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What's this noise?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by middlebit, Jan 18, 2006.


  1. middlebit

    middlebit

    Sep 10, 2005
    København
    I have a little problem here, not too serious but annoying all the same. I hope you guys can help me...
    Whenever my knuckles brush against the pickguard, for example when I'm slapping, there is a crackling sound like a static electricity discharge between my hand and the bass (pickguard). Even if I mute the strings with my left hand and rub the fingers of my right hand over the pickguard, the noise comes out over the amp. And only when I touch the pickguard...:confused:

    I had the same problem years ago with my Ibanez Expressionist, but I got around that by cutting out a piece of clear hard plastic to fit on the pickguard as a extra insulating layer. Worked fine, just looked a bit weird.
    Well, I'm not going to do that with this Fender Marcus Miller Jazz (pickguard already looks weird enough!). Does anyone know what causes this noise and how to fix it? Is it the preamp or the pickups, the wiring maybe?
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    at some point I ran across a piece about Fender having problems with the shielding cracking or simply not getting the job done on some of their pickguards. Basically it sounds like you're saying you had a similar expeirence with the Ibe as well as the fix.

    Have no idea of an explanation for such a phenomenon and could care less as long as I have the fix.

    My first move would be to throw a layer of copper shielding over the back of the MM pickgaurd, check results, and go from there.
     
  3. I would look at the back of your pickguard and see if it has any shiielding. If it does see where there is a ground tie (maybe a small piece of wire soldered to the foil shielding) to the pickup cavity shielding (again assuming it is shielded). If not, I'd check the bridge to make sure it has a good ground.
     
  4. Planet Boulder

    Planet Boulder Hey, this is a private residence...man Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2001
    6,482 feet above sea level
    I once had impure thoughts. Oh, and I pluck my ear hair.
    Had this problem recently with a Frankenjazz and fixed it by shielding the back of the pickguard with copper shielding tape, which can be had on ebay.
     
  5. middlebit

    middlebit

    Sep 10, 2005
    København
    I unscrewed the guard and found it has no shielding at all (Thank you, Fender Japan:smug: ). No hard feelings there - Didn't even realize shielding was needed on that piece of plastic.I'll just leave it off untill I get around to whacking some copper on it. Just had a go at it and there is no noise whatsoever...cool bananas!
    My basses don't normally sport pickguards but in this case the maple neck/ash body gives off that Scandinavian bunk bed-vibe I'd rather avoid.
    Thanks, guys!
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    If the pickgaurd is just for looks and doesn't cover on open cavity like some of the their pickgaurds do. You may find it won't make any difference but you won't know that till done.

    So you may be able to retain that ... Scandinavian bunk bed-vibe.

    That has a nice ring to it. Sounds like something out of a Warren Zevon tune.