Dear TB'ers, Being a longtime musician (trumpet/saxophone/piano/guitar/probably others too), I decided to get a bass. I found a Lyon bass and Ibanez amp for a good price on craigslist and went for it. Amp is fine. The only problem is the bass, as the owner didn't even know what brand it was and thus didn't know of any of the problems it has. Using my insufficient knowledge of jargon and likely to be long-winded explanations, I hope to tell you all just what is wrong with it in the hopes that you'll be able to help me fix it so I can enjoy playing it. The first thing one might notice on my bass is that it has no pickguard screws. It didn't come with a single screw, and the pickguard has just sort of been flopping around. Whether this is the source of the real problems is unclear to me, but as far as I know the bass was mostly sitting for awhile, which doesn't seem to me like it would cause the problems. However, the real problems are all under the pickguard. When I tried it out at the craigslist house, I couldn't get any sound to come out of the amplifier (exempting a few occasional cracks as I moved the cable plug around in the slot on the bass). Upon trying a brand new guitar, it was discovered the amp was not the problem. Knowing that the bass was a fixer-upper but that it was for such a good price, I went for it and brought it home. At home, I got it to play a little bit: it was really sensitive, I couldn't move at all or the sound would crackle and then go away, and I couldn't move the guitar cable in the guitar or the same thing would happen. Additionally, the sound would crackle and go away if the knobs were almost anywhere but all the way up. I found (from somewhere online, maybe it was on here) that the pots needed Deoxit or some equivalent fluid. I found a RadioShack tuner & control cleaner in our garage and used that on the pots. I have not tried to play it yet, because while I had the pickguard off to lubricate, (it comes right off, remember, no screws) I discovered a red cable coming (I think) from one of the pickups, but not attached to anything. Through experimentation (let a string ring while plugged in to the amp while moving that wire to various points around the pots; when I got sound, it should tell me I stuck the wire in the right spot) I found that a little piece of metal sticking out from the main volume control pot (one of two knobs, is closest to strings and farthest from cable insertion, so I think it's main volume) is where that wire was supposed to go. I have soldering tools (look, if I had the money for a repair, I would have just set my sights a little higher for the bass) and can fix this wire, however, there's a problem: when I touch that loose wire to that metal post on the volume pot, an additional crackling/buzzing noise comes out of the amp. I don't believe it was there when I got it to play before, but I don't know this for sure. What's causing that additional crackling? Should it be soldered (and how, because I don't know all the subtleties of bass and bass repair like I do for the other instruments) yet, will this cause the crackling to go away or stay? Is the crackling fixable? I want to do everything short of actually breaking it. If there's anything you'd like to add, feel free to do so, because I'd like all the expertise I can get. Thanks everybody.