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EMG HB pick ups abnormal sounds help please

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In short....

Bought a Hohner B2ADB headless bass. Changed out the pick ups for the EMG HB solderless pick ups and I didn’t get a BTC system. I wired it up vol/vol/tone.

The included jack would not fit the bass without routing so I have to use a Barrel Jack. Got a new barrel jack and I managed to get the ends of the solderless leads to fit onto the RST prongs, popped a bit of insulating tape around them to make sure they are not touching so they do not short.

Everything is working fine for a couple weeks. Last night with the band after about  an hour of playing the volume dropped right off of the output, and even then the D and G strings were passable, but the E and A were barely audible. There was the odd intermittent vol spike, but few and far between.

Now, does this likely sound a battery issue, or actually should I stop messing around and just remove the solderless connectors on the wires and solder the wires RST prongs on the jack?

Any ideas greatly received.


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Do you mean EMG HZ pickups? (They are passive, so if you are using a battery, I am expecting you are operating with a different model that requires a battery)

I am assuming the bass has no other preamp on board?

Have you rechecked your solder joints?

Is the battery flat? 


WAIT, edit.. so you haven't soldered the wires properly? I should do that first! The vibrations of the instrument either playing or in transit could be enough to mess with the physical (albeit loose) connection.

Edited by dood

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EMG HB are active p style pickups in a humbucker housing designed for the original Steinberger basses.

I have them in a Steinberger Spirit. Wired volume, volume, tone. But I agree with Dood about soldering onto the barrel jack, that's how I did mine.

I think it sounds like a battery problem, try changing it to see what happens.

If that doesn't work double check all your connections are good and that none of the solder-less connectors have come loose.

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Thanks all, correct about HB’s - cracking pick ups.

Someone else chipped in with some sage advice on a pm.

i rechecked connections, made sure pins are not bent, the wires were a bit compressed (suggested by another) so I made them more of a gentle curve.

did that and back on track

You both may be entirely correct about loosening with vibrations, seems the most plausible, I suppose I didn’t want to cut a cable if I didn’t have to, but it’s no biggie and will be good for me to get soldering!

Interestingly my other Hohner, fully passive has the other jack, and would have been no bother, bloody barrels!

Edited by Cuzzie

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