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Zoom B3 Problem

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Wolfword, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Wolfword


    Dec 30, 2011
    Hi there!

    I recently bought a Zoom B3 multieffect, and is really really awesome! But there is something strange about it.

    If i play connecting the B3 directly to my headphones, there is a buzz that stops if I touch any metal part of the bass (LTD D6, active) or the B3 itself.

    But, if I play connecting the multieffect to my combo amp, then from the combo to my headphones, it won't buzz at all. Is this a ground problem?
  2. .
    I suspect a grounding issue.
    Try a different bass, or even a guitar and see if it's still there.

    From my experience active basses are more susceptible to buzzes than passive ones.
    humboldtharris likes this.
  3. Wolfword


    Dec 30, 2011
    Thanks Ozzy :) I tested with a guitar, same results

    Headphones from the B3 = buzz.
    B3 > combo > headphones = no buzz.

    Maybe the multieffect is not properly grounded?
  4. .
    I don't think I've ever heard of this before and I'd be very surprised if this was the case in a new B3.
    Mine's clean as a whistle through headphones.

    They have a ground lift button but that (obviously) only operates on the XLR output.
  5. Wolfword


    Dec 30, 2011
    Additional info...

    I found out that on the guitar, the buzz gets considerably louder if I touch the pickup that is selected by the 5 way switch.

    On the bass, the buzz gets louder only when I touch the screws on the cover of the hole where the battery is.

    On both cases, buzz disappears when touching any metal part from the B3 or the instruments.
  6. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I get something like this sometimes. It may have more to do with the wiring in your house, headphones can reveal unquiet wiring. Do you use an extension cord or power strip? What else is plugged into the same circuit?
  7. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    Sometimes I've had to keep a bare toe on my pedal board to ground it.
  8. Wolfword


    Dec 30, 2011
    Thanks Swift!

    I actually live in an apartment, it's about 1 year old so I don't blame the wiring on it. Yeah, I'm using an power strip, where I only connect my combo and the B3.

    I'll check if connecting directly to the outlet changes something
  9. Wolfword


    Dec 30, 2011
    Connecting the B3 directly to the outlet reduced the buzz, but it's still there.
  10. SpectorDetector

    SpectorDetector Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Same issue here pretty much, thought it was just JAzz bass 60 cycle hum (Geddy Lee Sig in my fist Jazz)
  11. .
    Have you tried it on battery power?
    At least that would (I guess) help to work out if it's mains power earthing issues.
  12. Wolfword


    Dec 30, 2011
    It worked Ozzy! no buzz while running on batteries.

    What I think is this: the problem is not my house wiring, because if that were the case, playing directly with the combo would also make buzz.

    So, the problem MAY be the B3 power adapter. Here in Chile, outlets have 3 pins, the central one being the ground. The B3 adapter came with only 2 pins, so i think it's not connecting to the ground, so it's only grounding when I touch any metal part of the B3 or bass.

    So when I do B3 > combo, the amp's plug wich has has 3 pins grounds the signal and there's no buzz. Am I correct?
  13. .
    Yeah .... maybe

    But we have exactly the same setup here in Australia (3 pin outlets, most adaptors have 2 etc.) and I don't have the buzzing problem.
  14. junkman


    May 12, 2012
    I could also just be the power in the building. Even if its wired properly if there is something "dirty" on the same power phase anywhere in the building it can cause problems. Power conditioners are the first line of defense in this sort of thing. I like to practice with my laptop plugged in to my pedal board and it gave me the same problem 'computers are notorious for dirty power', used a different outlet problem went away. Just be methodical and check one thing at a time, you'll get it.

    *Source - I am a stagehand in a large mid-west auditorium. We have to assure clean power regularly
  15. dylanjohnson

    dylanjohnson Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2002
    Morro Bay, CA
    I have the same situation with my generic power supply. Anyone else having this problem?
  16. dave_bass5


    May 28, 2004
    London, UK.
    Yes, I too had/have this if using the power supply at home.
    As luck would have it I dont have to as I power it either from USB or batteries. With those I don't get the earth issue.
    Funny thing though is I dint get it at gigs using a 1spot either.

    Definitly the supplied power supply IMO.