how can you tell if a pot is bad?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jim primate, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    i think my bass had a bad pot or something. it's a fender mia-j standard. when i got it i noticed it had a real weak output, plus the knobs were backwards, i.e.-the one closest to the neck controled the bridge pickup.

    anyways, i wired it in series to try and get a little more oomph, which it did but it still sounded super weak and thin. so tonight i decided to bipass the pots altogether and go straight from the pickups to the jack. now the thing sounds like a monster and i love it.

    so anyways, could it have been a bad pot? all the connections inside were tight.
  2. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    When it smells like oregano and gives you a headache? ;)
  3. Pots die in various ways.

    If it feels loose to turn
    If it feels really tight to turn
    If it scratches when you turn it up and down and it wont go away after you spray CRC-26 into it.

    If you turn it and it cuts out, or if you turn it up halfway and you get nothing then it cuts in.

    In your case perhaps try different values, say 250K if it has a 500K in it or vice versa. Change the tone cap to say 20 pf.. (just play around with values!)Check all your grounds.

    Dont mis match wire gauges. So no thick wire soldered onto a thin wire. This is where you get loss of signal. Use shielded cable that goes to the output jack etc.


  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    How bad of a scratching will it be. When i turn one of my Godins knobs, it makes a slgiht scratching noise, but it doesnt make it an harder oreasier to turn, and the knob works ok. It kind of cuts in after i turn it from off to about 2 ish. I dont know if the pot is broken or wot-not. Its the knob that controls the jazz pickup. If i solo the jazz, and slowly turn the volume up or down, its loud at max, then its middle for most of the turn, then it gets real quiet and cuts out. Is the pot damaged/broken?
  5. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    "Is the pot damaged/broken?"

    Yes or it may just need cleaning. It sounds as if the prob is probably a dirty pot. Cleaning with a good tuner cleaner usually takes care of it. If not, the pot will need replacing. Difficulty from one to ten = five or six. One to two just to clean the pot.
  6. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Yea i asked my dad about it and he thinks its just dirty. Ill have him clean it sometime.