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Fed Up with P-Bass Wiring...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by VonHolstyle, Jul 13, 2014.


  1. VonHolstyle

    VonHolstyle

    May 3, 2014
    PNW
    My first bass I bought was in 2001, which is a 2000 Squier Affinity P-Bass. Around 2002/2003 I put Seymour Duncan QP's in it. It's been buzzing like crazy for years and that's why I rarely play it anymore. I recently bought a pre-wired kit for it from GFS aaaand.....no sound! Re-wired it and tried a different/new output jack, still nothing. I've tried everything I could think of and even searched the web to figure out what the problem was. Zero solution. That said....did my pickups crap out? Really have no idea what the problem could be...
     
  2. It doesn't get much more simple than P-bass wiring.

    Just today I picked up an 80's Yamaha BB300 for cheap - it's essentially a P-Bass (and this one feels to me to have the same build quality as the PreCBS fenders - very tight neck socket, great feeling neck just like a vintage Fender). It had a bit of buzz - not much. This being a really inexpensive, entry level bass - there wasn't any shielding or conductive paint in the pickup cavity nor control cavity. I lined the pickup cavity and control cavity with sticky backed foil and grounded it -- Ideally I would have also used shielded cable from the pickup to the cavity but I didn't have any handy so I skipped it. It's very quiet now.

    The P-Bass split pickups are supposed to be wound out of phase with each other and with reverse magnet polarity from each other - that way they sound in phase with each other (and more importantly in phase with a second pickup if you add one someday) but the windings, being out of phase cancel a lot of the hum. So if you got a lot of hum with yours, you may have connected the two halves in phase instead of out and then you'd get all the hum of a large single coil.

    When you say you got a "pre-wired kit" you mean a new pickup and controls and everything already wired? Or are you still using your old QP pickup with a pre-wired control harness?

    If you have a multi-meter it is fairly easy to troubleshoot - if you take some photos and post ... plenty of people here would be able to help. Pretty hard to help without pictures ... a multi-meter would be very helpful you can search for shorts and verify connectivity.
     
  3. VonHolstyle

    VonHolstyle

    May 3, 2014
    PNW
    I'll try the multi-meter tomorrow. And yes, I know the p-bass wiring is simple...I've done 6 of them, never had this problem. The pre-wired kit I bought from GFS is everything but the pickups. 250k pots, .047 cap, all the wiring, and output jack. Still using the same Seymour Duncan QP's. I just tried the original pots, output jack, wiring, etc. and they work but still buzz's like crazy. I'm thinking I got a faulty pre-wired kit...or something's wrong with it. It was 13 bucks, so whatever. I'll just re-do the entire thing for the 4th time haha
     
  4. Wow, you just answered all of my questions before I could click "post". So the buzzing is almost surely do to improper ground, and there is an easy way to check this: Assuming your pickup is the same as this diagram: http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/schematics.php?schematic=std_pbass solder the white pickup wire to the "hot" (outside) lug of a output jack, and the black wire to the ground (inside) lug of the same output jack (you don't have to solder the wires, you could also clip them, wrap them around the lugs, ect). Now the pickup is wired directly to the jack, which bipasses volume and tone control. Plug the PU into an amp. Hopefully the noise either goes away or is greatly reduced (adjust the controls on the amp to double check this)(also lightly tap the PU with a screw driver or something metal and you should here a popping sound).
     
  5. Yes - what he said ^
     
  6. VonHolstyle

    VonHolstyle

    May 3, 2014
    PNW
    I'll give that a try and follow up. Thanks for the help fellow PNW/West-coaster's!
     
  7. VonHolstyle

    VonHolstyle

    May 3, 2014
    PNW
    Tried everything, no sound. Toss'n the pickups in the trash.
     
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I seriously doubt that is your problem, you can easily test the pickup before you trash them out of frustration.
     
  9. VonHolstyle

    VonHolstyle

    May 3, 2014
    PNW
    Is the wiring different for older style Seymour Duncan QP's? Because I just tried the original squire pickups and they worked...
     
  10. We can help you troubleshoot - but if you really want to throw those pickups in the trash, please send them to me.
     
    AGH likes this.
  11. AGH

    AGH

    Jun 18, 2013
    Long Island NY
    All of the stuff I got for free wore out!
    Please post pics, we're here to help.:)
     
  12. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    Can you take a picture of the Q pound pickups, on the bottom where the lead wires are soldered
     
  13. When you hooked up your new pre-wired harness, did you solder new wires directly to the pickup? Or did you use the leads that were already on the pickups? There isn't much to go wrong with a pickup but those enamel wires are very, very fine and are easy to break if you physically touch them.

    This is where a multi-meter would come in really handy so you could measure each half of the split pickup and see what the resistance is.
     
  14. VonHolstyle

    VonHolstyle

    May 3, 2014
    PNW
    Used the original wires of the pickups. I took the bass apart once again and going to the next project. Spent way too much time on trying to "fix" this one. I'll get back to it at some point but I have other bass's I can play. I'll probably just end up buying some Fender pickups and putting them in sometime this Summer.

    Thanks for the help though! If I decide to keep the pickups and try re-soldering everything once again, I'll be sure to follow up!
     
  15. VonHolstyle

    VonHolstyle

    May 3, 2014
    PNW
    Yup, it was the enamel wires in one of the pickups. Wasn't touching the ground and some how broke away from the solder.
     
  16. So did you fix it and are your putting it back in your bass? please don't toss it out - if you do, toss it at me :)
     
  17. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    If you solder it back be sure and scrape a little of the enamel insulation just at the end then do not overheat when soldering it back. If you have some small Hemostat (surgical clamping tool) use it to hold the wire near where you solder it as it will act as a clamp and heat sink at the same time so you don't over heat the coil. Radio Shack I believe sells them and Fry's electronics
     
  18. VonHolstyle

    VonHolstyle

    May 3, 2014
    PNW
    Thanks for the input. Ordered new pickups, just to get this bass going and playing properly without putting more time into these pickups. Might get around to fix these pickups but not anytime soon.
     
  19. VonHolstyle

    VonHolstyle

    May 3, 2014
    PNW
    Haha well...possibly. I'll keep in touch.
     
  20. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    The hot solder will burn the enamel insulation off of the copper, there is really no reason to scrape the wire before soldering it.
     

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