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Strange hum due to the position of the bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cmgkhn, Oct 27, 2018.


  1. cmgkhn

    cmgkhn

    Oct 12, 2018
    Europe
    There is a noticable hum in my Ibanez GSR180 Bass (two jazz type single coil passive pickups model).
    Strange thing is when I hold it in playing position there is a noticable hum but when I hold it parallel to the floor it all goes away (both pickups turned on to %100)
    I believe it is properly grounded now becuase there was a grounding issue before and it is fixed now. Everything that needed to be grounded is grounded now.
    Any ideas?

    Edit:
    this seems to be the answer. I'm not looking for solutions. Just wondered why.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  2. fclefgeoff

    fclefgeoff Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Illinoize
    Gremlins.
     
    JGbassman and McFarlin like this.
  3. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    Indianapolis
    Single coils are amazingly noisy and will pick up all kinds of EMI and RFI from anywhere. Video screens, electric motors, dicey home wiring, radio stations - anything. It's just how they are, no matter how much shielding tape you use.
     
  4. cmgkhn

    cmgkhn

    Oct 12, 2018
    Europe
    It makes sense, I am not saying that there shouldn’t be any hum but this kind of positional hum is what I find odd.
    It maybe related to the magnetic field of my room/house (or planet :D)?
     
  5. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    Indianapolis
    I can recall gigs with my Strat where I felt like I was constantly adjusting an antenna by surfing the guitar around on stage then trying to hold it there once it shut up.

    On my Jazz basses, I always run Noiseless pickups. Much better.
     
  6. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
  7. Zackly! :smug:
     
  8. cmgkhn

    cmgkhn

    Oct 12, 2018
    Europe
    This is what I thought! (More or less)

    Nah it is enough that I satisfied my interest for physics today
     
  9. Dirk Diggler

    Dirk Diggler Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Anytown USA
    Are you touching the strings in both positions with both hands?
    If not then you might be causing the difference yourself.
    Can you do the same test in another location?
     
  10. cmgkhn

    cmgkhn

    Oct 12, 2018
    Europe
    I don’t touch any metal parts in both positions but touching with both hands or one hand only doesn’t make any difference.
    I can try it in a different room
     
  11. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    It’s picking up EMF or RF noise. I had a set of hum cancelling pups from a well known vendor that did that exactly as described. It was susceptible to how the bass was held, and holding it flat like a lap guitar quieted it. Has to do with the angle of the coil in relation to the noise source.

    Turns out that an entire batch of pups were released that were incorrectly assembled. A replacement solved the issue.
     
  12. cmgkhn

    cmgkhn

    Oct 12, 2018
    Europe
    Funny enough, when I sit up with it, the hum goes, also when I play 1 meter away from where I normally play, it also goes away.
    I am not looking for a magical solution or anything but this high school level physics amazes me. I always wanted to be a physicist anyways :laugh:
     
  13. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    You have a bass without humbucking pickups. Yes, both on should be humbucking, and it is on most Jazz style basses. Yours may or may not be an exception - what you describe sound like yours isn't humbucking with both pickups on.

    If you put just one pickup on, is the hum much different? If it's pretty similar, than your bass just is what it is, and you have to either learn to love it, or rewire it with RWRP or hum cancelling pickups to fix it. Also know that for 2 single coils to humbuck effectively, the hum field has to be uniform in the area of the pickup, which it won't be if the source is nearby.
     
  14. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    What if you walk around the room, or turn around and face in different directions?
     
  15. cmgkhn

    cmgkhn

    Oct 12, 2018
    Europe
    When both pickups on, the hum that appears with single one goes away so they are effectively humbucking IMO.
    I am ok with it as I told above
    Just wondering and experimenting :)
     
  16. cmgkhn

    cmgkhn

    Oct 12, 2018
    Europe
    It's cool and I'm ok with how it is but just to answer your question, it does change with those
     
  17. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    It is quite likely from the EMF field in your house from the house wiring, etc. Single coil pickups are good receivers of Low Frequency EMF. I have changed my Jazz Pups to Noiseless types just to eliminate this problem. (Ps are naturally hum-cancelling) Once I was picking up a light dimmer next to the stage all night and could not get rid of the buzz no matter what I did. Now no more.
     
    cmgkhn and Lobster11 like this.
  18. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Right. The solution might be as simple as turning off a TV or a light that's on a dimmer switch.
     
  19. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    That would just store the noise so it can show up later.
     
    Das Jugghead, onosson and Lobster11 like this.

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