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This ones weird... buzz with no strings on, put the strings on, buzz is gone!!??!!??

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. So I just got done fully shielding my Jazz, cavities, shielded wires from pickups, even shielded the pickups...

    I noticed when I was putting in the pickups, and touched the pole pieces with my finger, they buzzed. When I put the strings on the bass, and tuned to pitch, the buzz went away?


    Did having the strings on, somehow complete the grounding?
  2. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Your bridge is grounded, strings touch bridge, you touch strings. You are now acting as the ground on your bass. Try it! Turn your amp up a little more than usually to hear some static, then don't touch your bass. Then touch the strings. The buzz goes away!
  3. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Doesn't come into play when the bass is shielded. At that point the bridge ground is unneeded.

    No clue why the noise is different when touching polepieces. Nailpolish, yo.
  4. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Oh, der! I forgot about that. (*hits self in head*)
  5. Keef


    Jul 3, 2003
    Hollywood, CA
    Lyle, one just applies it directly to the magnets, right?

    Does this just stop just "string clacking" sounds, or does it also reduce hum?


    ~ Keef

  6. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    It doesn't reduce finger noise on the strings or hum. But some pickups make noise (like high pitched TV static) if you touch the polepieces. A layer of clear nail polish insulates the polepieces so this noise doesn't occur. Just brush some on the polepieces themselves. If you feel clumsy, ask your wife/girlfriend to do it (my apologies to female bassists reading this - I'm not assuming that only guys are bassists, just recognizing that most guys lack experience with nail polish [further apologies to Dave Navarro]).

    Doesn't change the sound of the pickups at all. Sonically transparent, but will eliminate the problem.
  7. To my knowledge, Carmen Electra now does Dave's nails.

    At any rate...I've done the clear nail polish thing on my polepieces and it also helps with the strings touching the pole pieces (loud pops on the amp...yik)...

    I was thinking...why limit yourself to clear nailpolish...put some colour into your pole pieces...I was thinking of finding a matching red for mine...now isn't that special?

  8. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Just don't use sparkly polish - some use little bits of metal, which would defeat the purpose.
  9. ErikP.Bass

    ErikP.Bass Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2004
    I had a similar pole-piece hum problem when I installed DiMarzio Model J's in my jazz. I spoke with a guy at a local repair shop and was advised to put a strip of copper under under each of the pickups to ground the poles, copper side pressing up against the bottom of the pickup as snuggly as possible. This worked wonders - no hum.

    A bit more of a task than the nailpolish but it is another option you could pursue. :ninja: