Radio Signals through my Amp....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bluebomber, Apr 2, 2001.

  1. Bluebomber


    May 2, 2000
    Have you guys ever experienced this...I was playing in richmond this past weekend...and i heard a faint radio signal...At first i thought nothing of it...but when we werent playing it was obvious...and it came out of my bass amp...Im playing a Hartke 1415...I couldnt find anyway ot stop it..I thought it was funny...just wondering if any of you guys came across this....
  2. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    It's usually caused by a metal pedal being used. They sometimes can pick up signals with their metal, then it gets transmitted through your cables to your amp... Just don't use pedals.
  3. Bluebomber


    May 2, 2000
    i dont have any effects pedals....just my amp and my bass...
  4. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    hrmmm... Don't know what to tell you, possibly your bass? Or amp? Probably something metal just picking up a signal. Certainly isn't anything to worry about.
  5. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Its the cable. What do you use? Certain cables aren't shielded from radio signals (instrument cables). Generally, this only happens when not using speaker cables to hook amp to cab, IIRC. What your whole set up here?
  6. I used to have a guitar pedal that used to do that and come to think about it one of my telephones did also.
  7. Bluebomber


    May 2, 2000
    my set up is a hartke 1415 combo...and a Spector NS2000...Im not sure about the wire inside the combo...but the instrument cable that im using is a monster performance 100 cable....Its probably cause the hartke's have an aluminum speaker which serves as the metal pedal you guys are talking about...
  8. i thought it was the guy up the street with his ham radio? i get it too occasionally! i use a mesa 400+w/bbe 482 sonic max, dbx266xl comp, dtr-1 tuner(off slave)furman pl+ cond.....all monster cabled from bass to speakers.......ive also picked it up on my buster combo.........strange isnt it
  9. In my experience, this is usually a symptom of poor shielding, and bad luck in location. Somewhere in the signal path of your rig, the shielding is damaged or missing. Make sure that the equipment cavity of your axe is foil lined- if not, you can fix this yourself with easily obtained foil tape (ask your tech). If this is not the problem, then start following the signal path- cables, amp, outboard effects, every thing. If you use a effects loop, the cable should have a shield that is attatched at only one end- usually the "beginning" or end closest to your amp. Hope this helps- I will watch for further posts
  10. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    I agree, it can be shielding or just bad luck. Our PA has picked up radio signals only a few times out of 12 years of gigs, so I lean a little more to the bad location theory. We've played some locations around the southeast who last had their wiring upgraded when Sherman marched through!
  11. fisk


    Jan 3, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    a buddy of mine lives three doors down (not the band) from a guy who has a ham radio setup powerfull enough to talk to people on Saturn. One of his two practice amps picks up their chatter as clear as a telephone conversation. It drives him crazy. He said if they talked about anything intersting it might not be too bad, but all they talk about is the frigging weather of where their at.

    A hacksaw for the antenna tower should be legal.

  12. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I went to a practice studio once and was playing a borrowed geetur through a marshall JCM 900 and picked up some Spanish radio station. Strange considering I was in Tokyo. I'm guessing the wiring was bad somewhere because this equipment was pretty old and worn.
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    It can be shielding, but the only time I got it was due to location.

    It was with my first guitar and second amp, a real piece of trash (that is now hot on the vintage market :rolleyes:), a Sears Silvertone 2-12". And the only place I ever experienced it was in my parents' house, which was built in the 1890's, so it may have been wired by Marconi before WW I. The amp I had before that was a smaller Sears Sivertone, and it didn't get the Cardinal games.

    So, I deduce it was the combination of the location and the amp.
  14. the cables are monster bass instrument (shielded) cables used in my effects loop. all short lengths and new,.... i wasnt aware that one end of the cable was different than the other as far as the shielding goes?? wasup widat ??/
  15. I also get some radio signals on my amp, also a Buster 200.....same as Groovking......I also thought it was a HAM radio.....There has to be some common thread with the kind of amps used or the P/U's on the basses played..........

    So let's dish it out.....

    I only hear the radio at my apt. while playing Buster with my G&L.......No other bass no other location no other amp........Only with those three constants.......Add a variable and I'm out........By the way I always have my footswitch connected.....and it is metal.....
  16. it doesnt seem to happen too often ,...i noticed it in my buster, and my 400+, although as im always swappin basses around, i cant testify if it is a particular bass that is used when this happens. most of my gear is pretty well up to snuff. i dont care, im sure its my location,......besides i like to listen to the radio anyway!(exaggeration) i am curious to hear of the difference in cable ends shielding and correct placement in effects loops........,,,,
  17. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania
    It happens when I use analog effects, or play out of my old MM tube head (which isn't very much)

    But when I play out of my usual rig (peavey firebass head, peavey 410txf cab, and peavey 115bxbw cab) it doesn't happen.

    So it could be the head/amp?

    Try removing your footswitch, see what happens...

    It's not bad placement. My friend Mark (same name as me.. hehe) who's a guitarist would always come over, and his guitar amp would do it when he hooked his pedals up. I honestly think it's just the pedals. If you're using the effects loop, you're obviously using a pedal. I see that as being the only thing wrong with it... Maybe... MAYBE the amp/head. But since I trust that Mesa makes good stuff... I doubt that it'd be your mesa head. Although it could be the actual tubes captivating the radio signal... but that's unlikely... Although I doubt there's as much shielding around a tube head, since they have so many wide open vents in them. And Solid state has like one grate on them... Just a few things to take into consideration.

    P.S. In the least you have something for the people to listen to in between songs when you're doing a gig. ;)
  18. i dont run pedals off my effects loop. i run the 400+ into a dbx266xl compressor and then into a bbe sonic maximizer (all monster bass instrument cables in short length as possible for loop). my tuner runs off a slave output, and i power it all w/ a furman pl+ power conditioner and also always use surge prot at the wall plug. i wear a condom when i play also, the tubes are svetlanas and my t shirt is not made of tin foil, oh well,...............if you saw the freekin antenna on this guys house, i swear channel five is probably the owner of it, its huge! i wonder if he can hear my bass? haha! sorry guys, nurse ratchet just gave me my medication, i gotta go think about stuff..................
  19. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    RFI is a magna pain in the 13utt. The obvious culpret is location. While most Monster Instrument Cable is shielded there's still plenty of wire in your rig that isn't, speaker hook up wire (between the drivers and the jacks), unshielded preamp wires, phone plugs and jacks. Then there's the AC power.

    Most ham radio folks I've meet have been understanding and a schedual can be worked out. But if there's no reasoning with your neighborhood broadcaster you can pop him with a simple phone call. Most of them are running illegelly over powered.

    You want metal around your components, aluminium and copper are the best at rejection
  20. AssMan


    Dec 2, 2000
    Minnesota, USA
    I get a Spanish station or a talk station from my carvin, but they AM stations, not HAM. It only happens when I touch the treble knob, and the station changes depending on how far I turn the knob. It only happens at my house though. My amp has a noise gate anyway, so it's no big deal. It's not my bass either because, it will do it when no bass is attached. It only happens when I touch the treble knob though. It weird too because, my carvin uses SMT (everything on curcuitboards) and doesn't have many wires at all, just a couple that connect the boards together. Try moving your amp around like to a different room and see if it happens. Does it only happen in one place like at home? Just eliminate variables until the problem is solved. My buddy's guitar picks up the same Spanish station that I do if he has his distortion pedal on. It's a weak station and my stereo won't pick it up even though it's hooked up to an antenna on my roof (I'll bet the antenna affects my amp, my amp is just below it). Is your amp rack mounted? I wonder if spraying your rack with shielding paint, or putting copper foil in it would stop radio signals? Just a thought.