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

Odd question: Do neon lights very close to your amp make it buzz?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by QORC, Feb 13, 2005.


  1. QORC

    QORC

    Aug 22, 2003
    East Coast
    we have a neon sign for the band. Wondering if we moved it down near the amps would they likely buzz? Wish I had one to try at home. Anyone hazard a guess?
     
  2. protoz

    protoz

    Nov 30, 2000
    Iowa
    It may because flourescent lights will give you buzz i know that.
     
  3. Yes its deffinilty a possibility.
     
  4. LajoieT

    LajoieT I won't let your shadow be my shade...

    Oct 7, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    Anything with a high voltage transformer will do that.
     
  5. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Yes, they do cause buzz and some are worse than others! Some bars I play in only have neon signs for stage lighting. One can be bad. Several can be aweful.
     
  6. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yep. Definitely a buzz there. We had to get rid of some neon we had (back in the day) for that exact reason. Of course, that was before I knew about differential preamps and active drivers and all that. But, even then, the chances are good you'll hear some buzz. I have a particular F-bass that I've tweaked so it doesn't buzz "at all". I can stick it right up next to a fluorescent light, so the pickups are maybe two or three inches from the ballast, and the bass is dead quiet. Quiet as a church mouse. Not even a peep. It's pretty amazing really. The technology exists, to do that kind of thing. It's all a matter of discovering it, and then figuring out how to use it.

    But I wouldn't even go near any neon with a passive bass. That would be asking for trouble. :)
     
  7. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'm going to move this to "amps" because that's where the the technical TB'ers like to hang out.
     
  8. JonTheBassGuy

    JonTheBassGuy

    Dec 12, 2004
    what you need is a rope light if you want neon. i heard they dont cause the bass to buzz. might be wrong though.
     
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Maybe. But what usually happens is that junk in the A/C line created by the lamps ends up going into the amp's power transformer, where it is transformed from simple electrical noise into EMI, electro-magnetic interference, and your electro-magnetic pickups then act as receivers for that interference and it's then amplified by your amp. That's why you can get a lot of noise when you stand very close to your amp.

    You also get EMI from the transformer based ballasts in flourescent lamps. This explains why simple line noise filters are generally a waste of money, as the bulk of the noise picked up by instruments is EMI or RFI (radio-frequency interference) and A/C filters have little or no effect upon either.