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Tapewounds causing electrical hum

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by tkozal, Mar 14, 2013.


  1. tkozal

    tkozal

    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    So I put a set of LaBella Tapewounds on My Fender Jaco Jazz Fretless. I have been trying all sorts of flatowunds and such on my basses lately. Well, the Jaco has the classic hum without both pups full on, but now it hums all the time (a slightly different hum). When I touch the metal of the knobs or bridge, it stops. I assume I have an issue somewhere. Do I need to run a ground from somewhere, or have some metal from the string contact the metal on the bass somewhere?

    Thanks
     
  2. xk49w

    xk49w

    Apr 13, 2008
    It also buzzes with non-tapewounds when you don't touch strings or hardware right?
     
  3. 254 stringer

    254 stringer

    Apr 15, 2010
    Waco Texas
    I had a highway one P that didn't have the conductive paint in the cavity grounded. So I got a little lug at radio shack and a short piece of wire and grounded it to the pot and problem solved.
     
    Rattman likes this.
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    You don't have a grounding issue you have a shielding issue. I had to shield my Jaco as it hummed quite fierce. A proper shielding job will remove the hum, the little strips of brass they put in the control and pickup cavities does nothing.

    If your hum gets louder when you touch strings/metal/bridge it is a grounding issue, if it goes away it is a shielding issue. Simple diagnosis.
     
  5. tkozal

    tkozal

    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City

    No, not in the same way
     
  6. tkozal

    tkozal

    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    Thanks, but shield it how? In the control cavity, or pups area also?
     
  7. tbplayer59

    tbplayer59

    Jan 20, 2013
    Come on guys, this is easy. The tapewounds don't allow him to complete the ground. The buzzing stops when he touches the bridge or knobs.

    There is a wire that runs from the control cavity ground to the beneath the bridge. It's meant to allow that electrical "noise" that is picked up by your guitar to be dissipated into your body.

    The surface of the tapewounds are not conductive. So touching the strings doesn't eliminate the noise. That's why touching the bridge or metal knobs still stops the noise.
     
  8. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    Finally a voice of reason :D My D'addarios do the same thing. If you're recording, you could wear a conductive bracelet with a wire connected to either the bridge or the tuning peg, whichever one is the least of a pain in the ***, but I agree, the noise with tapes can be a pain in the ***..........
     
  9. tkozal

    tkozal

    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    So what do I do if I don't wear jewelry?


    photo2_zps4ca6d0a0.
     
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    OP, you need to shield the control cavity, pickup cavity, and pickup covers and then ground them all together.

    Wearing some kind of jewelery or some other stuff is just ridiculous... just fix the bass and the problem goes away. Yes, outside interference causing hum is an issue that should be treated as such.

    I just pulled out my Jaco, it has been getting neglected in its case for the last month or so. Turns out my electronics have quit on me somewhere as I am getting no output but this thing was dead silent with flats on it before I put it in it's case, so this is a proper shielding job. I didn't remove the pickup covers but they are covered on the inside and you can see the outside wrap where the ground wire gets connected.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. tkozal

    tkozal

    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    Thanks, but I think for now I will put a metal flatwound on, and bag these labellas for awhile. I wouldn't do such work myself, and its gonna be awhile till I can get it to Matt at 30th street

    Thanks again
     
  12. tbplayer59

    tbplayer59

    Jan 20, 2013
    OP - It's not a shielding issue, not that shielding wouldn't help. Put the old strings back on and you will see what I mean.

    These instruments are designed to use the player as a ground to shunt spurious electrical noise. I can't see for certain, but on the last poster's pics, even with the shielding, the bridge is grounded. The player is supposed to be connected to ground.
     
  13. tbplayer59

    tbplayer59

    Jan 20, 2013
    The OP isn't talking about flatwounds, he's using tapewounds. The surface is insulated. There's a huge difference when it comes to shunting extraneous electrical noise.
     
  14. tkozal

    tkozal

    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    I had no issues with flats, just tape wounds.
     
  15. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Don't fret about doing shielding yourself, it is extremely easy. I am far from a professional technician, as you can see my tape job. Quite frankly, you are paying somebody a premium rate to put in some tape and make a couple extremely easy solder points. It is your money at the end of the day, but this is one job I recommend people do.

    TBplayer, his string choice is irrelevant here. The issue is a shielding issue, he can fix the issue so it doesn't occur period, regardless of string choice. Of course it is grounded, if it wasn't grounded and the OP touched metal his buzz would get louder, not go away. My Jaco (when working) doesn't hum even with no strings on it.

    OP if you shield the bass it won't hum period. Touching the strings/metal/bridge will have no effect on a properly shielded bass.
     
  16. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    How did you ground them all together? One wire passing through?
     
  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    No. On a jazz you have to run an individual wire to each cavity, I brought them all to a common point, you can barely see it under where the jack would rest in the control cavity. In the picture the cloth wires are from Fender and the rubber is added by me.

    The added wires coming from the control cavity are actually grounded to the pickup surrounds not the cavities. I left the copper plates that Fender had installed in each cavity and just ensured the plates made contact with the copper shielding, that is how the cavities are grounded on this particular bass.
     
  18. chuck norriss

    chuck norriss Banned

    Jan 20, 2011
    Thanks.
     
  19. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Glady. I hate hum and remove it from all my basses as a necessity to make it stage ready, I love to help others do the same. I have been meaning to make my own guide on it since I repeat the instructions so much but I need another bass to do it do.
     
  20. tbplayer59

    tbplayer59

    Jan 20, 2013
    When you shielded your bass, which is always a good thing, did you remove your bridge ground wire?
     

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