#1
Hi,

I figured this section has most knowledgeable people on guitar electronics and so on.

I recently started playing this old Ibanez bass that used to belong to my brother - it's from the 80s and has been in my moms attic for over 15 years. There's been no problem with it except some occasional bad contact with the jack plug at bad angles.

Now I just had dinner, went back to practice and there's no signal at all, it's totally dead and I get nothing - of course checked the obvious like volume knobs and tried different plugs and interfaces.

I know nothing about guitar electronics as I've never modded, but I opened the back cover to see how it was. Probably doesn't say much but no loose cables and the soldering looks ok



There's also a standard 9V battery under another cover which surprised me. What is this for and should I replace it? It's 20years+ old and certainly long gone.



Does anyone have a clue what might be wrong, or can suggest how to troubleshoot?
Should I just take it to a guitar tech?
#3
Get that battery out of there. As batteries age they leak corrosive fumes (and sometimes electrolyte) all over the place. Hopefully nothing has been damaged yet...The pics are small, dark, and blurry so they really aren't any help. Are the pickups active, by any chance? I don't see any circuit board junk in there and I doubt there'd be a battery in there for no reason...

As for the jack problem... Look at the jack to make sure the connections are solid. If so, examine the rear of the jack where the threaded shaft meets the ground lug (there's a lip bent down onto the circular ring that connects to the ground lug). If you can turn the shaft fairly easily with a pair of pliers, the connection is compromised, in which case you can either fix it or replace it.

Let me know if you have no idea what I'm on about. This stuff can seem confusing for someone who's never done anything like this.
#4
Quote by Invader Jim
Get that battery out of there. As batteries age they leak corrosive fumes (and sometimes electrolyte) all over the place. Hopefully nothing has been damaged yet...The pics are small, dark, and blurry so they really aren't any help. Are the pickups active, by any chance? I don't see any circuit board junk in there and I doubt there'd be a battery in there for no reason...

As for the jack problem... Look at the jack to make sure the connections are solid. If so, examine the rear of the jack where the threaded shaft meets the ground lug (there's a lip bent down onto the circular ring that connects to the ground lug). If you can turn the shaft fairly easily with a pair of pliers, the connection is compromised, in which case you can either fix it or replace it.

Let me know if you have no idea what I'm on about. This stuff can seem confusing for someone who's never done anything like this.


There are circuit boards in there- they're side mounted on the back of the cavity, you can just about make the edges out.

Swap the battery out. It's a dead cheap troubleshoot. And remember, with active basses, don't leave your cable in- it completes the circuit that will cause the battery to drain.
#5
Quote by Deliriumbassist
(...)
Swap the battery out. It's a dead cheap troubleshoot. And remember, with active basses, don't leave your cable in- it completes the circuit that will cause the battery to drain.



This is the strangest thing. I woke up and plugged in today again just to check, and somehow everything works fine again. Leaves me to think it must have been the battery since I didn't really touch anything - and that it somehow gained a tiny amount energy overnight which batteries sometimes do. I'll certainly change it ASAP as I didn't even know that it had one - and that it's there a edit: actually marked OCT 2001 battery that hasn't leaked acid all over the place and not totally drained is mind boggling. I'll remember to unplug my bass between sessions. This is just weird.
Thanks for the helpful replies

Edit: Yep, after about a few minutes of play it started getting deeply distorted then slowly faded out. Heading to get a new one now
2nd edit: Works perfectly with new battery! It really was that simple. Thanks again
Last edited by fanapathy at Feb 16, 2014,
#6
Active pickups require battery power to send your signal from you pickups. Passive do not. Active is the way to go imo.