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jack issues. need awesome dudes

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by FletcherML, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. Hey guys. One of my bases is in a pickle. If I bump the cable in the jack it makes a loud noise, pretty much like the sound you get if you plug/unplug the instrument cable. What's the problem? I assume the contact has just bent or something so it doesn't stay on the cable tip. I've opened her up and it looks like it contacting well. What should I do boys?
  2. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    OK, time to start eliminating things.

    Try another cable if you have one.

    Can you open the plug on the cable and check the connections? Check both ends.

    Could be a break in the cable. Hold the jack in the bass firmly and move the cable around to see if it makes the noise.
  3. I know the cable is good. You actually helped me with a question I had about grounding/shielding a week or so ago. It's possible the jack got put back in funky when I finished shielding my electronics. The cable is a monster cable that I can't open up, but from past experience with faulty cables I'm prepared to assume its the jack. Especially since my other bass doesn't have the problem. If it is the jack, can I repair the problem or should I just replace it?
  4. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    The P-Bass jack is pretty straight forward and open. Make sure all the tabs are making good contact. With the guard off, wiggle the plug in the jack and if it makes the noise maybe you can see what's going on. Maybe you have a short when things get bumped. If this doesn't help then try another jack.
  5. Cool. Nothing worse than little problems like this that take ao much trial and error. Bleh! Thanks a ton for the advice buddy
  6. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    1) find dowel or chopstick or screwdriver that's < or = 1/4"
    2) wrap 200-grit sandpaper around dowel/object
    3) insert in jack and spin around a bit to remove oxidation on jack contacts
    4) rock
  7. Sanding my input sounds scary. It's pretty easy to remove from the bass. Could I use denatured alcohol on the contacts to clean it up?
  8. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    Denatured alcohol sounds 10 times scarier to me.

    You don't need to go mental with the sandpaper... just drop the dowel in there and give it a few turns..

    And 200 grit sandpaper is pretty tame. I would not recommend using 60 grit.
  9. mech

    mech Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2008
    Meridian, MS, USA
    Don't use sandpaper. That will sand off the plating and the metal will corrode really fast.

    Use a pencil eraser and then wipe it down with rubbing alcohol. Also bend the tip contact in a taste to put more pressure on the male plug.

    You can also use a .25 caliber brass or bronze bore brush (for a firearm) sprayed with contact cleaner to clean a female jack without removing anything. I only recommend using this for Switchcraft open frame type jacks.

  10. That's sounding a lot more long term to me! Would never have thought about the eraser, makes perfect sense though. I owe you a steak dinner :)
  11. James Judson

    James Judson

    Jul 16, 2009
    "De-oxit". Found an most Radio Shacks. A tiny bit goes a long way. It is the best contact cleaner and designed to remove the oxidization. You can also bend contact to tighten the connection.

    Sand paper works but it will take off the chrome plating making your problem worse in the long run.
  12. I'll have to check out that de oxit stuff. Thanks man
  13. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010


  14. onusx


    Feb 15, 2005
    that type of crackling is almost always a ground issue. knowing that your cable is good, check your solder joints. a cold or dirty solder joint could be the source of the problem. yes if your jack is dirty or the contacts are fatigued, you could get the same thing, so it's not a bad idea to clean or replace the jack with a good switchcraft/neutrik/etc.

    also, i don't know what you did as far as shielding and grounding, but it's very easy to create unintended problems when adding shielding, if you're not careful to isolate all your hot connections, or if there are breaks/loose spots in any of the shielding. i'm not sure if you used tape or paint to shield, but if you are using the shielding to provide the common ground between the controls, the ground connection could be intermittently breaking when the guitar gets bumped-- might even be the pots, not the jack. make sure you have a common ground from all the controls, pickup grounds, jack ground, and shielding, and i'd recommend you NOT use the shielding to provide that ground-- hardwire it.

    lastly, make sure that the hot terminal of your jack isn't being bent outward and making contact with your shielding when the jack gets bumped. that would definitely give you a nasty noise.
  15. You guys are amazing.
    I can't wait to get home and try all of these things. Woo!
  16. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    It doesn't sound like a dirty connection to me. A dirty connection makes crackling noises. A disconnect sound would be an actual disconnect or a short to ground.

    Take the pickguard off and watch the plug in the jack and see if the separate parts of the plug are touching what they shouldn't or not touching what they should as you wiggle it.

    I am a big fan of Deoxit for cleaning connections and pots. I use the 100% formula with the needle applicator. These types of cleaners also protect against further oxidation.

    Like I've said before: when your car gets dirty, do you wash it or sand it?:meh:
  17. haha, I definitely don't sand my car.
    I took the pickguard off and cleaned the entire input really well, first with the pencil eraser which broke loose a bunch of gunk. then alcohol on a q-tip. It took three q-tips before they stopped turning black from all the junk on it. I didn't ever realize how dirty it was. Then i bent the connector part of the female jack in a bit, plugged it in and bumped it... NOTHING HAPPENED! It's fixed!! You guys rule, can't say it enough.
  18. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Try bending the contacts and seeing if they are dirty. Also, if there is no ground wire leading to the jack and it is relying on foil on the pickup to make the connection, add a ground wire.

    Best thing to do is replace the jack. They aren't expensive and they do fail.
  19. SnakeKappele


    Sep 20, 2010
    :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :bassist: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:

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