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Squier Jazz static noise

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Sheldon681, Apr 8, 2011.


  1. Sheldon681

    Sheldon681

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ottawa
    I've just picked up a Squier Standard Jazz this week and really like it, except for a couple of annoying issues:

    1) At reasonably loud volumes, the tone knob seems to cause a good deal of static when rolled completely off. When rolled all the way on, it doesn't make the same noises. It almost sounds like the noise you get from a bad speaker or if something is rubbing against the speaker. It's much more prominent on lower notes.

    2) I can't slap my way out of a paper bag, but when I do try and slap you can hear the crackling noises, even between notes. It sounds like general static electricity noise.

    I recorded a short file to demo the issues. In the beginning I play some notes with the tone knob all the way off and then all the way on and back again. You can hear the static come on/disappear as I twist the knob. After that, I slap a few notes just to demonstrate the crackling effect. Please excuse the poor playing.

    http://www.fileden.com/files/2008/10/27/2162400//Bass_static.wav


    You'll probably need headphones to hear things well - the issues can't be heard very clearly on my PC speakers.

    A few other items of note. This happens both when I use my amp, and when I recorded into a battery-powered Zoom H4. The same cable works fine with my other bass. I recorded the clips with the volume all the way up on both pickups. Just before I bought the bass, the previous owner took it in for a setup where the technician "sprayed the electronics" to clean them.

    I've searched this forum already but it didn't turn up anything that appeared close to my issue. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd appreciate the advice. Ideally I'd be able to fix this myself with DEOXIT or something really simple like that.

    Thanks.
     
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Try hitting the pot(s) with deoxit. if that doesn't work change your pot, may as well do them all at the same time. Pots have a lifespan and you eventually have to replace them, especially cheap ones on brands like Squier etc.
     
  3. Sheldon681

    Sheldon681

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ottawa
    Since the original post, I've done a bit more troubleshooting.

    The static while slapping had nothing to do with slapping at all. After seeing a number of people with the same issue, I realized the static was being generated anytime I wiped my fingers along the pickguard. I fixed that by rubbing the pickguard with the drier sheet and at the same time I shielded it with aluminum foil. Issue solved entirely.

    I took off the control plate to look for bad solders, incorrect wiring, etc. but everything seems to check out.

    I also realize now that the tone pot actually does nothing to change the tone. IE: Rolling it fully off and on doesn't change the amount of bass or treble, it just introduces or removes the noise. So replacing the pot is probably the next logical move.

    Quick question: If I change the pot, should I change the capacitor as well?

    Thanks.
     
  4. bstringrandy

    bstringrandy Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Jacksonville, FL
    Since you're going to be soldering in there anyway and the cost (.50 to 2.50) isn't that much, I'd replace the capacitor at the same time. You can research what different capacitor values do for tone, but I believe the stock value is around .047 mfd.
     
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    .022 cap will brighten it up and .1 will mud it up. You don't have to change the cap, they will never die in an instrument, but you can experiment with them and they are cheap.

    If you have mini pots (about the size of a dime or nickel), a standard size pot might (quarter size) not fit in the body route on a Squier.
     
  6. Sheldon681

    Sheldon681

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ottawa
    Thanks for your help guys. I changed the pot tonight and we're back in business. It sounds great!
     
  7. Sheldon681

    Sheldon681

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ottawa
    Hmmm.... it looks like replacing the pot is only a temporary solution to another problem. I have now replaced the tone pot twice and it's broken again. Each time I replace it, it works for 2 or 3 weeks and then it no longer works. The bass pretty much gets stuck with the knob full on. Turning it doesn't affect the tone at all.

    I'm confident that replacing the pot again will provide a temporary fix, but has anyone heard of this problem, or have any idea what might be causing the issue?

    Thanks.
     
  8. I have a VM fretless and recently did the following all in one shot: 1) replaced the duncan designed pups with SD SJB-2s; 2) replaced the two volume mini pots with full-size CTS ones; 3) replaced the tone pot with a minipot/push-pull to go between parallel and series; and replaced the jack with Switchcraft ones since I had everything apart anyway. The thing became quiet like a mouse, though I don't know what caused it. Foil-lined the cavities some time ago and it didn't help. One thing though, the control cavity is very tight for full-size pots. What kind of pots are you using: linear or log?
     
  9. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    How are you wiring the pot? Pots don't just break. I have pots that are over 30 years old and work fine. Did the pot get loose and spin around? That would break off a wire.

    If you pot is not turning down the volume that means the ground wire is disconnected.

    Are you over heating the pot when soldering it?
     
  10. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    David, could it be a problem with jamming the knobs on? I had an issue with a CTS pot I replaced on my G3, didn't work after pushing the (tight) knob on. I was pulling the knob off to change it out again and it began working and so far no trouble. I assumed that the pressure on the wiper post had made the wiper deform and break contact and pulling up on it (bent?) it back to shape, fixing the problem. I discovered this because I had the bass connected to the amp and powered up, otherwise I would have swapped the pot again. I have never taken a pot apart so I don't know if the wiper is an ALL metal disc, but in my case I suspect it is. Thoughts?
     
  11. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Yeah, that sounds like the problem. You know there are different size shafts and the ones with splines are different too with corse and fine knurls.

    You should find one that matches, or get matching knobs. Knobs with set screws will save you from jamming the knob on.
     
  12. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    For sure, The Gibson knobs are push on and I had metric offshores going on CTS pots! I lost the original knobs years ago and cheaped out! Well it saved me 10 bucks!:bag:
     
  13. Sheldon681

    Sheldon681

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ottawa
    I believe I'm wiring the pot correctly. I made sure it looks like this, diagram which is the same way it was wired when I bought the bass used (though the pot didn't work when I bought it). http://www.squierguitars.com/pdf/current/J Bass/Standard Jazz Bass-Service.pdf

    I believe I'm wiring the pot correctly because I do get 2-3 weeks of proper functioning once I replace the pot. I'd expect that if my wiring is bad, it wouldn't work at all. I'm using All-Parts pots (I get them at Long and McQuade in Ottawa) but I'm not sure what type they are. I use mini-pots, and have tried one 500K and one 250K so far.

    The pot's not spinning. When I fixed the pot the first time, I moved the ground wire a bit to make sure that it was making contact with the underside of the bridge. And when I replace the broken pots, I have to desolder the old joints - it's not like the solders have broken or anything.

    It's possible I'm overheating the pot - I'm a novice solderer. But if that was the case, would it work for a few weeks before breaking, or would it be broken right away?

    Thanks to all for the advice/suggestions. I definitely appreciate it.
     
  14. Sheldon681

    Sheldon681

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ottawa
    I'll replace the pot again today or tomorrow and won't put the knob back on. We'll see if that makes any difference.

    Thanks.
     
  15. Sheldon681

    Sheldon681

    Mar 26, 2008
    Ottawa
    Just a quick update. The pot I'd replaced in June lasted until about 2 weeks ago and then stopped operating again. I swapped in a new one last week and I'm back in business. Still puzzled on why this keeps happening.
     
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 9, 2021

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