Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

noises

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Billdog, Apr 6, 2003.


  1. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    My bass makes three kinds of bad noises!:( Firstly, it's a Squier Jazz, which means poor build quality and (my first complaint), soloed pickup noise. I know that's pretty normal, so I won't make a big deal out of it. My two other bad noises are
    1. What I call static. It's white noise that quits when I touch my knobs, control panel, bridge, strings, or tuners. (sure seems like a grounding problem, but I wanted a second opinion.)
    2. My output jack seems to be giving me problems. First, it crackles(like a bad cable, but I've played through many cables on this bass, and many amps for that matter.) Second, it seems to affect my tone control. What I mean by that is, I'll have my tone rolled full off, but sometimes I'll move( i.e., wiggle the cord), and my bass will quite obviously sound like someone has rolled the tone knob full on (only lasts for a split second, when I'm shifting my weight or something while standing). Oh, while I'm here, my controls aren't very knob-like. They seem to be either full on or full off, there is a little in between, but not what you would expect from knobs. Basically, my pickups behave more like selector switches than volume controls, and my tone is more or less an on and of filter kind of thing. Is my preamp just totally wrecked or what? I'm worried because when I play through my new amp it will make nasty loud noises sometimes for one/all of the abover reasons and I'm afraid it's killing my amp.(no signs of that yet, but I'm a hypochondriac).
     
  2. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    i think i can help with the first question,my ibanez gsr200 used to do the same,(make noise ,but stop when touched) its the fact that its picking up noise from other sources like tv,radio,elec heater,etc,
    all my low end basses did this,it seems that "cheaper" made basses are more prone to this than others,though i have heard of "good" basses doing the same,my mex j/bass does but not my japanese fender with dimarzio's(pick-ups)
    this is just my opinion and my experience,i am not knocking low end basses because i started on them
    to, this is more than likely the prob,but it could be a combination of things as well. good luck:D
     
  3. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks for the help. I don't think it's picking that noise up though, only because it still happens when I have both pickups running. They should "buck" that hum when they are both running. Although I do pick stuff up when I'm soloing one pickup, but that is a totally separate noise.
     
  4. pkr2

    pkr2

    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Billdog, I'm assuming that you have a passive bass. If it doesn't have a battery in it, It's most likely passive.

    The bridge has a wire under it that is a ground wire going to a ground, usually at the output jack. The wire is kind of pinched between the bridge and the body of the guitar.

    It sounds like the wire isn't making good contact at the bridge. Loosen the strings and remove the bridge mounting screws. Raise the bridge up and check that the wire isn't corroded. Use a pocket knife to scrape the end of the wire untill the copper is bright and clean. Move the wire over a little so it contacts a new place on the bridge.

    Make sure the nut that holds the jack in is nice and snug and that none of the wires on the jack are frayed .


    This should take care of the problems concerning touching the strings.It sounds like you may need to clean the pots on your bass too. Go to Radio Shack or any electronic supply store and pick up a can of control cleaner.

    A shot of cleaner into each pot and a quick spin from full on to full off should take care of the control related prob.The same cleaner can be sprayed on your cable jacks and Will assure that you get a good connection from the bass to the amp. Plug them in and out two or three times while they're wet with the cleaner.

    If the jack still is crackly, you may need to replace it. Especially if it's a closed jack.They are cheap and easy to replace.

    To anyone who owns a Squier or any other of the lower end basses: Some time spent with doing a precise setup, a little time putting some shielding in a control cavity and even a PUP upgrade can yield a very good quality instrument.

    All basses are basically a piece of wood with strings stretched over it.

    Pkr2
     
  5. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks. Yeah, it's a passive. Why would cleaning the pots make them behave better? The whole full on full off thing seems like they just aren't well built pots. I'll tear it down and build it back up in a couple of weeks like you said though. I'm in college right now, so I'll have to wait till I get home. Thanks again.
     
  6. A potentiometer is basically a carbon strip with a little wiper arm that moves across it. This action varies the resistance of the pot. If dirt,dust or even the wiper arm bends up a little, it doesnt make good contact. The carbon strip is often in a U shape and due to the way it is built may rise up a little in places, more often at the ends. So the wiper makes contact fully off, and sometimes fully on.

    The contact spray, i use CRC in the blue can (there's other CRC's but they're not suitable), it coats the wiper and carbon strip, allowing them to make contact and work again. Once you have sprayed it in there turn the control fully up and then down about 20 times fairly quickly.

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  7. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks Merlin. I figured it was something like that. If the "strip" is warped in some way, would the pot need to be replaced? Thanks again.
     
  8. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    I am doing some work on a squire right now, and it seems to have the same problem with the jack that your bass does. As best as I can tell, The jack sticks out too far past the nut, so that the bass will not stay in it properly. I am just going to but a new jack and put it in, and I would recomend that you do the same.
     
  9. Sometimes. In the case of my guitar, i cant find a replacement. I'm dealing with another bass shop and he says June before he can even get his hands on one to see if its the right one. Washburn decided for one line of basses (my line) that the thread on the pot would be extra long for the thicker body. *shakes head* mine is cactus. I bypassed it on the electronics side (its active) but thats not the point.

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  10. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    try bringing the amp and bass in another room and plug it into a jack with no other stuff running off of it, i said the same thing. and when i brought it into a different room without the tons of electrical stuff i have in my room the noise stopped, i could be 100% wrong but at least try this free way of being sure,in my room all my lower end basses do this except my japan bass,and in an appliance free room all my basses are silent, if i'm wrong at least it did'nt cost you anything
    good luck:oops:
     
  11. Billdog

    Billdog

    Feb 27, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Geezer, my brother took the amp and bass home cuz he had a concert to play. I have his right now, and he called me telling me that my bass was still making nasty noises :(. So much for that theory. But thanks for the suggestions. I definetly think it is a poor connection and/or a bad pot now.