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Please Help! Fender 60's Jazz Bass Reissue (mid-90s) Grounding question.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tracer03, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. I decided to give my 60's Reissue Jazz a full makeover - new Gotoh bridge, Hipshot, new pickups, truing the neck - the whole nine yards. In the process of removing the old bridge, the copper ground strip "broke" (see the photo for an example - not my real bass).


    It broke in such a way that it will no longer make contact with the bridge.

    The thing is, I'm not sure if it's even necessary: The wiring diagram - HERE - seems to show it's an active ground wire. Unfortunately, in my zest to get the bass rehabbed and the new pickups installed, I disconnected all the wires from the control plate.

    However, the info I've found online seems to indicate that it's not necessary, due to the ground connection to the control plate assembly.

    There is no routing between the bridge pup and the bridge, so it appears to be running on the outside from the bridge pup to under the bridge (where it's tucked into a hole drilled into the body, and held in place by the bridge).

    So, here are the questions:

    1. Is this necessary? I can't seem to find anything on the Fender site to confirm or deny this.

    2. If it *is* necessary - is there a better way to ground this? (difficulty: I have no router). I'd really rather not shield the cavities if I don't have to - especially with the pending installation of DiMarzio Ultra Jazz pups.

    3. What can I use to replace this? A copper strip similar in width/thickness, etc?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Eggman

    Eggman Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado
    It was necessary on the "real 1960's" jazzes - I am not sure how the reissues are wired. Could be cosmetic. How does it sound with the strip not grounded to the bridge? what happens to the sound if you touch the strip? If the sound changes - or you get buzzing - it is a functioning piece and should be fixed.
  3. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Remove your bridge and see if there's also a ground wire coming from the control cavity (usually there is). If there is one, then no need for the ground strip.
  4. There wasn't one. I'm not certain now that the wire was cosmetic only, because:

    a) The thickness of the wire was about 1/4 of the one shown in the photo, AND

    b) The wire itself was soldered to the bottom of the control plate in the bridge pup cavity, and from there, ran up and out of the pup cavity and went into a plain drilled hole under the bridge. It made contact with the bridge, but that's it.
  5. blockinlay


    Feb 21, 2009
    Phila Pa
    I wouldn't care about that strip since you are giving it a makeover. I think it's ugly. Get a long 1/8" drill bit and drill from the bridge to the cavity. Run a wire, solder it to ground, and splay out the wire under the bridge. Get rid of the strip.

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