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Thread: MM Cutlass Causing Intermittent Rumble

  1. #1

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    MM Cutlass Causing Intermittent Rumble

    Like the title says, my cutlass started causing a rumble noise through my amp a while back. I couldn't find any information about it online, so here I am! Here's what I've tested so far:
    • It is independent of the pickup selector, tone knob, and volume knob
    • It doesn't happen with my other guitar
    • Playing it doesn't affect the noise at all (for better or worse)
    • I checked the jack and battery cables from the back, which seem to be fine
    • I think I tried two different batteries, but I'm not sure (was a while ago) so I will be doing again that later to double-check

    Only thing I haven't done yet is take off anything from the front to troubleshoot. Wanted to see if anyone had advice first. I can record the sound and upload it in a zip file if needed.

    Edit: SSS pickups

  2. #2

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    I'm having the same issue with a brand new Albert Lee BFR I just got last week. I would upload a clip but the forum limits uploads to 100kb.

    I heard back from support today who suggested adjusting a trim pot under the pickguard to dial in the silent circuit. I'll give it a go, but I doubt that will help - it sounds more like an electronics fault. None of my other 11 Music Man guitars have this issue.
    Luke 2 Graphite Pearl MH
    Luke 2 Luke Blue
    Luke 2 BFR True Gold Rosewood
    JP6 Dragon's Blood Quilt
    JP6 White Pearl MH
    JP6 PDN Starry Night MH
    Stingray Short Scale Bass Starry Night
    Cutlass PDN Starry Night MH
    Cutlass Ghostwood
    Cutlass Black
    Valentine Saturn Gold
    Albert Lee BFR Sea Foam Sparkle MH

  3. #3

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    A sound clip would be handy.

  4. #4

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    Here's a clip of the Albert Lee - just switching from the bridge to the neck and back again with a couple of seconds on each position. It doesn't have the issue in positions 1 (bridge) and 4 (mid+neck).

    Music Man Albert Lee Fault by VirtuosoMedia | Virtuoso Media | Free Listening on SoundCloud
    Luke 2 Graphite Pearl MH
    Luke 2 Luke Blue
    Luke 2 BFR True Gold Rosewood
    JP6 Dragon's Blood Quilt
    JP6 White Pearl MH
    JP6 PDN Starry Night MH
    Stingray Short Scale Bass Starry Night
    Cutlass PDN Starry Night MH
    Cutlass Ghostwood
    Cutlass Black
    Valentine Saturn Gold
    Albert Lee BFR Sea Foam Sparkle MH

  5. #5

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    So now we have two different people with potentially two different issues in the same thread. The Cutlass and Albert Lee guitars have different electronics and silent circuits so a solution for one might not be a solution for the other.

    Listening to Virtuoso's sound clips, if it was an amplifier I'd say there was a faulty component in the circuit. Virtuoso, that it doesn't happen in positions 4 and 1 suggests to me it's a faulty silent circuit unit. What happens if you take out the battery?

    With brand new guitar you are covered under warranty so talk to the store you ordered from about how to proceed.

    Casey, is that what yours sounds like too?
    Last edited by DrKev; 03-24-2021 at 02:39 AM.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
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    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

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  6. #6

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    Yes, that is exactly what mine sounds like as well! Mine is unfortunately not brand new, as I've had it for a couple years now.

    Edit: Although, rereading Virtuoso's reply, I'll clarify that mine happens regardless of position.

  7. #7

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    Sometimes I get a similar 'crackle' sound when the battery in my Silent Circuit equipped guitars isn't seated snuggly. Since 9V batteries vary in size, sometimes I'll need to put a little cardboard at the bottom of the battery, to make sure it's forced in snuggly when the battery box closes. Then the crackle goes away.

    I'd suggest trying that and seeing if it helps.

  8. #8

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    Hey beej! So I tried that, and it certainly seems to have decreased the severity. However the sound is still happening, just more quietly and less frequently.

  9. #9

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    Casey, if you are out of warranty you can still get a replacement unit from Music Man but you will probably have to send the old one back. Call Music Man customer service and talk to them. See links in my signature.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
    Irish/American in Paris

    Silhouette Special (2005 Buttercream Limited Edition)
    Cutlass HSS (2018 Roasted Special, Ivory White)

    Click here for my Music Man photo albums


    Ernie Ball Customer Service
    Music Man Customer Service


  10. #10

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    Is the AL BFR the one with S/S/H pickups?
    If so, makes me wonder if there is some issue with the in-house built single coil pups, and/or the associated circuit...???
    Balls are Best!!

  11. #11

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    Ok, so it's battery related then. If that fixed it- perhaps try another 9V and see. (Different brand if you have one- size might be different.) Again, I get cracking when I play with the battery in a few of my guitars, but it settles down quickly.

    Failing that, give customer service a call and ask for their advice.

  12. #12

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    Thanks for the help everyone! beej, I'll give that a shot. If it doesn't work I'll give customer service a call like you and DrKev recommended. Very much appreciated!

  13. #13

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    Thanks for the suggestions!

    Yes - mine is the new BFR HSS Albert Lee.

    Removing the battery does get rid of the rumbling, but at the expense of single coil buzz.

    Wedging the battery in with a couple of strips of cardboard unfortunately did not make the problem go away.

    I was hoping for a simple fix but it looks like a bad circuit, which is a bummer as it will take 30 days to fix at the factory. I wish I had just returned it to the store, but customer service took so long to reply that my return window closed.
    Luke 2 Graphite Pearl MH
    Luke 2 Luke Blue
    Luke 2 BFR True Gold Rosewood
    JP6 Dragon's Blood Quilt
    JP6 White Pearl MH
    JP6 PDN Starry Night MH
    Stingray Short Scale Bass Starry Night
    Cutlass PDN Starry Night MH
    Cutlass Ghostwood
    Cutlass Black
    Valentine Saturn Gold
    Albert Lee BFR Sea Foam Sparkle MH

  14. #14

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    I dunno- the Silent Circuits are pretty robust. This doesn't feel like a huge issue. I would email CS again and work it through with them.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    I dunno- the Silent Circuits are pretty robust. This doesn't feel like a huge issue. I would email CS again and work it through with them.
    I'm not sure where am I with CS to be honest. 6 days ago they said they would send me a return label but I haven't received anything yet. Then yesterday I got another email from them with the suggestion to adjust the trim pot and asking if I want to send it in at a cost of $45. I wish I'd just returned it on day one and bought another one.
    Luke 2 Graphite Pearl MH
    Luke 2 Luke Blue
    Luke 2 BFR True Gold Rosewood
    JP6 Dragon's Blood Quilt
    JP6 White Pearl MH
    JP6 PDN Starry Night MH
    Stingray Short Scale Bass Starry Night
    Cutlass PDN Starry Night MH
    Cutlass Ghostwood
    Cutlass Black
    Valentine Saturn Gold
    Albert Lee BFR Sea Foam Sparkle MH

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