So, I’m trying to track down and stop a bad buzzing in my Fender Deluxe Dimension. It picks up a lot of interference from devices around my “rehearsal space”, but it just buzzes bad in and of itself.
Here’s what I know:
- Even with no external interference, it has a bad electronic buzz.
- The buzzing goes away when I touch the strings, bridge, or pots.
From my understanding, that sounds like a shielding issue. At one point I had opened the electronics cavity and shielded the entire thing with copper tape, and grounded that, but it didn’t help. I did not tape the pickup cavity, because the pickup didn’t want to come out and I didn’t want to force it. I’ve since removed the tape.
Here’s what else I know:
- The buzzing gets worse when I touch the pickup screws (but only the pickup screws).
From my understanding, if the buzzing gets worse when you touch an item, it’s a grounding issue. But I have since removed the pickup; it’s completely sealed and the screws don’t touch anything except for the pickup housing and the wood of the guitar.
Here’s what else I know:
- I have tested the ground from the bridge to the jack, and it is good.
- I have tested the ground across the pots to the jack, and it is good.
So I’m completely at a loss.
It’s currently sitting here with all the electronics pulled. Here are pictures of the pickup and electronics cavities:
It looks like the black is shielding paint. So, I’m thinking my next step is to get some shielding paint and coat the entirety of both cavities and the path between them. If I do that, does the paint need to be grounded? If so… how?
Any other feedback or suggestions are more than welcome.
That black paint ain’t doing nuttin.
If it isn’t connected to the ground circuit somehow, its just a blob.
And an odd blob indeed. Cover the whole cavity and connect it to the ground.
Same goes for pickup cavity, that’s just useless if not part of the circuit.
Awesome. Thanks for the confirmation. How do I connect it to the ground? Like… screw the ground wire down or something?
Sorry to sound dense, just never done that before.
Or a blip of solder.
Also make sure continuity between all the pieces of copper tape.
Some have conductive adhesive, some don’t.
If not, you should make sure to fold over a corner of on on top of the next, etc.
I have to do this one day on two or three basses to quiet them down a bit.
Oh, I was thinking of using the shielding paint, not the tape.
This is exactly how they did it with my Squier Vintage Modified Jazz bass: cavities are painted in black paint, which I suppose is conductive, and ground wires are screwed down to that (below the pickups).
As your local friendly beginner bassist electrician, I’m quite sure your problem is grounding. Use shielding paint or tape. Connect everystuff. This will equalise potential and cut that noise ( I hope I sound smart here ) pretty effectively. Hope it helps!
That’s the second coat (of three recommended) using StewMac conductive shielding paint. I’ve done both cavities, the wire path between them, and the jack hole. (Heh, I said “jackhole”.)
The third coat will include a small lip of conductive shielding paint just on the outside of the electronics cavity, to connect with the copper shielding tape I’m going to put on the inside of the pick guard.
I’m going to run a ground wire from the bottom of the pickup cavity to the bottom of the electronics cavity, which will be connected to the bridge ground.
Hopefully I’ll be done tomorrow, and hopefully this will make a big difference. If it doesn’t, I’m going to look at replacing the pickup and/or pre-amp, and/or re-wiring it for passive.
The paint just arrived at my house for some work too.
How did you do the wire hole? Q-tip?
I read online that pipe cleaners are the ticket for that. So I got some pipe cleaners and have been using those. I imagine a Q-Tip would work just as well.
Although he might object to getting covered with conductive paint and shoved through a hole.
She Looks good, my friend. Digging that you coated the jackhole. Most folks are afraid to try, but if you go slow you’ll be fine.
So it’s probably derivative to ask, but you made sure it isn’t the cable, right? I get that’s the first Thing you tried, but I once broke off the cup holder on my p.c…
The cable between the bass and the amp? Yeah, tried two cables, and other basses on the same cable. It’s definitely specific to this bass.
Third coat applied and dried, ground wires attached (from pickup cavity to electronics cavity, from electronics cavity to under bridge), re-assembled, and it’s true audio beauty. There is only the SLIGHTEST buzz from the pre-amp, which is only audible with the amp up loud and nothing else playing.
It is quieter than my Player Jazz.
I am excited, and happy. The former because I did it all myself, and the latter because I love this bass and now it is no longer buzzing.
can you show or explain more how you mated the paint to the shielding on the pickguard?
Did you just extend the paint up over the pickup hole in a blob?
So, yeah, when I was putting the third coat down, I just came up over the edge onto the top of the bass with about a quarter inch of paint all the way around the electrical cavity. Enough to contact the copper tape I put in the underside of the pickguard, but not anywhere near enough to go out past the border of the pickguard.
Next time I have it apart I’ll take a couple of pics. But I just got it back together and I want to play it.
The pickup hole is just open. The pickup is sealed in its case and takes up the entire pickup cavity. I just grounded the pickup cavity to the electrical cavity with a wire.