Fender Jazz Bass - Low output?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by pharoeste, Jul 19, 2022.

  1. pharoeste

    pharoeste

    Jul 19, 2022
    Recently I bought a Fender Jazz Bass. Everything's great, the only problem that I'm noticing is that the volume is very low.

    Normally I use an iRig HD 2 for practicing guitar and it's more than enough.

    However, when plugging the bass I could barely hear it, even with the volume all the way up. I had to crank up the gain so I could hear something (and it was distorted)!

    I've tried this bass with another amp that I have, a small Blackstar ID Core v3 and same problem: I had to turn the gain way up.

    My last attempt was using a Focusrite Scarlett Solo. This one worked fine, but I still had to increase the gain and volume, although less than the others

    I already tried raising the pickup height to the maximum but the "problem" persists.

    I was just wondering if this is normal...? Is it even a problem? I never had any problems like this with my guitar at. all. Are J basses THIS quiet?

    Thanks!
     
  2. uOpt

    uOpt

    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Does the volume pot work normal?
     
  3. pharoeste

    pharoeste

    Jul 19, 2022
    Yes, I think so. I can turn it down and up, both volume pots.
     
  4. Skyfall

    Skyfall

    Jul 17, 2022
    Istanbul, Turkey
    No it is not normal that low output for Jazz Bass or any other bass. It may have to do with volume pot. Take off the control plate and measure the ohmic resistance between volume pot's first and third leg. It should read 250 K or a value close to this if am not mistaken. If not then you may need to replace this pot.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2022
    MonetBass likes this.
  5. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Are the pickups very low? Perhaps they need to be raised. The resistance rating of a pot has to do with the volume control at its minimum. If the volume is turned up all the way resistance should be zero or very close.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2022
  6. pharoeste

    pharoeste

    Jul 19, 2022
    I already raised them as high as they could be.
     
  7. Skyfall

    Skyfall

    Jul 17, 2022
    Istanbul, Turkey
    Thanks for correcting me @sissy kathy. Then he should check is there zero resistance when volume turned all the way up.
     
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  8. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    A bass requires about 4 times the power that a guitar does. That said even a 20 watt amp would produce enough volume for you to comfortably hear the bass. It sounds to me like you need a set of pickups.
     
  9. Skyfall

    Skyfall

    Jul 17, 2022
    Istanbul, Turkey
    It's very rare to have both pickups need to be replaced.
     
    villegastx likes this.
  10. pharoeste

    pharoeste

    Jul 19, 2022
    Hum... Initially I tested on an iRig HD 2 and then on a 10W amp. When I used a more "robust" audio interface (Focusrite Scarlett), the sound was better. I wonder if the bass is fine and I was just using the wrong amps?
     
  11. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Agreed. We have no history of this bass though. There is pitifull little that can go wrong in a passive bass. With the pickups at maximum, that pretty much eliminates a bleed through to ground killing the signal The only other thing I can think of is perhaps the tone cap is shorted out, Talk about rare. That's easily checked though cut the tone cap free of either the pot tab or the rear of the pot (which ever lead is longest.) See if your volume comes back then. Usually when caps fail they go to open, but anything is possible I guess.
     
  12. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Try playing it way up the neck on your D/G strings, so you're well into guitar territory. It isn't the pickups that require more power, it's the low notes that require more power to be heard.
     
    JLS likes this.
  13. Skyfall

    Skyfall

    Jul 17, 2022
    Istanbul, Turkey
    If tone cap is shorted out then mater tone control has no effect on tone of bass.
     
    sissy kathy likes this.
  14. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Didn't think of that. Good catch. If the cap is a small one twisting the nob my not tell you much.
     
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  15. Skyfall

    Skyfall

    Jul 17, 2022
    Istanbul, Turkey
    no problem mate.
     
  16. uOpt

    uOpt

    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Can you solder?

    The next step in debugging is to disconnect one pickup from the electronics and connect it via crocodile clips directly to a guitar cable.
     
    JLS likes this.
  17. pharoeste

    pharoeste

    Jul 19, 2022
    Unfortunately, I can't. I was trying to figure out if that's normal or not before having to open the bass and deal with wires. :(
     
  18. Is it new? Contact the retailer.

    Is it used? Hard telling what previous owner(s) did.
    Check with previous owner to see if they can shed any light on this.

    If you're going to open it up, check for stray wires touching things they shouldn't.
    Pots will have values and or model numbers.
    Are the two pickups wired wrong or out of phase.
    Those are my non-soldering suggestions.

    Otherwise have a guitar tech look at it for you.
     
  19. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Yes. Single coils have less output than humbuckers.

    Raise your pickups. The neck should be about an eighth inch lower than your bridge pickup. Up the gain a little bit. If you play a P bass at 1:00, your jazz bass will be at about 2 - 2:30 to be around the same input level.



    What it sounds like to me is that you have a pad switch on. Like, mic/inst/line. But, I could be wrong. Check the input level on your device.

    10w is more than enough to hear your instrument. Don't worry about that. 1w is more than enough to hear yourself. If it wasn't, then the "amplug" wouldn't work...and it does.

    A ground could be hitting something also, but that usually just means you get no sound at all.

    Have you tried another cable, instead of just trying different devices?
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2022
  20. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    If you'll look you'll see he's trying to use an underpowered Guitar amplifier to power his bass. His little dinky 10 watt amp doesn't have the juice to drive his bass. He's been told this several times on this site and at least once by a tech at his home.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
    96tbird likes this.