NBD- Squier VM Jazz Bass... Plans have since changed

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by WhtMtnGrv, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. WhtMtnGrv

    WhtMtnGrv Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2015
    Crestline, CA
    I picked up this little number over the weekend from a member here on TB with the intention of taking the neck and using it in my current build (chronicled here: Low End PJ Build (With Pics!) Complete with Questionable Squier DNA), then flipping the complete body to recoup a few doll-hairs.



    Well, I think plans have changed. I slapped some new strings on it (D'Addario Nickel EXL160's- rather abysmal selection at one of the local shops) and started plucking away. I have to say, it feels rather comfortable and sounds pretty awesome as well. However, there is a bit of a static/pop noise when I slap and make a significant thump on the PG- Not sure what that's about.

    In the realization that I had some extra pots lying around (some 250ks, a 250k Noble blend pot, extra switchcraft jack), I decided last night to do a quick swap of the control plate goodies to A) Test my soldering skills, B) Kill some time, C) See if there was any noticeable difference, and D) To see if the aforementioned static was in the control plate somewhere.....Down the rabbit hole I go, unlikely to return any time soon...

    I followed the same wiring diagram I'm using on my PJ build which is imaged below (but adding a ground wire from volume pot to jack); the pot values are different (all 500k's came stock from Squier), and I feel like the bass sounds a bit "tighter" if that makes any sense.


    I rudimentarily understand the implications of tone pot resistance (higher the number, the higher the resonant peak that is attenuated, translating to more/higher highs at wide open... I think? :cautious:) but I'm not sure how that relates to my perceived change in sound. I took the stock tone cap from a Squier PJ electronics set (green chicklet- I believe it's a .05) FWIW.

    In redoing the pots/wiring (and swapping the bridge for a MIM Fender with the black screws/springs), I think this body could be a great platform to mod. From my research, it's a soft maple body and it's in fantastic shape. I've had my eye on an old set of Bart J pickups in the classifieds, and I'd like to dive into an active preamp too. There is a local builder from whom I may get a custom neck, or I could always order one from Warmoth/USACG, etc.


    Regardless, the neck is going on my other build, but I think the rest of the bass is going to be a nice little mod platform. Oh, and the slapping static remains. It did seem to quiet down a good bit though, so the impact at this point is minimal.

    Overall a successful NBD I think!
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Does the static sound like static electricity discharging? If so, a proper shielding job will resolve the issue. Your bass has some shielding but they use crappy paint and do a poor job. You may be able to get away with touching up the existing job. I picked up a Squier VMFP last week and it is an alright little bass but mine needed a bunch of work to really be playable. I had to cut the nut, level the board and put in a HUGE shim. The pots and jack were working fine but I did swap out the capacitor. I did have to add some shielding as well but that is a give-in, it's an FMIC product.
  3. WhtMtnGrv

    WhtMtnGrv Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2015
    Crestline, CA
    Hmm, I'm not sure if it's a discharge of static electricity but it is definitely possible (I'm not implying that it isn't, I just truly have no idea); it's sort of a crackling sound if that helps to diagnose. There is no shielding at all in the control cavity, so I wonder if there is any in the pickup cavities?

    This bass could certainly use a set up as well. The nut slots don't seem to follow the counter of the fingerboard, and I only roughly set the string height at the bridge last night.

    PS when you type FMIC- my mind immediately goes to front mount intercooler from my days of driving a Subaru :laugh:
  4. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    The fact it comes up when you touch the guard makes me think it is static electricity. You can try rubbing your fingers along the pickguard. If you hear some static electricity pops, then that is likely the culprit. Alternatively, touch your pickup pole pieces with your fingernails. You may just need to ground your pieces and the contact with your fingers/strings is causing noise.
  5. WhtMtnGrv

    WhtMtnGrv Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2015
    Crestline, CA
    I think (for the first time ever actually lol) that I've grounded everything properly. I get no hum or buzz when touching any metal parts (or any part of the bass really) or not touching them. The crackle I hear is only when particularly percussive contact is made with the bass. I basically need to punch the bass to generate the noise- it doesn't happen under any normal playing circumstances except planting my hand on the bass for a hard slap with gusto.

    I haven't run my finger across to see if any noise is generated so I'll probably do that later tonight and see what happens. Thanks so much for the pointers/tips! Maybe it's a loose connection somewhere?
  6. Any chance you are slapping it hard enough for the strings to hit the pole peices of the pickups?
    That would be more of a pop or thump, but worth looking at.
    Perhaps pickup windings that are moving?
    The Duncan Design pups usually seem to be well regarded,
    but since it is a Squier, I expect some corners must hve been cut somewhere.
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