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Noisy P bass - Help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Asyme, Mar 2, 2016.


  1. Asyme

    Asyme

    Aug 30, 2010
    Minneapolis,MN
    Hi guys-
    Just received a very nice, new Fender American Deluxe Precision from an online store. Good deal, great playing bass. The problem is noise. This thing buzzes like crazy. I get it that the active pickups sometime do this but my 3 Stingrays never made a noise, so I don't buy that. Now I only play my bass at home usually when the family is in bed with headphones. So it's even even louder with phones on. Which is most of the time. The salesman is nice and has sent me lengthy emails about how they all do that and I could bring it somewhere for copper shielding. Seems like it should just come that way to me.

    Anyway, trying to decide if I should just send it back or get it "fixed". I know there's LOTS of P guys here so I'd love your thoughts.

    thanks-
    alec
     
  2. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    I've never had an active pickup do this. Especially with an active pre-amp as well (which your bass has). I've had terrible experience with the N3 Noiseless Jazz style pickups (which I think your bass has in the bridge position). Those are supposed to be noiseless considering the name, but they buzzed more than a passive Jazz pickup with no shielding. I'd send that thing back and get something else.
     
  3. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    If it is buzzing significantly with the P pickup soloed, then there is something wrong with it and shielding it is not going to fix it.
     
  4. Asyme

    Asyme

    Aug 30, 2010
    Minneapolis,MN
    Well, yes it is an N3 pickup. Not good. So much for noiseless. I'm bringing it to a reputable repair shop tomorrow. I'll see what he has to say. (The first thing was "that's what you get buying online"). Can't blame him for that line I guess. I'll see what happen.

    alec
     
    Lownote38 likes this.
  5. stonewall

    stonewall

    Jun 14, 2010
    ontario,Canada
    A real P is passive and silent.
     
    Kukulkan61 likes this.
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    OP I am guessing the hum is stopped when you touch any strings/bridge/metal. If so, you are getting RF interference and the bass requires shielding. That will cease the noise. Fender does not recognize RF interference as an issue so they will tell you this is fine. This isn't strictly a Fender issue but they're notorious for it, they only started shielding at all a few years ago. I would also suggest double checking the ground wire coming from the bridge.

    Just on an aside, I don't think your P bass have active pickups and your Stingrays definitely do not. They are passive pickups paired with an active pre-amp. Stingray pickups are susceptible to the same RF interference, I had to shield mine. Obviously your Rays are performing fine so do not fix what isn't broken, I'm just highlighting they can suffer from this.

    Everything I know on the subject is in the link in my signature. There is another great guide stickied in the pickups sub-forum (I think) as well. If you have any other questions just ask them in a thread, one of the minds here will help you.

    If I am wrong and the noise persists when you touch strings/bridge/metal then we need to do some troubleshooting. If this is the case I would start by soloing the P pickup and seeing if the issue persists.
     
  7. Asyme

    Asyme

    Aug 30, 2010
    Minneapolis,MN
    Well, I wish. The hum is really more of a nasty buzz that just gets stupid loud when flipped to active mode. And no it does't go away by touching anything metal. Strings, bridge, etc. I honestly think there's just something wrong with it. If they were all like this I can't imagine them being so popular. I'll just have to return this one.

    thanks much-
    alec
     
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Does anything impact the buzz aside from turning the pre-amp on and off? Does the direction the bass faces or any twists of the knobs impact anything?

    I'm guessing you've tried a new battery as well.

    I had a 2011 Fender American P Deluxe and it had zero noise issues, there is definitely something up. I had a American Jazz Deluxe V that did require shielding, though, which I thought was odd.
     
  9. Asyme

    Asyme

    Aug 30, 2010
    Minneapolis,MN
    Hi thanks for the help. Yes, if I move into JUST the right direction it simmers somewhat but it's always there. If I move the pickup pot to just the neck pickup it helps alot. So there's something up with that bridge pickup. I'm guessing that's the active one. So, theoretically, if I stay in one very specific angle, turn off the bridge pickup and turn it to passive it's almost ok. Sort of ridiculous, right? Not the reason I bought this bass.

    Thanks again-
    alec
     
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    It sounds like the J pickup is failing to work as a humbucker. I did not have this with either of my basses but I have heard this complaint from other users. If you can get your tech to work for free I'd go for it but I would honestly return the bass if it was mine (if it is an option.) I wouldn't hesitate to try another, I would imagine there a lot more "players" of this model than there are duds.
     
  11. Actually that's not 100% true as my experience has shown. Where I live i get some serious RF noise depending on where I stand or sit in the house, even with the P pup solo'd. Whilst I can occasionally get some hum after a full shielding job (particularly when really close to the amp) it has managed to reduce it significantly. This has been the case with three very different basses with P style pups.

    At a recent gig I noticed some really bad hum start during the second set. It took me a minute or two to realise I had accidentally knocked the pup selector switch to P/J in series. It's the first place i've experienced with noisier wiring than my house.
     
  12. bass32

    bass32

    Jan 30, 2012
    Oklahoma
    This may not have anything to do with your problem, but years ago my '75 p-bass was doing as you described. I took it to the local shop thinking the cap probably needs replace. Turned out to be the pup and they changed it out with a Dimarzio. That was sometime around '84. Never thought about resale value back then, so I didn't ask for the original pup. I still own the bass today and that's the only thing keeping it from being all original.
    Yours being a new bass.......I would probably have a local Fender tech check it out. Let them either fix it or return it for another one.
     

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