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Help with "distortion" in volume knob - EMG content

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bodeanly, Apr 20, 2016.


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  1. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    Hello,

    I have EMG pj pups with BTC preamp in one of my basses. If I do not have the volume wide open, I get "distortion" (not a ton, but enough to drive me insane and not want to play the bass). With the volume wide open, it sounds great. Dialed back 25, 50, 75%, I get the distortion. Didn't start happening until recently. Checked battery. Checked cables. All other basses working properly through same set up.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks.
     
  2. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    I'd try some good cleaner spray on the volume pot. DeoxIT is about the best but other brands work well.
     
  3. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    The pot sounds clean when I turn it. I was referring to distortion while playing. Do you still recommend cleaning the pot?

    And thanks for replying.
     
  4. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    Yes I do. The pot may not scratch while being turned but may have enough contamination built up to prevent good contact between the wiper and the carbon element in the pot and introduce distortion. The questions being "how old is it" and "does it always sit in the same place and not get turned". To a pretty good degree, pots are self cleaning but if they are not regularly turned contamination will build up.

    If cleaning the pot doesn't do it I would reheat any solder connections in the signal path and use the cleaner spray on any plugin connections as the next step. More than this would take more sophisticated troubleshooting
     
  5. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    The pot is about two months old. The knob is never in the same spot. I will clean it and re-seat the connections (solderless), then see if the problem persists. Thanks again for your help!
     
    mech likes this.
  6. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    If you find the solution, please post it. May help someone else in the future.
     
    LoveThatBass and Bodeanly like this.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Contact EMG.
     
    Bodeanly likes this.
  8. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    I think I'm gonna have to...
     
  9. Crater

    Crater

    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    Yes, this.

    I have a BTC preamp installed in my (plastic fantastic) Ergodyne, right after I installed it, I was getting some weird distortion. I reseated the modular connectors and I haven't had a problem since. If you wanted to get really OCD about it you could clean the connector prongs on the pots with a pencil eraser.
     
    Bodeanly likes this.
  10. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    You had me at OCD. Thanks, man.
     

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