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Amazing New Thumb5 Nt Masterbuilt But Poor Electronic Shielding

Discussion in 'Bass Guitars' started by Warhole, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Warhole

    Warhole

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    Hi everyone,
    It has been a while since I had the occasion to post on warwick forum but I just bought a new masterbuilt Warwick thumb 5 NT:)
    I am totally amazed by the quality of the craftsmanship of the wood and this bass is very good complement to my starbass.

    However I found the electronics noisy when the active EQ is engaged (not in passive mode). By noisy I mean that I can hear hum and RF of cell phone. I am sure it is RF because it change with the orientation of bass.

    I had a look on the electronic cavity and I found what it looks to be at first glance conductive paint. But a control with my multimeters definitely showed that it is not conductive. To be sure, I even A/B tested with my musicman that is shielded with true high quality conductive paint and there the current flows, but nothing with the paint of the thumb.

    So I am a bit confuse. Are the thumb NT supposed to be shielded or is it just decorative paint?
    If yes, it is weird that such an expensive instrument pass QC with such a poor shieldingo_O

    At some point I will have to make the electronic cavity to be properly shielded, if I do that will I void the warranty?

    Sorry to come back on the forum to complain....
     
  2. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    Hello @Warhole, congrats on the acquisition of your new bass. I think I've checked the shielding on my Streamer a while ago and I think it also did not register as conductive. But perhaps there is something we are missing here. I have to say I am not familiar with the newer electronics but in any case your preamp should not be picking RF so easily, even without any shielding on the bass. What I would do is sit down and carefully shield the electronics compartment (2-3 coats) then report back the results here. :) It's quite possible you will still have some noise. If not, perfect. I do not think your warranty will be voided, but can not say 100% for sure. Voiding of warranty would be extremely strict in this case, in my opinion. You can always write to HPW himself to ask, he's the most authoritative source on such things. Please let us know how things developed for you.
     
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  3. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Ah no worries, you're not complaining at all!

    Looks like your Thumb is no exception concerning the shielding, see this video:



    BUT: It should still not be noisey! The pre-amp may be faulty or a gnd wire is not attached properly at some point.
     
  4. Warhole

    Warhole

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    Hi Jester,

    Many thanks for the reply, and it is somehow good to know that your paint is also non conductive. (It sounds weird to say that :D)
    I think I have some RF interferences in my flat. My Musicman man old smoothie had to be shielded by a pro to get silent but it came fully unshielded from the factory. A pro shielding resolved every problem with that bass.
    But if can take the risk of voiding the warranty of a 2k€ bass I dont want to do it for a 5k Thumb...
     
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  5. Nachobassman

    Nachobassman Bass, Tapas, and Rn´R!

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    Hello there.

    The first thing I could think about is if you spent so much of you hard earned money in a Custom Shop bass, did you already contacted Warwick or your seller to let them know about the issue?

    I don't want to sound rude, I'm only curious. And hope you solve it soon and enjoy your bass.

    PS. No pics, no bass, forum rules, you know. ✌️ (Guess you already post them in other thread)
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
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  6. schlobodan

    schlobodan Warwick Streamer Specialist Good Vibe Sponsor

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    is it only me - but something in the guys pronounciation triggers aggression ‍
     
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  7. schlobodan

    schlobodan Warwick Streamer Specialist Good Vibe Sponsor

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    if the paint is not shielding it is a defect - send back so they can fix it
     
  8. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Schlobo: Exactly! That narrator is HORRIBLE!
     
  9. Warhole

    Warhole

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    Yes, I contacted Warwick , let's see what they will answer regarding the paint.
    I did not contacted the seller yet (the name starts with a T and finishes with a mann), for these reasons:

    -It is a deja vue for me . 2 years ago I did all possible diagnostics with my Stingray, it was perfect in the music shop but noisy at home. I made it shielded by a pro and I have never had any problem since then even with treble full boosted.
    - I want to avoid the bass to ship back and forward for nothing and because if it is a shielding issue the seller will probably state that it works fine in a RF clean environment.
    - I was also quite disappointed to see my Thumb being shipped in a gig bag and a simple card box with few platic bubble inside. It is -5C here and I consider that shipping the bass back and forward in such condition without a case increases the risk to damage it.

    So I'll wait for an answer of Warwick about the nature of the paint and if it void the warranty to make this bass properly shielded.
     
  10. Warhole

    Warhole

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  11. Hoggles

    Hoggles Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Just my two bits here, but if it were me, I would not ship it back to Warwick, just for this. Not worth the risk for several reasons, most of which would be the underlying risk of shipment (and yeah, bags don't inspire confidence in shipping). If it's something you can take care of yourself, do it. Wouldn't worry about the warranty, as there is a 99% chance you'll never need it past this issue.
     
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  12. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    So, Sean confirms that the new preamp is indeed more susceptible to EMF noise, interdasting... In any case, choosing either copper foil or 2-3 good coats of quality shielding paint will surely fix most of the problem.
     
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  13. StreamerII84

    StreamerII84 Warwick Endorser

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    The new (post 2016 USB) preamps are very sensitive to radio signals, I had one that picked up a radio station and you could hear it through the amp very quietly when I wasn't playing.

    Strangely, it did this on my SSII 3 band but not on my Dolphin 2 band, both 2017 basses.
     
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  14. Warhole

    Warhole

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    So I got a reply from Warwick.
    Adding extra shielding does not void the warranty. So I will make it done by a pro because soldering is not my thingo_O

    I kindly ask them to escalate that to the manufacturing department. Who knows? Maybe they will improve the shielding process.

    I would be glad to post a pic but I cannot find the tutorial on how to proceed...
     
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  15. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Good news! I shielded my ric and a fender using adhesive copper tape. Works like a charm!
     
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  16. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    Perfect, just as I thought! Do keep us informed on how you shielded your bass and how well it went.
     
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  17. Warhole

    Warhole

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    Hi everyone,
    I still didn't have the opportunity to get the bass shielded.
    I visited a luthier last week but the guy was not fully convinced that a shielding will help, we didn't get electronic noises in his workshop. He told me that the MEC active pickups and electronics working together are prone to over amplify interferences.
    He advised me to swap everything with Delano passive pickups and a John East preamp and to redo a proper shielding. He told me that the actual MEC setup is too much "HIFI" and that he got excellent results with the Delano/East combo.
    I am still not sure of what will I do. I think that a hole need to be drilled for the passive/active switch of the East preamp and this is not a desirable option for me. What do you think about that?

    Regarding the conductive paint in the electronics cavity I made extra measurements and the resistance is about 20-30 kOhms, so yes it is pretty similar to what Sean measured 3 years ago in his bass.
    I wrote to Warwick, asking them to pass on info at the technical team because I think that applying more conductive paint coats right from the factory would have improved the quality of the shielding. I never got fed back on that particular point.
     
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  18. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    I would just shield the cavity very well using a quality conductive shielding paint. My guess is that the problem will go away 85%. If you still have trouble, you can think about more costly interventions. The MEC active pickups have dead silent operation. I can not speak about the new electronics but the old electronics are pretty damn silent as well.
     
  19. Warhole

    Warhole

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    Thanks Jester,

    Do you have any knowledge of a tutorial that describes how to proceed with warwick electronics?
    I did not find any on my side but tutorial for p bass or typical passive basses. The electronics of the thumb looks by far more complex. Can it be done without soldering?

    Best
     
  20. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    Normally you remove all electronics from the cavity, shield the cavity (and the plastic cover), then restore the electronics inside the cavity.
     
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