1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

zoom b2.1u noise (ways to avoid)

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by PilbaraBass, Jan 7, 2007.

  1. I used my new zoom out for the first time at church last night.

    my power supply (a universal wall-wart type) didn't cut the mustard.

    it worked fine during rehearsal, but when they put the stage lights on (dimmer packs, look out!)...BUZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

    i pulled the powers upply off and went battery....ahhhhh...that's better...silent as a sleeping flea....

    I think i'm going to rely on rechargeable metal hydride batteries for shows...

    BTW...two thumbs up on tones...I'll need to do a little more tweakin'...but I LIKE!

    I have this killer patch that sounds like arco bass or cello...sweet
  2. mr sprocket

    mr sprocket

    Jul 31, 2006
    I use my zoom at church as well. I am using the power supply from zoom with no issues. Maybe try another power supply or were the power supply is drawing power from.

    If you have a cool patch why not post in the patch thread.
  3. I'm a bassist on a budget, I already have the rechargeable AA's, so I'll use them (I had the power supply too)...I don't have an issue with using batteries, really.

    Our church has some issues with the stage power sources and those blasted dimmer-packs...not much I can do about that one....I had a previous issue with using an unbalanced signal from my amp to a DI box, and going balanced from my amp solved that one.

    As far as the patches, I'll be sure to add mine to the thread...I've got to write them down first :)
  4. mr sprocket

    mr sprocket

    Jul 31, 2006
    I can relate to power. I run an extensiion cord off stage and around a corner to plug into some clean power.
  5. ihateusernames


    Jun 26, 2006
    i have no problems with noise on mine? i've never had problems with noise on any zoom products, and the guitar player using floorboard boss digital effects or alesis rackmounted effects has never had noise issues.

    what are we doing wrong?
  6. Lalabadie

    Lalabadie Guest

    Jan 11, 2007
    This is due to not all components being grounded. The batteries eliminate EMI from the power supply, since they replace it and do not share circuit with anything else.

    If I touch my iPod on its speaker set while I hold my bass, the ground of the bass goes through it instead of becoming signal ground, and my iPod shortcircuits, because its speakers have none. Batteries take care of this, or plugging the power supply on a separate, "clean" circuit, as Mr Sprocket does.

    Studio workers can explain this better than me, but signal ground is the reason why a lot of amp heads have the "alternate ground" switch, so they ignore their actual protection (not the safety ground, though) and let the residual ground be evacuated by the recording material.

    post corrected, but the very structure of my explanation is messy - ignore the post
  7. excane

    excane Banned

    Aug 23, 2005
    New York, NY
    I've found the best way to avoid noise with the zoom was to turn it off and return that POS
  8. Is that really necessary?
  9. arbarnhart


    Nov 16, 2006
    Raleigh, NC
    Is the amperage right? I just bought a power supply for an older Zoom and the guy at the music store (where it was still only $13) had several different amperages available and gave me the closest that was under what the book said. He said they usually do fine with that but that going over would make it noisy and possibly damage it. I was a little skepical about trying a 200 mA when it called for 300 mA, but the store is right on my way to work and he said they would have no problem with swapping it out for the next one up if it din't work. It works great.
  10. Wow, Lalabadie, you've got some weird things going on there.

    First up guys, smokey the bear time.
    Messing with earth ground connections, especially on amplifiers, can be incredibly dangerous. What Lalabadie is talking about, if I understand him correctly, is not only dangerous, it's illegal.

    There's an important distinction to be made here between two types of ground.

    Safety ground, or "earth" is essential on ALL mains powered equipment. It is literally there to save your life if the device becomes faulty. DON'T MUCK WITH IT else you risk being electrocuted. Signal ground is what we generally talk about, it's the ground in all your pedals, and consequently it's also the ground in your wall wart power supplies.

    "But wait nifty, you just said..." Yeah yeah, hold ya horses! The output from a wallwart is isolated from the mains supply by a transformer. The DC coming out is what we call "floating" meaning it has no ground connection... until you create it by plugging it into a pedal.

    Now, back to the crux of the matter, which I though was already dealt with nicely by the OP himself and the first few posters! Noise most often comes from EMI. EMI is produced in bucket loads by lighting dimmers. EMI also gets into the wires of mains power systems. If EMI is present in the air, or on the mains supply lines, it is easily ported into your equipment. This is the cause of the OPs problems. A solution in some cases is to use a mains power outlet that's on a different circuit to that running the dimmers or other unrelated equipment. Ideally your whole band, and the PA all runs on the same circuit, and everything else runs on a different circuit.

    Moving/rotating your equipment.
    Using high quality power supplies and cables

    If the noise is only present when you're using a power supply, then consider buying a higher quality power supply with better filtering and shielding. Also, minimise the length of the cable feeding power to the Zoom. PilbaraBass's supply worked fine in rehersal, it's up the task in terms of current output. But, when faced with a wall of interference, it showed its true colours - cheap chinese crud.
  11. Lalabadie

    Lalabadie Guest

    Jan 11, 2007
    Thanks for telling this. On a retrospective, my previous post was not very clear (read: very messy) on what to do, as it was an explanation with the maximum expected effect being Pillara using batteries so not to expose an additional power wire to EMI.

    As for the "separate, clean ground" (I'm gonna whip myself for that one), I meant using a different circuit, not separating the ground from the actual circuit. That is something that should never be done, along with trying to "unground" signal ground by mixing up safety ground and signal wires (that is dumb but a guy once came at the store with his "modded amp" for repair because he kept getting shocked when touching it).

    I sincerely feel bad about that post, and apologize to anyone misguided by my unclear sayings.

    And now to answer arbarnhart, amperage on your power supply is a measurement of the power it can supply (duh :D ). I assume you have one which generates the same tension (voltage) as specified on the pedal.

    Now for the amperage. What the guy told you is totally wrong (and I am certain of the clarity of this one). Amperage is not a measure of how much current the power unit PUSHES IN your pedal, contrary to voltage, but an indication of how much current CAN BE "PULLED" from the unit before overheating. What you are saying here is that your pedal tries pulling 300mA through a 200mA power supply. The 300mA is a minimum amperage rating, while the 200mA is a maximum amperage rating.

    Which means: If you run this power supply for long enough, it should generate enough heat (locally) that a component in it will die and the unit will break. Worst case scenario is your house burning.

    I suggest you change that supply to something around 350mA so it handles the pedal with no overcharge. Especially if it's a free trade. And while you are there, tell that guy that amperage is NOT like voltage. You might save someone.
  12. It's cool, I know you had the right intentions, I'm just mega cautious about this stuff because it's my belief that accidents happen more often than you might think.

    As for power supply current ratings, yes, you're right. You could theroetically use a 9VDC regulated supply capable of supplying 1000 amps if you wanted and it wouldn't do any damage whatsoever.

    Think of it like this, time how long it takes to pour 10 gallons of water down the drain in your kitchen sink. Now, try to pour another 10 gallons of water through a straw in the same amount of time. It cannot be done without massively increasing the water pressure.

    Now consider this;
    pressure = voltage
    flow = current.

    So, provided the 9VDC "pressure" is ALWAYS 9VDC (or near enough) you'll never get the flow to increase unless you use a wider straw...

  13. Lalabadie

    Lalabadie Guest

    Jan 11, 2007
    I am actually grateful of your intervention, your intentions were perfectly justified, and nicely expressed.

    Definately dig :D You have a good picture here. The 200mA straw is a little small for the liquid needs of the pedal. So to avoid pressure damage, I think buying a bigger power supply is heavily recommended. Only then will music flow through the pedal without random additional plumbering costs.
  14. In regards to the OP and rechargeable batteries, here is a response from Zoom tech support in Japan:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "ZOOM info" <info@zoom.co.jp>
    To: "Marty Phillips" <mphillips@murrayequipment.com>
    Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2007 3:54 AM
    Subject: RE: Zoom B2.1U Product Question

    > Dear Sir,
    > Thank you for your inquiry.
    > Officially, the rechargeable batteries are not compatible with the ZOOM
    > B2.1u.
    > So, we cannot recommend it as a maker's position.
    > However, I have already confirmed the B2.1u works correctly without any
    > damage when using
    > rechargeable battery.
    > *Please note that the duration from the indicating "low-battery" is
    > shorter than alkaline battery.
    > So, when you find "low-battery" alert, please change the batteries as soon
    > as possible.
    > We hope that you will find it helpful.
    > Best regards,
    > ZOOM corporation.

    As far as which rechargeable batteries, these guys have won shoot-outs with regards to perfromace and longevity in digital camera use. No affiliation:


    As far as non-OEM power supplies, I've used the Visual 1-Spot with the Zoom B series with good results. $19.00, 1700mA available power, nice long cord, well built and only takes one spot on a power strip or duplex receptacle. It's only a couple of dollars more than other power supplies.
  15. exactly...

    the email from zoom is interesting...they're making a blanket statement that all rechargeable batteries are equal and nasty...
    the rechargeables which I plan on using are Nickel Metal Hydrides...not some cheap ni-cad...

    I've also had an idea of making an external 9V battery pack out of 6 NMH D-cells...

    because of the power situation at church, I really want to avoid plugging my zoom into the wall, altogether

    to address the poster who recommended I return my "POS"...
    1) it works great
    2) on batteries it is dead quiet

    so why return it?
  16. mr sprocket

    mr sprocket

    Jul 31, 2006
    I would think the rechargeables are alright. We use rechargables to run cameras and portable scanners at work with no issue.

    I like my zoom at church. The only noise I have had is when my big foot stomped on the wrong button in the middle of a quiet song!
  17. rechargeables ARE alright...you won't get the hours that a quality set of alkalines will deliver is all
  18. I didn't read it that way.

    What they're alluding to is that rechargeable batteries have a lower nominal cell voltage than normal batteries, and if the circuit isn't designed for that then it won't work as designed.

    Fully charged, a NiMH AA cell will put out 1.3V for a very short while, nominally 1.2V. A regular alkaline is more like 1.6V, nominally 1.5V.

    So, it easy to see that the B2.1u would interpret that situation as being a low battery, when in actuall fact it's just because it's analyzing a NiMH battery against the parameters for an alkaline.

    I think the message got lost in the translation a bit, but I think what they're trying to say is this;

    The time taken to reach the low battery warning will be shorter than with an alkaline.

    BUT, it's my belief that the time from that point to when the unit fails will be longer than that of the alkaline.
  19. That's pretty much how I interpreted what they said.
  20. FYI...had my NiMH batteries in my b2.1u last night (messing around in my room, fortunately).

    Sound went out...THEN the battery warning started flashing...

    NOT a good scenario...

    therefore, if you're going to use rechargeables, make sure they're fresh before every gig...

    I'm going to revisit my power supply with some filtering added...:)

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.