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What is usually the cause of "crackling"? Is it the bass or the amp?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by DChalo, Feb 6, 2017.

  1. DChalo


    Dec 16, 2015
    Austin, TX
    Only have one amp at the moment, so I don't really have anything to compare it to, but recently I have noticed a weird crackling sound every now and then. What is most likely the cause? (Please don't say the bass :( )
  2. It's almost always something electronic. In my case it has always been tone and volume pots that need to be cleaned out which just means spraying some canned air (like you would use to clean a computer keyboard) on the pots.
    DChalo likes this.
  3. Grumry


    Jul 6, 2016
    And contact cleaner after that.
    DChalo likes this.
  4. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    Actually, it's most often a bad cable.
    RSBBass, Hopkins, DChalo and 5 others like this.
  5. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Just run the amp by itself and see if the crackling persists, turn some knobs will doing this to see if one of them is scratchy. If you have nothing plugged in and the issue doesn't happen then the issue isn't the amp.

    Slowly add things back to your rig to see where the noise comes in. If it is the bass, one of the most common crackles is static electricity discharging (often when you touch the pickguard). If this is the case then a simple shielding job is all that is required but it could be anything at this point.
    Warhawk likes this.
  6. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    Man I hate that. Spend 10 minutes diagnosing your pedal board, bass, amp; only to find a bad cable.
    DChalo, Warhawk and elgecko like this.
  7. It's the bass! (Just kidding!)
    Yeah, check the amp by itself first. Then plug in the bass and leave it on it's stand. Without touching or moving the cord turn the controls on the bass. If still no noise start moving the cord around. No noise yet? Strap the bass on and move it around. Play it and note where you're touching it when the crackling begins and let us know.
    I do think it's the cord.
  8. DChalo


    Dec 16, 2015
    Austin, TX
    THAT'S WHAT IT WAS!! Thank you very much. I feel stupid, but not as bad as I would have if either the amp or bass was broken :p
    viper4000, Warhawk and elgecko like this.
  9. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    If it weren't the cable, I would much rather the noise come from the bass than the amp. The bass is a simple inexpensive fix, an amp is more difficult.
    RSBBass likes this.
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