Wiring emergency!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassnyc1, Nov 27, 2015.


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  1. Hi,

    I bought a new Pickguard for my P bass. Unlike a jazz bass, the pots and jack are fastened onto the Pickguard. After carefully removing them from the old Pickguard and placing them carefully in the cavity, I put the new one in place and reversed the process.

    Nothing....

    No sound whatsoever. No hint at all that there's any current at all. I checked all the connections, etc and everything looks like it should. I should add that the bass is a Squier Vintage Modified 5 string P bass so maybe it's because the pots and wiring are cheap stuff?

    Any suggestions or help is much appreciated.
     
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Look at your old PG. is there foil on it? Does your new PG have foil too?

    OR you can look to see it 2 wires connect to the jack.

    If no foil OR..., you need a ground wire run from the jack to both pots.
     
  3. unclebass

    unclebass

    Dec 17, 2012
    Best way to check your connections is to have an ohm meter. Use the meter on each side of the connection to verify that you don't have bad solder point. I bought a used Blacktop Jazz from craigslist a few years ago, only to get it home and find one of the pickups wasn't working. Took a while with an ohm meter to find a bad contact where the lead wire met the pickup. Likely that moving your components around may have loosened a contact, shouldn't be too hard to find with an ohm meter.
     
  4. The new Pickguard doesn't have foil on it. Does it need it to make contact? If so, would regular aluminum foil work?
     
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    I knew it!

    You can solder a wire from the ground lug on the jack to the back of each pot.

    Can't solder? A strip of Aluminim HVAC tape under the pots and jack.

    A strip of regular alum foil will work but without sticking it down to th PG, it is delicate. But it will work. Just not the best method.
     
    iiipopes likes this.
  6. I don't have aluminum HVAC so that's why I asked about regular household aluminum foil. Maybe I can glue it to the pick guard?
    Or, can I use the foil from the old guard?
     
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    You don't need to glue it but if you have further problems you can bet it's loose foils fault. You can also used double sided tape to stick the foil down. For today, it's fine to get you going but swap it for HVAC ASAP OR BETTER YET... Solder a wire.

    Better yet, both. Foils as shield and wire as secure ground that won't corrode.
     
  8. I'll first try to use the foil that's on the original guard and double sided tape. If I can't get it off cleanly, I'll use foil and get some HVAC soon. As for soldering, I can't do that so a visit to a tech will be in order. Thanks so much for your help!
     
  9. @unclebass: thanks for your reply also. Unfortunately, I don't have an ohm meter but maybe I should invest in one. Sounds like a great tool to have around for checking stuff like this.
     
  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I have a feeling that either a signal wire is broken or it is in contact with ground. The pots not being grounded will cause issues but they will not cause a no sound issue. It will mostly cause the volume pot to not work correctly.
     
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Problem isn't the pots it's that the jack isn't grounded to them. His oldPG made that connection by foil new pg has no foul and there is no ground wire present from jack to pots.

    Typical VM P setup.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2015
  12. unclebass

    unclebass

    Dec 17, 2012
    I have an ohm meter that I bought from Harbor Freight on sale for $4, has got me out of a bind many times. No reason to spend a lot of dough on one unless you plan to make a living with it.
     
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I have never seen a P bass that depended on the foil to complete the pot grounds. But regardless, an incomplete ground with a complete signal on a guitar will not make for a silent instrument. It will make for a very noisy, hiss with a barely audible signal from the bass.
     
  14. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Well it is a Squier. My classic vibe P HAD no wire and relied on the foil.
     
  15. Yeah, no wire on mine, just foil. That's one way inexpensive guitars are inexpensive. In the near future I intend on getting a complete vintage wiring kit from bass parts resource. It contains 2 CTS pots, cloth wiring, an orange capacitor and a switch craft jack. That along with some copper shielding tape and an hour with a good tech and it's good for life!
     
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    That must have been an oversight. My VM was grounded properly
     
  17. Well my temporary fix is done and it works as it should. I taped some aluminum foil to the back of the new Pickguard. Luckily there's no hum. As soon as I get some more money together, I'll get that wiring kit and copper foil that I mentioned above and get it to a proper tech to fix it permanently. Thank you all for the comments and education. Is this a great forum or what?
     
  18. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Maybe, or maybe simply a change in specs.
     
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