Troubles with my '72 Fender P.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by lawjazz1, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. lawjazz1


    Sep 7, 2013
    Please help!

    Symptoms: output into amp suddenly drops from full range tone and volume to approximately 25% volume and lose of full tonal range ( becomes tinny). Then full range comes back if I "dig in" a little, then goes away again - kind of randomly. It's not the amp cuz other basses work fine.

    This bass has original split coil pup and as far as I know original guts - I've never been inside though I've had the jack fixed once/twice. Is it possible that 1/2 of the split coil will fail, then come back, while other 1/2 continues since there is still some input into the amp?

    :help: This is my baby and I need to get it back to 100% :crying:
  2. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    First, I would check all the soldered connections to make sure that's OK. Could just be a bad or loose connection or possibly the output jack. If that looks OK, then put a meter on the pups to see if they appear normal. If you can't do that, then I would to take it to a repairman who has the proper test equipment. Pups do go bad.
  3. headband


    Oct 18, 2013
    Check the pots and the capacitor, too. My first guess is that it is not the pickup, as they usually work or they don't.
  4. lawjazz1


    Sep 7, 2013
    Thanks for the responses. Obviously, although electronics in '72 P basses are not that complicated, I am not a tech, and I really had no clue. I am going to take it to a repair shop I know, at least with more knowledge than before, so I can be an informed consumer.
  5. bass_case

    bass_case Maintain low tones. Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2013
    Miami, FL
    I agree, since the jack was replaced in the past I would look at connections and controls first. I assume you've y
    tried a different cable?
  6. lawjazz1


    Sep 7, 2013
    Yes, no troubles with other basses using the same cable.
  7. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I'd start with the easy stuff. Make sure the jack is making a good connection and not dirty. Next suspect is the pots. You may need to give them a bit of a cleaning. do the problems continue if you twist the knobs a few times?

    I'd check out visually the solder joints and give them a few taps while you have it open and have it hooked up to an amp.
  8. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    While I would check the easy stuff first, this era of fenders (early 70s) seem to have a fairly high incidence of pickup failure. The insulation on the coil wire erodes and shorts against the pole piece.

    It could also just need a reflow of solder at the pickup eyelet. Same thing you're describing happened to my 64 p bass. It would work then lose output and go thin. Then it would come back. Sent it to seymour Duncan and they said all it needed was some fresh solder at the eyelets. It's worked flawlessly ever since.