Hey guys,

I posted a previous bulletin about an electric bass I just recently bought off my friend. The pickups and most of the hardware are rusted or in bad condition, but the body and neck are excellent, so I figured it would be worthwhile to salvage what I can and fix this baby up. After thoroughly exploring everything, Ive decided that I have no idea what Im doing, lol. But seriously, I could use some help. I'm not sure of the wiring schematics for a standard bass, and I need to know what goes where because most of the wires inside have fallen off or broken off, and whatnot. I've (poorly) drawn out a basic layout of what the electronics look


The colored lines represent the wires and stuff like that, its pretty self explanatory. I have two knobs connected to the wiring, but Im not sure which one is volume and which one is tone (Im assuming one is volume and one is tone). The bass has only one set of split coil pickups, so theres no selector switch to factor in there. As you can see, there is one wire (the green one) that leads to nowhere. I have no idea where this is supposed to go.

What I need to know is...

1. What is the wiring schematic for this bass? How can I correctly wire everything so that it will work?

2. How do I replace the volume/tone knobs? I need to take the old ones out and put all brand new electronics

3. Do I have to replace my pickups? Most of the metal parts of the pickups are rusted

4. Also, how can I create a new pickguard? I figured I can trace a stencil and cut out some plastic in that shape. Does anyone know which type of plastic is good for this purpose and where to get it?

I think that's all for now, if anyone needs any more info, dont be afraid to ask.

Thank you,

1. Check this out. From your drawing I'd figure it's a precision style wiring with lots of wires missing.
www.lacemusic.com/wiring/pdf/7.pdf#search=%22precision%20bass%20wiring%20diagram%22 will show you the complete arrangement.

2. Yes. The core of any potentio metering device is a set of sliding contacts. Long term exposure to unfavourable conditions together with years of non use wil most probably have wreaked havoc on them.

3. Possibly. If these pick-ups are of the sealed kind, there is a good chance the corrosion is superficial and only concerns the protruding tops of the pole rods. Wipe them clean with mild sanding paper and you'll be fine. If these pick-ups are of the non sealed variety however, the permanent magnets that load the rods may well be beyond repair.
Apart from that there is a definite advantage to replacing the pick-ups and all the rest of the electronics in one go. Complete sets can be acquired as a spare part. These kits are not very expensive and all the math concerning output ratio's and resistance values has been done for you, so no surprises there.

4. Yes, but I would first try to sort the functional parts. Cosmetics are of later concern.
Thank you SO much, that was a huge help!

I looked online today and Ive actually found out that its some cheap Fender P-bass knock off. Same pickguard, pickups, body shape, knobs, etc. Do you know where I may be able to find spare parts for a P-bass? What I need is the pickups, volume/tone controls, pickguard, and bridge.

Thank you in advance,

Any music store having a sizable electric guitar department should be able to help you out. There you should also find someone giving you sound advice about how to fit the parts. If there is no such shop in your neighbourhood, you can do on line shopping here:
and find instructions here:

But before you go ahead one more piece of advice; have the overall condition and the basic quality of your bass judged by someone who knows where to look at. You say the neck and body are in good shape, but how about the frets? Replacing worn frets is no easy job for a DIY and a rather expensive one to outsource. And what about the truss rod? This is a metal part too and if it doesn't work no more you'll be in big trouble. New electronics, new tuners, new bridge and a new pick guard (and not forgetting to mention new strings) all together already equals the amount you'd pay for some of the cheapest new basses. As yours has probably never been an expensive bass either, any more unforseen expenses can easily finish off your project. I certainly don't want to discourage you, but make sure you have your shopping list complete before you buy anything.
Thanks a lot man, I appreciate it. I'll get all my stuff checked out soon, make sure that the neck is worth keeping. I'll probably end up buying most of my replacements from ebay or something. I think my problems are solved for now.


Your welcome Matt. The pleasure was entirely mine.
E-bay is good, just like most guitar repair shops. Lots of people pimp up their instruments by replacing o.e. pick ups, so there is a lot of stuff in perfectly working order lying around you can buy for rediculous prizes.
Give it a try.
Good luck and have fun.