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Intermitent Electronic Problems

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by HELLonWHEELS, Sep 29, 2009.


    HELLonWHEELS Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2005
    My P-bass was starting to have some grounding issues so i opened it up and found that the ground wire had fallen off. How, I do not know. I reconnected the grounding wire and changed the input jack. When I finally put everything back together and plugged in the bass there was a very loud hum that only went away when I touched my self installed kill switch.

    Frustrated i unplugged the bass, a couple hours later i tried it again and there was no hum, except this time the tone knob no longer worked. So i opened up the bass yet again and magically everything started working again, but I'm still getting a very slight hum intermittently.

    Note: I have a third prong on my new input jack. Should I try grounding that? If so where/how should i connect it?

  2. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    Soldering to the "wrong" prong on the jack wouldn't cause your problem -- both the sleeve and ring lugs will ground the circuit fine.

    Sometimes if a pot is loose, it can progressively dislodge other wires in the circuit. so you may have to check around and see if there are other wires loose in there.

    Also, if the problems clear up when you're looking in the cavity, see if putting the control cover back on is pressing something (like an exposed portion of wire) into something else (like a pot body) which is causing problems that you get inconsistently AFTER you put everything back in the cavity.

    One "brute force" method for attacking problems like this --
    (a) wire the pickup directly to the output jack
    (b) wire pickup to vol, then directly to output jack
    (c) rewire fully

    That way you can progressively test the individual components to locate the problem spot. Could be a bad solder, or a damaged connection or wire, etc.

    If you have a multimeter you can step through the circuit without a whole lot of de and re soldering haha.

    Keep us posted on your progress!

    HELLonWHEELS Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2005
    So I think I have fixed the problem, but really only time will tell. I actually had two problems.

    1.) On of the wires going into the input jack was slightly loose. I guess that might explain the really loud buzz when i first turned on the bass.

    2.) There was some wire that was slightly exposed, i believe it might have been touching the foil, which caused the tone knob to no longer work.

  4. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    Congrats -- glad you got it worked out!!

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