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Am I going to die?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Glenn Wasserman, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. Glenn Wasserman

    Glenn Wasserman

    Sep 28, 2016
    Hey everyone! I bought an old MIJ lawsuit era Jazz bass copy. It is a "Lori". It is interesting in that it has 2 humbuckers. Otherwise, it looks like a 60's Jazz bass copy, including the Fender shaped headstock.

    It needed some love, and in the process of providing it (vinyl wrap on pickguard until I decide what I want to replace it with, new control plate), I appear to have pulled one of the wires out of the neck pickup. :-( There are 3 wires coming out of it, a black, red, and light green. It's the light green one I pulled out.

    I got frustrated, and figured, I'll deal with it later -just put it back together and figured I'll look at it again when I'm not so ticked off at myself for the mistake. Before I walked away though, I figured, let me plug it in and see what it sounds like now... and, well, the thing works and sounds fine.

    So now I'm wondering, what's the impact of this wire not being connected? Is it not properly grounded? I don't want to have a Spinal Tap moment and get electrocuted while playing it... is this thing safe to play?!?

    Secondary question - NOW WHAT do I do about the wire that is disconnected from the pickup? Near as I can tell, it looks like the pickup is sealed with some kind of wax or epoxy, does NOT look easy to disassemble :-(.

    mikewalker likes this.
  2. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I'd guess the wire you pulled out was a ground (you should be able to see where it goes on the other end right? Does it go to ground?). It was likely connected to some variety of shielding inside the pickup aimed at reducing noise. In short, no, you won't die. If the start and end of the coil are still there the pickup will work fine, it may be noisier, or more prone to interference without the green wire. Will it be an effect that bothers you? I don't know, play it a bit and see :smug:

    As for what to do with the wire. Just disconnect it from its landing spot (probably the back of a pot) and get rid of it.
    Killing Floor likes this.
  3. Glenn Wasserman

    Glenn Wasserman

    Sep 28, 2016
    Thanks. It does go to the back of a pot. I dunno, the thing sounds ok after a short test ride. I'll play it some more! Thanks
    Dubious Aa and Reedt2000 like this.
  4. If it was pulled out of the wax, you should be able to see where it went. Look for where the wax is disturbed.
  5. Glenn Wasserman

    Glenn Wasserman

    Sep 28, 2016
    I'll take a look. But are you saying that it's a simple as "jam the sucker back in there"?
  6. dwizum

    dwizum Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2018
    I would also vote for investigating further, even if the bass still works. You may end up in a situation where shielding is more important (think: a room with lots of lights on dimmers, or something else really noisy in the electrical sense).

    Often the shielding ground is connected externally, i.e. it'll be taped or soldered to an exposed piece of metal sheet or tape. It may make for a very easy repair (solder or tape it back on).
    dbsfgyd1 and Reedt2000 like this.
  7. Tape won't make a solid electrical connection. It should be soldered back from whence it came.
  8. Glenn Wasserman

    Glenn Wasserman

    Sep 28, 2016
    Oh, cool. OK, I'll take a look for any obvious solder points thanks
  9. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    No pics? But a metal covered pickup could have a ground wire.

    And I hate to break it to you, you will eventually die. But not from that pickup.
  10. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    This is a good point, often that shielding is external. Can you see where it used to enter the pickup? Is there a chance it pulled off of a plate under the pickup, or even a screw under the pickup screwed into the cavity?
  11. Glenn Wasserman

    Glenn Wasserman

    Sep 28, 2016
    Any of that is possible I guess. I will take it apart tomorrow and post more pics! Thanks
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  12. Jeff Hughes

    Jeff Hughes

    May 3, 2020
    Well...yes. Eventually we all die.
    kobass likes this.
  13. Glenn Wasserman

    Glenn Wasserman

    Sep 28, 2016
    Yeah, but nobody wants to stop the groove!
    2cooltoolz likes this.
  14. thewildest

    thewildest Supporting Member

    May 25, 2011
    Florida, USA
    “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero”. Tyler Durden.
    MegaSwing, C Stone, Ewo and 4 others like this.
  15. Japanese color codes for DC circuits:
    Positive Red
    Negative Black
    Ground Green or Green with Yellow stripes

    You are probably have lost the ground of the neck pickup.
    I suggest playing the bass near fluorescent lights or a magnetic field to understand if you need to shield that pickup, in other words find the other end of the wire you pulled.
  16. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    No death for you. You will live forever. But you are doomed to only play 70's Japanese basses with janky wiring.

    There oughtta be a poll...
    Brain Fog, C Stone, Winslow and 3 others like this.
  17. Marc DLarosa

    Marc DLarosa Supporting Member

    May 29, 2017
    Yes. Eventually... all of us will. Then... there will be no more bass players.
  18. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Well, even Jaco died.
    Camarillo likes this.
  19. NeonVomit


    Jan 29, 2013
    Yes you will die. Everyone will lol.

    Will you die from a wire on your bass? Highly unlikely.
    troy mcclure likes this.
  20. swarfrat


    Sep 23, 2014
    String ground is for noise reduction only.

    If anything without it might offer a tiny bit more protection from a miswired plug. It gives you a few more chambers in the cylinder before the hammer lands on a chamber with a path to ground.

    I won't say it's impossible now days but its extremely rare since the advent of three prong plugs becoming near universal. But if someone had straight up wired a plug backwards, you'd have to be the first person to touch it or it'd have been discovered already.
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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 14, 2021

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