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Bad soldering

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by madjazzbass, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. madjazzbass


    Jan 5, 2014
    Hey fellow Bassist, I was wondering, Can a bad soldering job on replacement pickups have an effect on the overall sound of the pick up/s? ... is that a silly question? My soldering iron didn't get "REALLY" hot, so the solder really didn't flow smoothly and looks a bit "clumpy" but I think it's an o.k. connection, but could probably be better.:meh:
  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    The heated material needs to melt and flow the solder, not the iron. If it didn't happen that way the first time, make it happen. ;)
  3. lakefx

    lakefx Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2012
    It can cause issues, but they will be obvious. It's more likely that a cold solder joint will break loose than that it will cause sonic issues.
  4. pebo


    Dec 28, 2011
    Brisbane, AUS
    Probably best to remove the old solder with a solder sucker and do it again. Ive found the secret to good soldering is really clean surfaces, a nice hot iron and a quick touch on the joint with the iron while adding the solder between iron and joint. Its all in the prep work before hand.

    I spent every day for 3 months soldering tiny relay boards during my apprenticeship, that was 10 years ago and I can still feel the pain!

    The joint is probably ok though.
  5. Growlmonkee


    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    "Cold solder" joints, (not flowed) can act like a resistor, though to a small degree usually, I would think that would have some affect on tone. an easy way to "reflow" a solder joint is to put a small amount of flux on the joint, and hit it with a hot iron, for a short time, it should flow. You would then want to use isopropal alcohol with a small brush or q tips, to clean off the flux when done hit your solder tip with a dab of fresh solder before touching the joint, this is as good as removing old solder and re-doing the job, and less work, however, without a good quality iron, and flux, and cleaning when done, reflow probably won't happen correctly. I very much agree with pebo about clean surfaces, and that is the function of flux, to clean. In addition to the above keep your time heating the solder joints as short as possible, a poor iron that isn't hot enough left on a joint for a long time, has a very good chance of damaging components,, though it isn't very hot. A fast hit with a good, and hot iron, and some flux is best. the difference between a good iron, and a poor one is ; a good iron holds it's temperature well, a poor one cools when you hit the solder joint too quickly to be effective, but is still hot enough to damage things when left on the joint long.
  6. A good solder connection should look shiny and kind of smooth. A grey or clumpy solder point could be a connection with resistance. It might go open and it might attenuate the signal and therefore be audible. Get your self a pencil type iron about 25 watts or so, doesnt have to be expensive, then unsolder, restrip, and resolder so you have a perfect conducting connection and move on in your life. Dont forget to "tin" the iron first.
  7. madjazzbass


    Jan 5, 2014
    OK, now you have me wondering whether or not I may have damaged a/some components!! How would I know if I did? I mean, the Bass plays o.k., BUT, I was thinking the pickups (custom shop 60's) didn't sound like they did at the store (GC) Hmmmmm? Ha Haaaaaaa!! Seriously though, is there a way to t ell? Would the pickups even WORK if a "component" was damaged? HELP!! Ha Haaaaaaa!!:eyebrow:
  8. madjazzbass


    Jan 5, 2014
    Thanks, I'm not really hearing any "sonic issues" yet... I do however think that the pickups (custom shop 60's) DON'T sound like they did at Guitar Center when I tried them out ...in an American Standard Jazz (that's what's in there according to Fender) I put my set in a FSR Jazz so.... ??
  9. madjazzbass


    Jan 5, 2014
    Thanks Dude, I'm on it!!
  10. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    No - you are not going to have sound differences. only intermittent connections with poor soldering.
  11. madjazzbass


    Jan 5, 2014
    Yeah, Thanks, I'm gonna do just that when I open 're up again, and that'll be when I receive my new pick guard and also place some new foam (for height) under the pickups ;)
  12. madjazzbass


    Jan 5, 2014
    You're right about that! I learn something stupid at least 2-3 times a week, Haaaaaaaa!!