dust getting in input jacks?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by RumbleMan3, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. RumbleMan3


    Apr 14, 2018
    does dust and stuff getting in the input jacks of my bass and my amp - where the input jack is on the top instead of the face - cause any issues? does it make them wear out faster?
    how often should i replace input jacks on my basses and amps? how do I know when to replace them and how often? how long will they last?

    what about replacing speakers, drivers, pickups and stuff like that, how long will all of that last do they ever need replacing?

    Yes, a lot of questions and concerns, my brain just doesn't stop!

    Thanks for all your replies in advance!
    MCF likes this.
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    When it fails you'll know!
    pellomoco14 and mech like this.
  3. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Unless you are abusing the equipment, decades. If you are abusing it, maybe this afternoon.
  4. When it comes to amp jacks, I’ve found the more you use them, the longer they last. It’s the ones you use very little that can sometimes be a problem, IME.
  5. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Hmm, this reminds me that I should start unplugging my instrument wire from the amp after every use. I've been just leaving it in, but I have feared it will ruin the elasticity of the tip connector.
    RumbleMan3 likes this.
  6. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    So this comment was necessary? I think we can all safely assume that the OP is just using the terms 'input' and 'output' interchangeably. For the purpose of the OP's dust topic, it really doesn't matter.
  7. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    This is a U-Bass:


    Correct, there's no jack on this one!
  8. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Great questions. As with many things, care and maintenance directly correlate to longevity. You can keep your jacks clean by shooting them with contact cleaner every once in awhile (Same with pots and switches). This will take care of any dust that collects. You'll know when it's time to replace a jack, as reliability will start to decline. The signal may start cutting in and out, or you may notice drops in volume or 'pops and clicks' randomly. A jack can last a very long time if it is maintained properly; I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    When it comes to speakers (drivers), I like to dust mine off with a soft nylon brush. Many people like to use compressed air. Just don't use water or any other liquid to clean a paper-coned speaker! As long as you are careful to keep power and volume levels responsible, you shouldn't have to worry about mechanical or thermal speaker failures. As with jacks, you should be able to get many, many years of life out of a speaker driver.

    When it comes to pickups or any other parts on your bass, just use some common sense and logic. Most parts can last a lifetime if properly cared for. For example, taking a file to a pickup's pole pieces would be a bad idea, but wiping off finger oils after each time you play can help keep your pole pieces from collecting corrosion.
    RumbleMan3 and MCF like this.
  9. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Teach me more, oh wise master. ;)
  10. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Don't get any strong magnets near your pickups, or leave them in a super-heated spot, & they should last a lifetime.
    Andy Summers wrote in his autobiography about he & another member of the Police leaving their instruments in some sort of boiler room & it degaussed their pickups.
    RumbleMan3 and MCF like this.
  11. You take your cable and you PUT it IN the jack, right? IN-PUT!
  12. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Steel wool dust can kill them as well, particularly if the have exposed bobbins like on a single coil P. Don't let it near them.

    Magnets aren't generally affected by heat until you get over 175 degrees F. Lower temps in the 120+ degree range can make pickups go microphonic, and it can screw up necks pretty badly, but magnets don't really care unless the temps are way up there.
  13. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Cute, but often incorrect. What signal are you putting in to your bass? That is an OUT put jack.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  14. How long stuff lasts will depend on how you treat it and the environment(s) you use it in.
    Does your amp get exposed to a lot of dust?
    Do you step on your cord and yank it out of the bass’s output jack?
    Do you get wasted and play with everything dimed?
    MCF and Killed_by_Death like this.
  15. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    but it was only a 18 Watt tube amp into a 2x10"

    It is amazing how badly alcohol affects our ability to hear, which is even more pronounced with lower frequencies.
    sissy kathy likes this.
  16. Alcohol has probably been a contributing factor in the demise of many speakers.;)
    JGbassman and nbsipics like this.
  17. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    It worked for EVH and SRV. ;) :D :rolleyes: :bassist:
  18. CryingBass

    CryingBass Just a Fool Whose Intentions are Good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    Probably more of a huge power transformer in that room rather than just the heat?
  19. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Yeah, he was rather vague about what was in the room, IIRC something about leaning their instruments against a boiler, which would be pretty daft of them to begin with.
    His bandmate did not mention it in his autobiography.

    Odd, researching this online turns up all sorts of stuff that contradicts his book.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
    nbsipics likes this.
  20. TheReceder


    Jul 12, 2010
    Dang it… I've been doing backwards all my life... putting the jack around the plug. :)

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