Post Number: 6
|Posted on Saturday, March 19, 2005 - 7:10 am: |
I'm recently developing a problem with what I believe to be a pickup in my Epic 5. The problem is an excessive amount of noise coming through the amp. It sounds like what I would call a 60 cycle hum. It is that type of buzz / hum noise. I pulled the bass out after a long period of storage to play it when I noticed the noise. I dropped a new battery in and it didn't help. After much screwing around with cables, gear, etc I decided to hook up my Epic 4. No noise. Uh-Oh - I thought electronic problem in the Epic 5. So I systematically transferred electronic modules one at a time over from the 4 to the 5. The noise remained no matter what. Finally, i assembled all electronics out of the 4 into the 5 and the electronics out of the 5 into the 4. The 4 remained quiet and the 5 remained noisy. UGH!!!
I tried disconnecting the pickup wires from the preamp one pair at a time. It seems as if the noise is being generated by or because of the rear pickup. I have also discovered that I can tap the pickup LIGHTLY with my finger and I get a thumping noise out of the amp - yet the pickup is secure under the mounting screws.
Any advice on this?? I don't want to hurl pickups at this guitar unless I can be pretty sure it will fix it. Has anybody ever seen a microphonic Alembic pickup? I don't understand how this is possible.
FWIW - this bass is equipped with a ferrite bead that the pickup wires are looped around & through.
Any help would be appreciated.
Post Number: 524
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 12:07 pm: |
Let me bump this thread to see if anyone else can come up with a good suggestion ...
Post Number: 383
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 2:26 pm: |
Well then, why not move a pickup from the 4 to the 5? I realize it will be a little small, but you could certainly test it, mounting just one side temporarily.
It sure sounds like you've isolated the problem. Might just be worth ordering a replacement - and ask if you can return it if it doesn't solve the problem (I think they'd almost certainly say yes).
Post Number: 13
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 5:56 pm: |
I e-mailed Alembic's help desk about this situation a couple of weeks ago. There has been no response. I'm not thinking that they'll respond to a request for returnable electrical parts when they never responded to my initial inquiry. I'm not griping - that's just the reality of the situation.
I like the idea of moving the pickups over from the 4. But I think I don't want to keep taking that instrument apart. It currently works fine and I hope it continues to do so. The modular connectors are so flimsy that I fear I'm going to eventually screw one of them up.
Thank you for the suggestions. I'll probably just buy a pickup and hope for the best.
Post Number: 384
|Posted on Sunday, March 20, 2005 - 11:45 pm: |
Can't tell from your profile where you're located, but if it's reasonable to do so, order your pickup by phone and clarify the return option at that time.
In my experience, everyone I've spoken with at Alembic would rank among the most friendly and anxious-to-help people I've known - but probably because they're so swamped, we continue to see comments here that the "help desk" is unresponsive.
Not to suggest that everyone should just phone - we'd never get our instruments! - but if you have a specific and reasonably urgent request, especially regarding a problem, the direct approach might be better.
I can't believe you actually migrated all the other electronic components. I've swapped pickups, and had to drop out a couple of pots/boards to do so, and while I'm not sure I'd call the connectors flimsy, I'd much rather file the frets I don't have than play with this stuff repeatedly.
Post Number: 2356
|Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 1:14 pm: |
Hi because, If you used the same email as in your profile, I can't see any messages from you in the helpdesk inbox or saved messages bin. I generally answer the helpdesk, and field many emails a day, so I can't explain why your message wasn't available to me.
However, to address your post here, I think you will find that any pickup can become microphonic. We do lots in the manufcturing to help avoid this, but it can sometimes happen, especially if the pickup is subjected to a sudden and swift temperature change. If your 5-string pickup looks a little like an Almond Joy, this may be part of what you are experiencing.
How this happens: if the temperature changes suddenly, the windings may snap off the long edge of the magnetic core, creating an air gap friendly to microphonics.
The 60Hz hum would indicate the the humcancelling section of the pickup is no longer connected - this may have happened at the same time as a temperature shift got you some microphonics.
1. You can return your pickup here and we'll test and inspect it. If we determine it's a manufacturing defect, we will replace it. This will take a few days between shipping and testing, so if you are in an urgent need, you may consider 2 or 3 below.
2. You can purchase a new pickup by calling us at 707 523 2611 or emailing your phone number to myself or Valentino. We'll call you back and get all the details.
3. We do have a small amount of cosmetic second MXY56 pickups available for half the price of a pristine one.
The connectors are not flimsy at all - these are nice Molex parts. You must grip the housing, and not yank on the wire, or you will likely damage it. You may find needle-nose pliers help you remove by the housing only. These can withstand many more insertions and removals than any of us would care to do, so I truly think you won't have to worry about changing the pickups out (the connectors from the pickups and between the electronics modules are identical).
Post Number: 14
|Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 4:53 pm: |
Thank you for your reply. I would like to take you up on your offer to test this pickup for me. I don't have the troubleshooting skills or equipment necessary to 100% determine if that is indeed my problem. I'm not in a hurry at this point, although I was a couple of weeks ago.
If the pickup is bad, then I know what I need to do. Please advise how best to send this pickup to your facilities.
I appreciate your time and help with this issue.
Post Number: 2360
|Posted on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 5:14 pm: |
Just ship it to our address:
3005 Wiljan Ct
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
Best if you can print out this thread and enclose it with the pickup so the technician can understand the situation. Make sure you include your return shipping address and contact number/email inside the package.
If you can, please send Valentino a quick email when you ship so he can be expecting the package. Thanks.