Low, Dull, and Distorted Noise From Bass

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by IzzyMay, Jan 4, 2022.

  1. IzzyMay


    Jan 4, 2022
    Hi, I'm new to electronics and repairs; so please pardon me if at any point I don't know how to do something deemed trivial to most.

    I play a Sterling Stingray 35HH and I've never had any complaints on the sound; which was even more disappointing when, recently, my bass' volume one day suddenly was probably cut in third. My knobs weren't doing anything and my volume knob was doing barely anything. When I was using slightly more force I got distortion. I thought, "no problem it's just the battery", but when I replaced it (which I had tested the battery beforehand) nothing changed.

    I tried readjusting the tightness of the input jack, changing cables, changing out instruments, looking for bad solder joints, cleaning my pots, etc., and narrowed it down to my bass. I'm unaware of what is causing the underlying issue and need to figure out what it is so I can simply play my bass again. Thank you so much for your help
  2. As you've done what would normally be suggested to do, and you are confident you've got it sorted as uncommon, I'd be thinking it's the preamp or the pups. Grab a multimeter and check the resistance across each of the pups, that'll confirm that they are good and if so it's something in the preamp. Bit more difficult to diagnose over the web. Need it on the bench with the wiring diagram to check it through.
  3. IzzyMay


    Jan 4, 2022
    How do I test the pups, would I use one probe on the poles and one on the output jack?
  4. The pups have a coils of copper wrapped around those pole pieces. The poles are magnets and as the strings vibrate over the poles they induce current into the coils which is the signal that becomes the bass sound.

    You need to find the ends of the wraps of copper as they come into the control cavity. I think the HH has hum cancelling pups so two pups in one enclosure. Therefore, 4 wires per enclosure so they can be switched between series and parallel connections. They will have a common (ground) for each coil and then a active going to a switch. The wiring diagram should be available on the web so you can trace it out. The pole pieces reference to ground won't help you in this situation. Don't be disappointed if this has to go to a tech to assist with, these things can get complicated and beyond the DIY unless you just keep replacing parts till you find what went wrong.