Post Number: 498
|Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 4:26 pm: |
Hey, Mica, I'm putting this here to get your attention and to give you a convenient place to get back to me about the problem with my balance/pan control we spoke about on the phone.
You were hoping your Dad might get a chance to look at the schematics (hope I spelled that right) to determine the cost of a replacement pot, which seems to be necessary.
I'll keep my eyes open on this thread. It's not critical or anything... the bass still plays fine -aside from about 10% of the range being useless and making a horrible sound even worse than "nails on a chalkboard"!!!
Post Number: 4416
|Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 4:42 pm: |
Thanks, Mark. I've got it noted to go over the schematics with my dad based on our phone conversation last Friday. Like I told you on the phone, it might be a good week or so before I can get together with him on the subject. Until then, we won't even know if the pan pot is the culprit (yes, I know that's where the symptom is occurring, but that isn't necessarily diagnostic).
I'll let you know on this thread as news develops.
Post Number: 4418
|Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 5:22 pm: |
In the meantime, you can tell me this about the pan pot:
1. does it have a center click?
2. is it the pot that is closest to the edge of the body?
3. see if the pot is single section or two section (the volume pots are single section, the filter pots are two section for reference)
4. Is the sound only happen as you're turning it - meaning does it go away if you stop turning it, even if it's in the range where the sound can happen?
5. do any of the switch settings make any difference in what you hear?
6. On the phone, you mentioned the sound was when the neck pickup was favored by the pan pot by 90%-100%. Can you please confirm this?
This type of custom electronics is only intended for servicing by us. While we will try hard to get it serviced remotely, it may not be possible to troubleshoot it completely.
Post Number: 499
|Posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2007 - 7:27 pm: |
1. Yes, the Pan/Balance control DOES have a center click.
2. Yes, it is the pot closest to the edge of the body/furthest away from the strings.
3. I don't understand this question; I don't understand what "single section" and "two section" mean. Since you said "the volume pots are single section and the filter pots are two section for reference", I opened up the back and stared at the electronics for a while. But it's not clear what these terms mean to me. I see some differences between the filters and the single (master) volume -but it seems to be the presence of the circuit boards and the little blue squares (the preamp adjusters, right?). After looking again and again, it's not clear what "two section" means... it's not clear what is "two section(s)". I will remind you that there is a picture of my electronics cavity on my COTM thread... it's a little small, but maybe you can tell by looking at it, since you know what you're looking for... or if you can give me more information so that I know what to look for, maybe then I'll be able to tell you.
4. The horrible sound it makes happens when I turn thru a certain range, and it stays when the knob is left in that range... it keeps making the sound even if I'm not turning it.
5. I'm going to put the plate back on and play around with the switches to answer this question. I'll be back in a few minutes. Okay, I'm back. I played around with it for 15-20 minutes, and found out some strange things. First of all, let me answer question 6. If you were sitting in front of me while it was strapped on me, the balance is 50/50 at the 12 O'Clock position. I can turn it to the extreme of 7 O'Clock (all bridge pickup) to the other extreme of 5 O'Clock (all neck pickup). The problem occurs in the area right before 5 O'Clock/all neck pickup -roughly in the 4 O'Clock to 4:45 O'Clock position(s) (your perspective). The problem occurs regardless of what I do with the other switches. But I found a couple of interesting things. MOST NOTABLY, when the balance position is in "the bad range" and it's making the really horrible sounds, I found that turning the BRIDGE filter makes a HUGE difference in reducing the harshness of the horrible sound. When I turn the BRIDGE filter to the maximum filtered position, it substantially lessens (but does not eliminate) the horrible harsh sound. This is curious, because, of course, the bridge filter should have very little influence over the sound at this point, since (theoretically) about 90% of the sound is coming from the neck pickup at this point. And if I turn the balance slightly further (to 100% neck/5 O'clock position) the BRIDGE filter in fact has NO effect on the sound (as should be the case), and if, conversely, I turn it the other way, just past the "bad area" -say, at about 4 O'Clock (at which point the ration is probably about 85%/15% or so) it has VERY LITTLE effect on the sound (again, as ought to be the case). But again, WHEN the balance is IN THE BAD AREA, it -the BRIDGE FILTER- has a huge effect on REDUCING (but NOT eliminating) the harshness of the sound. Additional information: turning the NECK filter (when the balance is in the bad area) ALSO reduces the harshness -but NOT NEARLY AS MUCH AS THE BRIDGE FILTER!!! This seems really screwey and counter intuitive. Also, flipping the Q switches and the Q off/on switches changes the sounds being made... but again, the NECK switches affect the sound more than the bridge switches!!! Now you may recall I have a special 3-position toggle that lets me "assign" either of my sets of tone controls to become MASTER controls for BOTH pickups. Well, the problem persists in all 3 positions. However, if I've got the switch flipped so that the NECK controls are assigned to be the master controls for both pickups, then -AND ONLY THEN- does the BRIDGE pickup NOT affect the horrible noise. (It doesn't do anything at all -as it shouldn't.)
Yeah, this is discouraging, just 'cause it's starting to seem like it may be a lot more complicated. Hopefully you and Mr. W can make some sense out of it. Otherwise, I'll probably have to send or bring it back to you. This would be a significant problem, as, besides being seriously broke and about to (hopefully) buy a house which will consume all available fundage, I really wouldn't want to ship it with all the problems I've heard about instruments being damaged. I'd be more inclined to drive it, although this is also expensive and time-consuming.
This brings up a couple issues. I was going to hold off until my current custom in progress was getting close to the point of completion/delivery... but I'll want to go over options regarding shipping/delivery. I may flight out and rent a car and drive it back. I may end up bringing out the 8-string and leaving it for you to work on (if, gasp, it's necessary, which I'm fearing it may be) and driving home with the 6-string.
I'd like to know how much extra it would cost to upgrade from the standard case Beaver charged me for to a road case (for my new 6-String). Please tell me the difference at your earliest convenience. I may be interested in applying the cost of shipping & insurance to a plane or bus ticket or car rental if that's an option.
It's absolutely imperative that any shipping that is done provides me with 100% coverage from any and all issues that occur from the time it leaves Alembic till it gets to me and vice versa. And of course I want you folks to be covered too. The last thing I want is to have damage to my peghead or omega or anything -but if it were to happen, I'd likely want a new instrument.
Who are you guys using now, to ship your instruments. Consensus is that UPS and FedEx are terrible, prone to damage, and have absolutely no integrity when it comes to honoring their insurance. Is DSL good? Who do you use/recommend. What kind of shipping damage issues have you been having, and how are these issues resolved? Who ends up paying when these instruments are damaged. I've got my instruments covered thru Heritage; but, as expensive, unique, and irreplacable as these instruments are, I will most definitely want to throughly go over the "battle plan" when either/both of my basses are shipped to Alembic in the future. If something bad were to happen, I absolutely, positively don't want (and can't afford) to get screwed. But of course, I wouldn't want Alembic nor Heritage to get screwed. But, of course, I just don't want there to ever be an issue at all, way too much headach and heartach. (But, since these things do/have happened, it is essential to be prepared.)
This is discouraging, but thanks for your help and support. Maybe I'll get lucky, and Mr. W will figure out a relatively easy fix... but it's looking more like a trip to the factory may be necessary. If so, I'd like to "stone two birds with one joint", and do it as quickly, safely, efficiently, and painlessly as possible.
I also have big reservations about shipping my 8-String in my case. The case just doesn't fit it right. I've had to stuff socks under the neck to keep it from resting on the tip of the headstock in the case -and I'd NEVER want to deal with a broken peghead... especially with the unique continueous wood feature my bass has.
Thanks again, Mica.
Post Number: 525
|Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 11:28 am: |
Hi Mica. I spaced on opening up the back and trying to determine whether the pan control is one section or two.
But I opened it up a few minutes ago, and slipped a cut off end of a business card against the volume, filters, and pan thingees on the inside, and then measured 'em with the calipers.
The volume and two filters were pretty close to 23/32nds of an inch (from the top of the things to the wood they're mounted on/in. I thought you said the volume and filters were different... but as far as I can tell, they're the same height.
But the pan control was noticably higher -about 7/8th of an inch.
Hope this helps. Thanks, Mark.
Post Number: 4453
|Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2007 - 5:54 pm: |
I couldn't tell from the small picture on the Featured Custom for your bass, since the image is straight from the back, that's why I needed the clarification. The important thing was to confirm the style of pot on the pan control, which seems to be a 2-section pot. Here's a photo to illustrate what I was describing:
We've spoken on the phone since you posted your first round of more in depth troubleshooting, and I appreciate your report. This will help my father and I determine what part(s) is giving you the trouble.
The issues about shipping we've covered in the other thread you started about this issue.
It will still be a little while before we can get you some progress from our end - it's a little harder to "see" the problem without having the electronics in front of you to "look" at, but we have done it before, just takes a little more time.
Post Number: 526
|Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 6:17 am: |
I went back and opened up the back again last night after I realized -duh- that the little pointy gizmo on the end of the calipers actually functioned for the purpose of doing the measurement I used a part of a business card for.
I forgot the measurements... but they were close to what I told you above. What's interesting is that my pots actually seem to have THREE levels or heights.
Now I tried to use the calipers to measure the filter-height... but there were too many wires surrounding them, and I didn't feel comfortable trying to move them... so I couldn't get the calipers in for a really precise measurement. But the filter-pot-thingies really look to be the same height as the (master) volume pot-thingie. The pan-pot-thingie is DEFINITELY a little taller/longer, though... about an eighth of an inch more. But NONE of these (filters, pan, volume) look like the picture of the "1 section" thingie above... they ALL look like the 2 section thingie. (Although the pan-thingie is longer/taller.
The bass & treble knobs, however, are much shorter, and look more like the 1 section thingie pictured above. But even they seem to have a little seam running halfway through/across them.
SUMMARY: THE PAN THINGIE IS THE LONGEST/TALLEST, THEN THE FILTERS & VOLUME (which look to be the same height) AND THEN THE BASS & TREBLE KNOBS!
I'll look later when I have more time and see if I can safely get more detailed measurements -if you think it'll help. Thanks again!
PS I haven't seen pricing info for the Series prep or the other electronics options yet, so if you sent it, it got lost somewhere.