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Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

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Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

Post  Stryfer on Wed May 30, 2012 6:45 pm

Here's the thing. Wherever I've read about it, everyone says that the buzz is unavoidable with single coil pickups. So, both my basses have two single coil pickups and when they're both on, they cancel eachother out. When one is turned down all the way, there's a very prominent buzzing or humming.

However, I've tried a more expensive bass that used two single coils, but they were wired differently (the warwick thumb). Instead of having an individual knob for each pickup, there was one that acted like a switch. When centered, both were on at full power, but moving it left or right shifted focus onto one pickup. If it was all the way to one side, then only one pickup was active, but - WITHOUT buzzing. Maybe if I had turned the volume up enough to blast the roof, there could've been a slight buzz, but it was inaudible at regular volumes.

Question - how did they do it and can it be done on a cheaper bass?

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Re: Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

Post  DavidM96 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:46 am

I dont really know much about wiring but would the humming really be all that noticable in a band setting?
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Re: Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

Post  Pastichio on Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:26 am

DavidM96 wrote:I dont really know much about wiring but would the humming really be all that noticable in a band setting?

this. Granted it can be annoying practising at home, but with a full band you can be lucky being able to hear your bass let alone a hum.
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Re: Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

Post  Stryfer on Wed Jun 06, 2012 12:34 pm

I have played in a full setting. The hum itself isn't present while I play, it only starts on the silence - standard single coil hum - and then it's very noticeable. The worst part is that when paired with an overdrive it causes massive feedback so I have to be careful about switching the pedal on :S

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Re: Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

Post  Pastichio on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:52 pm

how about installing more expensive pickups?
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Re: Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

Post  DavidM96 on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:35 pm

did you try turning the volume knob on your bass all the way down when your not playing?
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Re: Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

Post  Stryfer on Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:37 am

The obvious solution is to buy a split coil pick-up... However, buying one and installing it (because pickup cavity needs to be carved into shape) is going to be more expensive than buying a new bass.
As for turning it down, I do have a circuit breaker switch on my cable and I use it whenever I can. I'm having trouble with those moments when you add a moment of silence in the middle of a rif. If the overdrive pedal is switched on, that's instant feedback.

I was just wondering if there was a cheaper solution than buying a new pickup. Split coils fix this problem, but a more expensive single coil doesn't. Humbuckers are out of the question because they kill most of the treble.

The only solution I found online was rewiring the grounding (though not sure how much that helps) and shielding (which requires getting a hold of certain materials, not easily found in my country). I thought someone here would have some sort of secret trick known only to the underground. Smile

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Re: Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

Post  DubHertz on Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:53 pm

Warwick Thumbs have humbucking pickups or active pickups looking at the wiring diagram on their site. (cant seem to find a diagram for the setup you described) Single coil pickup is totally unavoidable when you solo them. Yamaha seem to have found a way around this by using a dummy coil in the pickup so you still get the single coil sound but minus the hum.

For Fender Jazz bass style pickups you could try Fender Noiseless pickups - I tried them in the past but didnt like the sound very much but they did cancel out the hum. I think I ended up swapping them for EMG JHZ pickups which are also humbucking.

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Re: Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

Post  Pastichio on Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:17 am

DubHertz wrote:Warwick Thumbs have humbucking pickups or active pickups looking at the wiring diagram on their site. (cant seem to find a diagram for the setup you described) Single coil pickup is totally unavoidable when you solo them. Yamaha seem to have found a way around this by using a dummy coil in the pickup so you still get the single coil sound but minus the hum.

For Fender Jazz bass style pickups you could try Fender Noiseless pickups - I tried them in the past but didnt like the sound very much but they did cancel out the hum. I think I ended up swapping them for EMG JHZ pickups which are also humbucking.


Moral of the story is, go active pickups and you will never look back. I did and I haven't.
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Re: Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

Post  Stryfer on Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:41 pm

I see. So it's the actives that eliminate the buzz. Thanks for the info Smile
The dummy coil sounds good, but I think I'll need a real professional for that.

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Re: Single coil buzz - is there actually a wiring solution?

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