Author Topic: Couple of Jack Casady questions!  (Read 655 times)

Alanko

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Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« on: August 20, 2017, 02:14:53 PM »
So I've finally bartered, haggled and brokered myself a black Jack Casady bass!

I got it for a good price, in part because it has a couple of issues:

1) The transformer is loose within the instrument and rattling around.

2) The 3-way switch spins in perpetuity as it is somehow missing the keeper. It still has the three positions, but you can cycle through them endlessly.

In short, where does the transformer sit within the bass? I thought it might be attached to the switch originally, but from having had a look at Casady harnesses for sale it appears to be separate from the switch.

Also, can I get away with a generic four pole/three way switch or is there a space consideration? How bit a component can be fished inside a Casady bass?

Also, is there any advantage to upgrading the potentiometers, and do they use different values given the low impedance of the pickup?

Basvarken

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 02:36:07 PM »
So I've finally bartered, haggled and brokered myself a black Jack Casady bass!
congrats
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I got it for a good price, in part because it has a couple of issues:

1) The transformer is loose within the instrument and rattling around.
No  problem. It was screwed to the middle piece with the length grooves. Just take a small screw and fixate it to the top at any point you wish.
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2) The 3-way switch spins in perpetuity as it is somehow missing the keeper. It still has the three positions, but you can cycle through them endlessly.

In short, where does the transformer sit within the bass? I thought it might be attached to the switch originally, but from having had a look at Casady harnesses for sale it appears to be separate from the switch.

No problem. I have the same issue with my JCS. Just choose the setting you desire and leave it alone. If you accidentally dial too far just keep on dialing until you got the right  setting. I won't affect the true function of the rotary switch. It's just that the stop isn't there anymore.

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Also, can I get away with a generic four pole/three way switch or is there a space consideration? How bit a component can be fished inside a Casady bass?
There is plenty of space. But I don't understand what you'd need the four pole three way switch for??
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Also, is there any advantage to upgrading the potentiometers, and do they use different values given the low impedance of the pickup?
No. You need special (low impedance) potentiometers for this bass. No need to change them. They're fine.
Potentiometers are over rated anyway in my opinion. If they work good from 0 to 10 they're alright. They do nothing for your "tone". Although some people like to cultivate myths about CTS or Bourne that sound soooooo much better  :popcorn:


amptech

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2017, 10:30:39 PM »
Although some people like to cultivate myths about CTS or Bourne that sound soooooo much better  :popcorn:

Just as well as there is cultivated myths about the quality of far east pots being equal to cts in quality...

Does anyone claim cts sound better, really?

My personal experience, repairing amps and replacing lots of pots.. cts lasts longer, period. They function better (not speaking of sound). I have only replaced a few couple of cts pots that could not be cleaned to function. One of the 5 amps I'm having for service today is a new amp 'assembled in the USA' with a chinese print, under warranty, needing two new pots. I think I have said this many times before, but I built some amps many years ago - similar but with a few 'key' components being different (like pots - one amp alpha, one cts etc..) and chinese/frar east pots really do not hold up. The Alpha amp now has one pot working properly (out of five) The same goes for guitars.

As for bourns, not sure how they are supposed to be different from other chinese stuff. I did order a batch of different bourns pots to put in an amp to test, but upon arrival the package said clearly made in china. They had the very same factory tool marks as another unbranded pot type a had a few of (that were made in the far east).

Sorry, just couldn't leave this alone - life is too short not to use cts pots! Actually, if life was even shorter one might get away with cheap pots, but..

Basvarken

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2017, 11:14:22 PM »
As far as I know CTS pots are being made in China or Taiwan for quite some time. A couple of years back I replaced the pickup in my JCS. And I needed two new pots.
I nice chap from CTS sent me two of these for free as a sample. The package came from Taiwan.

And yes there rally are people who claim they sound better. "really opens up the tone" and that sort of nonsense.
As for longevity, I think you may have a point there.
But on a bass guitar the pots are not being used very intensively, so it won't be a huge issue for most bass players.

Alanko

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 02:04:59 AM »
The four pole/three way rotary switch is simply to replace the defective switch in the bass at the moment. Four pole is overkill, but this configuration of rotary switch is far more commonly available than the two pole/three way switch the circuit requires.

Thanks for the answers! It looks like the Casady basses uses 2.5 k ohm pots, which aren't as commonly available as 250 k or 500 k pots.

Basvarken

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Alanko

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 06:21:53 AM »
Well the seller was wrong! The 3-way still works perfectly. The transformer is loose inside the base however. That switch would be a good replacement, but I might not need it... yet.

One thing I've noticed is that one of the tuners has bent. The peg, aft of the end of the mounting arm/axle, has bent. I might try heating it and gently returning it to the correct shape. If that doesn't work then I'm on the hunt for a replacement.

The frets are tarnished and a wee bit worn, so they will be getting leveled.

There are a few chips in the paint, so I will drop-fill these. there is a sort of scuzzily scratched up area on the side of the body, through to the wood. Lots of narrow-width but deep scratches. Not sure yet how I will tackle them.

Basvarken

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2017, 06:53:12 AM »
One thing I've noticed is that one of the tuners has bent. The peg, aft of the end of the mounting arm/axle, has bent. I might try heating it and gently returning it to the correct shape. If that doesn't work then I'm on the hunt for a replacement.

Replacing the tuners might be a good idea anyway. It is a chance to cure the neck dive, if you use light weight tuners!

bassilisk

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 10:56:17 AM »
I put a set of Hipshot HB6C - 1/2" Ultralite tuners on mine and they are excellent.

Rather than fill the existing holes I just put the original screws back in.

« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 11:02:14 AM by bassilisk »
Stable....for now.    www.risky-biz.com

Basvarken

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2017, 05:06:29 AM »
Here's mine with Gotoh res-o-lites.


Alanko

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2017, 05:36:24 AM »
A tuner upgrade is in the works. Those Gotohs look really good.  :mrgreen:

I straightened out the tuner last night. I simply disassembled the tuner, took the paddle-axle-worm gear mechanism, straightened it in my vice slowly, heated it up with my hot air gun, let it cool and reassembled the tuner. It looks ok, but I would rather be using new tuners in the long run.

The transformer was a bit tricky to screw down. I've mounted it to the center block beyond the pickup, towards the bridge. I couldn't get two screws into the bass, as the transformer would foul with the underside of the pickup in any location anywhere I could locate the transformer and get a screwdriver in place, so had to make do with one screw. The body material (mahogany?) is quite soft, so I had to impregnate it with superglue in a small spot first. I will keep an eye on this one, but the transformer is quite tightly wedged in.

Pilgrim

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2017, 10:50:27 AM »
Much cleverness!!  Nicely done.
Good sloppy playing is an art in itself. (Uwe)

Alanko

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2017, 06:04:46 AM »
Semi-clever. Superglue fumes seeped out the f-hole overnight and clouded up the finish. When I removed the clouding with acetone the numbers came off the poker chip under the impedance switch... but...

The poker chip didn't match the pickguard and pickup and was bothering me anyway. I removed it, and the bass looks better as a result. Just a black chicken head knob sitting in a sea of black.

Basvarken

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2017, 08:40:24 AM »
How about some pics?  :popcorn:

Alanko

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Re: Couple of Jack Casady questions!
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2017, 01:42:46 PM »
Pics for all!

The bass, thirty seconds after I opened the case at my desk at work:



More Bent Tuner than Hot Tuna:




The bit that annoys me. This weird scuzzy damage does through to the wood. I've been going over this section with black nail polish, and will flatten it back and buff it out. Not sure how this will turn out.



Green frets, yow!