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P-Bass Noise (Grounding makes no difference)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Gregmak, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Gregmak


    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    Hi guys,

    I took apart my Fender deluxe P-Bass yesterday, and saw that the pick ups were grounded properly and no wires were loose. The split pickups were grounded on one of the pots, and then another wire going from the pots to the bridge.

    Now, it seemed like the wire at the bridge wasn't making good contact so I soldered some more wire there.

    Though, nothing has changed. I'm still getting crackling sounds whenever i touch my pick ups or even worse the poles. I took it to an electrician who fixes guitars/basses. He told me its perfectly grounded, and he doesn't understand why it's making noise. He told me it's most probably bad design of active electronics.

    Could this be a case? Am I supposed to change all my electronics? :/

    This is a brand new 2009 bass. A year old. With a check certification by Fender. I'm starting to wonder whether people at Fender actually check their basses. This is such a hassle, and it's putting me off from playing bass.

    /QQ over.

  2. Gregmak


    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    To add, I sticked some duck-tape over the pick-ups so my fingers don't touch the poles and it seems to be doing the trick! And I don't hear any sound difference :D

    Still though this is sad for a brand new bass.
  3. Basshoofd


    Jan 14, 2009
    Has the bass been shielded?
  4. Gregmak


    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    Hmm, when I had it open, only the pick-guard area was shielded, where the electronics are. I didn't see any shielding going on around the pick-ups. I'm not sure if that area has to be shielded as well?

    If it has, then shouldn't Fender shield it before shipping the bass?
  5. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    I bet that it's a ground problem. I'd recheck the bridge ground wire.
  6. dogofgod


    Dec 24, 2009
    sounds like a bad ground, i had a similar problem my engineer friend ran some tests and found that the ground was all messed up. i would not have known it unless i was performing the right tests.
  7. OlSkewl56


    May 26, 2007
    South Texas
    Battery? :ninja:
  8. From what I've read else where you should have shielding anywhere there are electronics. Forming a cage around any wiring or anything. Should help a bit. My passive pup (quarter pounder) make some noise when I touch the post. Moral of the story... don't touch the post haha
  9. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    Your body acts like a big antenna and when you touch the poles you feed into the pickup. When you touch the strings you ground your body through the bass. I would think you would get little or no noise if you were touching the strings and touched the pole.
  10. Gregmak


    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    Hey, thanks for the replies.

    Indeed when I touch the strings I get much less noise, however when I'm playing thump style, I keep touching the are around the poles, and I can hear the crackling even through recordings which is very annoying.

    Problem is, I don't know much about shielding or grounding, and there aren't any good electricians in Cyprus. So I'm kinda screwed! Gonna have to go with duck tape for a long time I guess, until I go for a holiday somewhere and take my bass with me for a check :/
  11. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    Not a cure, but try this:

    Take the pickup covers off, put a piece of electrical tape over the poles, and put the covers back on.

    It looks better than duct tape. :)
  12. Do you think that would work with the over-large pole-pieces on an SX P-bass pickup?
  13. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    As long as the tape covers the poles. I think 3/4" is the standard width for electrical tap but you can get it in 1" and 2" widths.
  14. Well, I'm not so concerned with the width as I am the height of the poles, they are WAY taller than the usual P-bass pup poles, close to 1/8" (that may be an exaggeration) proud of the covers. Which is why I'm thinking of taping them as I keep hitting them and getting a clacking noise if I get even slightly agressive with my plucking. (Like on La Grange, LOL)
  15. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    I solved that problem by lowering the pickup. I also put a shim under the cover between the cover and the flatwork to recess the pole pieces in the cover. Basically bringing the pole pieces flush with the cover.

    How far you can go depends on the depth of the pickup and the depth of the pickup cavity. I did this on my Fender Jaguar. The top of the pickup is 1/8" above the pickguard.

  16. fenderphil


    Sep 1, 2006
    Houston, TX
    could be bad wall power. try a different wall outlet?
  17. Thanks for that tip, I'll definitely see if that'll work. I hope it does, because otherwise I'll probably end up replacing the pickup, which I would rather not do if I didn't have to, I really like the tone of the stock SX pickup.
  18. Gregmak


    Oct 1, 2009
    Larnaca, Cyprus
    hey, i'll try the electrical tape! Thanks for the info!

    To the rest:

    I have tried my bass in different houses, university, so no not the wall power. Also I have changed batteries, so not that either :p
  19. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Static electricity? I notice such things happen more in fall and winter with the drier air around here.

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