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fender deluxe active jazz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by unclebass, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Hope this is the right forum. I have been working on a Fender Deluxe Active Jazz Bass for our church. Our pastor found it at a pawn shop listed for $290, but haggled with them until he was able to buy it for only $130!!! It sounds great...only problem is that with the active setup, anytime the bass is plugged in, power is being drawn from the battery. Has anyone out there wired in a kill switch on their bass? We have different people playing bass at different times over the course of each week. Unplugging the cord causes a loud pop on the sound system, a kill switch would make everything easier, including removing a reason for anyone to mess with the controls on the bass. If you have done this to your bass, please post pictures so I will know where I may best locate the switch. Thanks in advance.
  2. How about getting a cable with a cutoff switch in line? Will cutting the switch off break the contacts for the battery without having to unplug cable? Looking for any simple solution.
  3. In line cable switch for the win.
  4. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Yeah, a switch in the cable would work but you have to use a stereo cable to switch the "ring" contact to ground to turn the bass on and then open that connection to turn it off. It would not be difficult to make one. Turning the preamp on and off may also make a loud pop in the PA, I've never tried this so I don't know for sure. I can tell you right now that people will forget to turn that switch off....

    If your bass players make enough loud pops unplugging the bass the sound people will eventually learn to kill the inputs on the board at the end of services and rehearsals. In my church we all supply our own instruments so the sound crew has to remember to do this for a bass, a guitar, and sometimes a second guitar. Plus, one of our bassists will unplug his bass and take it with him right before the sermon in the second service if there are no songs scheduled after the sermon that morning and the sound crew really has to be on the ball with him! It is worth it, he is a GREAT bassist!!

    It is not hard to put an on/off switch on the bass either. The negative lead for the battery runs over to the "ring" contact terminal on the output jack. Cut that wire, solder in an on/off miniature toggle switch and you can turn the bass off. You will need to find space on the control panel where the switch will fit and then drill a hole so you can mount it there. As noted above the bass may or may not pop when you turn it on and off.

    You could also put a kill switch (one that would ground or unground the center lead) in the instrument cable, or make a kill switch stomp box to put in line with it. This would allow you to plug/unplug the cable without a pop. I don't use stomp boxes or pedals so I am unfamiliar with what is out there, chances are someone makes one you could just buy.

    Another approach that would work well in this situation is to remove the battery from the bass and use an external power supply to feed it. You would need to short out the battery connection with another connector you can buy at Radio Shack. Twist the new connectors leads together to short them, then solder them and tape them up to insulate them. Now plug this into the bass in place of the battery. Now you can feed +9V into the ring contact on the bass output jack to power the bass. Use a stereo cable between the bass and a power supply box you will build (though again perhaps someone makes one you could buy). You can probably just leave the bass on all the time if that is what you prefer to do, or power it up and down with the rest of the PA system.

    Whew, the Neutrik silent plug is sounding more and more like a winner after all that, eh? :D However, I do notice this warning at the bottom of the page describing that plug "Please note that the signal isn't muted with some types of active electric guitars which are equipped with tip-ring-sleeve jacks that tap to activate the guitar power supply." Not sure why that would be true but if Neutrik sees this often enough to mention it on their web page the plug may not work for you. Bummer!

  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Obviously everyone needs to be trained to unplug the bass when not playing it. (The mute/power switch that reads everyone's mind hasn't been invented yet)

    You CAN add a mute switch to the bass that also disconnects the battery. That would be a DPDT switch where one set of switch terminals grounds the tip terminal of the jack and the other set opens the ring line to the battery; a simple thing to install.

    HOWEVER... You'll have to try it first. The reason I say that is because it all depends on the switch and which contacts operate first. If the shorting contacts are first, opening the battery line has the pop killed. But if the battery opens first and then the jack shorts a pop may come through. You can wire it and try it before drilling any holes.

    My solution would simply be a muting guitar cable and just have everybody mute before unpluging it. Pop problems solved.

  6. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Probably the best solution. Available off the shelf and it puts the person who will be blamed for the pops and therefore is painfully aware of the problem and highly motivated to fix it in charge of the solution. Truthfully the sound team is more to blame since this is their job but they are safely out of sight, out of mind at the back of the auditorium in most churches while the poor bass player is on the platform where all eyes are pointed when the multi-kW POP resounds through the church. The bass player will remember to do what the sound team often forgets.

  7. I thought about how I was going to solve this problem for quite a while. I found that if I simply disconnected the battery, it still produced a loud pop, unless I turned the volume all the way down. I mounted a small SPST metal toggle switch between the equalizer pots. I cut the positive battery cable where it passed by the two pots, and installed the switch inline. Now I am able to simply turn down the volume, which is something we always did anyway, then flip the switch!! No cable unplug required. When we want to play, we just flip the switch then turn up the volume. Thought about putting a slide switch on the battery cover, but having the switch on the back would make it more likely that people would forget to turn it off. I think they should make this option standard on all active basses. The best way to address it would be to have the volume control and the on/off control in one, like the standard automotive radio controls from days gone by.