Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Electronics and instrument cable issues

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Jordan Luff, Jan 3, 2003.


  1. In the past couple of months, I've been having problems with my Ibanez BTB405 "dying" on me. Twice, in the middle of my playing (not in a performance, mind you), I have had my bass just totally stop making sound. I got so pissed off the first time that I smacked the strings over the pickups and it barely uttered a thumping sound. I replaced the batteries and it worked fine. Just today, the same thing happened. However, the batteries have only been in for a month and I have barely been playing anyways! How could the batteries just die, with little use and even less age?
    Also, the first time my batteries died, I still got a sound out of it...a distorted, buzzing sound. That's why I got so frusterated when this first ordeal arose. So, I'm assuming this is a problem with the BTB's electronics?
    To note another problem, I have bee having bad issues with instrument cables. The first cable I ever used and continued to use for two years was a GuitarCenter cable. When my dad's friend let me borrow his 50 Watt Ampeg Rocketbass combo until I bought a new amp to replace my Crate BX15 (blech), I noticed that whenever I slightly nudged the cable where it was plugged into the bass, it make a loud, cracking and popping sound. So I decided to replace it, figuring "Ah, it's just GC crap." Well, I bought a 25' Whirlwind cable and as soon as I plugged it in: *CRAAACK!* No difference. I'm really beginning to worry that this bass is becoming less and less like a great deal and more and more like a problem.
    Please help!!

    P.S. I'm not sure if this is in the right place, so I'm sorry if you have to move it.
     
  2. You need to replace your input jack.
    This is inexpensive and will solve your problem.
     
  3. I doubt he needs to replace the jack!

    I've been through this buddy, and I believe that it just a loose wire.

    All you'd need to do is take off the scratch plate, or the back plate, and resolder the wire backon, easy peasy.


    :)
     
  4. Yeah the input jack is a stupid lump of metal, it rarely needs replacing. Its probably a loose wire, or if its not the enclosed type, just bend the little arm back towards the hole a little.

    As for the electronics, again this may be a loose wire. Could also be a short in the power somewhere draining that battery.

    What about your volume control? Mine is stuffed, unless it is fully up, the bass is dead silent. I'm still waiting for Paul A's volume control to get to me. He said he'd send it. I've had it cut out due to vibrations in a show and the bass is dead silent.

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  5. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Do you unplug your bass when it's not being played? If you leave it plugged in, the battery will drain.
     
  6. As far as I'm aware (uh oh...), my volume control works fine, as do the other controls. I'll definately take off the plate today to look for a loose wire.

    I thought about this, but even before this happened, I've always had my bass plugged in, and I was still replacing the battery every two or three months--and that's when I was playing for hours a day!

    Thanks to all of you guys for your help. All this talk about fixing my bass has got me excited about playing it again. :) I'll get back to you all if this works.
     
  7. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    You need to unplug your bass when not using it. That plug is a switch - when you plug in the cable, it switches the preamp on, and drains the battery. On my basses, batteries last at least a year.
     
  8. DCman

    DCman

    Apr 7, 2002
    UK
    I have the same jack plug thing with my BTB, although i dont think its quite to same extent, but it is getting more noticable. I have also looked at the electronics and I cant see any loose wires.

    I am wondering if it IS the jack socket, as these basses use the Neutrik Locking Jacks, and if pulled without releasing the lock first, they tend to put more strain on the socket than normal...

    Just a thought...

    DC :)
     
  9. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    warning: i am not really sure whether i understood your description correctly.i

    do you turn the amp on, connect the cable to the amp and then (last step) plug the cable into to the bass?

    if so: first setup all the cables, then turn on the amp. but the cracking should not happen, if you just lightly touch the cable while it's plugged in.
     
  10. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    Why not just wire in a an on off switch in its place?

    Peace
    Nick
     

  11. Typical Australian: Because i couldnt be bothered. :p

    :D:D

    Merls
     


  12. Nope, I always make sure my amp is OFF before I plug or unplug any cables.
     
  13. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    Germany
    ok, sorry, then i misunderstood you.
     
  14. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Actually, I change my batteries once a month...after a month or so, while it still has power, it'll test at around 7 volts rather than 8 or 9... and the tonal quality drops noticeably...I just changed mine this weekend before a show, and I was startled by the difference before and after...I think I was a couple of weeks late!

    On my electric guitar, I've had the same battery in for a year, and she's still going...I just use the batteries in my tuner and stuff around the house, so it's not like I'm wasting them or anything...
     
  15. Replace you input jack.

    Parts Express Page for input jack.

    You are getting a pop because you've probably whacked the plug while it's in the bass (Maybe when you decided to beat the crap out of it because the battery died, smooth) which has probably elongated the hole possibly, or you have a lot of gunk built up on the Sleeve contact on the neutrik locking jack. I have them in my speaker cabs, they aren't like a standard $0.15 stereo input jack. There is only one point of contact on the sleeve and ring portions. Or it could be loosing tension.

    Take you plug out of your bass when not using it, so you don't think you have to take your anger out on your musical instrument when the battery goes dead. Go punch a pillow instead.
     
  16. I should probably clear up that "smacking my bass in anger" thing. I slapped all five strings with my hand repeatedly to try and produce a sound. It may have been ignorant and pointless, but I was not doing any major OR minor damage to my baby. Trust me, I love this thing more than any of my possessions, I would never thrash it up in anger. That's a pretty immature thing to do, especially to a $600 piece of equipment.
    The problem with the input jack was going on long before the problem with the electronics started, so even if I had damaged my bass when slapping the strings over and over, that wasn't the cause of the jack problem.
    Thanks for the advice and the link, though. :)

    EDIT: Grammar. :p
     
  17. Does your bass have a quick replacement battery door? I have seen some of those cause problems where the battery doesn't always get a good contact with the terminals. causes the cutting out problem you described.
     
  18. I'm not sure what a quick replacement door would look like, as I've only had ownership experience with this active bass. The plastic plate is screwed in at two opposite corners of the plate (one screw for each corner) and the batteries are right there, connected to the electronics, very easy to replace. So, I guess that sounds like quick replacement...but I don't know this for a fact.
     
  19. tim4003

    tim4003

    Apr 30, 2002
    Dawsonville , GA
    Jordan,
    For your problem with cables, I think I have an answer.
    I own a Ibanez SR305-DX. I had the same problem. The jacks used on Ibanez basses have a slightly larger barrel (hole), so most cable plugs fit a little loose in them.
    Get yourself a Planet Waves cable. They have springs around the shaft to make a secure connection to ground. Cured my problem right up.
     
  20. DCman

    DCman

    Apr 7, 2002
    UK
    Normally, this would be true (i think!!), but the BTB series use the Neutrik Locking Jacks, so they are made to a standard set by Neutrik, not Ibanez...

    DC :)