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Troubleshooting help for EBM-5

#1 User is offline   Bleach 

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:26 AM

Hello to all!

I have a black, fretless EBM-5, and I'm in love with her. It was my first bass, given to me by my brother-in-law about 14 years ago, and is still the only one I have (so my signature here would be very short). I was so new to basses that it took me about 3 years to discover that it was "active" and needed an occasional battery change. Since then, I have been changing out the battery every year or so. Recently, however, the battery will only last about 25 minutes. Max. Sound is good, then starts to get a bit of distortion, and "buzzy", then cuts out alltogether. Because the jack was a little bit scratchy from time-to-time, I had the jack replaced by my local guitar repair expert. Didn't work. Then I noticed that the female connection on the battery connector was overly wide, and not grabbing on to my battery, so we first bent the connection a bit, and then ultitmately replaced the connector. Yet, the problem persists.

What else should I/we be looking at? Is it simply time to change out the circuit board and get a replacement? If so, what is recommended?

The closest I've seen in the forums to my question is http://forum.gibson....-5-string-bass/, but the feedback was mixed. It worked - it didn't. It was not loud enough, so then they cleaned certain parts.

Thanks!
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#2 User is offline   lowen 

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Posted 02 June 2017 - 05:22 PM

View PostBleach, on 27 February 2017 - 09:26 AM, said:

...
I have a black, fretless EBM-5, and I'm in love with her.


I have a white EBM-5, and I can relate. Best. Neck. EVER. If it ever warps I am going to be one sad puppy.

Quote

Sound is good, then starts to get a bit of distortion, and "buzzy", then cuts out alltogether. Because the jack was a little bit scratchy from time-to-time, I had the jack replaced by my local guitar repair expert. Didn't work. Then I noticed that the female connection on the battery connector was overly wide, and not grabbing on to my battery, so we first bent the connection a bit, and then ultitmately replaced the connector. Yet, the problem persists. ... What else should I/we be looking at?


You should probably look at the capacitors, although really dirty pots (especially the blend or volume) can cause these symptom. A re-cap is probably in order. I haven't done mine yet, but I know it's coming. I did replace the jack years ago, and added a manual switch for power (so that I can leave the bass plugged-in without draining the battery is the biggest part of the reason, but also the seriously heavy-duty patch-bay jack I used to replace the cheap stereo 1/4-inch jack isn't TRS, but just TS). I may change out the jack again, though, because it makes it recessed too far. But having a power switch has really saved on the batteries, although if you do that particular mod, you'll want a mute switch in your pedalboard or you'll want to turn the amp volume down, as there is a definite and loud power-on and power-off thump. I typically either turn the amp off or down before I switch it off or on.

Quote

Is it simply time to change out the circuit board and get a replacement? If so, what is recommended?


I've heard and read good things about any of the Artec kits, particularly the BE2. There's some on eBay right now for about $37 plus S&H. I'd like to actually hear from someone who has actually performed the replacement with a BE2 to see how the sound compares to the factory board. I'd also like to hear from those who have replaced the pickups and what specific models they used that fit the space.
--
When you've emphasized everything, you've emphasized nothing......

EBM-5 White '92 Hartke 2115 Combo plus custom 12-inch sub cabinet with a Dynaco A-450-based dual-8417 ~150W driver.
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