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Static and pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by seanm, Dec 31, 2005.


  1. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I am gettting a random short burst of crackle from one P bass. It only happens when I play over the pickup and only when I first move there. So I am pretty sure it is static buildup of some sort. It is that time of year.... The pickups are fairly close to the strings and I do touch them when playing.

    But it is not happening on the other basses. So I pretty sure it is not the cable or amp. I also temporarily ran the pickups straight to the jack in case it was the pots. However, it dosen't happen if I play in front of the pickups.

    The bass in question has more shielding than the others.

    Any ideas? The bridge ground is seems good.
     
  2. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Well it looks like its the strings. I put some Rotosound Tru (sic) Bass 88s on. These are nylon coated flatwounds.

    If I touch the pickup pole I get a noise. If I hold my pinky on the bridge and touch the pole, I do not. So the nylon is negating the grounding :meh:

    So that is why none of the other basses had this problem.
     
  3. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    i just put some Nylon LaBellas on my Old beater and realised the same problem. I get a hum that goes away If i touch the bridge or one of the nobs. I also get noise if I touch the pole pieces.
     
  4. Volk

    Volk

    Dec 18, 2005
    South Jersey
    Could it be that the electronics are grounded to the bridge and your coated strings are preventing it from working right? I heard something along those lines awhile back, but I don't know if it's true or not.
     
  5. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    I'm an electronics doofus. However considering that my electronics ARE grounded to my bridge and considering both our similar stories it would make sense. Is there a way to fix this? (other than the obvious string change)
     
  6. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Yes the bridge is grounded therefore usually your strings are grounded.
     
  7. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    sure have been a lot of posts about this static stuff lately. Apparently it's more an issue with dry air. The first since I can't remember I generated some static electricity and had the door knob arc experience. That stuff could split a nail.

    My guess if they are no idications of static electricity besides the one with the bass, that may not be the issue. At any rate, any static discharge I experienced was not a comfortable experience and left no doubt about what was going on.

    Sounds to me like you may have been driving the strings into the poles. That will typically make an unquestionable popping sound not crackling (like static electricity) but maybe not if the contact is minimal or it may depend on the strings. If you'd dropped the pup away and it stopped, that may have answered your question. Or you could have intentionally driven a string into the pole to check for similar experience. The pup must not be that high or it would be practically impossible to play over the pup without touching it.

    Touching the pole and hum increasing is a red flag for improper grounding. "Ground seems good" meaning? What's a meter reading bridge to jack say?

    The bass is shielded more than the others meaning? Does the bass have grounding plate for the pup?
     
  8. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I am touching the pole with my fingers, not the strings. I actually solved the problem by taping over the poles.

    I used the "beep" part of the meter. I don't know what the threshold is. I know it is under 10 ohms and may be under 1 ohm.

    It not only has the grounding plate for the pup, a previous owner put copper shielding in the control cavity and I believe in the pickup cavity.