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Noisy ribbon transducer

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  • Noisy ribbon transducer


    I have a ribbon transducer installed in a Martin OM. The pickup works great, sounds reasonably natural with the PARA Acoustic DI through my Bose systems, but intermittently makes a low frequency noise similar to a damaged cord or bad connection. I have other guitars with ibeam and element pickups installed. Using the exact same connections there is no noise. I can shake the OM, reach inside and move wires, and cannot produce the sound, yet when I least expect it it will come through the speaker. Any ideas what it might be and if there is anything I can do to fix it?

  • #2
    Hey Oldghm,
    Can you tell me which system your RT is running through? Or is it passive (no onboard preamp), running through the Para DI?


    • #3

      It is active.


      • #4
        When the sound occurs, does it go away when you touch ground on the cable or jack? Or is there nothing you can do to reproduce it or make it stop when it happens?


        • #5
          Originally posted by Caleb_Elling View Post
          When the sound occurs, does it go away when you touch ground on the cable or jack? Or is there nothing you can do to reproduce it or make it stop when it happens?

          It can happen when I am playing, but if I just lay the guitar down and leave it, it will also occur. It it intermittent and momentary, it does not last long enough to analyze. I can not make it happen by moving, touching, or changing of any controls, wires, connectors, etc. There is no hum, like one might get from a bad ground.


          • #6
            That seems like a pretty elusive issue.

            It seems like we are down to a few options. You could send the system in to us for evaluation. If we can repair it, it shouldn't be too costly. Otherwise, you can take the system to a local repair shop to see if they can diagnose anything. However, if they find anything wrong or intermittent in the circuitry, you'll likely end up sending it back to us for repair anyways.

            If you want to email me at [email protected], we can discuss the specifics of sending the system in, or anything else that we may be able to work out for you.


            • #7
              Thanks for the offer of assistance. I am fortunate to have other instruments that I can play so I won't rush to send this system back right away.

              I had it out again today to make sure I was giving you information as precisely as possible, and I am.

              I wondered if the RT is subject to interference from radio / telivision / telephone / wifi signals?

              Thanks for your time and consideration.



              • #8
                All systems are subject to some level of interference from those types of sources. However, as well shielded as the RT is, it shouldn't be any more prone to that kind of noise compared to any other pickup system.


                • #9
                  Hi Caleb,

                  Got the OM out again this weekend. Changed the battery and the noise went away.

                  I've been playing LR Baggs pickups for quite a while, maybe as far back as just before the element came out. Never had a battery go dead. Well this one wasn't dead, but it didn't pass the tongue test. Pickup responds normal, I'm happy.




                  • #10
                    That's great to hear! I'm glad that it was a simple fix, and that all is well now.

                    All the best!