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Noisey Epi Viola bass or other violin basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by boristhespider7, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    Has anyone else got any issues with noise/hum from their Epiphone Viola bass?

    I find mine quiet most of the time but if i get within 2ft of my amp i get a hum that i can't eq or ground out (eg. touching strings etc). I'm guessing it's interference from the magnet in the transformer on my amp head.

    Anyone had any joy trying to shield a Viola or other violin bass? And would shielding actually work to reduce this hum? Looking at it i think the only place to shield would be directly under the PU's and maybe under the pots (if i can get in there), but there's no pick guard so there's a limit to what can be shielded.

    Would love to use this live more, but tend to be cramped on stage with brass players right in front of me so i'm usually either almost sat on my amp or playing 1-2 ft in front of my amp so it would be a problem. Otherwise i love this bass, it's so much fun to play!

    I've opened this out to other violin basses as well, as most of them seem to have a similar type of construction
  2. Orpheus55

    Orpheus55 Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2006
    Port Charlotte, FL
    I never had this problem in the years I owned my Epi Viola. This is a very subjective area, but the Viola remains my favorite Beatle clone bass. I did have some crackling from the jack, which I sprayed and cured; check connections, florescent lights, maybe tilt amp back a bit?
  3. RonChase


    Aug 15, 2008
    I have had this happen when I use certain cables connecting my amp head to the cabinet,check your cable to amp and cab and also check your guitar cord,If nothing else you can at least rule these out but 9 times out of 10 it works.I have 2 Hofner Icons and once owned a epi viola and this should not be happening
  4. Peacefrog35


    Dec 26, 2009
    Good suggestions above. I've got a German 1963 reissue and it doesn't happen nor did it happen with my HOfner CT or iCON that I once had.
  5. bassdaddyfive


    Feb 12, 2009
    Kenosha Wi.
    I have never had that problem with mine. Check your cable to the amp. Sometimes the cable is the issue with magnetic fields.
  6. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    Thanks for the advice. Well i finally got round to taking my Viola apart and think i found the problem. The PU's and control plate are shielded from the front (eg. the PU covers are shielded) but there is no shielding what so ever from behind the PU's and control panel.
    Explains why i get hum when i back up too close to my amp head.

    It's going to be difficult to put some shilding copper tape in the body as i only have small hole's to put it in, but i'll probably get some conductive shielding paint and slosh it about in the body to shield the rear body section.

    BTW, tried changing cables as suggested...makes no difference. Also looked at my amp head shielding and no problems with that either.
  7. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    just to update this old thread...i changed my amp head from an Ashdown MAG to an ABM and as if by magic all buzzing gone! Maybe the transformers screened better inside the head? (Just a guess, haven't opened it up yet)
  8. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    I understand some of the Epiphones had the pots mounted on a circuit board (I'm guessing to eliminate the caps & some wiring) which could contribute to the noise problem.

    When I put a black laminate layer on the bottom of the control plate on my Rogue (has the 2 volume pots/3 switch configuration instead of the 3 pot volume/tone set up on the Epi), I mounted everything to a brass plate (IDK what the original was made of. Looked like a cheap piece of rusted pot-metal) directly under the plastic cover. Can't see how else to shield these basses since there's no control cavity per se, given that the body is hollow to begin with.

    Good luck with the new amp!
  9. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
    I'm reviving this thread once more. Now in posession of an Ashdown Little bastard 30 all valve head. This bass is the only bass which buzzes with this. No hum with my split coil P, v minor hum with my single coil P and lots with the Viola. Shame as i really like the bass and head and i'm sure they'd make a great combination ...if it wasn't for the hum :-(

    Apart from the lack of shielding could it be anything else like:
    Pick up's not wired in humbucking mode when they are both on full? Anyway of checking this?
    Loose wiring in PU? Would wax potting help or a change of PU's?
    Any other ideas? I can post a pic of internal electronics if that would help

    BTW, humming decreases as i alter the angle of the bass in relation to the amp eg. lay it horizontally decreases it dramatically
  10. boristhespider7


    Jan 27, 2008
  11. GM60466


    May 20, 2006
    Land of Lakland
    None here