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tone pot = noise

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by krstko, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    If I turn the tone knob on my fender jazz it makes wierd buzz noise. If I turn it all the way down the noise stops. What could be the problem and how do I fix it? (I'm guessing it's the pot)
  2. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    You are getting either 60Hz hum or higher frequency noise. Turning the tone knob "down" filters out the noise, turning it "up" lets it through. Almost certainly there is nothing wrong with the pot. You may need better shielding to kill the noise. Or you may have a single coil Jazz (which Jazz bass model do you have?) and in that case setting both pickups to the same volume may kill the noise. You can actually tune out the noise (if it is 60Hz hum) by listening to it as you adjust the volume on one of the pots. At one point it goes completely away, on either side of that point it can be quite loud.

    So better shielding, maybe. Paying more attention to the pickup volume balance, maybe. Changing out the tone pot, probably not.

  3. krstko


    Aug 29, 2011
    Cerknica, Slovenia
    Something must be broken because everything has worked fine until today. It's a 1999 Fender jazz, MIA.
  4. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Then its probably a wire has come loose. Look for loose ground wires.
  5. paparoof


    Apr 27, 2011
    fEARful koolaid drinker
    This is the kinda problem where a video demonstrating the problem would say everything the troubleshooters need to know.

    It is possible the pot itself is bad....
  6. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Turn the knob up, do you get noise when you touch the knob? Does it get louder with your touch?

    If the noise gets louder when you touch metal/strings/bridge it is a grounding issue, if the noise gets more quiet when you touch the metal/strings/bridge it is a shielding issue.

    Odds are the bass does need a shielding job, it IS a Fender after all. I had a similar issue with my P bass when I changed my p/u's, I cannot remember how I fixed it, that was years ago, but I do know a proper shielding job was necessary. I would start by checking the wiring, it is possible a wire has come loose.
  7. If anyone wants to spray electrical cleaner on a pot, be sure to get the correct kind at a hardware store or a local electrical parts store. I used to clean pots with WD-40 but the noise would return within a few weeks. Finally got wised up by a fellow musician. I only mention it because most people will use WD-40 (or similar products) to get rid of noise in an electrical knob or pot. Oil based cleaners attract dust and sweat and just gum up quicker. May have nothing to do with this issue but some readers may think a spray will fix anything.
  8. Good advice.
    WD40 is *NOT* an electric contact cleaner. Why so many people think it is, I have no idea. It sort of works initially, but it will just make a mess of things.
  9. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Do not clean your pots with WD40, if you absolutely have to spray them, use de-oxit or some kind of electrical contact cleaner, not lubricant.

    That is not the issue at all, for the record, if you do have a scratchy pot, try and turn the dirt loose for a bit before you blast de-oxit in there, the spray will have negative affects on the pot over time. Spray is a last ditch resort.
  10. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    had that same problem once. replaced the pot and the buzzing stopped.

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