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Fender Jazz FMT 5 ... the honeymoon is over.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Munjibunga, Jun 2, 2002.


  1. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I've really been getting a kick out of playing this J-bass since I got it a few months ago. It has a great sound, er, HAD a great sound until my gig last night. About halfway through the second set, it started losing volume, so I whipped out my trusty 55-94 which I had brought along as a back-up (remember that thread?). At the break, I did what any normal active bass player would do: change the batteries. Now I get a high-pitched screech out of my wireless, and no musical output whatsoever. OK, that's it. Back to the Lakland, which performed flawlessly the rest of the night.

    So today, I hooked up to my amp with a cable, and the FMT is deader than the proverbial door nail. I whipped out the voltmeter, and I've got 18 volts at the batteries, but no audio signal out. No broken wires to be seen in the cavity, either.

    OK, now I've got to find a local Fender-authorized repair place to take it. At least it's under warranty, but I'm planning on being without it for six months, in anticipation of the typical slow service and lame-ass excuses that most places seem to produce these days. At least my jaws won't get torqued 'til December. I'll keep you posted.
     
  2. Harpo

    Harpo

    Feb 1, 2001
    Kings Park NY
    That's a shame that a nice looking bass . Might just be a bad connection or loose wire
     
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    California
    If the loss of volume was gradual, it must be more than a loose wire.

    Shame. It's such a nice looking bass.
     
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    After years of having no problems with gear, I noticed that the panpot on my F Bass had gotten loose and also wouldn't turn. Fortunately the bass still worked. Later on I tightened up the loose nut and now the bass is silent. haven't had a chance to really check it out yet.

    Last night on a gig, during the last set, my Hughes and Kettner BassBase 600 went silent mid-song. Still indicated that there was input, everything checked out... no sound. Finished the gig through the keyboard player's keyboard amp, a multichannel Samson which worked amazingly well. After the gig I did notice that I could hear a barely audible signal come through, no matter what volume. Figured it might be a tube problem, the amp didn't appear to run hot.

    I'll check in with H&K and I'm hoping I'll gain some insight into this problem... the amp appears to be working fine now.

    This just makes my AMP BH-420 and 78 Jazz look that much better;)
     
  5. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    That sounds to me like your output jack went bad. Since your bass is active it has an extra lip in there to turn your preamp on when the input jack is inserted. In good working order (output jack of bass) your input jack completes a circuit so your preamp has power, however, this means that power is actually passing along part of the shaft of the input jack. If the power is going elsewhere (due to something on the output jack going bad) this may have created the "squeal" in your wireless. It may not have created the "squeal" through your amp with the cable because your amp's input may be more tolerant. Try getting a new output jack from Radio Shack (there only a couple dollars) and wiring it in. It may save you a lot of time.

    PS. I had 2 years of electronics training but can't be absolutely sure of the problem with out the bass in my hands. Good Luck
     
  6. ldiezman

    ldiezman

    Jul 11, 2001
    Nashville
    Man its such a sinking feeling when your gear doesn't work right on stage... just really gets me down for a bit.. Sorry to hear about that munji.. thats such a nice fender.. the nicest i've seen.. its a shame you're having problems with it
     
  7. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Ain't that always the way? Gear never seems to break down at rehearsal or when you're practicing alone, noooooo it has to break on a gig. And to make things worse, the next morning everything works just fine (usually). I'm a photographer and it's the same way with photo gear. Oh well, that's why we photographers and musicians should have back ups. Sorry about your bass. Keep us posted.
     
  8. JayAmel

    JayAmel Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Aurillac, France
    Swingbass is right : that's Murphy's law.

    Bad luck Munji, hope this will soon get better with your JB FMT...

    All the best,
     
  9. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    :( Man, that's a bummer. I hope it's something simple that can be fixed right away. That's one SWEET looking bass. :(
     
  10. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    OK, so I called my trusty local Fender-authorized luthier today, and explained the problem. He thought it might be a bad connection from the chintzy battery terminals to the bass. So I whipped out my volt-ohm meter and checked the voltage between where the wires connect to the circuit board and the output jack. Plenty o' voltage here. I took out the input jack and looked at it; all the wires were intact, and the mechanism looked fully functional.

    So I figure, what the heck, let's plug it in and see what happens. Wouldn't you know it ... I was destined for one of those maddening "could not duplicate" things from the shop, where it was headed tomorrow. Plays just fine now. So the question is, did I fix it by futzing around with it, or is it one of those things where it poops out after an hour or so of playing?

    Phat, your output jack guess is a good one, and it may actually be the cause, although you may recall that I said the bass gradually lost volume during the second set. This is not usually how a defective output jack behaves. It may interest you to know that I taught electronics in the Marine Corps in a former life, so I know how to troubleshoot. My only advice to you would be NEVER use Radio Shack components. They are the worst. At least use Switchcraft, or better, Neutrik.

    Thanks to all of you for your concern and condolences. It's almost like having a dog that needs surgery ... only the Fender's under warranty.

    I'll keep you guys posted.
     
  11. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    Then you're probably better qualified than I (I can barely remember how to read resistors:rolleyes: ).

    I don't know what kind of jack is on that Fender. For anything like a closed or cannon jack I definately agree with the "avoid Radio Shack" comment but most open (no casing/encloser) jacks are pretty standard (except for the plastic junkers).

    I figured you may have lost volume gradually because the current may have been being missdirected due to the jack being faulty and sucking the original battery down fast. Now that you say its working after sitting awhile I'm guessing a capacitance problem.

    Good Luck
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Well, my plan is to use it at my next gig (with my trusty 55-94 as a backup) and see if it happens again.

    Resistor? Capacitance? What's that? I don't remember the difference between a dual-dipole rotating Adcock array and a Wheatstone bridge.

    OK, an old electronics joke: The Nixon FET ~ unimpeachable source, Watergate, fiscal drain. ROFLMAO.
     
  13. Hmm. prolly just a wire that's about to break completely off. Prolly wasn't cleaned properly after soldering...or was just a cold joint. I'd usually just heat up an iron..and touch all the joints I could.

    But I like to tinker. And I've always reassembled/fixed everything I've touched. I"m careful and lucky lol.
     
  14. PhatBasstard

    PhatBasstard Spector Dissector Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Las Vegas, NV.
    :confused: Uncle :p
     
  15. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    Munji, could it be that maybe the master volume pot is fried? Regardless Im still sorry to hear about your bass. I hope that its service time is much quicker than mine was.
     
  16. sounds to me more like a capacitor that went booboo.. coz first you lose volume, and then it goes dead silent..

    must be a capacitor that went booboo
     
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    The problem is, the volume came back. A gradual loss does sound more like a component than a wiring or pot issue. I'd have them swap out the preamp.

    My G&L L2000E works great for about 1/2 hour and then begins to distort mildly. Works fine in passive mode. I'm thinking bad preamp. Only 20 years old and now this;)
     
  18. cassanova

    cassanova

    Sep 4, 2000
    Florida
    what a P.O.S. 20 years and now messing up :rolleyes:
     
  19. ldiezman

    ldiezman

    Jul 11, 2001
    Nashville
    I know isn't that piece of Junk under warranty?

    Anything thought up by leo fender is junk ... Oh wait.. umm.... nevermind.. :D
     
  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Been usin' it ever since with no problem. Weird.