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Radio interference with Warwick Thumb

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by SacOnBass, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. Hey guys, I have a Warwick Thumb bolt-on and in some case and rooms it picks up radio signals quite clearly. I've taken it to a respected repair man and says that everything is grounded properly and the inside casing of the wiring is well insulated.

    My first question is what exactly is causing this? Im guessing the active pickup but even when i turn to passive its the same outcome. They are MEC pickups that come stock with the bass.

    My second is question is how to get rid of this annoying problem?

    BTW: Im using monster cables so that can be ruled out.

    Thanks guys

    SAC :bassist:
  2. Warwick player

    Warwick player

    Dec 31, 2002
    Bucks, UK
    You may find this is more a problem with your amplifier than the guitar.

    Some high gain amplifiers are capable of picking up strong Radio signals. The circuit used to amplify guitar signals can also be used to demodulate and amplify radio signals.

    Try fitting a choke to the lead and see if this helps with the problem, so cases it can be more serious, such as the amplifier circuit could use more rf shielding.

    Good luck
    Badwater likes this.
  3. RF is freaky stuff. I heard that some people can pickup raidio signals with thier dental work and it actually emits sound.

    I had a rega integrated stereo amp (no tuner) and a cd player. While turned off and even unplugged, it could pick up FM stations at very low levels and play through the speakers. The signal was very faint, but clearly audible. I think the kimber interconnects had something to do with it.
  4. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta (Grant Park!)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    LOL! I used to get that. I found out that it only happened when there was neon lighting on stage. Don'y know why though.
  5. Vox Populi

    Vox Populi Reggae Loving Honkey

    Jan 27, 2004
    Poulsbo, WA
    I've had the radio and even cordless phone transmissions come through my amp. But it's very faint.
  6. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    This has happened to a TON of people with their Warwicks, I've never experienced it but I know a lot of people have had to deal with this. Try emailing Rob Busch, their main tech, on the Warwick website and see what he has to say on the subject.
  7. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I seem to remember that this was specifically a Thumb BO-problem... There were a few who had it...
    Try a search, maybe you'll find the old threads
  8. Alexander


    Aug 13, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    I was one of them. That bass is LOOONG gone now, thank God. I did get it fixed with a proper shielding - the cavity inside looked like it was coated well with sheilding paint, but he hooked a scope to it and said that there was virtually no shielding at all. I was getting the electronics replaced as I couldn't stand the MECs and got the shielding work done then. I never had the problem again.
  9. tomd03


    Oct 8, 2004
    Alberta Canada
    Omfg, I remember when i got RF on my bass thru my amp, im sitting there cause my cat was attacking my cord, so I was shooing it away when i heard some sex noises. I'm like, "What the fu...." so I walk around the house trying to figure out where it's coming from, and no-one else is home, I go to my amp and I found out it was phone sex.... oh god, funny, but yet so wrong.
  10. Ralphdaddy

    Ralphdaddy Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Chicago, Illinois
    Even if it does happen the Warwicks are still worth it, I've never played a better bass than my FNA Jazzman. Take it to a tech and have them take it apart and shield the hell out of it it bothers you that much.
  11. funkmuffin


    Aug 18, 2004
    Akron, Ohio
    I had a monitor amp that would do the same thing at a couple clubs. I changed out the cable and it went away. Before I did that though, we played a few shows with hockey games on the monitors....
  12. My friends tube marshall stack used to pick up a random spanish radio station broadcasting from like south carolina. Maybe its your amp?
  13. tiefling


    Aug 19, 2003
    Washington DC
    didn't this happen in spinal tap?

    sorry...just a great movie moment...back to the thread
  14. Z-Bass


    Apr 22, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    +1 It may be a tower is close by or just the way the room is wired. I've played clubs and received plenty of RF regardless of which bass used. It was at a casino that has a dogtrack, I think they have a strong broadcast signal. Everytime we stopped playing I got an update on the Pittsburgh Pirates game.

    Another club I used to play regularly was so poorly wired that I used to get annoying buzzing even with EMGs. But we also used to get the RF their as well.
  15. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    My 1994 Thumb 5 Bolt-On did this all the time, and it was not my amp. None of my other basses did this, and it did it with both my amps. It usually didn't last too long, and was quite amusing most of the time. Maybe a little shielding in your electronics cavity/pickup covers would help, as was suggested by others.

    I never bothered to remedy the problem. But I just bought a Thumb 6 Bolt-On and wonder if it'll happen with this one. I doubt it though, because unlike my Thumb 5's MECs, this Thumb 6 has SD Basslines...
  16. LenMinNJ


    Dec 22, 2010
    I have a a 2000 Warwick Thumb Bass NT. It's been resistant to radio interference except at one studio in NYC, close to the transmitters on top of the Empire State Building.

    I found - - using an Ohm meter - that the paint in the control cavity was not conductive, so it provided no shielding whatsoever. And the control cavity cover is plastic and also doesn't provide any shielding.

    I had my tech line the cavity and the cover with copper tape. He made sure that the tape was grounded. Now everything's is quiet again.
  17. Had that issue at one old house we used to practice at that was close to a tower. Was actually with the nt5. Not my bo5 as I remember I had already sold my bo5 by then. Never had any issues anywhere else and we didn't practice there long so I never did anything about it. I do remember I was playing a SWR 750x through an ampeg 810e and I think it was a shure Ulx wireless or something like that. If I remember right turning the compressor knob all the way off on the SWR head seemed to help. Haven't had any issues anywhere with my NT6 but the previous owner swapped out all the electronics for Delano pickups and an Audere 4 band also and may have done something I hadn't noticed as I've only opened the the control cavity to change the battery real quick.