Bass issues

Discussion in 'Bass' started by jfavela, May 15, 2005.

  1. jfavela

    jfavela Guest

    Hi all. I am currently having some issues recording bass guitar. The istrument is an Ibanez 5 string w/active pick-ups.
    I am getting a nasty crackle sound from it. The bass player said he had , "diagnostics," run on it in 3 different places, and they all told him it was fine. I recorded a 5 string bass Carvin (active pick-ups) w/the same exact pre-amp and it was clean as a whistle. We checked cabling it was ok. His knobs on the guitar, when jostled in any way make noise too.
    He is considering getting a 5 string MusicMan but was told if he things he is getting noise on his current guitar, a MusicMan would be even worse. Does that sound right? What can we do to remedy the situation, I need to get this album recorded!

    Question: What do you prefer recording, active or non-active pick-ups and explain why.


  2. Sounds like dirty pots, connectors, or possibly some slightly loose grounds. I never trust music stores to work on my gear. The "diagonostics" sounds fishy.
  3. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Sounds like a dirt or loose connection situation. I have a few patch cords that have 1/4" plugs that are less than a real 1/4", and they always cause me noise troubles. I don't use them anymore. I also had some oxidation form on the tab of the input jack on my bass that caused crackling noise. Some WD40 and #400 wetsand solved the problem.
  4. They're called TT. They're originally made for the military to fit more into smaller spaces.
  5. Please DON'T use WD40 on jacks or especially not on pots! If you're going to clean the jacks eith just use fine sandpaper, or zero residue contact cleaner. For cleaning pots, the only way to do it properly is to use control cleaner. Using WD40 on pots will pretty much make them stop working instantly. I think you can even find both cleaners at Radio Shack.
  6. Having experienced this from Ibanez basses before:
    A funky trace on the preamp board-if it has a passive option, try it in passive mode to see if it continues-
    If that doesn't work-replace the jack...worked for m e on an old active Ibanez 5 string...
    The bit about the Music Man making the noise too is quite comical-because it makes no sense (you proved that with another bass in the signal chain that is fine) and they could have sold a nice bass but didn't...bad business, though better for you because you are not spending needless dollars for simple problems. Good luck...
  7. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Yup. The 1/4" jack is actually a TRS jack, and when you plug in a standard 1/4" TS jack (Guitar Cord), the cord's sleeve ends up connecting the Ring to the Sleeve at the jack, and this "Turns ON" the bass (the battery passes through the ring + sleeve on the jack). When this jack wears out, your bass will not have a solid "ON" connection, and pops will happen...

    Just make sure to get an identical TRS jack (Long Barrell), and you should be in shape...

  8. jfavela

    jfavela Guest

    thanks for the feedback

    thanks all
    so on the TRS....
    are you saying the jack on the Ibanez 5 string is a TRS plug?
    If he has been using a standard guitar cord it will ruin the input on the bass?

  9. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    The cord SHOULD be a standard 1/4" TS unbalanced cable. When you plug this TS plug into the Ibanez's TRS jack, it "shunts" the jack's Ring and Sleeve together.

    This is where the 9V battery passes (the battery's "-" terminal is connected to the Ring, and the Active Circuitry's "- Negative Input" is connected to the Sleeve IIRC), and this effectively completes the battery circuit.

    Unplug the cord, and the battery is effectively disconnected from the circuit.

    A TRS plug could work if the Ring and Sleeve are connected (shorted) at the instrument side of the cord, but this is asking for problems elsewhere IMO ...

    This configuration is fairly common in active instruments.

  10. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    The jack on the bass is what the music stores refer to as a "stereo" 1/4" jack.
    Don't ask me why they call it this? :?
    I go through at least 2 a year. From gigs and practicing. I must plug and unplug my bass 4 to 5 times everyday.
    It doesn't take long for this to happen to me.
    When you buy the jack, take the old one with you. It will have 3 prongs on the oppisite end from the jack.
    They are easy to re-place.
    Good luck!
  11. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    My friends band bassist, his backup is a Ibanez Soundgear 5 string. For some reason he chose that when we were doing their demo. After about 2 minutes of recorded it started to crackle like crazy and just sounded like complete ass. After checking connections a few times I realized they are active pickups and the 9V battery was dead. That was simple.
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