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Neck pickup is still fading out slapping the strings makes it come back

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by diverse379, Mar 29, 2015.


  1. diverse379

    diverse379

    Mar 4, 2015
    I did a pick up change on my Jazz bass
    I installed Fender 55s

    I noticed that if i played the bass especially around the first five frets

    the front pickup would just die out at first i thought it was because I wired it wrong
    i double checked the wiring instructions

    i soldered the lead wire to the middle pot connection
    and the black and green wire to the back of the pot as described

    when I first did this repair i used wire nuts and when I experienced this problem
    would separate and then reconnect the lead (white wire) and it would work
    then fade out 10 minutes later

    now that it is all soldered
    a hard whack on the strings brings the pickup back to life
    but I shouldnt have to do this.

    So what gives?

    Is it developing resistance?

    is there something else I can do?

    the instructions called for lead free solder
    is it possible the connections are that sensitive?

    my gun isnt hot enough to melt the lead free solder the store had
    so i just got regular solder. that does contain lead
     
  2. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    Jazz bass wiring often relies on the control plate to act as part of the ground plane. Doesn't always work that well. So solder a wire from the back of the neck volume pot to the bridge volume pot, another from the neck pot to the tone pot, and one more from there to the ground of the output jack. If that doesn't help, you may have a pickup or volume pot issue. Do the ground wiring first as I suggested and report back.

    It's not likely that the problem is with the solder itself.
     
  3. diverse379

    diverse379

    Mar 4, 2015
    :)) thanks

    I will get started today.
     
  4. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    Anything solved by a hard whack means there's a loose connection or faulty part somewhere.
     
  5. diverse379

    diverse379

    Mar 4, 2015
    Well everything was fine before this pick up swap

    so i hope its not a faulty pickup
    they were new fender 55s in box.

    i will see tonight when i get to work on the grounding that Turn around instructed
    best to cover my basses first
     
  6. diverse379

    diverse379

    Mar 4, 2015
    Official report of the fading Pickup

    I opened the bass up at the time the pickup was not working

    i had the solder gun all ready
    all the grounding wires that you suggested were in place
    one to each pot and one to the jack
    but none to the plate

    i checked and wiggled all the wires
    nothing i touched the wire to the plate
    still nothing
    at this point i was looking for the receipt for the pick up
    when the ground wire got hung up in one of the screw holes in the plate
    sound.!!!!!

    so you were right Turnaround BUt the problem is
    the solder will not attach to chrome

    for now I have the wire handing out of the hole with the screw screwed down on it
    sort of like the bridge but mine is rather ugly as the wire is showing on the outside I suppose I could have wrapped it around
    on the inside I will do that later
    now I want to practice


    thanks a bunch.
    I think I am ready to build a Bass now
    looking for Luthier schools in my area LOL
    just kidding
     
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    You dont try and solder to the plate itself. The plate is grounded through the pots and output jack.
     
  8. diverse379

    diverse379

    Mar 4, 2015
    I see
    and after re reading Turn arounds post he didnt say to attach a wire to the plate

    But that what seems to be doing the trick
    having the ground wire firmly attached to the plate
    brought the sound back
     
  9. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    How do you have the plate grounded now? I mean other than the wire sandwiched being sandwiched between the plate.
     
  10. diverse379

    diverse379

    Mar 4, 2015
    There is a black wire connecting each pot to each other and the jack

    and each pick up has three wires

    one wire is connected to the middle pot connector
    and the other two are soldered to the back of its respective volume pot
     
  11. reddesert

    reddesert

    Mar 19, 2015
    The plate should be grounded through the pots and jack being screwed tightly to it (because the pot and jack casings are ground). Make sure the nuts on each of those are clean and tight.
     
  12. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician, and Contractor to Club Bass and Guitar - Toronto
    One of the common ways to deal with this grounding problem is to use a grounging lug/washer between one of the pots and the mounting plate, and solder the ground wire to it. The kind of lug/washer I am talking about is:

    70142930_large.
     
  13. diverse379

    diverse379

    Mar 4, 2015
    wow thats pretty slick.
     
  14. diverse379

    diverse379

    Mar 4, 2015
    One More time

    I know you guys must be sick of hearing about this problem
    but the fade out started happening again
    after solution of grounding a wire to the bridge

    I finally traced the problem back to the brand new pickup
    I guess I didnt want to believe it was a faulty pickup brand new out of the box
    but that is exactly what it seems like it is

    I am sending the pickup back hopefully can get another

    since these fender 55s are getting harder to come by

    So Hodges your thought was right
    something is faulty

    have a great weekend everyone
     

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