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When I tap on my pickguard..

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by FenderB, Nov 8, 2017.


  1. FenderB

    FenderB Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    When I tap on my pickguard or even the bass body itself I get that tapping sound back through my amp. The loudness depends on how high I have the volume knob turned up on the bass. My question is..is this normal?
    Thanks,
    Jack
     
  2. The strings are vibrating when you tap on the bass, very normal.
     
    Big Shrek and FenderB like this.
  3. FenderB

    FenderB Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    Everything I touch on the bass is amplified. When I touch any of the knobs the sound of me touching them is amplified back through my amp.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  4. This would have happen if you have the gain or volume turned up pretty high.
     
    Big Shrek and FenderB like this.
  5. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    Same here, while my finger nail click the chrome pickup cover, I can hear some click sound from my amp.
     
    FenderB likes this.
  6. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Daytona beach, Fl
    My advice is not to to on your pick guard
     
  7. FenderB

    FenderB Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    Thanks guys.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  8. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Your pickup is mechanically loose, so that it's wiggling when you tap on it. It's the external version of microphonics. The fix is to stiffen it up by putting stiffer foam or springs under it. Or, once you've established the pickup height that you like, put a small wood block under it, clamping the pickup down onto it with the screws.

    The reason why the other guys say it's normal is because it's such a common problem. The foam rubber that's usually used only lasts a few years before it goes soft. But it's a fixable problem.

    If you want to test it, try this: With it plugged in, hold the pickup still with one hand. Now tap on the bass. The tapping sound out through the amp will probably stop.
     
  9. FenderB

    FenderB Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    Thanks Bruce. Good to know, I'll check it out.
     
  10. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    What kind of bass is it? It sounds like a microphonic pickup!

    I've found that, generally, bass pickups are more microphonic than guitar pickups. Bassists tend not to use a lot of gain, dirt and drive (very generally speaking). I've even found supposedly epoxy potted pickups, made by a manufacturer that rhymes with Bimarzio, weren't actually epoxy potted as much as epoxy capped; with the coils still floating in air inside the pickup covers.

    When I was in a noisy 2-piece band, using lots of distortion, I was surprised by how many stock and aftermarket pickups squealed at volume.
     
    FenderB likes this.
  11. FenderB

    FenderB Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    Axstar it's a 2015 Fender Jazz Deluxe MIM. The pickup covers have "Noiseless" written on them.
     
  12. Axstar

    Axstar

    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    The noiseless pickups work, I think, from having separate coils for the E-A strings and the D-G strings. They may, alternately, have a dummy coil under the main 'speaking' pickup coil. It is entirely possible that these are microphonic. Is the effect the same if you solo one pickup or the other?
     
    FenderB likes this.
  13. FenderB

    FenderB Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    You know Axstar I don't know, I'll give that a try. What's odd is today it wasn't nearly as bad as it was when I posted the question. These things seem to come and go at times, I did hold onto the neck pickup like Bruce suggested a couple of posts up and that did seem to mitigate the noise. He also made a couple of other suggestions that I might try.
    Thanks,
     
  14. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    A quick temporary fix is to wedge some little pieces of cardboard into the gaps between the pickup housing and the pickguard/body. If that mostly stops the tapping noise, then you've found the problem.

    Again, the sound through the amp is caused by the pickup wiggling in place, just a tiny amount. It's moving in relation to the strings, so it creates a signal.
     
    FenderB and Killed_by_Death like this.
  15. FenderB

    FenderB Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2016
    Findlay, Ohio
    Good idea, cardboard I have, will give that a try. Thanks Bruce.
     

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