Lately my bass (Squier Affinity p-bass) has started randomly making loud, annoying rattling and buzzing sounds. They mostly occur when touching the cable near the output jack, or when for example turning around so that the cable twists.

At first I thought my cable was broken, and bought a couple of new ones. But after trying with a new cable, it still rattled all the time and it was actually much worse.

Soo what do you think the problem is? Can I fix it myself or do I have to take it somewhere for repair? If it has something to do with wiring, please notice that I don't have a soldering iron and I couldn't use it if I had one...

Last edited by ShockHazard at Feb 14, 2013,
Soldering irons are super cheap and soldering is super easy. You could find tutorials on YouTube.

I'm not sure, based on your description, what the sound is really like. Is it more like a buzz/hum or a loud crackling/popping sound? A constant hum could be a grounding issue, but if it pops or cuts out whenever you nudge the cable, it's probably the output jack.

Try opening it up and see if you can find any loose connections. There are only two solder joints on the output jack so it should be apparent if anything is loose.

However, if there aren't any loose connections, it's probably an issue of the terminal being bent or corroded. In that case, you're going to want to get a new output jack. Like I said, soldering is pretty easy, especially for an output jack.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Well; it doesn't sound like your output jack is broken. It could be that the spring contact that touches the end of the cable is bent, in which case you would need to remove the output jack and bend it back where it belongs. Now as to the rattle, that sounds like something is loose or broken inside of your bass. Have a good tech look at it. It will probably be an easy and cheap fix.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
It's kinda difficult to explain the sound it makes. I can hear both crackling, loud popping and buzzing. Usually it first it crackles, then makes a loud pop/snap, then buzz for a second or two and after moving the cable again it might work for a while.

I will open up the pickguard today (or tomorrow) and tell you what I see inside there. Thanks for your help! Hopefully I can fix this myself, since the closest music store is like 100 kilometers away from where I live...

EDIT: I opened it now, and tried to take a picture, but my cell phone's camera sucks. So I will explain it with this wiring diagram I found:

The metal-colored wire that goes from the tone knob to the "earth"-thing in the output jack has snapped. The point where it broke is right next to the output jack, so there's only a short stub of it left on that end.

I suppose I have to solder it together then? My friend might have the equipment and skills needed to do it, but I need to know which material is needed to do the soldering? I heard that it can be tin or zinc or something, does it make a difference at all?

EDIT #2: I noticed that the spring contact was also bent, just like FatalGear said. I bent it back so it touches the head of the cable again properly.
Last edited by ShockHazard at Feb 15, 2013,