Every bass I’ve acquired in the last year - aside of two Ibanez basses (an SR500E and an SR700, and honorable mention to an SR300 I had since 2009 that didn’t buzz either) - have had shielding problems. The kind that causes an electric buzz when you’re not touching the strings or pots or bridge or whatever.
Every one of them.
A while back, I detailed fixing the problem in a Fender Deluxe Dimension here on the forum, using conductive shielding paint and a few ground wires. But I feel like I shouldn’t have to do that. Case in point… over the last few days, I noticed that my Kiesel was giving off that “something is not shielded properly” buzz. So, I popped it open and found that they did a GREAT job in the electronics cavity with conductive tape, but neither of the pickup cavities were shielded in any way. At all.
It’s fine now, I painted the cavities (three coats as recommended) and ran some ground wires to the electronics cavity. No more buzz. But again, I shouldn’t have to do that. After I got my Osiris, I mocked it up in Kiesel’s online bass builder. It came out to $2100:
How is it that so many bass manufacturers can charge so much money and not properly shield the instrument? I don’t understand how that’s acceptable.
And you know, for a while, I thought it was me. That I was just getting a run of bad basses. But… Carvin, G&L, Fender, Squier, Kiesel… it seems highly unlikely that I would get bad basses all in a row from all of those manufacturers. I also thought that maybe it’s my environment… but if it were my environment, then the buzz wouldn’t go away when I shielded the pickup cavities. And plus… it’s not like there was shielding in them and a ground came loose or something, or the shielding failed. No, there was no shielding whatsoever.
You would think that bad luck would be shared evenly across the board, but that’s not how it works. A French mathematician named Simeon Poisson worked it out in the 1800s. Luck is clumpy.
I don’t know if you watch baseball but I’ll use it as they have stats going back to the 1800s.
You don’t see perfect games often, roughly 20 years between them. And there’s an element of chance in each one, a lucky bounce of the ball that preserves it
Here’s where Poisson comes into play. After 20 years you get a perfect game. Then before the year is out chances you’ll see a second one. And over the next season or two a couple more. Then you wait decades again.
It’s called a Poisson distribution. You’re more likely to get hit by lightning the second time. Or win the lottery. It’s been used to clear up homicides
Not saying you’re going through a Poisson distribution, just trying to disabuse you of the notion that you can’t have that much bad luck. Well yes, you can. Math of randomness is behind it.
So how do you break it? Make a change. In D&D I would change dice sets. Sometimes I change games. You might buy a bass from a new supplier.
I discovered that term when I watched the Aussie series, Mr. In-Between (excellent series), and then again when the British attorney on Boston Legal used it. I surmised it was British and Aussie slang.
I used to work for a company that had an office in the UK. I did a LOT of application customization for that office, so I became very close to the employees there (I mean, as close as you can be from the other side of the world). Given that my own heritage is all UK based (my dad’s side of the family can be traced to Huntly Castle in Scotland, my mom’s side came over from England on the Queen Mary when she was a youngster), I found it was easy to pick up on some of their, eh, catchphrases.
Whinge, for instance, and summat (which means “something”). Wanker, tosser, plonker. I picked up a whole bunch of 'em that I still use to this day.
Here’s the thing I’ve learned. All companies including cheap ones are capable of producing near flawless instruments at any pricepoint. The issue is how many per 100 are great out of the box? There are a few for sure but the number is not as consistent as we want to see. That’s why I prefer to buy my new instruments from Sweet Water, there free 55 points inspection is great.
My Fender Elite with the “Noiseless pickups” are notoriously noisy even Fender rep say that’s the way it is, until I addressed the issue.