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Squier Jazz ground noise, then not, then again, then not..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Big Hoss, Mar 28, 2015.


  1. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    It may not be that simple. One thing that makes a humbucking pickup work as well as it does is that the two coils are crammed in next to each other so they "see" almost the same external field. When you separate them they don't cancel the noise quite as well. Also, a short piece of wire is not that susceptible to picking up RF.

    I'm not saying not to shield his bass; if the shielding is lacking then he definitely should make it better, irrespective of where this particular noise is getting into his signal. He should also make sure that the bridge and strings are solidly grounded to the shield in his cable. If one of his pickups is not RWRP, then he should consider changing one of them to RWRP.
     
  2. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    How would I know?
     
  3. Answer ggun's question. If it does, one of your pickups is rwrp. The only thing left to do is shield.
     
  4. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    So in other words, it sounds like a jazz bass.
     
  5. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I took a short audio recording of the problem I am having and pushed it up to Soundcloud.
    Sorry about the recording quality, I was being lazy and simply used my phone as an audio recorder because, well it was handy...

     
  6. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I really can't hear the buzzing at all on my computer speakers, but is the ceiling fan on? AC motors can emit 60Hz RF. Motor brush arcing can emit spiky 60Hz noise as opposed to the smooth sine wave that comes from transformers and therefore sounds more "buzzy".

    Jazz basses buzz and hum a bit. Shielding can help, and a RWRP pickup in one of the positions can help, but single coil pickups are sensitive to EM fields and there is no way around that; some buzz and hum is in the nature of the beast if there are EM fields around. You can get "noiseless" Jazz bass pickups which have dummy coils (RW coils with no pole pieces) attached to them to cancel the noise, but installing them may require that you deepen the pickup routing to get them to fit.

    BTW, there is no filtering in a surge suppressor power strip; all it has is a device inside that will attempt to send surge voltage to ground should one occur on your power lines. In normal operation there is no difference from plugging into the wall. Your noise isn't coming into the amp from the power, though, so it's a non-issue.

    All that said, I can't hear the noise at all in your sound clip, though I haven't listened to it very loud. In any case the noise doesn't seem to me to be that big a deal, although I can see that for recording even a small buzz could be problematic. I'll throw this out there: EHX.com | Hum Debugger - Hum Eliminator | Electro-Harmonix I cannot endorse it because I don't know any more about it than what is evident from looking at the website, but it appears to be designed to counter the problem you are having.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  7. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Uh... I am not sure how you possibly can't hear the buzzing. It sounds a bit like an old Neon sign. With all the reading I have been doing on the subject, it seems the pickups might be at issue as I now have a better understanding of the humbucking properties of the Reverse Polarity Reverse Winding single coil rig. If both coils / pickups on my bass are identical, then this problem would be as I understand the explanations of it, pretty much a sure thing. That would seem to me to be a defect in the instrument, however I want to insure that indeed is the problem before I stab the new pickups in.

    Assuming for a minute that I can get the buzz gone with factory correct fixes, I then can worry about shielding the cavities, and swapping over the DD pickups.
     
  8. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Well, I wouldn't call it a defect; an RWRP pickup in one position is a good idea but not necessarily a defect in the instrument if it doesn't have one. It is a Squier and therefore may not have the attention paid to shielding, RWRP, etc. as a standard Fender. It almost certainly is not a warranty issue. Jazz Basses are noisy, and that's a fact of life.
     
  9. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Agreed, now having said that, I am seeing this guy's video review of the Affinity Jazz, and his does NOT do what mine does...
     
  10. I heard it. It's loud. Sounds like a dimmer. Do what I said a few posts ago.
     
  11. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I did, the response is in the audio clip. No the sound doesn't get louder, or quieter, I was moving around a bit with my phone in my pocket recording so what YOU hear volume changes, but not what I heard... There was a slight change in the tone of the buzzing, but there was no change in volume or perceptible frequency of the buzzes. I rolled off the neck pickup no change in volume, rolled it back on and the bridge pickup off, no change in volume.

    I should mention that there IS a dimmer in the house, but not in this room. The closest dimmer is on the living room wall. You have to exit this room, pass through a hallway opening, and then the wall on the left has a slide dimmer.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  12. Post #71. Your findings do suggest the pickups are NOT rwrp. Easy to test if you have a small magnet - bring it down onto one of the pickups, allowing the magnet to rotate into a position that lets it attract itself and stick to the poles. Once this orientation is discovered, hold the magnet that way and move it over and down onto the other pickup. The magnet should repel. If it sticks instead, the pickups are identical, not RWRP and thus will not buck hum.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  13. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Got it. I have no small magnets. Just big ones... But I understand the test.

    As I understand how it should work, with the RPRW pickups hum bucking capacity, and from everything I have ever seen on these basses, they should be set up that way... If indeed mine is not, it would be a factory defect. (As evidenced by countless other Affinity Jazz 4 stringers that work correctly...)
     
  14. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Maybe, maybe not. That would be between you and their warranty department.
     
  15. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    I have never had to deal with Fender on a warranty issue, but this is demonstratably operating outside of the norm for this make and model of instrument. I know MusiciansFriend will take it back, I would rather get this one fixed than play am I getting a good bass Roulette...
     
  16. reddesert

    reddesert

    Mar 19, 2015
    You can compare pickup polarities easily with a compass (a conventional magnetic compass obviously, not a gps).

    Given the hum is lessened in another room of your house, I don't think you can compare to someone else's video review in an unknown RF environment and infer your instrument has a defect. I am no lifelong musician or pro, but every single coil guitar I've had has hummed a little when my hand is off the strings, even including my cheapo P-bass copy with a split-coil.
     
  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Post #4 correctly diagnosed the issue and provided a correct solution. No more need for troubleshooting.

    As I mentioned earlier, I would be shocked if Fender actually diagnosed this as a correctable issue. This is expected operation for a Fender, and that is coming from a Fender fanboy.
     
    marko138 likes this.
  18. Big Hoss

    Big Hoss Up note, down note, blue note, brown note...

    Listen to the audio clip and watch / listen to the video. I am going to try to swing by Danny D's tomorrow since I am running errands that way, and see what they think. This is definately NOT acceptable performance at any price point.
     
  19. marko138

    marko138

    May 24, 2013
    Perry County PA
    Totally agree.
     
  20. ggunn

    ggunn

    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    You have made it abundantly clear that that is what you think, however, to me it doesn't seem that much (if any) out of line performance from a budget Jazz Bass. Good luck with it.
     

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