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Noise when touch the poles of Nordstrand pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by luciano, Apr 29, 2018.

  1. luciano


    Jul 27, 2015
    I have a Ibanez premium with nordstrand big singles. The problem is noise when I touch the poles of the pickups. However, if I touch the string or bridge in the same time I touch the poles, the noise goes away. The gray wire (the ground of the pickups poles) is connect with the black wire in the electronics ground in the control cavity. The bass have shield in the all cavities.
    Please, exist some way to solve that problem?
  2. scuzzy


    Feb 15, 2006
    Troy, MO
    I may be mistaken, but I believe you have to ground the poles, which is what you are doing when you touch a pole and the hardware. That should help the issue.
  3. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    It sounds like the pickups have the outer side of their coils at earth potential. For exposed pole designs, ideally the start of the coil (inner - next to the magnets) should be wired to earth. This is a common problem. It's even worse if you use elixirs or other coated strings, because you can't earth the strings with your fingers, and this buzz will drive you crazy.

    With a multimeter, check the continuity between the pole pieces and the bridge. It sounds like that grey wire has failed in some way.

    I'd reverse the phase of both pickups. You'll need to remove all three wires and separate the black and grey. Then connect the white and grey as earth, then the black as hot. Again, be sure to do this for both pickups.

    If you still get buzzing after this mod, then you'll need to fix the earth connection to the pole pieces.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  4. luciano


    Jul 27, 2015
    I tested the continuity and the result is that almost of the poles have poor continuity, some don't have any continuity.
  5. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    Yeah, thought so.

    So go ahead and reverse the polarity of both pickups, and this should do the trick.
  6. luciano


    Jul 27, 2015
    I reversed the phase of both of the pickups exactly like you said. Unfortunately, the problem still exist. What do you recommend me now, please?
  7. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    Bummer. That's a nice quick fix that usually works with single coil pickups.

    In that case, as I mentioned, you'll have to fix that earth connection to the pole pieces.

    Remove the pickups. If they are potted in epoxy, you are out of luck and you may have to insulate the tops of the pole pieces with varnish or paint. OTOH, if they are removable from their covers and are standard old-fashioned fibre-flatwork fender style bobbins, there's probably just a strip of copper tape underneath.

    If that's the case, first check that the grey wire is connected to this with a good solder joint. If that's ok, another quick fix is to use a small jeweller's screwdriver to push the copper down onto the magnets in two or three places for each pole. This should restore the magnets connections to earth, but may not be a permanent fix.

    If this was on my bench, I'd remove the copper tape, clean the bottoms of the bobbin with solvent, then use a new strip of copper tape. Use one with conductive adhesive and only lay it half over the magnets. Mask a small area of the tape so you can resolder that grey wire, and paint conductive paint over the bottom of the bobbin. This should permanently connect the magnets to that grey wire.
    patrickj likes this.
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    I’d get my huge amount of money back instead of messing with a faulty product thereby voiding warranty.
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  9. luciano


    Jul 27, 2015
    I totally agree with you, 96tbird. But, the warranty finished and I'm not in USA to send the pickups to Nordstrand. The bass is pretty new and the pickups too, I really didn't have luck. Honestly, I didn't know that kind of problem is possible for expensible pickups.
  10. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    I see. Well, if Nordy truly does use copper tape with the conductive adhesive to ground the poles, it should be easy to fix.
  11. luciano


    Jul 27, 2015
    Sorry for delay, guys.
    I took off the copper strip that was on the poles. The glue was old and the conductive effect gone way. I'll buy new copper foil to do the grounding again. Please, is there any kind of copper foil better for that specific job?
    96tbird likes this.
  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    I don’t think there is but it’s cheap and easy fix so if it lasts a couple years and then you need to redo it, not too big a deal eh?
  13. okabass


    Mar 19, 2005
    Audere Audio Pole Piece Noise FAQ
  14. luciano


    Jul 27, 2015
    Hi guys,
    I did the job and change the copper foil. The problem finished! Pretty easy to do that.
    I thank you very much for the help.

    Attached Files:

  15. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Great job on the fix!
  16. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    Nice one. Glad you got it sorted out mate.

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