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Scratchy Windy Intermittent Noise

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by RMSSS, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. RMSSS


    Mar 25, 2009

    Ibanez 1993 CT B3 Bass (active) makes a noise I've never experienced from electronics equipment. Has someone experienced this on any active bass?

    It sounds like a very mellow version of how a dirty/noisy potentiometer sounds when turning it. Or, another way to describe it is it sounds like wind buffeting/rumbling through tree branches (not a high whistle though).

    When it occurs, it sort of happens in several second bursts, with a second or two of silence between the scratches and varies in volume. (Volume knob adjusts the noise level)

    The noise is unprovoked. I mean, it occurs while not touching any controls or strings (or muting strings with hand). The sound is usually totally clean for some time, at least 10-30 minutes, but then starts making the noise.

    Rolling controls all the way to treble and/or to bridge pickup significantly reduces or eliminates it. (more the tone control than the pickup blend though)

    Ibanez responded to me, but recommended I get parts from my local Ibanez dealer. Fine, but they won't help because the bass is too old. lame.

    I'm willing to rebuild the whole EQ if I have to, but if someone has ideas, I'd sure appreciate them.

    What could be the problem?

    Thank you,
  2. Does it occur anywhere else, like in a different setting? You could be picking up noise from radio signals, cell phones, electronics equipement etc
  3. gforce9


    Dec 19, 2007
    Boy, that sure sounds like a cold solder joint or, perhaps, a failing piece of equipment (eq?). It won't hurt to redo all the solder conns first and it's cheap. After you resolder stuff, plug in the bass and move wires around in the cavity to isolate (this is probably a good place to start, actually). I wish you well.......electronic, intermittent problems can be hard to find.
  4. RMSSS


    Mar 25, 2009
    Thanks for the replies.

    I have tried moving wires and stuff to try to isolate the physical area that might be generating the noise. no luck.

    I've studied the solder joints and they all appear quite normal, but as you say, it is cheap to reflow them, and it's basically impossible to spot a cold joint without bisecting it.

    Something must be generating the noise though.

    Would a capacitor do this? Should I replace the caps?
  5. RMSSS


    Mar 25, 2009
    I Tried cleaning the pots, removing the neck pickups, and moving everything moveable to try to make the noise change. It seems unrelated to physical movement. If I monitor the noise directly through my mixer to a meter, I can always see the noise, even if it can barely be heard. I've found that turning the EQ all the way toward 'treble' makes it go away. ( I only get a few minutes at a time to do stuff like this)

    No joy. Next is the solder joints. If not, I may replace everything... if I can find a preamp upgrade that fits the cavity.


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