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SERIOUS problem

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Angus, Aug 9, 2000.

  1. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Ok, im having majormajor problems with my Tobias. Something is pretty damn wrong. When i plug it in to my amp (im using the practice amp now, the other is at guitarists house), it crackles...nonstop. It phases in and out or sound (like, youll hear the string, and then you wont), and when you can hear the sound, it clips like hell. I learned recently that THIS caused the problem with my Fender amp (and, of course, transferred the problem to it, causing me to have to get it fixed). Its really bad...and its like killing the amps. Ive checked the cavity, no wires exposed to touching, and its fully shielded. Ive had the jack checked, and its perfect. Is it my pickup? Its a single Bartolini quad-coil...i think it might be. And thats bad, because its like a $300 replacement. Help! If you need to explain more what it does, i will. Buts its like killing the amps, because it causes the amps to clip no matter what instrument im using for like 10 minutes after i use the Tobias, and then it wont. Help!
  2. ONYX


    Apr 14, 2000
    Hey Mega, I know this may be a long-shot, but, is there any possibility that it could be the cable?

    I had a very similar experience happen to me a few months back. I swore it was the jack, but after replacing it, the problem was still there. As it turned out, my cable had an intermitant connection. This was causing an obnoxious amount of noise and then all of a sudden, it would stop and everything was hunky-dory for a while before starting all over again.

    Did this problem start all of a sudden or has it been getting progressively worse??
  3. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Sudden, then progressively worse. And no matter what variable i change, its there.

    And no, its not the cable. I use gold plated Monster cables, and its the same on all the ones i use. And ive even tried it on cheapass cables and everything. Always there.

    Thanks for the response!
  4. er, I had a problem with my Tobias Growler - the symptoms were that the sound would become weak and horrible - the problem was easily fixed by installing new batteries (2) - hope this helps!

    - Wil
  5. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Batteries are brand new. Ive tried about 10 brands with it too. Im not that dumb. So i know its not batteries.
  6. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks! In Memoriam

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    The next cheapest thing to try is to replace the input jack. It's not uncommon for those things to give out. They are the cheapest link in the electronics of your bass.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:
  7. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I know a guy, an electrician, who checked it out with this weirdass input jack tool he has, and he said that its fine.
  8. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Sounds like a defective preamp. If you're not electrically inclined find a competent tech (good luck on that one). Doesn't really sound like a pickup problem from your description.

    If the problem is easily exhibited by the bass no matter what you plug it into and no matter what you plug it in with it shouldn't be too hard to figure out the culprit. It's the intermittent problems that drive techs crazy.

    First I'd check the battery. I know you've done that but if I were troubleshooting it I'd have to check it for myself;) I'd also check to see if vibration causes the problem to occur. Put the bass on a solid service, plug it in, turn the volume on the bass up, don't turn the amp up loud and lightly tap it to see if it causes a change in the output.

    Visually inspect the inside of the control cavity. Make sure no wires have bare spots or are in a position to inadvertently touch anything they shouldn't. The solder joints should look solid and not have any fine cracks in them, you might need a magnifying glass for this check.
    Bartolini preamps are usually sealed in epoxy so there's nothing internally that you can check. Make sure the pots operate correctly and don't feel loose or notchy.

    The pickup can be wired directly to an amp bypassing any internal electronics or controls. If it's fine you've narrowed it down to the internal electronics or controls:D and not the pickup.

    Hope this helps
  9. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yay! Thanks Brad. Im taking it to a tech tomorrow. Hes supposed to be good. I hope he is. You [and the penguins] are the man, Brad.
  10. Mudd


    Apr 26, 2000
    Portland, OR
    Another long shot, but concerning the battery... is it possible that the battery is sliping out of the holders and is coming in contact with the sheilding inside the cavity?

    Put some duct tape on the end of the battery(s) and test it out. You should know soon if that's the problem. Happened to me. I took it in to the shop, they thought I was crazy since they could not replicate the problem. After putting the duct tape on the battery, my problem never surfaced again. (Nw you can point out the fact that it's a somewhat high-end bass and duct tape should not be a remedy, but...)

  11. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Yeah, i did check that, actually. But theres no place for it to slip because both batteries are in a specially routed area, where they cant move.

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