Samick bass into Ampeg V4 creates huge pickup noise

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Romanp, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Romanp


    Mar 25, 2011
    Hello everybody,
    My second post, the other one asking to ID my Samick bass.

    I get huge noise from my pickups when plugged into my recently repaired Ampeg V4 amp.
    I have done a bit of reading and it seems I need to:
    1. shield the pickup cavities etc with copper tape to prevent radio waves from the Ampeg V4 transformer getting to the pickups.
    2. Upgrade to the best pickups for my bass and sound that will minimise noise. I have read a few threads recommending different pickups. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems I need noise cancelling passive precision pickups that would be good for the old soul/reggae soft sound. (many say it is more to do with flat wounds, playing up the neck and not plucking too strongly, which I agree with, but I have no experience with comparing pickups. I should go watch some youtube comparisons maybe).
    And a noise cancelling jazz bridge pickup.
    3. Make sure the pickups or shielding is grounded.
    Anything else?

    What would be the most NASA solution to minimise my pickup noise. I want to get the amp made quieter as well. But the pickup noise is extreme.
    I read passive pickups have the vintage fat sound that I am after. Active pickups would be the quietest I have read.
    Audere sell a preamp that claims to keep the Fender Jazz passive tone using an additional noise pickup that doesn't pickup the strings. Probably not relevant to my situation.

    Do all pickups fit the same dimensions? I have included a photo of the offending rig.

    My idea is to get the recommendations of you more knowledgeable bass guitar people on what are the quietest passive pickups for my PJ Samick that will possibly be appropriate for the vintage groove sounds of soul, reggae.
    I did read one thread on TB asking about pickups for reggae, and someone suggested any good pickup will do, just get flat wounds and play close to the neck etc. Maybe different pickups aren't as important as how you play, strings and tone control/pickup settings.

    What would give me the quietest bass with that soft round tone I've described. Would higher output pickups be best? Are some pickups better at cancelling noise than others?
    From the handful of threads on passive noise cancelling pickup recommendations, I read one person claim Bill Lawrence's Wilde pickups are the quietest passive pickups available. Are they going to be good for the tone I like?

    I suspect if I had a new Fender Rumble 500 210 combo it would create much less radio waves than this Ampeg V4.

    I want to make the electronics in this bass guitar as good as humanly possible for low noise vintage groove tone.
    I want to get the recommendations, order the pickups, get my tech to replace the sockets and everything, shield everywhere with copper tape, ground everything, get my amp tech to quieten the V4 if possible.

    Have I missed any details?
    Thanks for any assistance from you more experienced people.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Have you tried another bass to hear if the amp is contributing to the problem?
  3. Terms like "huge noise" suggests a flaw in the bass's wiring to me.
    More than just a lack of shielding.
  4. Mark76


    Dec 1, 2015
    Man that's a nice looking rig.

    Try the bass in other amps (maybe take it down to a music store?) and see if you get the same issues.
  5. Not sure of your particular bass, but I'd check the grounding wire - probably heads up to come out under the bridge from the cavity. Good luck!

  6. Romanp


    Mar 25, 2011
    I just ordered a Bill Lawrence PJ set because they are highly praised on this forum by many people as the quietest passive pickups with the most clarity.
    I also read a raving review from a guy saying he likes the Motown and Stax bass sound and he loves the BL pups. He also mentions the open E string sounds better than ever, less muddy IIRC.
    I will get my guitar tech to shield with copper tape. ground and install the BL pups. Also replace a socket and 3 way switch.
    The pickup noise is extreme over here. It is just tolerable with the P pups selected and only with the tone control all the way down.

    So I am stuck with the reggae filtered bass tone until I can get things quieter. It would be nice to introduce some higher tones without the noise.
    Hopefully I haven't made a mistake ordering Bill Lawrence passive Pups when active is potentially quieter.
    My guitar tech claims all Musicman basses are active since the beginning. Gabe Roth of the Daptones plays a Musician Stingray I believe and he is the most authentic Stax soul bass sound around, along with the rest of his 8 track tape soul productions instruments.
  7. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    A Broughton HPF/LPF may help.
  8. Romanp


    Mar 25, 2011
    I am hoping to reduce hum and buzz without having to filter out my tone with it. But I am really motivated to buy the broughton high low pass filter which I have just learned about after searching, because the very low frequencies may be using too much amp power unnecessarily. A bit of high pass filtering could make the tone better.
    Sounds sacrilegious to filter out low frequencies for reggae but if they are below what is useful then it could be a useful cleaning up of sound.
  9. Absolutely.
    One thing I would often end up doing when running sound on a new-to-me system would be filter out the lowest freqs via EQ or filters on crossover or power amps, or DSP.
    Owners of these systems would make many words about how much more headroom, punch, and clarity their system suddenly had.
    Beers would magically appear within my reach.

    Making amps hot and muddy with barely audible content is counter-productive at best, and showstopping at worst when a breaker pops or an amp goes into thermal shutdown.
  10. Romanp


    Mar 25, 2011
    I ordered the Broughton High Low Pass filter.
    But why does a bass guitar produce frequencies below the lowest note open E 41Hz. I thought 41Hz was the fundamental and thus lowest frequency produced?
    Is there a quality difference in copper shielding tapes. I want to go overkill with the shielding everywhere.
    Hmmm, these improvements might change things.

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