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Electronics must hate me.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by McThumpenstein, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. McThumpenstein


    Mar 22, 2012
    Queue the backstory:
    I have two basses, they have both been in their hard cases for a number of years. I recently dusted them off, cleaned them, gave them new strings, and set them up. However, each h as its own unique set of electrical problems that I was hoping you could help me with.

    1. 1992 Peavey Foundation: This one appears to have a short in the jack somewhere. If you plug it in, it makes a hellacious static noise until you settle it in just the right place. I tried adjusting the tang that the plug engages when you plug it in, but no dice. I don't see any loose wires or anything. If worse comes to worse, I have long considered putting some new hardware in it, but it is a cheap bass.

    2. 1994 Carvin LB76: This bass has active electronics. I did remember to take the battery out before I stored it, thankfully. When turning the dial for the rear pickup, or sometimes the volume, all sound goes out until I either turn it back, or turn it way up. I'm assuming there's something screwing with the pot, but while I'll happily tear into the wiring in a car or motorcycle, I'm scared to hurt my bass...why is that?

    thanks in advance.
  2. rhino333

    rhino333 Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Western NY State
    For #1, did you try another cord? Dumb question maybe but had to be asked.

    For #2, I recommend starting with tuner (drum) cleaner and lube. My P-Bass was doing that recently. As soon as I hit it with the cleaner and lube, she was fine. Seeing as it was sitting, it couldn't hurt it anyways. Radio Shack has the stuff for under $10.
  3. McThumpenstein


    Mar 22, 2012
    1. Not a dumb question at all, but coming from the Computer industry, the first thing I did was swap out the cable...then swap it out again. No dice.

    2. I will check it out. I need to go to the Shack anyway to pick up some parts for another wiring project I need to do.

    Thank you very much for your assistance.
  4. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    #1 might be the ground and signal wire touching somewhere, or if it's shielded, one of the wires might intermittently contact the shield.
    #2 is probably a bad pot.
  5. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Neither of them are brand new, and electro-mechanical devices wear out. Jacks go bad all the time, especially the flush mount panel or barrel jacks.

    Pots will get scratchy from oxidation, especially if they have been sitting for a long time without being rotated.

    All these things are fairly easy to fix however. :D
  6. McThumpenstein


    Mar 22, 2012
    That is good news. I don't think the wife would buy the "I need to take off this knob and put a whole new bass under it" story.
  7. McThumpenstein


    Mar 22, 2012
    I don't think it's shielded, I think the Foundation is/was pretty low-shelf, so I'm not expecting miracles. Especially after what I put it through way back when.
  8. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses

    As for the jack, try just bending the large prong in. It's possible that the tip isn't making full connection with the cable.

    If you need to go the new electronics route, it's a $10 fix and requires only de-soldering and then re-soldering 6 wires. Quick and painless. :)
  9. McThumpenstein


    Mar 22, 2012
    I'm honored you took my drool-soaked ramblings for your sig.

    i will try to pull to cover soon. if not tonight, it will be this weekend. If I follow, you mean that I should just re-solder the original wires back in place, or just replace them with a similar gauge?
  10. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    Jacks will also build up a layer of oxidation on the tip and sleeve connections. I'd try the cleaner on the jack and plug the cord in a dozen or so times before I replaced it. The Foundation was at price point when new but is a great USA instrument. With a proper set up you will have a great sounding, playing bass.

  11. McThumpenstein


    Mar 22, 2012
    I will add that to the list of things to check.
    I know in college I knew guys with music man and Ernie Ball basses, and as nice as they were, my Peavey could always get the job done just as well.

    My Carvin was a great deal too, and it always impresses me the great sounds I can get out of it.
  12. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Two simple or possibly semi-simple problems. It's typical for Jacks to lose tension on the tang when older. You have covered that with a tang-bend, however. Make sure the jack is mounted tight as that is the OTHER signal connection.

    Since you bent the tang I assume it's a standard jack and the ultimate fix is a new jack. It may have a short in the crimped jack parts. Make sure you get a Switchcraft jack when you replace it. Cheap import jacks tend to loose tang tension over time and a switchcraft jack will tend to keep the tension much better. Always a good investment. Soldering will be required.

    The pot thing is also typical. They develop corrosion and crud just sitting. The quick fix is a spray can of De-Oxit "D" (NOT "gold") from radio shack. Poof the pot and rotate it around to see if it gets fixed. If not you'll have to buy a new pot and install it. Soldering again required.

    Good luck.
  13. McThumpenstein


    Mar 22, 2012
    Thank you all for the great replies. I will hopefully have an update soon.
  14. McThumpenstein


    Mar 22, 2012
    Dusting this thread off.
    I finally sacked up and purchased a new jack. 5 bucks and quite possibly the world's worst soldering job later and she sings like a rather large woman with a stuttering problem. The tone is clear as a bell, the stuttering is from my lack of talent. I have to turn the onboard volume way down, so I'm assuming the signal is getting through much clearer now.
    Thank you for helping me revive my old friend!! :bassist: