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Sting Precision Mystery Solved?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Orpheus55, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. I have a seventeen year old Sting Precision (in my avatar) which I play a lot--almost always with the chrome pickup and bridge covers (period correct) installed. Strictly for the look, and as a thumb rest. Sound guys have always loved it. A month ago, I removed the neck pickup cover and--right away--sound guy says he's getting a 60 cycle hum. Not my problem, right? Dodgy house wiring, blah-blah, blame the bass player right? Anyway, I put the pickup cover back on for no particular reason, and the hum disappears (same venue)...is it possible there was a reason for these things in the first place? Keep in mind, I am not an expert on any of this, but it seemed oddly coincidental.
  2. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    In theory, anything's possible. But IMO, cover or no cover should have no bearing on hum. I've had them on and off of several with no effects one way or the other. Could be some sort of weird wiring or ground issue that is somehow related to the cover. :)
  3. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Originally on the early 50's P there was a ground wire that attached to the pickup cover.

    But without that ground wire to make contact, that ground isn't happening.
    seang15 and iammr2 like this.
  4. Well, as one sound guy told me, "Fender went to the split-pickup for a reason." Wonder if Sting himself has the same problem with his old but beautiful beater. FWIW, I replaced the original pickup with a basslines single coil--much more output and punch.
  5. Plucker Tom

    Plucker Tom

    Dec 29, 2014
    maybe the cover is blocking some outside signals trying to get into the pickup..?...just a thought..
  6. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I don't think he does because he uses a split single coil now.
  7. Hamish MacCleod

    Hamish MacCleod Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2014
    South America
    All I know for sure is that electronics contain magic smoke... if you let the smoke out, they don't work anymore.
    jaybones likes this.
  8. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Since it's not a Faraday cage the pickup cover will never be a shield even with the ground wire attached.
    Caca de Kick and seang15 like this.
  9. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Sting uses a Duncan custom stacked single coil shaped humbucker. He uses it in a couple of Fender Custom Shop replicas of his April '57 alder bodied SCPB.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
    Kitsapbass and Groove Doctor like this.
  10. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    That's what I meant. In any case, he's using a humbucker. I thought I read somewhere a couple of years ago he was using a Fralin split.
  11. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Last I read it was the Duncan but pickups are easy to change.
  12. ricardol


    Dec 10, 2016
    The metallic pickup cover is definitely a shield for the higher frequency electromagnetic signals but not for 60 Hz, because the 60 Hz skin depth is higher than the thickness of the pickup cover.
    You can calculate the shielding skin depth here:
    Skin depth calculator | MustCalculate
  13. Given the extremely close proximity of our ten band members to our equipment, and microphones, maybe that is a feedback factor. Our sound guy, who couldn't spell cat if you spotted him the c and the t ;), thinks everything is a 60 cycle hum.

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