How To Solder Ground Effects Wires On A Bass Guitar

Need to know how to solder ground effects wires on a bass guitar? You've got a great bass that makes a horrible buzz, and you need to know how to solder ground effects wires on a bass guitar. This can be a simple operation, but you need to know the basics of wire soldering. This article will show you the steps needed to properly ground your bass.

Things you will need:

  • Bass guitar
  • Screwdriver, medium Phillips
  • Soldering iron
  • Medium solder
  • Flat work area.
  1. Preparations. Lay the bass guitar flat and securely on the working surface. The first thing to do is to find the wiring section of your bass. On many bass guitars, the ground effects and other wires will be in a cavity on the lower bass guitar body, usually protected by a panel at the back of the guitar. Unscrew the panel, set panel and screws aside, and find the loose wire as well as the volume pot (the round metal potentiometer base that the knobs attach to via the shaft) to which it should be soldered. Heat the soldering iron.
  2. Preliminary work. You'll need to heat the surface of the bass volume pot a little, but not for too long. Guitar techs at "Sweetwater" suggest, "Don't wait too long, as excess heat can damage a pot." After you heat it, melt a bead of solder onto the pot. Then you will need to heat the end of the ground effects wire, and cover it with a light coat of solder about 1/4" down. This is called tinning. It helps to strengthen the connection by having solder on both parts of the connection beforehand, much like with rubber cement.
  3. The join. Press the tip of the ground wire to the center of the pot, heat them both briefly and melt a small amount of solder onto the contact point of wire and pot. Hold the wire in place until the solder is cooled and the ground effects wire seems solidly attached. Then, making sure your parts have cooled, replace the panel, tune up the bass guitar and check to see if the soldering has done its job. You should hear a clear sound with no buzzing or hiss.

You should now know how to solder a ground effects wire on a bass guitar. Rock on!

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