"Pinging" sound when striking pups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JimmyO, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. JimmyO


    Dec 15, 2004
    Durham, NC
    I've got an older Ibanez CT 5-string, which is a great sounding bass, but recently the j-type EMG pickups have started to make what I can best described as a "pinging" or a "ringing" type of sound when struck. Not the strings themselves, but the actual pickup will make this sound when it's hit. I've also noticed this problem to a lesser extent in my passive j-bass.

    I've unsuccessfully tried searching for a description of this problem, but it's such a unique sound, I'm not sure how others would describe it.

    Please let me know if this sounds at all familiar, and whether it may just be something loose, or if sounds like the whole pickup needs to be replaced.
  2. I for one can say that I have experienced the same thing on my basses and it seemes to be the springs that hold the pickup up. Depending on the spring and how much tension is on it it can ping, ring or even reverberate. you can fix it a number of ways or remove the springs and just put foam tape under the p'ups.
  3. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    Make sure it's not a microphonic tube in your rig - they sound like that too.
  4. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    This is microphony.

    At least I think it's called that - we call it that here in Norway.
    When something is microphonic, it reacts to vibrations. A boken (or poorly made) vacuum tube in an amplifier can make a "ping" sound when struck gently. A broken (or poorly made) pickup can do the same.

    I've experienced it in both pickups on an Epiphone Thunderbird bass. I'd unintentionally strike the pickup with my finger as I was playing, and the "Ping" sound would come out of the speaker.

    So, your pickup making the "ping" sound is microphonic. Probably something has come loose inside it, perhaps some of the coil windings. If a pickup is properly potted this should not happen.

    I think you ought to change the pickups. Get new ones, better ones. It'll cost a bit of money, more if you have a tech install them; but it may well be worth it. You may find that your bass sounds even better with new pickups.

    Good luck.
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    had some 75 plus sets of pups and never had the experience, but I've heard of it. I've never had a bass with springs in it either though. Personally I would rule out the spring and tube thing first to narrow it down to the pup guts.

    Apparently that pup isn't epoxy dipped or you wouldn't be gettng it from the pup. If the cover is removeable or can easily be removed, you can wax dip the pup which works for microphonics. Easy to do and a different experience too.

    There are articles on wax dipping scattered about the web and I think I posted one called Dimento's Wax Dip Experiment and it has links to several dip instructions. It may be listed in the FAQ section with the others, I don't remember.

    I dipped a pup once cause of excessive hum (which dipping is not supposed to be of any use for) but the second time I installed it was quiet for the first time in probably half dozen different installations. I shielded the bass and ran ground plates with no affect and so had nothing to lose. Who knows. I could care less how or why, I just want the end result that works.
  6. JimmyO


    Dec 15, 2004
    Durham, NC
    Well, I tightened down the screws on the pickups, and that seems to have helped the problem somewhat without too much degradation in the volume.

    Thanks for all the replies. Any more input anyone has is much appreciated.
  7. The timing's advanced too far.....
  8. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    If you suspect the springs, take them out & try putting a piece of foam under the pickup - it'll do the same thing & then at least you'll know if that's the culprit.