Bass mutes all of a sudden... did this ever happen to anybody else?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Avezzano, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. it actually happen to me a few years ago: during a pub gig, after a couple of hours of standard playing my Ibanez GWB35 completely... muted and there was absolutely nothing I could do: put a new battery taken from the pub TV remote, some tweaking/shaking into the preamp... the output jack... nothing. Luckily the owner of the pub had a ugly 100 euro P/J bass lying somewhere, one with the pointy Jackson headstock, you know? I quickly made it barely playable by the tools I had in the bag; the J pickup was unusable. The P pickup saved our gig, instead. No flashy solos, btw...

    Needless to say, on the next morning the Ibanez bass returned by itself to full functionality (I did nothing)!!! Then, to avoid this again I contacted the seller and so I had a new Ibanez preamp from BassNorthwest, where I bought the bass, sent to me here in Italy; I installed it and the bass played ok and served me for quite a few years (maybe four?) without problems until... one month ago: it muted again!!! COMPLETELY dull and zero signal coming out for no reason!!! Luckily it was at our rehearsal place that only is a few km from home; I went and grabbed another bass. On the next day the bastard was 100% functional!!!

    So you understand that I had to decide if throw that bass away or fix it: I removed the Ibanez pickup and electronics, trashed them and had Mr. Magnetics build for me a new pickup and electronics, with the middle (3 khz) area a bit more evident. This bass is now like "born again" and sounds like a 3k instrument!!!!

    Do I love this bass now? Yes: it's an excellent axe that I will never sell. Will I buy Ibanez anymore? Uh... no, thanks!!!

    BTW: this also happened during a wedding gig to my beloved CAR Skyline 5502 (bart+bart); only thing is that luckily enough it has the pull bypass "lifesaver" volume knob that avoided us to be shot on the spot, I suppose! It was exactly the same situation: there was nothing I could do to get the bass working for the entire evening! And on the next day it worked perfectly: not a battery issue, or a jack, bad contacts etc. And on the next day everything returned perfectly normal... Anybody else had this problem, ever?
  2. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    I had a (somewhat) similar problem with my tone pot. It stopped working, leaving the tone completely open. I checked wires and soldering - everything OK, but still can't use tone pot. I leave it for a service, when I get it back, tone pot works as it should. Than again yesterday, tone pot fails. This time I check pot - when I touch the soldering, contact underneath moves a tiny bit, and that is easy fix.
    Could it be you had the same problem with master volume pot?
  3. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Actually, I'm pretty sure it WAS one of those things (battery/jack/contacts/connections issue), and you just didn't find it. The bass didn't simply stop working with no issues!

    If your 5502 stopped working in active mode, and switching it over to passive mode made it work, that points most likely to either a problem with the output jack so that it was no longer making a connection to pass the battery current, or a bad/broken/loose connection on the battery connector itself, so the preamp was getting no power.
  4. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Faulty or cracked solder joints tend to work fine when cold, then as things warm up can loose contact til it cools off again.
  5. man, trust me: I am "technically oriented" for a living, so I understand something, even if not all, technically speaking, and I tried everything possible!!! Not a bad contact not a soldering issue; if it was so, then the problem would have been repeated or at least give some other sign, evidence of bad/degraded signal quite often in some way! But both the Ibanez and the 55-02, out of those episodes, worked just like when new. Remember that I even changed the preamp in the Ibanez! Currently I am not going to touch anymore the 55-02; I sort of tortured it on the next day to check for any bad soldering, bad contact, battery or battery clip, loosen wires, output jack etc.

    I think that at a certain point, for no understandable reason electronics have some hung-up that you cannot just predict or find in any way! And I am sure this happened to somebody else...

    I wish it was so, at least we'd have a "symptom" to find the illness to be cured! On the second time, at our saturday afternoon rehearsal, the Ibanez was just out of the gig bag: I couldn't even pull one note out of it!!!
  6. tabdog


    Feb 9, 2011
    I'd say try everything again. If it is
    not "technically oriented", then you
    got a Gremlin. (personally I don't
    believe in them)

    I have been cock sure I had done
    everything right and found out other-

    I'd say, check it again, or get someone
    else to check it, or

    buy another bass,

  7. naaah: I well know them and they are too cumbersome to fit in the control cavity. Neither they jump from an Ibanez to a Lakie so easily....

    went for the cheaper route: chanf├╣ged all the electronics, pickup and preamp into the Ibanez. If it will happen again to the Lakie I will put it directly into the fireplace... :eyebrow: