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Ibanez SR505 preamp volume spikeing issue

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by 1966bassist, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. 1966bassist


    Feb 14, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    I am new to this forum and I just signed up to see if anyone has had the problem with their Ibanez SR505 bass that I am currently having.

    My problem is regarding the preamp built into my Ibanez SR505that I purchased new in December 2006.

    My Ibanez SR505 has given me no trouble since purchasing in six years ago until two weeks ago when I started getting what I called a "volume spike." I use this bass to play in the church band where I attend church regularly. I have all of my EQ controls preset on the guitar the way I like them and the only knob that I ever have to touch at all is the volume control knob to adjust volume up or down for different songs.

    Two weeks ago my volume issues started occurring after 30 to 40 minutes of playing the bass in during the song service. The first time it happened I took the bass home and removed the back cover off where the EQ controls and wiring are and I blew that area out with compressed air hoping that it was just a dust problem. I had replaced the 9 volt battery around January 1st of this year but I took the battery out and tested it and it registered a full charge.

    I took the bass back to church this past Sunday and the same thing occurred another volume spike within 30 to 40 minutes of playing time. To correct this I reach down quickly and adjust the volume but it happened again within five minutes and I had to adjust the volume a second time. After the initial song service I always turn the power to my amplifier off and return to my seat in the congregation but I leave my guitar cable plugged into the bass. When I return to play my bass near the end of my church service, I turn my amplifier back on and the last two weeks I have heard a pop through the speakers of my amplifier and I never experience that in the last six years of playing this bass.

    I live in the Knoxville, TN metro area and I brought the bass home again. I contacted Ibanez support by email explaining my problem with the popping noise and the volume spikeing issues. Ibanez support replied by email saying that it sounds like the volume spikeing issue and the popping could be the preamp on the bass and that I would have to have it replaced. They gave me the part number (3EQ1CMK1) and a price of $208.00 for it which I could order from Ibanez online with a credit card. That part number includes the preamp and all 5 pots for the bass but I will still have a installation fee for who ever installs the preamp into the bass. The price for the preamp alone (and not including installation) is around a third of what I paid for the bass with a hard case $669.94.

    I do like this bass a lot for gospel music but I am a little upset about how much this is going to cost me to get it repaired. I don't know if I should have the guitar repaired or just trade it in on another bass that doesn't have the active EQ built in along with the 9 volt battery.

    I have contacted several music stores in the Knoxville metro area since this past monday and no one seems to work on Ibanez basses here with the exception of the local Guitar Center store. I told the guitar tech my problem over the phone and he said that it sounds like a problem with the preamp also. I asked the guitar tech if Guitar Center could order the preamp cheaper than $208.00. He connected me with another department and they took the part number from me and my phone number to call me back but I have not heard back from them yet.

    Is there anyone else in this forum that has experienced this particular problem with an Ibanez SR505 bass before? I do like this bass a lot but I don't want to put more money into it than it is worth to repair it. If anyone knows of anyone that works on Ibanez basses in the Knoxville, TN area other than Guitar Center please send me contact information. Also any other suggestions or comments would be welcomed.
  2. Have you tried a different bass with the amp and a different amp with the bass to make sure it's not an issue with the amp? I would recommend that if you haven't as it sounds like it could be an amp issue.

    If you have ruled that out and need a new preamp, I'd absolutely suggest getting an EMG BQC or BQS depending on the number of pots your bass has. It can be had for around $100 and is superior in every way to the OEM Ibanez unit. You would only need the preamp without the volume and blend control, and you can do the install yourself. I put the same preamp in my Ibby, and there was no soldering as the connectors were compatible.
  3. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I would trade it in at another Guitar Center towards something else and how long was the warranty on the bass? if you can show that you talked to someone about the problem before the warranty was up you may be able to make a case or complain loud enough so they cut you some slack on the price of the part.
  4. vodsonic


    Sep 28, 2012
    Before replacing the preamp, I would eliminate the possibility that it's just a bad volume pot. I just picked up a well-loved SR-505, which has major problems with the volume pot. It was beyond scratchy - the entire signal would cut in and out, and it was also causing some intermittent, fluttery noise as well as drastic changes in volume. I'm a sound engineer, not a guitar tech, but after poking around under the hood and trying a few things, I'm 90% certain it's simply a bad volume pot. I did try cleaning the pot with Deoxit, which eliminated some of the more erratic behaviour, but the pot still has major problems. A replacement only costs a few bucks, so my next step will be to swap in a new volume pot.

    If you're not into troubleshooting inside the control cavity, you might take the bass to a tech, tell him you suspect the volume pot is bad, and see what kind of diagnosis you get.

    If you do indeed need a new preamp - and that's entirely possible - you might consider a non-Ibanez preamp like an Aguilar. I see an Aguilar OBP-3TK on one parts site right now for about $160 (double check to make sure you get the model that will drop in to the SR-505 - I'm not certain that one does). You'd still need to pay a local tech to install it, but that would at least save you from shipping the bass or paying through the nose for a factory replacement.

    I have no experience with the Aguilar pres myself, but a number of TalkBass members who don't care for the stock preamp on the SR-505 find the Aguilars to be an improvement. Bartolini also makes aftermarket preamps that will work with the SR-505, although I haven't priced those.

    MTA: I'm not familiar with the EMG preamps mentioned by one of the other posters, but will be adding them to my short list for if I ever need to replace the pre on my 505. Sounds like a better option than the Aguilars & Barts, if the EMG just plugs in.
  5. 1966bassist


    Feb 14, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    Reply back...

    Yes I have tried another bass on the amp I have been using at church and it is not the amp. I have also tried the bass I am having the problem with on my wife's Roland keyboard amp at home and I get the same problem.

    Thanks for the other suggestion about the other preamp you suggested. I am not technical at all, but I can pass your recommendations along if I can find someone that is familiar with and works on an Ibanenz SR505.

    I did ask the guitar tech at Guitar Center and Ibanez support if it could be the volume pot and they both said likely not and both suggested a new preamp. Thanks for taking the time to answer.
  6. the pickups on thr sr505 work fine passive as well. you could have someone wire them passive and just use the preamp on your amp or a outboard preamp. the re-wiring wont cost you much and you can keep the bass as well without having to buy any new stuff
  7. 1966bassist


    Feb 14, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    Reply back...

    This bass only had a one year warranty and I have owned it for six years. I didn't buy the bass from guitar center, I bought it online six years ago from americanmusicalsupply.com and yes, I have thought about just trading it in on another bass.

    I called Guitar Center in Knoxville, TN three days ago to see if they could get the preamp cheaper than $208.00 from Ibanez for me. The $208.00 I was quoted was what it would cost me to buy the preamp direct from Ibanez online. I still haven't heard anything back from Guitar Center yet on a price for a preamp, I did leave my name and phone number with them so I am going to give them a call right now and see if they have a price. Thanks for taking the time to answer.
  8. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    It is likely a bad volume control, or a broken solder joint on the volume control. If the ground is lifting, the volume would jump, and either could cause this.
  9. 1966bassist


    Feb 14, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    Reply back...

    Someone at another guitar shop suggested that they could try wiring the pickups for passive and I didn't know if they knew what they were talking about. Thanks for the tip.

    I will keep that in mind and run it by a guitar tech. I really don't want to put into repairs over $300 on this bass when I only paid $669.94 for it and that includes the bass and a hard case. Thanks for your reply.
  10. 1966bassist


    Feb 14, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    Reply back...

    That was the first thing that popped into my mind ( a bad volume pot or solder problem) but so far Ibanez support and the guitar tech at Guitar Center dismissed that idea and I am thinking they just want to make more money on repairs.

    My problem is I can't find anyone in this area (Knoxville, TN) that works on Ibanez bass's except Guitar Center and I don't want to mail my bass off 500 miles or more to get it repaired or put more into the bass than it is worth. So far a quote of $208.00 for a preamp seems outrageous to me considering what I paid for this bass, and that does not cover installation of a preamp. My other problemis that I am not even techical enough to want to attempt replacing even a volume pot by myself and possibly mess things up even further. I will run your suggestion by the guitar tech at Guitar Center. Thanks for your reply.
  11. 1966bassist


    Feb 14, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio

    Reply back...

    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it! I am going to print out all of the suggestions in all of the replies to my original post from all of you on "Talk Bass" and I going to run my bass over to Guitar Center and have him try the simple things first.
  12. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    This makes no sense to me.
    There is nothing special about the electronics in an Ibanez instrument.
    Anyone who works on guitar electronics should be able to troubleshoot and fix your Ibanez.

    And if you need to have the entire preamp replaced, I agree that an EMG is great bang for the buck.
  13. 1966bassist


    Feb 14, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    Update... Friday, February 3, 2013

    I called Guitar Center and asked the tech if he could just clean the volume pot and the other four pots on the bass before I commit to replacing the preamp and all the pots and wiring that go with it, and he said NO, it is a bad preamp without even looking at the bass. That kind of gave me the thought of "stay away from Guitar Center", but the tech did give me the name of a sound tech that works on amps, PA's and guitars. I called him up and he looked at the bass and cleaned all the pots for me and only charged me $20. I told him I wouldn't know if that took care of my Volume problems until I play it on and off for a couple of weeks because the volume problem always starts after playing for between 30 to 40 minutes. I'll post an update if this took care of things. I told this guy who calls his business "The Sound Doctor" what the tech said a Guitar Center and the Sound Dr. tech said, "I don't like to replace something in a guitar unless I know why I am replacing it" to which I said I agree. I told him I would let him know if the cleaning of the pots worked or not within a couple of weeks. Thanks again for the input from everyone who responded to my original post.
  14. Cyborg


    Jul 7, 2007
    Lowcountry, SC
    Sounds like you found a good tech to deal with.

    If you find out you need to replace the preamp don't get the Ibanez one. At $208 for the Ibanez meh-preamp, you can buy either a much better preamp from Nordstrand, Aguilar, Glockenklang, Bartolini or EMG. The Nordstrand and Aguilar will run in the low $200's and the Glockenklang, Bartolini running about $160 and the EMG even less than that.
  15. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    GC and Ibanez dismissed a bad control or solder joint without even looking at the preamp and wiring. That is ridiculous.
  16. 1966bassist


    Feb 14, 2013
    Toledo, Ohio
    I have been playing my Ibanez SR505 for two weeks now, and I am happy to report
    that the bass has no more volume issues after the guitar tech I found cleaned the
    volume pot. I didn't need the pre-amp replaced at all like Ibanez support & Guitar
    Center told me. It sounds and plays as good as it did when I bought it six years ago.

    Many thanks to everyone that helped me out with suggestions.
  17. Doley50


    Sep 4, 2005
    That is really great news, I am having a simular problem with my Ibanez SR405, I purchased mine used at GC for a back up bass, My beloved Jazz bass is being repaired right now.
    I wanted to have my repair guy look at it before the 30 refund, but I could not get it in. So now I am past my 30 days, the bass starts to act up on me, it is like the volume is down and it seems after playing for a bit it slowly gets back up to were it should be.
    After reading this, I am going to spray some Detox in the pots and with a little luck, my problem will be solved.
    My only concern is, When I opened the back cover to revel the elecronics, one of the wires were held together with some electrical tape.

    I am really surprised at how nice this bass plays for the price, I am very happy with it, except for a few tune ups, that I have to make.

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