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why do my pickups buzz when touched

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tbird99, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. tbird99


    Jun 29, 2012
    Dalton, Ga
    I couldn't find any spot comfortable to rest my thumb on my p bass so I finally put it on the pickup but when my fingers accidentally touch one of the (I guess they're called coils the metal part) it makes an awful high pitch squeal I don't know why It does this and how can i fix it , would new pups covers fix it
  2. tbird99


    Jun 29, 2012
    Dalton, Ga
    Do you think if I put on if the huge metal pickups covers I could rest ny thumb on it or will new plastic covers fix it , this never happens with my tbird and the cover ion it covers the coils
  3. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Commercial User

    Sep 8, 2009
    Chattanooga TN
    Owner and Luther for Bennett Music Labs
    because you have LSD on your fingers...

    oh wait thats Hallucenate, not buzz.

    because you have alcohol on your fingers.

    it sounds like something is wired incorrectly. perhaps even out of phase at the pickup.
    unless this is a VERY cheap Japanese bass from the 60s. ( or an Eastwood) most modern made basses won't have wiring issues like this.

    has any wiring mods been done on this since the factory?
  4. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Possibly a grounding issue. There should be some noise when you contact (the metal pieces are called "pole pieces", coils are the thin wire wrapped around the pole pieces) the poles, but not squealing. But that could also have to do with volume and EQ setting on your amp. Is there noise when the tone knob is turned up and your fingers aren't contacting the pole pieces?
  5. tbird99


    Jun 29, 2012
    Dalton, Ga
    Nope no noise at all until my finger touches the pole (thanks for correcting me). Also its not an old bass its a brand new mim that I bought 4 days ago p.s. the pick guard may not be stock , the store might have put a new one on but I am the original owner
  6. you need to ground your magnets. common issue.

    google it
  7. tbird99


    Jun 29, 2012
    Dalton, Ga
    Dude I know nothing about wiring what does grounding mean
  8. ^ if you don't feel comfortable doing that (solder/grounding/etc...) you need to take your bass to a tech.
  9. tbird99


    Jun 29, 2012
    Dalton, Ga
    I'm just gonna way til Monday and take it to the shop or ill just screw it up worse if I try
  10. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Give the bass a proper shielding job, I have never had to ground the magnets, odds are you don't have to either. I cannot see it hurting them should you decide to though.
  11. if physically touching the magnets induces a buzzing sound - the magnets need to be grounded. might as well shield the entire pickup while your at it...

    shielding the control cavity will NOT fix this issue.
  12. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Excellent decision. Seriously, I can't understand why others in the same situation feel compelled to do the opposite.
  13. its really not hard to do at all - if you know what your doing.
  14. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Yup. If the magnets aren't grounded, then touching them injects hum right into the center of the pickup!

    But we should mention that grounding magnets may or may not be simple! It depends on how your pickup is built. If it's potted with epoxy, for example, grounding floating poles may be next to impossible.

    Some people coat the poles with tape or nail polish so you can't electrically touch them which helps a lot, but isn't quite a total fix.
  15. Just take it back.

    If you have to ask what's wrong, trying to fix it is a terrible idea.
    Basses shouldn't squeal under ANY circumstances.
    It's defective.
  16. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Commercial User

    Sep 8, 2009
    Chattanooga TN
    Owner and Luther for Bennett Music Labs
    #1. if you just got this bass.. then its a warranty issue. Don't mess with it... just TAKE IT BACK.

    and Modern growl, magnets are SUPPOSED to be isolated from the coils. they should never be in the electrical circuit at all. they are coupled to the coils ONLY through Magnetic force.

    so if your touching your magnets and gettng a buzz.. then something is shorted to the magnet. they should have no connection whatsoever in your guitars circuit.

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