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On/Off Switch Help!!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Discgraham, Sep 25, 2004.

  1. Hi everyone,
    Ok here's my situation. I recently started playing at my church for a few contemporary music services. We musicians stand up front for most of the service, but at one point, we actually go down and sit in the pews. Now my bass gives quite a bit of feedback when I'm not touching it, so I end up sitting up front while everyone else goes down. I can't turn my amp off because of the huge POP when I turn it back on.

    So anyways, I'm wondering if an on/off switch would allow me to set my instrument down without the loud pop of turning it back on. The bass is an old passive P bass. I have all the stuff needed to install a switch, but I'm not going to do it until I know it works.

    Thanks in advance!

    (ps if this doesn't work, I'll just get a new bass!)
  2. Look for an instrument cord with a switch built in to the plug at the end you put into the instrument. The switch is spring-loaded, so that when you un-plug it, the switch shorts the cable, so you don't get the "pop" you describe. They were developed so they could be plugged in and un-plugged without having to turn down the amplifier.

    - Wil
  3. jaxlaw


    Oct 5, 2002
    Winter Garden
    I had the same problem durring our services - Couldn't easily get to the Amp and I had mute and volume issues I use my Boss Tuner and/ or an Ernnie Ball volume pedal either will work to mute your signal the volume pedal has the advatage of being able to adjust to the intesnsithy of the service with a little foot action - both sit on the floor - works for me.
  4. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Or you could just use the volume knob on the bass.
  5. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    The easiest immediate fix is to short out the signal from the instrument. But, before you go modding your bass to install a kill switch, how about an external solution like a volume pedal? If your amp is working correctly (ie doesn't hum when you unplug the instrument), then you should be able to become "dead quiet" when the volume pedal is backed all the way down. If there's still residual hum at that point, then the problem's in the amp, and not the instrument.

    Does the bass hum when you're at normal volume? Longer term, you might check into rewiring the bass. Most production instruments are incorrectly wired to begin with, and you could check into good grounding techniques, and guitar wiring methods (eg check guitarnuts.com, in the "wiring" menu).

    How about when the volume control on the bass is turned all the way down, do you still get hum?

    To wire a "kill switch", just connect the switch across the jack (two wires, one to each terminal). This will electrically short out the signal from your instrument, meaning all the hum should go away and your amp should be "dead quiet".

    Don't do this with an active instrument!
  6. Thanks everyone. I actually just went with the Vol Pedal and it worked good enough, but eventually, I will rewire the bass. I've done alot of work on the electronics, so I'm just going to replace all the worn wires, shield the whole thing. Thanks for all your help!

    BTW, Church songs are fun! Lots of quick chord changes!!
  7. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002

    So, what was wrong with the volume knob on the bass?
  8. pdusen


    Aug 18, 2004
    It's so simple it couldn't possbly work. So it's not worth trying. :smug:
  9. suicas


    Mar 12, 2004
    Planet Waves make a few instrument cables with an on/off switch at the instrument end. Very useful for unplugging the bass without damaging ears/speakers.
  10. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    I use one for switching instruments-- works perfectly.
  11. couldnt you just turn the volume down? if its a passive there should be no worries.. just turn the volume knob all the way down. then sit the bass down. simple as that.... now you don't have to cut up your wiring.
  12. It's also a passive bass, not like you're leaving it plugged in and killing the battery.