Is it a problem with pots or pickup causing sound to cut out.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by gapupten, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    I think I know the answer, but I am not experienced at the electronics part of things.
    I have an older Bass with Bartolini Pickups. The bass has a PJ passive standard setup with vol vol tone. Quite regularly the sound from the P pickup cuts out completely. Other times it sounds fine. The J pickup sounds fine all the time. When both are working, the tone pot seems to adjust the tone fine. Even when only the J is working, the tone pot adjusts its tone fine.

    I have heard that Pickups can go, but when they do, they just stop.. So my guess is that I have a problem with the P pot.
    When I take of the electronics cover, the wiring seems secure and feels solid and in place to the touch.

    I would rather not have changed the pots and find out it was the pickup all along. What is the probability I am right? I don't want to spend the time for new pots if it will not solve the problem.
    Thanks for your help :confused:
  2. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    Does the pot sound scratchy or feel rough when you turn it?
  3. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    Sometimes it sounds scratchy. As to roughness, there is one spot on the pot where (when its working) I can actually feel an very slight impediment and the sound jumps a little in volume when turning past that spot.
    My quess is that my pots are not the best in any case, but could they cause the sound to totally cut out?
    Thanks Bob
  4. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    In thinking about the scratchy question... I would say a better answer is that sometimes it sound "crackily". Especially when I move the P pot knob from side to side (as opposed to turning it). I guess that could be described as "scratchy".
    The more I talk about it, it seems that I definately have a pot problem.

    But the question remains, are pickups likely or unlikely to cut out and then come back? :confused:
  5. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Well, it sounds like the resistive film that is in the pot itself is bad. I reccomend replacing all the pots, as it's not very expensive. Often, if one is that bad, then the others are not far behind. Get some good alpha or cts pots, and you will be set.