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Static electricity from my body may have fried onboard preamp??

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by XIbanez4lifeX, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. XIbanez4lifeX


    Nov 15, 2005
    The guy at the music store told me to make sure I touched a metal part of my active bass before plugging it in. He still does not understand how the onboard preamp ended up fried after only having the bass for about a month. It is an Ibanez SRX505.

    He says it possibly fried from me having to much static electricity in myself and plugging the bass in when it was not grounded.
  2. fookgub


    Jun 5, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Seems unlikely to me. It's much more likely that your preamp was simply defective. MOS transistors and IC's are the most susceptible to damage from static discharge, but I doubt you'll find anything more than JFET-input opamps in your preamp.

    Anyway, it's not a good idea to expose any circuit to static discharges, but I doubt that's what killed your preamp. Do you use the word "fried" because it's not working, or because there are visible signs of damage from excess heat?
  3. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    +1. It is my experience that semiconductors are much more static sensitive when you are handling them by themselves, than when they are in a circuit. Anything like a passive output volume control would adequately protect the semiconductors.

    If the bass is CE marked, then the design should have passed electromagnetic susceptibility testing, including static discharge.

    If the music store guy has a hypothesis, he could back it up by identifying the failed component. Much more likely is an iffy connection that finally decided to open up for good. Or something like a reversed electrolytic capacitor.
  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    HIGHLY unlikely.
  5. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    BS. Touching a metal part to ground yourself would only work if the bass was already grounded, i.e. plugged in.

    Answered your own question, it's a MIK Ibanez. Factory defect.

    Total BS.

    Any electric g**tar or bass becomes grounded by plugging it in. How else does he suggest you ground it?

    If the bass has a bad ground connection that's a different story, and would also qualify as a manufacturing defect.

    Don't even talk to that sales rep again. He's either a complete idiot or a flat-out liar.
  6. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    +1 If your plug is bare metal, then you will ground yourself to the guitar as you plug it it. If your plug is covered in plastic or rubber, then there is no path for the electricity.

    If you had the preamp exposed and you touched it, then you could fry the circuit. In that case you should take more precautions But pluging in the jack, no.
  7. FWIW, I did fry a CD player once with a static discharge from my finger as I touched (well, nearly touched) one of the buttons, but it wasn't grounded and I actually saw the arc and felt the shock in my arm very clearly, so it's not like something like that could happen without you having noticed it, and the bass would have stopped working at that very moment.
  8. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Without a doubt static electricity can damage electronics. However, the example you cite is a totally different set of circumstances and electronics. Also, electronics can be damaged at a level well below where you will feel the discharge. Static damaging a preamp in a bass by plugging it in is next to impossible.