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1980s Fender Precision Special problem

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by audiorep2, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. audiorep2

    audiorep2 Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I have one of these basses, and it has become an electronic nightmare. Popping noises, hum , crackleing,....
    I took it to a luthier to have the pots replaced,...here is what he said.

    I finally got some time to look at your bass agian. When I took a closer look inside the control plate I realized that all 3 pots are sodered directly onto the circuit board and cannot be removed. There are at least 3 soder connections for each pot and one has 6 contacts- trying to remove these from the circuit board is very difficult if not impossible (I cannot unsoder 3 or 6 contact points at the same time and there in lies the problem- further too much heat could damage the components on the circuit board.. Further, any replacement pots would have to be an exact duplicate pot to line up with the circuit board contact points....in other words Fender pots which I do not have access to. Further these pots are smaller (mini pots) and the stacked one is unique to Fender. In order to replace the pots you would have to order the complete circuit board from Fender. I wrote down the part # for you off the circuit board.
    While I had it apart I lubricated all three pots with a quality lubricant and spent some time turning the pots to work in the lubricant. They seem to be working much better but one pot does not seem to make much change in tone when turned clockwise and counter clockwise. At any rate there isn't much more I can do with it....it is what it is. Call me at xxx-xxxx to arrange a time to drop by and pick it up. There is no charge for the work done; just wish I could have better news for you

    Do any of you folks have any comments,..or solutions ?
  2. Honestly, I would buy a new pick guard, wire it up with a new pickup and put the original away for the future if you ever decide to sell it. Other than that its a nightmare to work on those. Kudos to your tech for being honest and not butchering the instrument.
  3. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    You can't buy a new circut board from Fender.
    I have a white one like yours, and I was able to cleanup the crackle with deoxit. I also had a cutting out problem that was caused by a fauly toggle, which I found a replacement for and cut out issue gone.
    Every once in a while You can find somone selling a still new-in-box P Special circut board. Last time. I saw one for sale was at The Lowend. I also rememer one dealer several years ago had a dozen of them he sold off, so they are floating around.
  4. audiorep2

    audiorep2 Supporting Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    At this point I am toying with the idea of yanking the preamp and pots, and putting in an Aguilar OBT 2TK kit.
  5. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I can't imagine where that guy got the idea that Fender still made those.

    OP - sounds like your tech is over his head. Find someone who knows his way around circuitry. Seems like you have other basses to play while you go looking. Ripping out the original preamp and pots will devalue your bass. The Precision Specials bring in a significant premium over standard Precisions of that vintage, and the reason is the electronics. Tear out the factory electronics will be like cutting $500 off the value of your bass.