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Is this a hack job?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by wgbm92, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. wgbm92


    Apr 23, 2008
    Stratford, CT
    I have a Fender Deluxe J-bass that I've had for about 5 years. I used to play it every weekend at church and never really had any issues with it. One day my leaders had offered pay for getting my bass serviced and getting a routine maintenance at Guitar Center. So I gladly said yes and off it went for about a week. I finally got it back and it was not the same. One of the knobs no longer had that mid position little dent feel thing (not sure how to say it lol) and I would get an occasional pop from the output jack when moving around. Being a passive person at the time and the lack of knowledge on bass (and still do lol), I just let it slide without saying a word, when I should have returned it to get it repaired again. Unfortunately, that was years ago and it's too late to go back.

    Now, the popping noise has gotten pretty bad, to the point where I can't even move without it making noise. I replaced my cable twice just to make sure that wasn't the issue. So I thought maybe the jack just needed a little cleaning. As I was removing the screws holding the jack plate, I notice again that one of the screws did not match the other and looked kind of worn out. As I am pulling the jack out I notice this


    I don't know much about bass electronics, and tell me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there should be tape holding the wiring together. Is this the root cause of the popping that I am getting?
  2. Bobster


    Mar 27, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Yes and Yes.

    This needs to be a soldered, solid connection. It can definitely cause the popping you getting as the wire moves.

    Looks like they probably rewired it. You can get the original pot types and have it put back together as it was, fairly cheaply.

    Best of luck

  3. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    Call the GC and make a formal complaint. That is unacceptable. The "tech" replaced your pot with something else, and was too freakin lazy to cut a new piece of wire for the ground and make a clean new solder join. I will call out of principle, jeez. pm me wgbm92
  4. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    That would be a "center detent".
  5. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    GC should know better. They're supposed to use duct tape. ;)

    A year is a long time to go back about and I don't know that I would let them touch my guitar a second time. The pot choice seems like an honest mistake by what are probably every day people trying to perform the work of a guitar tech. Tape is just slop. Is there tape on any of the connections to the pot?
  6. wgbm92


    Apr 23, 2008
    Stratford, CT
    Here's what the pot looks like from inside


    Looks completely different from the rest of the pots. The solder job looks half-decent as well. I'm very disappointed in the quality of work the tech performed on my bass. This no way to represent the company you work for or even yourself. I will never go back to Guitar Center for service.

    @Hapa: I just wrote a complaint on the GC customer service website. I hope to get a response from them.
  7. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    What was wrong with the bass at the time that required the electronics to be serviced?
  8. wgbm92


    Apr 23, 2008
    Stratford, CT
    Nothing at all! If i recall correctly maybe there was a slight popping from the jack but that's about it, so I thought he would just clean it up a bit, re-solder the connection, or even replace the jack. I was actually just expecting to get the action and intonation adjusted, hoping it would have gotten done from a pro technician as opposed to me improperly adjusting it since I had never done it before at that time. I can honestly say that bass was in better shape before bringing it to GC. I just brought it there because the church insisted on paying the bill.
  9. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    Did they even adjust the neck at the time?
  10. wgbm92


    Apr 23, 2008
    Stratford, CT
    I honestly can't remember, this was a number of years back.
  11. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Yeah, I see something wrong here - it's an Active Jazz Deluxe, right??? - the midrange pot on one of those is an application specific part, and certainly nothing a typical GC would carry as a stock item... My Deluxe P Bass Special uses the same midrange pot - IIRC, it's a 100k pot with a center detent - and I had to order it specially from Fender...

    So, not only did they hack up the jack install, it appears that they replaced the midrange pot with the wrong one... Fender can tell you exactly what pot is *supposed* to be in there - I would check with them... BTW, it's supposed to be different than the other ones - but that still doesn't mean they put the right one in there...

    - georgestrings
  12. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Why do people use guitar center for repair or even setup work? Might as well have untrained monkeys do it imo.
  13. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    Well it's a lesson learned but from now on you'll realize that taking your bass to a competent guitar tech who will do it right the first time saves both time and money. Based on what they're willing to pay people GC probably has very few if any competent repair techs.

    I'm sure that if you get it in the hands of quailified tech he'll get it straightened out for you.
  14. wgbm92


    Apr 23, 2008
    Stratford, CT
    As I stated earlier, I did not know squat about bass setups or repair and my church offered to pay for the service. You don't bring your guitar to get service done and expect to get it in worse or sub par conditions like in my situation. Unfortunately I found all of this out years after the "repair" was done and paid for.
  15. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    it's all good, ya live & ya learn, just a small bump in the tone road & i'm sure it'll git fixed up as good as new in no time

    it's sad, all the flak that you'll receive from members saying " what were you thinking ?,, or,, you should have known better than to " when you've explained the situation not once but twice :rolleyes:

    reading comprehension 'yall,, <<< google it if ya don't know what it is
  16. wgbm92


    Apr 23, 2008
    Stratford, CT
    GC got back to me. They said "because of how long ago the repair was done, the best they can do is fix the bass at half off." No thanks.

    You only can make a good first impression once, and quite frankly, they failed at doing so. And I wouldn't want that same tech working on my bass if he's the one who screwed up the repair in the first place. Now I'm going to have to buy the parts myself and have to look for a reputable tech. What a headache!

    May this be a warning for anyone else who may come across this thread. I am not sure if all of GC's technicians work in this manner, but stay away from GC in Orange, CT for when it comes to guitar repair. Learn the craft on your own or pay someone who really knows about guitars to do the work.
  17. Lee H

    Lee H

    Nov 30, 2011
    Redding CA
    you get a little flack here...but everyone on here was a noob once. Don't take it too seriously.

    The damage is repairable, and your bass will be better then ever when a qualified tech does the repairs
  18. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Yeah, I figured that much - it's not that big a job, if you're the least bit mechanically inclined, can solder, and pay attention to where each wire go - there are only 3 on the midrange pot, and 3 on the jack... Call Fender, and they'll give you a part# for the pot, and refer you to a dealer to order it from - the jack is just a simple stereo 1/4 jack...

    - georgestrings
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Harsh. I think they're probably as good as trained monkeys.
  20. Dale D Dilly

    Dale D Dilly Monster

    Jul 1, 2008
    On the bright side, GC's employee turnover is so high that there's little chance the same guy is still there! :cool: