My Epic is Pfffting at me! Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Alembic Club » Owning an Alembic » Troubleshooting » Archive through February 01, 2008 » My Epic is Pfffting at me! « Previous Next »

Author Message
Intermediate Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 126
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 03, 2008 - 10:06 pm:   Edit Post

My 96 Epic, at first very rarely, (once in an hour of playing time) and just tonight, 3 times in the last half hour, has started making a short little popping and spitting of white noise gesture that I find rather offensive. I mean, I have treated her with nothing but love. It lasts less than a second. The level of the noise follows the level of the volume pot, instrument volume is turned down, noise is quiet, instrument volume is turned up, noise is louder. Not having changed the battery in a year and a half, and never having witnessed a dying battery, I hoped this was the culprit. But a fresh battery only seemed to increase the number of Pfffts.

I'm hoping that this symptom points to a known issue or failure, and of course, leads to an inexpensive, do-it-yourself fix. :-)

Thank you in advance for your insight. James

and I have a jam on Saturday!
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 5924
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 5:09 am:   Edit Post

Try some more tests:

Turn the pan all the way to the bridge pickup and see if the noise still occurs; then try the neck pickup.

Try similar experiments with the bass and treble controls.

Do all of the controls get turned frequently. If not, exercise the controls so they can do their self cleaning.

Try using a different cable.

Try using a different amp, etc.

In the control cavity, carefully (don't pull on the wires) check that the pickup leads are plugged in all the way. You may want to unplug and replug them.

Inspect the other wiring and components that everything is securly connected and nothing appears "burned".

Make sure none of the PC boards in touching the silver paint.

Make sure all of the pots and jack are securely fastened and not loose.
Senior Member
Username: byoung

Post Number: 885
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 6:41 am:   Edit Post

Also, could be a cellphone.
Username: mica

Post Number: 5020
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 7:17 am:   Edit Post

Cellphone indeed. I think there's a law about playing bass while wearing a cellphone ;)
Intermediate Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 127
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 1:29 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks folks,

All the connections look good, and nothing smells fried. It actually smells like an old persons apartment in the control cavity! Based on how I use the cables, amp, and a variety of basses, I am fairly certain the event is specific to my Epic. I am also confident that cell phones in my household are not the culprit, (long story there, I'll spare you the details) BUT, as I take a step back, and examine the whole picture, type of noise, duration, and a history of alien/demonic EM interference around my house, thats the theory I am currently leaning towards.

I think some sort of RF or EM interference, that my Epic seems to understand, is causing this noise. Maybe I should try and record it, and decipher it. Anyway, played for about 30 minutes today at work, and no Pfffts. I will continue to observe, and troubleshoot the RF/EM theory. I will be playing for about 3 hours tomorrow, (at my work location) so that may be telling. Thanks again for your help. JBY
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 928
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 1:38 pm:   Edit Post

Another thing that I noticed will cause noise in my basses are the remote controls for the TV and Stereo.
If I pickup one to adjust the stereo volume I will hear the pulses.

Intermediate Member
Username: spose

Post Number: 173
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, January 05, 2008 - 2:18 pm:   Edit Post

+1 on the law about playing bass while wearing a cellphone ! sort of metaphysical law I'm sure..

some things ARE still sacred ya know! ;)
Intermediate Member
Username: jbybj

Post Number: 133
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 09, 2008 - 10:03 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Bradley for sending me in the right direction. Played my Epic for 3 hours Saturday at work, no weird noises. Tonight, at home, different head, different bass, and I got a Pffft! Not as loud but definitely the same noise, same duration, same character. So it is environmental after all. Though I am relieved with respect to my instrument, it makes me wonder what the Pffft's might be doing to my brain :-0

Peace, James
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 407
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2008 - 8:11 am:   Edit Post

could be the wiring in the house(unless it occurs everyhwere gigs etc)
Loose or non continuous grounds in house wiring, a friend of mine complained of his hi fi buzzing as well as his guitar sounding like a swarm of bees and it has active pu's.. I just happened to look at his earth bonding to the main gas pipe which was not connected in other words the whole house was not grounded..don't know what the system is in USA but worth doing a earth continuity check.

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration