Tone Knob Noise

So, I’ve had this tone knob noise on my Cort Action PJ for a while already which I don’t mind because it’s usually turned off. Recently, I got myself a Caline Wine Cellar preamp pedal so I can get a brighter tone with the harmonics and mix knobs. However, I noticed that it amplifies the noise from the tone knob. Any way I can get this fixed? Is it the bass or the pedal that’s causing the issue?

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If the noise is there when you’re not using the pedal, then it’s not the pedal. The pedal merely amplifies noise that’s already there, which is not uncommon. What I’d like to know is: why do you call this “tone knob noise”? Do you only hear it while turning the tone knob, or does it change depending on the position of the tone knob? Because in that case, it may not have anything to do with the tone knob itself. It may just be relatively high-pitched noise that (naturally) gets more pronounced as you turn up the tone. Have you tried isolating your pickups to see if it’s related to either one of them?

I haven’t tried isolating the pickups but I’ll try once I have my hands on my bass later. I say it’s tone noise because yes I hear it when I turn the knob and louder as I turn the knob more. Also, I noticed that the noise goes a little quiet when I’m touching the knob, and it goes away when I’m touching the strings.

Sounds like electrical interference and adjusting the tone knob just hides/shows it. Try swapping out the cables or moving to a different spot. I have a guitar that I can only play when standing in one specific spot in my room with the same issues.

If it’s scratching noise then you can use Deoxit to spray the pots, but if it’s humming noise when you open up the tone then it’s grounding.

Raising tone knobs on passive basses can give you hiss and noise if everything inside is not grounded and/or sheilded properly, including the pickups themselves (can happen with cheaper pickups, ask me how I know, lol). This is quite common and stands out a lot when playing isolated in your home, and is generally ignored on stage esp when the guitarist has more hiss anyway, lol. It is also more noticable at home when you are near PCs, USB anything, routers, large motors etc, but for most of us here PC UBS etc noise is usually an issue since we sit/stand so close to our computers, etc.

There are many threads on proper grounding and sheilding techniques. I have had to do this on many basses.

Have you tried isolating your pickups to see if it’s related to either one of them?

Looks like it’s not. It happens to both of them whenever I turn up the tone. Now, if I have the tone knob all the way up, I’m hearing some fuzziness on the notes especially the lows on E string.

If it’s scratching noise then you can use Deoxit to spray the pots

I tried spraying a contact cleaner and turning the knobs on and off, but the issue remains.

I tried different cables and it’s the same issue.

It’s probably lack of shielding then, as @John_E mentioned. I owned a Cort Action PJ myself, a budget instrument, and its shielding probably isn’t the greatest. Having said that, I never had the issues you are describing. Mine was pretty much dead silent. Have you tried moving all of your stuff (bass, pedal, amp) to a different room to see if that makes any difference? Even facing a different direction in your regular playing spot could make a difference.

I’m taking it to the church later to play before and after the prayer meeting. I’ll see if it occurs. Regarding the shielding, there’s very faint black paint in it. I then taped an adhesive foil in it. Tested from the pick ups, electronics, strings, and bridge. Continuity is OK. One thing is, the outside of the jack port is not. I don’t know if that’s okay but I saw one youtube video where his jack also shows 0 in continuity. (I don’t know these, I just watched a video and borrowed a multimeter LOL).

Unfortunately, I don’t have a phone (yes that’s true, like for more than 2 months now) to take photos of the shielding that I did. I don’t know if it lessened the hissing noise (like an electric current) or it’s just a placebo. But again, what I notice is when I touch the string/knob/bridge that noise goes away. And that noise is not present when my tone knob is off, the more I turn it up, the more noticeable it is.