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violetelectric

My bass is a tonedead piece of wood half the time

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So basically I bought this bass last month or so off gumtree. It's a 96' 50 year anniversary squier p bass. Had no problems with it at first but over the last couple of weeks it's been doing this thing where the volume - and even a little bit of gain - dip in volume. (It makes the sound very low in volume and also sounds very tone dead, like the pickups have 0 life). So everytime it does this I give the input lead to my bass a wiggle and it'll click in an out of being at regular volume and super quiet until it luckily sits right and I can continue recording again. It's becoming so infuriating and making my recording process a living hell. Also I must add the the input jack sits very loosely inside the guitar. I feel that this is likely the cause of the issue but as someone who's technical knowledge for guitars extends as far being able to change non-bass strings, I have no idea where to start.

I appreciate any help greatly :)

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It looks like the simple answer is to change the jack, but if you aren't that savvy why not check the list of "basschatters who are prepared to help" and see if there is anyone near you who could do it.

Personally I would change the pots as well as having had a Squier CV before, they aren't that good.

Suggestion 3 is contact @KiOgon for one of his solder free looms. If you can handle a screwdriver, these are a doddle to fit.

If you happen to be in the Manchester area, I'd be happy to have a look.

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This sounds like a problem that everybody that owns an electric bass/guitar /mandolin! etc. will eventually encounter.

The typical output jack is an ancient design that works very well until it   err... starts to fail !!

As a first step to fix your problem and before you start changing any components I would try this ...

Remove all the screws on the outer edge of the scratchplate (not the pickup screws)..

Loosen the strings or even take them off the tuners, be careful if you want to put the same strings back on 

Carefully lift up the scratchplate 

Now look at  the output jack 

The long springy part with a "V" shape should make good contact with the tip of the jackplug when plugged in

Try bending that springy part of the output jack in towards the centre of the output jack so it has a stronger physical contact with your guitar lead. Try inserting the lead and see if it now has a more positive connection

That will probably cure it   

Might be worth cleaning the tip of the V shaped bit with some sandpaper or something similar to remove any corrosion

 

 

 

Edited by blisters on my fingers

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7 hours ago, blisters on my fingers said:

This sounds like a problem that everybody that owns an electric bass/guitar /mandolin! etc. will eventually encounter.

The typical output jack is an ancient design that works very well until it   err... starts to fail !!

As a first step to fix your problem and before you start changing any components I would try this ...

Remove all the screws on the outer edge of the scratchplate (not the pickup screws)..

Loosen the strings or even take them off the tuners, be careful if you want to put the same strings back on 

Carefully lift up the scratchplate 

Now look at  the output jack 

The long springy part with a "V" shape should make good contact with the tip of the jackplug when plugged in

Try bending that springy part of the output jack in towards the centre of the output jack so it has a stronger physical contact with your guitar lead. Try inserting the lead and see if it now has a more positive connection

That will probably cure it   

Might be worth cleaning the tip of the V shaped bit with some sandpaper or something similar to remove any corrosion

 

 

 

thank you very much i shall try this today and get back to you here :)

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Perfectly described by @blisters on my fingers This image might also help :) . When you put the scratchplate back on, fit all the screws loosely then give them all the final tightening.  Makes aligning the holes easier.

image.png.d592b65fffcbdfc77852d598b201fd06.png

Edited by 3below
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OP - you say the input jack sits very loosely inside the guitar - it's only held on with a thin nut - if this gets too loose it might just be that the output jack is shorting out on the inside, possibly against the control cavity (if it is conductive) which would result in the symptoms you describe. Worth trying just to tighten up the nut. If you're not sure which bit I'm on about, post us a photo of your output jack so we can point it out.

 

 

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If you can't get this fixed yourself, feel free to PM me (I'm in Edinburgh) and I could look at this for you. 

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If you replace the socket, or get someone to replace it, make sure you get a mono switchcraft jack socket. Standard cheapo ones lose their springiness over time but switchcraft ones are much sturdier.

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4 hours ago, Jean-Luc Pickguard said:

If you replace the socket, or get someone to replace it, make sure you get a mono switchcraft jack socket. Standard cheapo ones lose their springiness over time but switchcraft ones are much sturdier.

https://www.stewmac.com/kits-and-projects/electronic-kits/wiring-kits/premium-wiring-kit-for-p-bass.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=2020-10-gp&pref_currency=P&shipcalc=UK&gclid=CjwKCAjwrKr8BRB_EiwA7eFapvADpG_OatobK_2TEQGbR3ho-7lHLF0sSeGAx-i5v8r0IAUXhMFMIBoCGT4QAvD_BwE

this one has the switchcraft jack socket? is this correct

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If you're going for a kit get @KiOgon to make you one. He only uses quality components and it's a no solder solution.

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I've found that on guitars that haven't been used for ages that it's often NOT just the tip contact that's bad, it's the contact to the ground of the Jack that's poor. Try roughing that up with fine wet n dry paper wrapped round a small screwdriver. Don't forget to clean it thoroughly afterwards.

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