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Replace or Clean Pots on a vintage bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ejaggers, Oct 31, 2010.


  1. ejaggers

    ejaggers Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2009
    Fort Worth, tx
    I have a ’72 jazz that I refinished back in the 70s. It was a natural finish with white PG. Now it’s orangish gold w/ a tort PG. The pups went dead lately, so I put Fralins in. So the all original collector value is probably no longer there, which isn’t an issue to me, since I never sell anything. The pots are scratchy.

    Question: When do you clean pots rather than replace them. Do they get weak with age?

    Since it’s a 72’, I’m thinking, replace them ( pots, cap, and ground), because they’re old. To me, everything I’ve done has made it a better looking and sounding bass, than the original was.

    http://s676.photobucket.com/albums/...0Jazz%20Bass/?action=view&current=Jazz-2.jpg&
     
  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    they don't 'get weak with age', the usually just get a little scratchy, and cleaning them with de-oxit can get rid of that.
    but if you're going to replace them, i'd go with OEM CTS pots.
     
  3. they do get bad because the carbon trace that is the resistance gets scratched off with time. usually if you spray some deoxit and get no change, time to toss them... I would keep them in a safe place with pics of them on the bass in case you try to sell the bass later, but since it has been refinished etc, that may not apply here.
     
  4. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    Cleaning witrh tuner spray is often just a temp fix and doesnt solve the problem of deteriorated insides. better to replace them with new pots.
     
  5. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    yes, but it generally take a very long time for the carbon traces to wear out. my '62 p bass's pots are still perfect/noise free and i've used that bass for 1000's of hours of volume adjustments.
     

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