Frail and faltering follower of Jesus

Bass guitar cavity shielding to deal with buzz Ibanez TMB100 (with video)

By Gavin Davies

A poorly Ibanez TMB100 bass guitar turned up at my house in need of some help because it was buzzing terribly.

Video of it in operation:

A poorly Ibanez TMB100 bass guitar turned up at my house in need of some help because it was buzzing terribly.

After a bunch of testing I figured out it was electromagnetic interference, and I decided I’d see if shielding the cavity made a difference. Turns out it did! Still not perfect, but better.


I did a few other setup chores on the bass as well, including

  1. Fret clean+polish
  2. Fretboard clean+treatment
  3. Nut lubrication
  4. Cleaned all contacts
  5. Lined electronics cavity with copper foil
  6. Grounded copper foil
  7. Put electrical tape around the electronics
  8. Use shielded cable on bridge pup hot signal (it got a bit messy with the soldering, sorry, those cables are fatter than the pup is designed for)
  9. Tested circuitry
  10. Added strap locks
  11. Replaced old battery (was reading 6.6v, should be 9v)
  12. Replace battery
  13. Adjust neck profile
  14. Lower action (it’s incredibly high!)
  15. Adjust intonation
  16. Set pickup height

Now, I am an absolute rank amateur, do not take any of this as “the way to do anything”!! Always go to the pros.

I had some hairy moment with the j-type pickup, I ended up melting part of the pickup casing that held the eyelet for the pickup wire and had to do some crazy shenanigans to resolve that. Also, I found out that setting up a bass is harder than I thought; I’d got false confidence from how well setting up the Telecaster I built with my kids went.

I think that I put about 5 or 6 hours into this project, probably more like 8 including all the research I did.

Hopefully the bass’s owner will be happy with the results! I’d recommend she prefer the P-type pickup over the J-type; at least blend towards the P-type, and don’t push the treble on the onboard EQ too high as it’ll amplify noise as well as signal.

If I were to take this further, I’d probably replace the active stuff with pure passive, but that’s just my personal preference :-)