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Bad Wiring on Geddy Lee Jazz?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SpectorDetector, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. SpectorDetector

    SpectorDetector Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    I bought a Geddy Jazz a month or so ago and have been really disappointed with the sound of the neck pickup, also there seems to be a weird thing going on when I adjust the pickup knobs and touch the bridge. So, when both pickups are full it sounds pretty good with a bit of electrical buzz, I have checked the bridge ground and it is fine. Next, when I run the neck pickup by itself it sounds kinda crappy. If I run the bridge pickup by itself it sounds great and all the noise goes away. So, I am thinking this is kind of messed up and I take the control cover off to see what's going on, maybe a ground wire on the neck pickup has come lose? I remove the 3 screws and check it out, both pickup black wires go to the bridge pickup volume pot and there is no black wire to the input jack. White (+) wiring seems fine. Does this sound normal? Am I missing some thing? I will include a pic. Any help appreciated...My first idea is to take the black wire from the neck pickup to the neck pickup volume pot and add a black wire from the tone pot to the ring on the input jack.

    Attached Files:

  2. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    It's wired properly. The pots and jack are grounded using the metal plate. It shouldn't matter where the black pickup wire is attached, provided there is a good connection between the pots and the plate. You might have a poor ground connection on the neck pickup pot. Is the pot loose at all? Maybe, try snugging it.

    When I wire a Jazz bass, I always run another ground across the backs of the pots and to the sleeve lug on the jack, to assure the ground connection is good. You might also try that, if the other suggestion doesn't help.

    EDIT: That little buzz you hear can likely be cured by shielding. It goes away when you touch the strings or the bridge. It's pretty common.
  3. If you have two amps, get it wired for mono/stereo out like mine....
  4. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.

    What does that has to do with this thread? :confused:

    To the OP:
    You could try to solder a ground wire from the neck pickup volume to the bridge vol pot.
  5. It's about Jazz Bass wiring.
    And having both mono and stereo plus better pots, jacks and shielding makes for an improved Jazz Bass.

    And this is a messageboard where I'm free to chime in and offer a suggestion no matter how useless you might think it is.
    I really loathe messageboard police that assume that it's their supreme duty to enforce the laws of Talkbass.

    Have a nice day.:p
  6. Cadfael


    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    Stone Soup was right.
    Everything looks okay and as it should be ...

    You wrote that something weird happens when you touch the bridge. What?
    Does the humming get louder or more quiet?

    Does the humming get louder or more quiet when both PUs are fully turned on?

    Can you describe a bit more precise what you mean by "crappy sounding" neck PU?

    The wiring itself looks 100% correc ...
    BUT you can solder a cable or a wire from pot to pot!
    If you have a multimeter, measure the resistance between the two volume pot housings (and each housing to the GND contact of the jack). If there is resistance between pot housing(s) and GND contact, the sound might change ...
  7. SpectorDetector

    SpectorDetector Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    Atlanta, GA

    So when I touch the bridge any electrical buzz goes away. Both pickups full on is fairly quiet, still some buzzing but the bridge/metal touching makes it go away. Neck pickup just sounds kind of loud and blah. I have it lowered a bit, but it just doesn't have a nice tone to it at all. The odd thing is that the bridge pickup has no noise when it is the only pickup on and sounds fantastic! I thought if I didn't have both pickups turned all the way up then I'd get 60 cycle hum on either one?
  8. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 On that
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    If you touch metal/strings/bridge and the buzz goes away you have a shielding issue.

    If you touch metal/strings/bridge and the buzz gets louder you have a grounding issue.

    Your bass is probably fine it just needs a proper shielding job. Give it one and the buzz goes away, guaranteed.
  10. Bassman8416

    Bassman8416 Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2004
    Long Island,New York
    I just installed an the Audere preamp in my Geddy bass(new).
    There is definitely an issue with shielding. When the treble is boosted the noise is much worse, I guess thats a common problem as well. Will shielding help that as well?
  11. avvie


    Oct 12, 2010
    Maui, HI
    Thanks for this...this is exactly what I was suspecting in one of my basses but didn't want to go throught the trouble without some sort of reinforcing opinion.
  12. Daisy chain the ground to the jack sleeve.
  13. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    Removing you tone pot in favor of a second jack will fix your shielding problem. That was helpful. :rollno:

    Shielding first. Second, although the wiring is correct, it is lazy. A loose pot or jack will cause trouble. I would make a wired connection to ground for each pot and jack and not rely on a mechanical connection.

    Shielding will help regardless. After that it should be obviouse if the neck pickup has a problem.

    Edit: even though it doesn't help much here, 4001's wiring looks interesting. The pickups don't split to separate jacks until you plug the second cable in? Nice! I might stack the volumes so I could keep my tone knob, but I like this idea if you want the Billy Sheehan woofer/tweeter pickup concept.
  14. At worst, the wiring is improved, the pots were replaced with better ones, there's shielding and I also have the option to use the bass in mono or stereo. I was just throwing out another option. Might not have been a "helpful" answer to the OP's problem but as long as someone has a 'problem' with their wiring I figured, why not offer something that will surely improve the quality and tone options for the bass.

    I don't use tone pots. My amp controls the tone.

    To each their own.
  15. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    Do you mic your cabinet, when you're going through the FOH? If not, your tone changes at the amp might not have the effect you're looking for, in the mix.
  16. I usually have the luxury of both DI and mic.

    Last show I played had the best FOH tone I've ever had.

    I also have the option of using the amp EQ or bypassing it in the direct out.
  17. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    It is possible, it could also just be an extremely noisy pre-amp. I don't know anything about it.

    How is the shielding job to start? Most people do not shield the inside of the pickup covers and that is usually the biggest help. Don't forget to ground the pickup shielding to the cavity shielding.
  18. Stone Soup

    Stone Soup

    Dec 3, 2012
    I've only done the pickup cavities and it has worked well for me. I do make sure all the cavities are connected to the ground.