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Obnoxious buzzing coming from bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by NatTelAmped, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. NatTelAmped


    Oct 30, 2012
    Currently I play on an active Carvin Icon with two radiused single coil pickups (Carvin Rad-J). For over a year, and maybe even since i bought it (I honestly can't remember, since I think I used to blame my old amp for the buzz :confused:) my bass has given off an obnoxiously loud buzz when I play at my house. I've tried other rooms in my house and still have the same problem. The only other building I've found that it does this is at my friend's house, and there it is much more subtle. Everywhere else I play (and I'm using the same Acoustic B100 amp everywhere I go) I don't even get the faintest interference on my bass. The buzz changes whenever I move around my bass so I'm pretty sure it's interference from something around me. Also the buzz gets drastically worse when I move the pickup blend away from the center. If I try doing any other blend of the pickups the buzz becomes even louder than my playing. I've tried turning off my wireless router and even lights but still haven't figured out what's causing it. Any ideas on how to fix this would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Well, you're on the right track. It's airborne noise being picked up by your bass. The fact that it changes when you move AND gets worse with pickup blend off-center reinforces this diagnosis.
    Check the stickies for tips on shielding and grounding. Your bass is probably poorly shielded. Shield the heck out of it, pickup cavities, the works. Then be sure all the shielding is connected to ground and I'll bet the noise is much improved or eliminated.
  3. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    Another common culprit and/or contributing factor is dimmer switches for the lighting used in the building. Even dimmers being used in other rooms can affect this, depending on how the building is wired.

    Shut 'em all off if you can, and diagnose the effect. If dimmers must be used, then have them at MAX or MIN to reduce the effect.
  4. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Yeah, the way you get rid of it is get rid of the single coil pickups!

    What you've got is pretty clearly single coil hum. I comes from things putting out strong magnetic fields (like large power transformers). The only cure is to use hum canceliing pickups or to stay away from the hum field (my old amp used to be really good at creating single coil hum, and some lighting systems do it really well too) or to keep both pickups on at the same volume (which coverts them to hum cancelling).

    It's just one of the facts of life that if you love single coil tone, you have to deal with single coil hum. You may be able to find the source and turn it off by just moving around the room looking for the loudest position. Also if the bass has any normal hum (which goes away when you touch string or ground) that will contribute to the single coil hum. In that case shielding will tend to make the over all effect much better as without the normal hum the remaining single coil hum won't sound so objectionable.

    But really, if you want single coil tone, single coil hum is pretty much a fact of life.
  5. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Another source for loud noise are those invisible dog fences.
  6. NatTelAmped


    Oct 30, 2012
    Okay, I'll try shielding it sometime soon. I'm just a noob at circuits and anything related, so it's kind of scary for me going into my bass and changing things. That and it seems that all of the pictures in the sticky you wanted me to check have stopped working. As far as single coil pickups go, i rather keep them then replace them since the only place where they give me problems is at home. And if extra shielding works, I'll be able to avoid replacing them.