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Can Somebody Help Me to Diagnose the Problem With My Electronics (J-Bass)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by not_jason, Dec 10, 2004.


  1. not_jason

    not_jason

    Aug 4, 2004
    Maine
    okay, so i have this 1982 Squier Jazz Bass (MIJ), and it's got a little quirk. when i first got it, i noticed that if i turned both pickups up all the way, the output would occaisionally cut out (if i shook the bass or hit the body, it would come back on, implying some sort of short). if i turned the bridge volume down to the 9 or less, the bridge pickup still acted finicy, but i didn't lose the output from the neck pickup like i did if the bridge was turned to max.

    i had another control plate kicking around with all the pots, so i swapped it in and for a while, it seemed to help. recently though, i've noticed the bass having the exact same problem, and i've noticed that the bridge pickup can be made to cut in or out by simply tapping on it.

    first off, i'm no electrician, so pardon me if any of the following is stupid:

    i'm assuming my bridge pickup is out of whack, and needs repair/replacement. does this sound right?

    why should it be that if my bridge pot is turned all the way up and the bridge pickup kicks out, that i lose output from both pickups, but if the bridge pot is turned down slightly, i only lose output from the bridge? this doesn't make any sense to me, so can anyone more familiar with electronic set ups tell me why this might be the case and what the implications of it might be? keep in mind, it's had this same problem with two completely different sets of pots, so i'm doubting that's the problem.

    thanks in advance.
     
  2. Loel

    Loel Blazin' Acadian Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    yeah; it seems you may have a problem with your bridge pup solder at the pup it's self, try removing the pup and check the solder.what series is it jv,sq,a,b, etc some of the 82's 83's84's were amarican pup's ,if you take the pup out you can have it tested.good luck :cool:
     
  3. not_jason

    not_jason

    Aug 4, 2004
    Maine
    "JV33560"... i'm assuming that means "JV" series.

    all i can tell you for sure about the pickups is that i hate the thought of swapping either of them out. they have such an agressive punchy tone. they may not be terribly versitile, but for the rock music i play... increadible tone. I'm not sure if it's something that can be easily fixed or not.
     
  4. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Depends. One of two things is likely:

    One of the pickup lead's solder joint on the bottom of the pickup is loose, and as the bass vibrates, the contact is intermittently made and lost. That's cheap and easy to fix- just one little touch of a soldering iron and it's done.

    The other is tougher- you could have a broken coil wire that's intermittently making contact. In that case, look into new pickups. If you really like the sound of that pickup, Fralin and others could rewind it for you, but that would cost much more than that pickup is worth.
     
  5. not_jason

    not_jason

    Aug 4, 2004
    Maine
    thanks for your advice. I haven't been able to get in to closely examine the soldering of the wires to the pickup, but as of now, i doubt that the problem lies there precisely. this is all just groundless speculation, but i think it's the pickup itself. if i tap very gently on the top of the pickup, it'll cut in and out. the impact i'm making with these gentle taps, to me, doesn't seem like it would be substancial enough to effect the wires' connections at the opposite end of the pickup. It seems more consistant with something being out of whack inside it. also, when i took it out earlier to look at it, the plastic piece at the bottom of the pickup crumbled into about 3 pieces. could just be the fact that it's 24 year old plastic or it could be that it's been through some prior abuse.
     
  6. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    I was talking about the wire on the bottom of the pickup or "inside" the pickup, not at the controls.
     
  7. not_jason

    not_jason

    Aug 4, 2004
    Maine
    yeah, i know. i'm sort of confused now, because my entire reply was about the pickup, not the controls. i was talking about the wires connections to the pickups, not the connections to the pots. sorry if i was unclear.
     
  8. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    Now I'm confused.

    I mean that the problem is either inside the pickup (the coil wires) or where the leads are soldered to the pickup.
     
  9. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    if the plastic piece at the bottom of the pup is the bobbin (lower half of the framework that the poles set in), not a good sign. You can unsolder the pup leads and take most any ohmmeter and check for continuity and DC resistance, tap on the pups and look at the meter and see if it fluctuates. It will probably tell you what you already know from the sound of things. Who knows, you may get a steady reading.

    No meter, disconnect that pups wires and solder them straight to the jack. If you get intermitant sound, you know the problem's in the pup - if the it's properly soldered and the jack, cord, and amp are good.

    You might be able to stick a meter on the pup, get a steady reading, and super glue the bobbin (if it's plastic) together so that it remains intact and resolves the problem. But there has to be a problem in the wiring somewhere breaking contact.