17 Sep How To Wire Electric Bass Guitar
Wiring an Electric Bass Guitar
- You can wire your electric guitars or basses using basic soldering tools and a wiring kit.
- Create solder connections between the tone and volume pots, the audio jack, and pickups.
- Ensure each electrical connection is secure and fully soldered to ensure top sound quality and eliminate the risk of unwanted noise.
Some of the best bass guitars are electric, and others aren’t. But now is not the time to debate acoustic bass guitars vs electric bass guitars because right now, we’re focused on the bass world’s electric hemisphere. Knowing how to do electrical work on your instrument instead of relying on a guitar shop is a great skill to have as a musician. So read on as we show you how to wire an electric bass guitar.
And for a more specific guide on bass repair, look into our article covering how to fix a bass input jack.
How to Wire a Bass Guitar
Wiring a bass guitar for projects like making your bass guitar sound deeper requires precision electrical skills and know-how. However, doing this yourself can save a lot of money. And to do this, you also need to understand each part of the bass. You can start by brushing up on some of our resources, such as our article explaining what bass pickups are.
- Difficulty: Medium
- Time Required: 2 hours
- Total Steps: 11
- Tools Needed: Soldering Iron, Silver Solder, Tinned Wire, Heat Shrink Tubing, Bass Wiring Kit, Pickguard
Step 1 – Go online and find the wiring kit that suits your needs best (this can be a kit for a jazz or precision bass wiring).
Step 2 – Place the volume pot, tone pot, and input jack into the pickguard. Make sure the pot’s lugs are facing each other.
Step 3 – Tin each one of the pot’s lugs. Tinning means you take the soldering iron and melt some solder onto the lugs before connecting the wires. For the ground lug on the volume pot, cover it entirely in solder so that there is no hole in the center.
Step 4 – Once the solder on the volume’s ground lug is cooled, bend it back and solder it onto the top of the pot. Use extra solder to make sure it’s connected.
Step 5 – Tin the sides of the volume and tone pots. Put one large dot of solder on the side of each pot.
Step 6 – Connect a ground wire to the tinned areas on both pots. Cover this wire in heat shrink tubing.
Step 7 – Run another ground wire to the audio jack’s ground lug from the tone pot. Make sure this is also covered in heat shrink tubing.
Step 8 – Connect the tone and volume control pots by soldering a wire on the first lug of the volume pot. Then, solder another connection on the tone pot using the lug directly opposite the lug used on the volume pot.
Step 9 – Take the capacitor from the kit and solder one lead (after putting it in heat shrink wrap) to the middle lug in the tone pot. Then, solder the other lead to the top of the tone pot (also in heat shrink wrap).
Step 10 – Wire in your pickups. Take the hot wire of the pickup (it should be white) and solder it to the input lug of the volume pot. Then take the pickup’s ground wire (black) and create a ground connection. To create a ground connection, solder the ground wire to the top of either pot.
Step 11 – Solder the main ground wire (from the bridge pickup) to either of the pots.
How to Wire an Electric Bass Guitar FAQs
How do I know if my wires need replacing?
If noises occur when turning the knobs, you may need to replace the wires.
What do I do if my bass’s input jack makes a crackling sound?
You might need to replace the wires or resolder the connections to fix this.
What material are guitar cables made out of?
The conductive element used in guitar and bass cables is copper.
Tips: Make sure to clean your soldering iron throughout the process.
STAT: You can use a .068uF capacitor for a larger tone sweep. (Source)
Warning: If you don’t cover your wires in heat shrink tubing, likely, they won’t last as long.