Stacked Pot Problem for SQ VM Jag Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by RoccoCasagrande, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. RoccoCasagrande


    Jul 7, 2010
    I have a Squire Vintage Modified Jaguar Bass (the one with the black body and matching headstock) with a stacked concentric volume and tone pot for each pickup.

    The stack for the neck pickup keeps fading out on me. A slight tap on it often clears it up, but I don't want to gig with this bass because of this problem.

    I have sprayed it with contact cleaner a couple of times - but this didn't fix it.

    What causes this? How can I fix it?
  2. Fuzzbass666


    Sep 24, 2010
    Have to be honest, I ended up changing them because of the "spinning loose" problem. Which was a pain because the replacements had a different shaft width, so then I had to change the knobs as well. It's probably the only weak point in an otherwise great bang for buck guitar.
  3. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Sounds like a bad pot. Measure the shaft size and overall height of the pot and order a new one. Should not be very expensive.
  4. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    I had a problem on mine where the contacts on the pots were touching the shielding in the control cavity. I put an insulator (a sticky note) to make sure it didn't contact the sides and the problem went away.

    It's possible that you're having a similar problem, and tapping it causes it to temporarily shift and change the contact. It's something to try, anyway...
  5. RoccoCasagrande


    Jul 7, 2010
    I am really disappointed. Replacing the bad stacked pot for the neck pickup is not an easy job, there are a lot of connections in a very tight space. This job requires patience, a steady hand, good eyesight, and the ability to work with surgical precision. I don't think I am going to try replacing this. I will just use the bridge pickup.

    Maybe someday, I might modify the bass so that it has three knobs - a volume for each pickup and a master tone control - just like my main bass. I have a 72 Fender Jazz bass that I bought in 1974. I have never ever had any problems with this instrument. It is a reliable workhorse that has never failed me.
  6. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    I had the same issue. I tried putting electrical tape as a buffer, then candle wax, still kept having the problem. Ordered some new CTS concentric pots with new knobs (like stated above, the old knobs won't fit the CTS pots) and, not only have I yet to have the issue again, this bass has never sounded better. The turn motion is solid and silky smooth now, and I kick myself for not doing it sooner.

    True, there are a fair amount of connections to make, but it really isn't that difficult or time consuming considering the end result of a great playing experience. As always, make a good diagram before you take things apart, because wiring schematics that actually match the factory setup are almost impossible to come by.

    EDIT: I wouldn't modify anything outside of the factory knob/wiring setup. The stock pickups are not like typical p/j schemes; they don't play with alternate or more traditional wiring. I would just plan to replace both pot stacks and the input jack all at once. It's actually easier than trying to use a lot of the existing stuff, though I think I did reuse the wires and the caps. Again, having the quality pots and jack are a huge difference, and this bass is my fun-playing work horse again.
  7. jumblemind

    jumblemind I also answer to Bryan Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    You can't be disappointed in some pots that went bad in a sub-$300 bass that otherwise looks and plays awesomely, and you reaaaally can't compare it to buying a jazz bass in 1974.