Hello! Small zaps?

Hello! I am new to bass and I have a question. I have a G and L Tribute L2000 in Clear orange (i absolutely love it!) and I have noticed that I am getting small zaps from the strings and the the bridge. I opened the back panel and made sure no wires were touching and metal before the 9v battery and the pre-amp is wrapped very well so its not touching any metal either. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what could be causing it? I have an Orange crush combo amp and I’m not using any pedals. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you jjswenson

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Do you get those all the time, whenever you play, or only in certain cases?

I am asking because I get tiny zaps whenever I am in contact with the strings and - at the same time - touch the metal surface of my MacBook while it is being charged! Only in that combination do I notice a tingling from the strings into my skin (potentially pointing to a grounding issue; in my case, I am pretty sure the power supply charging my MacBook is not properly grounded through the outlet).

Is it anything like that?

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As in static electricity zaps from your bass to your figures? I never knew that was something that could happen. Crazy. I’m sure someone here will know what is causing it.

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My husband can feel the small zaps (less than a 9 volt battery) whenever he touches the string with his ring. I usually feel them with the inside of my arm on the bridge. I thought my arm was just sensitive since there was a screw there, but it’s smooth and my husband can feel them other times. We are trying switching outlets in case that was the cause, but I am curious if I was close to dying form a “hot” bass. I will keep you updated to if I keep feeling them.

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Yeah, it could be that the amp is not grounded properly. Try other outlets… often larger kitchen appliances (fridges, perhaps dishwashers, …) are hooked up to “better” outlets, i.e., properly grounded ones.

I don’t think it’s the bass… I mean just unplug it from the amp and see if you (or your husband) still get zapped.

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Something like this can tell you if the outlet you are plugged into is wired properly and has a good ground. That’s a good place to start.

If you don’t want to use yourself to test and see if you are getting shocked, it’s possible to use a voltage meter to hunt around and find what’s hot. Put the black lead on a good known ground connection. Touch the red lead to strings, amp metal case, etc. trying to find a voltage that shouldn’t exist. Anything you can touch should all be at 0 Volts to ground if everything is OK.

I wouldn’t let this go without figuring it out. Weirdnesses are usually warning signs that something else, possibly a problem, is up.

I recently had a circuit breaker trip a couple times when I didn’t think it should. Checking the voltage on the outlet it was a little low and would dip slightly when I’d turn on the amp, but it was only a few volts low and didn’t trip very often. It turned out to be a loose wire at the circuit breaker that was all black and charred and arcing. Lesson: If something is odd, something is happening.

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Thank you so much for your replies everyone. As soon as I can find the money I will be buying Power Outlet tester. Since I have switched outlets I haven’t felt any zaps. That really scares me considering how bad it could have gotten. I will be avoiding that outlet until I can test it properly. Thank you again for the advice everyone

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