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G&L L2500 just arrived: Treble boost switch problem (RESOLVED)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Raman, Jun 23, 2014.


  1. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    Hi,

    I just received a (second-hand) L2500. I read somewhere about people encountering volume pot problems and I seem to have one.
    It's fine except when I switch to active pups + treble boost (3rd position). At that setting, the volume is dead silent until I turn the volume almost all the way up. So I can basically play full volume or nothing else. (Volume increases normally as it should on passive and plain active.)

    Anybody else has had that problem? Any way to fix it?

    Thanks
     
  2. lakefx

    lakefx

    Sep 14, 2012
    Eugene
  3. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    Thanks.
    I'm not savvy enough to try fixing this myself (last time I soldered anything was in high school).
    I'm wondering if it'll cost a lot to have it fixed, or if I should try to return the bass...
     
  4. Thunder Pulse

    Thunder Pulse

    May 12, 2007
    You didn't say if you were sure if the battery was new or not.
     
  5. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    Indeed I haven't (too excited about the new bass!). Let me check that right away.
     
  6. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    I put a brand new one in and the problem is still there.
     
  7. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Time to take it to a tech.
     
  8. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    Guess so.
    I'm on my way to our jam space to play it a little (my home amp is blown). I'll go by the shop on my way back to see if I can get a quote. Hopefully, the seller will agree to cover the charges...
     
  9. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    You can try some pot-cleaner and/or a shot of compressed air - but if that doesn't do it, find a guy.
     
  10. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    So, I might have panicked too quickly. I arrived at the jam space, played it (in an actual amp) on the other settings for a while. Then, when I tried the active+treble switch again, the volume worked properly...

    This said, something is a bit funny. I thought that the active+treble switch would give me the same sound as the simple active, but with enhanced highs. Instead, it gives a somewhat tamer tone than with the simple active. Volume is a tad lower too.
    I didn't play a lot with that switch when I previously played an L2000 at the store. But it seems this doesn't correspond to what it's supposed to do.
     
  11. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    More weirdness...
    So I'm back at home, playing in my headphones through a small sound board. (I always play through this system when I rehearse at home and never had a problem.)
    As I said in the previous comment, the active+boost sounds more like an active-boost. And the problem with the volume is back as I described in the 1st post: It shuts down if anywhere below max. More precisely, it goes "tick" and the volume drops from like 10 directly to like 1 and then 0.
    And now something else. Still on the active+boost switch, if I turn the bass EQ knob below max, I lose all volume exactly as when I lower the volume knob...

    I can't go back at the jam space to test it more today (maybe tomorrow evening). But isn't that weird?
     
  12. lakefx

    lakefx

    Sep 14, 2012
    Eugene
    The first thing to try is checking the switch. Wiggle it back and forth to see if the sound comes back. If it does, then it's probably just a faulty switch. If it doesn't, then it could still be the switch, but you would need a multimeter to test it or it could be a component in the preamp. My money is on the switch.
     
  13. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    Thanks. I did wiggle the switch. All of them plus the knobs actually.
    I guess I'll try it again in my amp tomorrow and see if the thing with the bass EQ knob shutting down the volume happens there too. (Could it be my console soemhow responds weirdly to the pups or the preamp, but the amp doesn't?)
    But I think I'll have to go see the tech anyway. The one thing that is consistant between playing through the console and the amp is that the active+boost certainly doesn't boost the highs.
     
  14. lakefx

    lakefx

    Sep 14, 2012
    Eugene
    This plus you saying that the knobs work fine in the other modes is why I'm pretty sure that the pots are fine and the issue is with the treble boost portion of the preamp or the switch (or a solder joint somewhere in between).
     
  15. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    Yes, that would seem logical. I unfortunately don't have the know-how to have a look inside and make a proper diagnostic. So it'll be a trip at the tech, tomorrow if I can find the time.

    You have an L2000, if I trust your personal data. When you switch the active+boost, would you say it's clearly as loud as active, with enhanced treble? (Not being a big slapper myself, that's the setting I paid the least attention to when reading on that bass and when I tried it at the store...)
     
  16. lakefx

    lakefx

    Sep 14, 2012
    Eugene
    I don't have an L2000 anymore, but I've had 2 of them in the past and will likely own one again in the future. There was a noticeable boost in presence with the switch in the boost position, but I honestly never found much use for it. The EQ controls and the aggressiveness of the pickups worked together so well that I never really used the boost setting. I almost never took the bass out of passive mode at all because I liked those tones the best.
     
  17. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    Yeah. Like I said, I didn't really check into that option prior to buying, and figured I wouldn't have much use for it myself. This said, I'd rather it worked and I am irked at having received a faulty instrument. I sent an email to the seller telling him about the situation. I don't know how much that repair is likely to cost, but I hope he'll be honest and offer to cover it.
    (Otherwise, on the 2 other settings, the bass sounds awesome! At least there's that to make me happy.)
     
  18. GBassNorth

    GBassNorth

    Dec 23, 2006
    SoCal
    Probably not of much help to you but a couple of years ago I had a beautiful trans blue burst G&L 2500 Tribute with a maple FB that played really nice except for one minor glitch - one of the three switches in just the right position relative to the other two switches would do exactly what yours is doing and shut off all output pretty much regardless of volume settings. I'm fairly handy with a soldering iron but after one look at the nest of wires in the control cavity I decided not to try and fix it. The bass had so many sound options I figured I didn't need that one too so I used the switch as a mute, a feature that actually came in handy. Like the other poster said, I too found myself using the passive setting nearly all the time so the tone shaping switch really didn't matter but that unintended mute feature got a lot of use.
    Good luck with your bass, they really are nice sounding.
     
  19. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    Generally speaking electronic faults are common with G&L L2500. Usually that is good and not bad because they tend to be rather simple to fix (a bit of soldering or new pots or switches) and it tends to bring the price down into the bargain range.

    So with a new G&L the first thing you do is check if all the switches are working correctly. I know you sort of did it before but doing it again would be good. Things like changing pickup selector and tapping on pickups with small screwdriver to insure that switch DIRECTIONS are not revered. Often they are! Same goes for the passive-active-active boost. switch. Take the battery out and make SURE which way is passive! And then try all controls in passive mode making sure they all work and go the right way. The active modes all quit without the battery. (note battery is ON even in passive mode!) You must unplug bass cable to turn battery off.

    Ok, Since you say it seems to work in both passive and active modes, that means the preamp is basically OK. A dead preamp would require installing a new integrated circuit chip which is a bit tricky. But since it works in "active" it's OK.

    The deal is this: the active-passive-boost switch. either connects the pickups (with all their switching and controls...controls ALWAYS work the same, passive or active...) directly to the jack (passive) or it connects the the pickups to the preamp which is connected then to the jack. That gives you cable drive to eliminate roll-off from long cables. Also the active preamp also gives a tiny bit of high boost (also to compensate for long cables). So between passive and active, the active should sound just a tad brighter than passive.

    Finally, there is the high-boost position. All this does is connect an external resistor to the preamp that makes it have more high boost. It's pretty strong boost so when it's working you should hear it right away. So, it seems that your problem is somewhere centered either on the mode switch itself or the wires and resistor that connect to it! Either can be bad. It is VERY common for wires to snap off in that mess in the G&L cavity. Also it is very common for those mini-switches to wear out after a while. Usually you can tell from the toggle action if the switch went bad, but not always! And because wires breaking off is so common, it may not be the seller at all, but something that happened in shipping. This is why when I get a new (used) G&L I not only fix the bad stuff but give everything in the cavity a good wiggle to see if anything ELSE is on the verge of snapping off as well! So that is where the tech should concentrate IMHO.

    Let me ALSO say that if the bass does not already have the coil tap "K-mod" I would URGE you to have the tech install that at the same time so long as it's on the bench and apart. It's just a new switch (not especially cheap!) and some wiring time. It changes none of the other settings. It just converts the two position series/parallel switch to three positions with "single coil" as the third. It gives a much more clear jazz bass-like tone.

    For me I just fix this stuff myself so it's only the cost of parts, but even paying a tech to do it the L2500 is a killer enough bass it's WORTH IT! And yes, while many people tend to play their L2500 only in passive mode and it is pretty much a favorite mode with me (just a certain indefinable "something" that passive gives you that active doesn't) on the other hand I find sometimes I DO need the cable driver and even more surprising I find that I have a reasonable amount of use for the high-boost position as well.

    Good luck!
     
    AGH, lakefx and Raman like this.
  20. Raman

    Raman Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2003
    Montreal, Qc
    Thanks. I believe this is the most informative post ever posted on the Internet.
    I'm going to my tech on Wednesday. I will take everything you said into the discussion.
     

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