending mine back to Sweetwater to see what they can do about it.
  6. I have a feeling you are right. I opened the rear cover and there's a lot...a whole lot...of wiring back there. More than my EMG equipped Spector (and that means it's not needed:scowl:). And, moving the wiring around a bit, it seems as if it's really sensitive to movement. Somewhere, in all that wiring, I have a feeling something's not designed...or excecuted...correctly.

    F4000, keep us posted on the outcome with Sweetwater.
  7. Fender4000


    Oct 26, 2008

    Sweetwater immediately shipped a second one to me (with a pre-paid return label for the first bass). The second one was whisper quiet (as one would expect from active eq / humbuckers, unless I ramp the treble all the way up, but it's less than the Ibanez Bartolini system now).

    I had played a Gibson Thunderbird IV a few weeks before and, I gotta tell you, it sounds VERY CLOSE to the Gibson when played all settings flat.

    Played three 4hr gigs (12 hrs total) with it and it sounded incredible! Full sound through and through and the sustain is great! The stock strings are sounding a little dead to me now, but I'm picky (I like bright, piano sounding strings; I'll be putting Elixirs on it soon).

    The woodwork/finish on both basses was perfect, no defects, blotches, etc. Fingerboard and frets well done, etc.

    The neck dive is easily fixed by adding two strap buttons, one on the back where Gibson puts it on the Thunderbird IV, the other on the bottom/side halfway between the original button and the top-most of the body. Balances perfect for me now with no hands.
  8. Sweetwater's CS is fabulous in my experience. Lots of great stories about how they have gone above and beyond to get it done for folks.

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