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Problems with bass and gear

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bdhoward27, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. I'm relatively new to playing live and, as of a couple months ago, new to using gear that isn't just a bass plugged into an amp. I'm playing a Tobias 5-string with active pickups and my gear consists of a boss distortion pedal, boss bass limiter/enhancer pedal and a korg electronic tuner. I have all pedals linked together with cords that came standard with the boss pedal board I purchased. Pedals do not take 9-volt to my knowledge, so they are powered with an a/c adaptor.

    Issues I'm having with bass: pedals enhance a unwanted buzzing sound (enhancer pedal more than distortion pedal). With no pedals, I cannot even switch to active pickups without buzzing. Was told it may be a grounding issue, but have had 2 people look at it that said there was no grounding issue. Although, bass hasn't been unstrung to remove pickups.

    Issue with pedals: Played a live show last week with only my distortion pedal and tuner due to enhancer/limiter pedal enhancing the unwanted buzz. Had to bypass them both and plug directly into amp because they stopped working. This has happened before during practice. Was told it could be a short in my effects chain.

    Anyone have any ideas as to why I'm having continuous bad luck with my instrument/gear?
  2. As with any 'noise' problems, you need to isolate what exactly is causing the problem.

    Start with Bass - cable - amp

    Is there buzzing? Try a different cable. Instrument cables are shielded. Speaker cables normally aren't. Make sure your cable is. Try a different cable. Buzz still there?

    Is it your amp or your bass? You'll need another amp to make sure. If the buzz is still there with another amp, then it's your bass. Active pickups are designed to be noise-free, so…If you put your hand on the strings and the buzz goes away, then it is a grounding issue. If the buzz is there even with your hand on the strings, then it's something else. Bad battery, maybe? You have a battery in your bass - active pickups have a battery.

    All of your Boss pedals can be powered by a 9v battery. Undo the thumbscrew on the front of the pedal and lift the pedal/button portion up - voila - the battery compartment.

    Careful, keeping cables plugged in when on battery will drain the battery.

    Go through each pedal one at a time (if there is no buzz from bass-cable-amp), and check different cables/combinations. At some point, you will isolate what is causing the buzz and why.
  3. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    The Boss LMB-3 is a known "noise maker", the more you dial up the enhance knob, the more noise you'll hear. I'd lose that pedal;, and look into a better compressor.
  4. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Well, it boosts treble if you turn up the Enhance, so that boosts any noise on the line--but it doesn't normally cause any buzzing sounds, so I would not say it's the problem. OP needs to find the actual source of the buzzing and eliminate that; if there is still some hiss noise, then maybe look into whether the LMB-3 is making the hiss worse--or not.
  5. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    I'd take a look at device that powers the pedals. Cheap wallwarts can do that to pedals.
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    This. What exactly are you using to power the pedals?