The scenario involves a single coli P-Bass with a Seymour Duncan P-Bass. The neck was getting a bit strained with the original heavy gauge 9050's on it so I tried some "used" Labella LTF's on it. They sounded nice but because of the through body bridge, they got a bit too bent up and were on the verge of unraveling. I wanted something else with lower tension, so I tried Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats. They had the right tension, even though they are just a tad "zingier" on the treble side than I would like, but they are nonetheless excellent strings. Immediately after changing the strings I noticed a "popping sound" coming out the amp. It also started getting dramatically colder and drier in my area of the country so that's a considerations. Here are the steps in my troubleshooting: 1. Change cables - same thing. 2. Switch basses - popping goes away. 3. Back to P-Bass with a different amp - popping returns. 4. Take P-Bass to original dealer (who is an excellent luthier) to see if there is a short - popping completely disappears when I show it to him (he thinks I'm nuts but adjusts the neck while I'm there, so not a total loss) 5. Return home and pug it in - popping returns. I start to realize that was all from static electricity at this point. 6. Try anti-static anti-cling dryer strips (as recommend on YouTube) - no change. 7. Remove gold metal pickguard - popping disappears. This definitely appears to be a culprit. When I put it back on the static electricity popping immediately returns. So now I'm considering either not using the pickguard while it remains cold and dry - it now looks like Sting's or Dusty Hill's basses which is ok, but I love the look of the gold pickguard. I'm probably going to test some aluminum foil underneath pickguard as some have recommended on Youtube. It's just odd that this occurred after I changed the strings; I can easily accept the notion that excessive dryness can be a factor. I'm just wondering about Ernie Ball Cobalt Flats though and if the alloy in the strings in this case can increase static electricity.