L-1505 pickup problem

Seeing as how we are fortunate to count Paul Gagon as a member here, it seemed like a good time to give him a home to stretch out in and relax a little. Maybe exercise the grey matter and present a little history of the guitar and bass (amps too!) from his perspective as one of the eminent designers of our time.

Got questions? Great! Good questions might be, "What kind of windings are on the S500 pickup and why?" Or, "What was the thought process behind the MJ-4?" Troubleshooting questions should remain in the regular forums (he reads those too). Finally, please be mindful of how I feel about tech questions via PM or email.

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Re: L-1505 pickup problem

Postby Ken Baker » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:53 pm

Just a couple things come to mind to look into:

Would you have a battery powered headphone amp around the shop? An old Cafe Walter HA1 would be an example. If you have one, try the bass through it. The reason here is to isolate the signal chain from the mains.

Though I'm sure you've already done this, try a different cable.

Okay - three things.

Story time. I used to play my basses in my office. One day I started to have a helluva problem with what sounded like single coil noise - with fully shielded humbucker basses. There's all kinds of computer equipment in here, from a couple Macs to a router and a commercial switch. So I got out my handy-dandy tone tool (used for tracing phones and twisted pair cables) and used the receiver to trace the noise to a solid brass desk lamp. Checked it with an ohmmeter and could find no wiring fault, checking both the hot and neutral connections for shorts to the lamp body. Also checked for shorts to ground. Nothing. Checked the bulb socket for crappy connections and found it to be okay as well. I like the lamp, so I re-wired it using a grounded cable. No more noise. I understand that I may have killed the symptom and not the actual problem, but I'll take what I can get.

TL:DR Don't discount a strong environmental source. Obviously, this all goes out the window if other instruments are quiet in your space.

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