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Ampeg AEB-1 output cracklings fix

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Papz, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Papz


    Mar 10, 2018
    tech and musician
    I just got a nice Ampeg AEB-1 in very good condition but there were small erratic cracklings at the output, barely noticeable when the tone pot was CCW.

    The cause was a whitish tarnishing covering the internal grey cinch connector between the pickup and the pots and preventing proper contact. I cleaned both male and female connectors with a small metal brush on a Dremel and now it's perfectly quiet. This was an easy fix.

    Other Ampeg scroll basses with "mystery" pickup, AUB-1, ASB-1, AUSB-1 are likely to have the same problem.

    Hope this tip will help some happy owners.

    A small pic for your viewing pleasure :
    View attachment 2946068
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    nouroog likes this.
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yes, that's a notorious problem on the Ampeg AEB-1 series basses. It's an RCA Phono type jack and plug set that connects the Mystery pickup's coil assembly, which is mounted to the body, to the wiring harness, which is installed in the pickguard. On almost every Ampeg I've taken apart, the jack and plug are corroded. It's a common reason why Ampeg owners often declared the Mystery pickup dead, even though there was actually nothing wrong with the coil. I always clean them when I have an Ampeg opened up, and sometimes replace them with newer parts.

    RCA Phono jacks and plugs are normally pretty reliable on stereo equipment. But Ampeg apparently got cheap ones back in 1966, and the plating on them was poor quality.

    If any of you are curious about this strange-looking old beast, we have two long threads about them here on TB. About 120 pages of pictures and stories.

    love of Ampeg and other Scroll Basses

    love of Ampeg and other Scroll Basses, Part 2
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  3. Papz


    Mar 10, 2018
    tech and musician
    Although the bass is in excellent condition and does not seem to have suffered from moisture or poor storage, a similar corrosion also covered the pots, without affecting their performance, are still very smooth and quiet.

    Bruce, do you still offer the strings listed on your website ?
    I saw your post about the La Bella ones available from bassstringsonline.com and contacted them for a mixed set but I'd be happy to test your D'Addario ones as well out of curiosity.
    I pm'ed you.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  4. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    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 16, 2021

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