Jim.i has a shielding question

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Jim.i has a shielding question

Postby Ken Baker » Sat May 14, 2016 7:25 am

A copy & paste from PM

jim.i wrote:Hi Ken, do you know a California luthier or tech who specializes in noise reduction/shielding?


Ken Baker wrote:No, Sir, I do not. I don't know that shielding would be something a luthier or tech would list as a specialty. More just as a service offered. You might contact Michael Dolan in the Santa Rosa area for a referral or for the job.


jim.i wrote:Ok thanks Ken. I have a new [used] P-style bass that sounds lovely with single-coil pickup, but some noise reduction would be a good thing, if it can be done without changing the tone much if any.


Ken Baker wrote:Shielding will tend to darken tone a little. How much depends on the bass in question and how the shielding is done.

Shielding will always help reduce noise, but it usually doesn't eliminate it. You might see what can be done to reduce the noise from an environmental standpoint - lighting, motors, etc.


jim.i wrote:Ken i am getting little "pop" noises while playing the single-coil bass, not as loud as strings hitting poles (which i don't do) but noticeable. I thought it was static electricity. Tried different cables, not using tuner foot pedal, didn't make a difference. When i use my LB-100 however, no pops. I thought hum was the symptom of s-c noise, but could these pops also be?
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Re: Jim.i has a shielding question

Postby Ken Baker » Sat May 14, 2016 7:48 am

jim.i wrote:Ken i am getting little "pop" noises while playing the single-coil bass, not as loud as strings hitting poles (which i don't do) but noticeable. I thought it was static electricity. Tried different cables, not using tuner foot pedal, didn't make a difference. When i use my LB-100 however, no pops. I thought hum was the symptom of s-c noise, but could these pops also be?


I tend to associate popping noise with static. Being in SoCal, a Santa Ana condition* can exacerbate a static issue and I may hear popping if I use a cheap cable when playing on a carpeted floor. You've swapped cables, so that likely eliminates your cable. Some pickguards can be little static generators, creating all sorts of annoying little pops & crackles. Grounding the backside of such a pickguard can help but the entire backside needs to be covered, not just around the pickup(s). Even then you could still have issues. Replacement of the pickguard with a high quality one is the cure.

Try this: Grab a dryer sheet from the laundry - even a used one should work. Thoroughly wipe down the pickguard then see if the popping goes away. If it does go away, you've found your culprit.

Popping and crackling cam also be caused by a dirty or failing output jack, though this is usually quite loud and associated with signal loss. L Series G&Ls are somewhat famous for this with their long barrel jacks. The fix hear is to clean the jack contacts with a Q-Tip soaked with contact cleaner. Or just replace the jack.

*Santa Ana Condition for those wondering what I'm talking about.

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Re: Jim.i has a shielding question

Postby jim.i » Sat May 14, 2016 8:20 am

Fyi, the s-c bass has no pickguard and the room has a rug though cab is on a gramma pad - which has a "ruggish" covering. And this morning i barely hear any pops. I'll move to a different room with no rug and no gramma pad and try again. Doesn't seem to be any loss of output from the jack so perhaps this is static after all...
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Re: Jim.i has a shielding question

Postby Ken Baker » Sat May 14, 2016 8:35 am

jim.i wrote:Fyi, the s-c bass has no pickguard


There goes that theory, shot to hell.

and the room has a rug though cab is on a gramma pad - which has a "ruggish" covering. And this morning i barely hear any pops. I'll move to a different room with no rug and no gramma pad and try again. Doesn't seem to be any loss of output from the jack so perhaps this is static after all...


Try that dryer sheet thing on the cable and see what happens. Cable to carpet static is kinda of like rubbing a balloon on your hair (or your cat's hair). The dryer sheet will reduce the static charge on the cable, which should reduce or eliminate the internal static charge that jumps from ground to hot and causes the pop.

Image

Also - check the mains grounding on your amp.

Image

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Re: Jim.i has a shielding question

Postby jim.i » Sat May 14, 2016 9:34 am

Amps (tried several) going into a Tripp-Lite Isobar 4-gang, into the wall socket. Wiped the cables, maybe helped slightly.

HOWEVER, then placed rig on hardwood floor sans gramma pad ---> no pops. I'll play more throughout the day to satisfy myself that this was the solution, maybe add the gramma pad back in to see what if any effect it has.

thanks!
ps funny cat video
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Re: Jim.i has a shielding question

Postby Ken Baker » Sat May 14, 2016 10:11 am

Interesting! I wonder if it's possible to wipe down the Gramma Pad? Or maybe ground the thing?

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Re: Jim.i has a shielding question

Postby jim.i » Sat May 14, 2016 11:59 am

I put the Gramma pad back under the cab, on hardwood floor -- no static pops. No reason it couldn't be wiped down with the anti-static wipe but i thought i'd try first without, and it seems to be unnecessary.

Ken Baker wrote:Interesting! I wonder if it's possible to wipe down the Gramma Pad? Or maybe ground the thing?

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Re: Jim.i has a shielding question

Postby Ken Baker » Sat May 14, 2016 1:57 pm

When you were experiencing the popping; was the Gramma Pad on the hardwood floor or on carpet? I'm looking for a root cause.

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Re: Jim.i has a shielding question

Postby jim.i » Sat May 14, 2016 2:05 pm

on the carpet, which is presumably conducting the static??

on the hardwood floor, with or without Gramma Pad - no popping.


Ken Baker wrote:When you were experiencing the popping; was the Gramma Pad on the hardwood floor or on carpet? I'm looking for a root cause.

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Re: Jim.i has a shielding question

Postby Ken Baker » Sat May 14, 2016 2:21 pm

jim.i wrote:on the carpet, which is presumably conducting the static??


Not conducting, but (with the Gramma Pad) creating the static.

Just checked the weather at University Airport (you're near Davis, right?) and the humidity is 39%, so you're not terribly dry today. I'd imagine that your carpeting would get pretty zappy with humidity in the teens. You could try an anti-static spray.

http://www.amazon.com/AntiStatic-Liquid ... B002WWNLVO

Or just leave it on the hardwood floor. Or try without the Gramma Pad. Or perhaps a piece of wood under the amp instead of the Gramma Pad?

Anyway... Good sleuthing! Thanks!

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