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Symptoms of a overheated pot ?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dudeonthebass, Mar 6, 2010.

  1. dudeonthebass


    Jul 2, 2008
    I have another pot that doesn't seem to like to work :mad: :mad:

    i triend checking the resistance of the ground and live "bits"

    As if you were looking from the back on the pots.....

    i conected one probe to the middle lug (where the PU live wire would be soldered) and one to the ground lug got a reading from that

    But when i tried the middle lug and the one on the left (where all the other lives are connected together, so to speak) and it wouldn't read nothing

    HELP :(
  2. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    You think you've overheated a volume pot? Been playing a lot of Death Metal lately? Seriously, except for a short it's hard to "overheat" a pot and that's goes double given the high value of most pots in basses.

    But pots do go bad. The way to test a pot is to first remove all wires from TWO of the three lugs on the pot. Put leads from the ohm meter to the two outside lugs of the three. The reading SHOULD be the value of the pot. (like 250K or 500k for a passive bass) That reading should NOT change when you turn the pot shaft. If it does the pot is bad. Now put the meter between one of the outside lugs and the center lug. The center lug is the "slider". You should see a reading between 0 and the value of the pot. If you turn the shaft you should observe the reading vary smoothly between 0 and the value of the pot. If the meter "jumps" or reads "open" (very high resistance) then the pot is bad. Then just for drill read between the center lug and the OTHER outside lug. Again you should observe a smooth variation. Any sign of an open either continuous or as the pot turns means it's bad.

    The reason you need to disconnect all wires from two lugs of the pots is so that the meter is only measuring the pot and not the rest of the bass circuit. OK?

    The above test really can't tell if a pot is noisy unless it's so bad it can make the meter jump around. Sometimes control cleaner can bring a pot back around if its not too damaged or you didn't overheat it too much (with a soldering iron).
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