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Mysterious electronics issue with my Squier Jazz Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by gregstj114, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. My Squier Jazz Bass has been in the shop for a couple of months with some kind of issue with the electronics. This is the second time I had to take it to the shop where it gets fixed at. For some reason, there is no sound coming out of it. All the knobs would be maxed out, but no sound. The tech I took it to tested the pots and input jack and said they were working fine. So he said there could be something else that could be causing the problem.

    Would anyone know what could be wrong with my bass since the pots and jack are perfectly fine? This is my first bass and my grandmother bought it, so I would hate to sell it on CL as an "as-is" or project bass.

  2. As a guess if the pots and jack are good then I would look at all the solder joints and the pick up. You can probably fix it yourself. There is quit a bit of info on this forum and ask questions, the people here are very helpful and wont get down on you for not knowing what to do. After all we all didn't know what to do when we first started fixing our own basses. Tedward
  3. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009
    It is strange the tech wasn't more proactive in sorting the issue.

    If the bass buzzes then you have an open circuit. If it is dead quiet then everything is being sent to ground. I've had this happen and I tend to rebuilt wiring completely to try and eliminate problems. My off-the-top-of-the-head guess is that one of the lugs on your volume controls is hitting the chrome plate slightly and sending everything to ground. Can you upload a photo of the wiring?
  4. Yes, I will get a picture of the wiring up here soon. I appreciate the help from you guys, this bass means a lot to me.
  5. I'm a complete noob when it comes to using a soldering iron and using wiring diagrams lol. But I definitely want to learn that so I can have that skill in the future. I've seen videos on YouTube of people installing guitar pickups and using diagrams, so I have a little knowledge on it. But I do thank you for the advice on asking for help!
  6. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009
    It is useful to be able to solder up guitar circuits. I learned when I was 14 and sick of getting ripped off on dodgy repair jobs that I paid decent money for. I'm still learning how to solder and I'm 23 (and only burned myself once!!!).

    If you are worried, start of soldering scrap wires together, or junk components if you can find them. A trashed stereo in the street is a good place to start; I only recently ran out of supplies of small 'jumper' leads I found in a skip a couple of years back.
  7. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Yes, he didn't fix anything, just said there was nothing wrong with it, when clearly there is.

    Some techs aren't that good with the electronics end of things.

    One thing to look for is that the jack didn't rotate and touch shielding paint or foil in the control cavity.

    Personally I would have at the very least rewired the bass, and while you are at it, you can change the parts for better quality parts.
  8. Here are a few pictures I took. Excuse the not so good quality, I used my Blackberry lol.


  9. And here are two more.


  10. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009
    Sorry but that is a jumble of wires! I aim to cut down wires as much as possible, and colour code the hot and ground side of the circuits where possible. I would take this chance to put in better knobs and learn to rewire the bass. Maybe even buy a drop-in pre-made circuit you just need to connect the pickups to.
  11. I definitely have a few things planned for that in the future. One thing is definitely better pickups and controls, maybe the Fender Custom Shop 60s Jazz Bass pickups and give it a stack knob setup. I'm job hunting right now, so I'll definitely consider these upgrades when I get the money!
  12. Yeah, it's like a forest in there lol. This does seem like a good chance to finally learn about wiring. EMG makes those right, the pickup set where there's no soldering?
  13. Have you checked your cord?

    (Or plugged it into an amplifier/speaker?)
  14. Sure did. Absolutely no sound with my Acoustic B100 and the cables I have are working great :(
  15. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009
    My first advice would be to make sure none of the lugs on the volume controls are touching the metal control plate. Make sure the white wire from each pickup attaches to the volume control and then doesn't touch the metal plate. A clumsy blob of soldering can do it! I've done it myself with my telecaster and tried to figure out why the circuit works when I take the controls off the metal plate or away from the cavity screening.
  16. paparoof

    paparoof Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    Don't go back to that tech anymore. This stuff ain't that hard and if he couldn't figure it out, he needs to find a different line of work.

    I'm agreeing with the rest of the folks here that are telling you to learn to do this stuff yourself. I understand you're out of a job right now (me too actually!) but for less than ten bucks (okay maybe fifteen bucks) you can walk out of a Radio Shack with a cheap 25 watt soldering iron and a spool of rosin core solder. Then as someone else here suggested, start soldering together scrap pieces of wire just to get the hang of it. You'll be surprised how simple a process it really is. Lots of videos on youtube. Some are idiots of course, but a lot are very good and if you watch ten videos, you'll be able to separate the idiots from the good ones. I like this guy:

    A lot of that wire in your pictures is just folded up and in the way of seeing the actual paths, so as long as it doesn't work anyway (you can't break it any worse than that!) go ahead and stretch it out enough that you can see what's actually connected to what.

    I think Meddle and SGD are correct and you've got something touching a grounding point.

    Compare it to this diagram:

    In addition to making sure all the connections in that diagram are there, you also need to make sure the ones in the diagram are the ONLY connections being made. If the cavities have are shielded with foil, like the guys said, make sure that no part of the output jack is touching the foil when you reinsert the control plate into the cavity.

    Above all, don't let it intimidate you. Have some faith in yourself, be patient and keep looking - you'll figure it out.
  17. That video was really helpful! He described everything perfectly and it made sense. And that diagram wasn't that hard to read also. I have a ton of useful tips and advice from you and everyone else here. Soldering used to scare me when I was a beginner, but now it doesn't look so bad. Learning it on my own definitely would save me a ton of money. I'll definitely consider buying my own soldering iron once I get a job. Thanks guys!
  18. paparoof

    paparoof Supporting Member

    Apr 27, 2011
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    I'm glad you found it helpful. ;)

    I recently taught my 13 year-old son how to solder when we put new lights on the boat trailer. During the process he dropped the hot iron, tip down, onto his leg. He just repeated the line I've always told him: "pain is God's way of saying 'don't do that'." Then he picked it back up and finished the job. He's got a scar that will likely last forever, but he's not at all afraid to pick up the iron again.

    You'll do fine. Don't sweat it.

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