Output jack on bass has stopped working

So It was a slow progression over the last week, the sound coming out of my amp would be intermittent. I would give the cable a quick wiggle on the bass side and the sound would start back up. Thought maybe it is the cable so I have a new one on it’s way. The next day the same thing happened, started playing then the sound would crackle in and out. Noticed that the nut on my bass output jack was loose, tightened it, and it started working. Next day same thing, so I unscrewed the jack and everything looks fine all the wires are still soldered. The bass isn’t making any sound at all now and I am at a loss. I would love to repair this myself if possible, just gotta figure out what the issue is. Does anyone have any ideas???

Edit: Also should have stated originally this is not an active bass.


Just to make absolutely sure (and because we recently heard a similar story from @Gio) - have you checked your battery (in case you have an active bass)???

Just wanted to exclude this one first :smile:


I also would not rule out the cable


Yes, do you hav3 active EQ? This will prevent sound from the bass if the 9v, sometimes two 9v. Batteries are dead.

I bought a bass with the input jack not working. Got a Sterling Sub StingRay for $90 cuz the input jack was not working.

But I got home and popped in a fresh 9v. In the back and it was fine

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Active EQ for sure will not play. Some active pick ups will still play if the battery is dead.

Also, if it is your battery.

Do you remove your cord from the guitar when not playing? When the cord is in, the Bass is essentially “on” and draws from the battery, so if you put the bass away, but leave the plug in the jack, it will shorten the life of the battery, and if left in long enuf, it will drain it.

If you have a battery in back of the bass, but don’t have a new one to replace it, you can do the tongue test on the battery. If it’s dead, that is most likely the problem. If it is not dead, you may have another issue.

Hope this helps.

And welcome to BassBuzz @Tosh


I’m in agreement with the other comments, if it’s an active bass, this is a symptom of the battery’s dying moments.


I’d put money on it being the cable.

I hate bad cables. I have been burned by bad cables so many times. And even expensive cables go bad.


Sorry should have stated in my original post, this is not an active bass. I did read the post you’re talking about hoping that it would fix my problem, not so much.


That would be a nice easy fix if it was just the cable. I did order one online and it should be here in a few days. However, I have a second bass that works just fine with my cable so I am pretty sure that is not the problem.


Hm, yes, OK - I guess we just wanted to rule out some of the more “obvious” ones…

Another obvious one, and I know this is borderline insulting, but… did you check that the male part was all the way inside the female part? Did you get the “click”?? Of course, a connector half-way in at the bass side should give a lot of noise through the amp with the slightest movement…

Well, I reckon we might need some input from people who have actually taken entire instruments apart or put entire instruments together - perhaps these individuals could have some insight and ideas!?! @Korrigan, @terb, and a few more… :smile:


I always use a multimeter to check the cable and plug before anything else. First check the cable for continuity to make sure that the cable isn’t shorted in any way. Knowing if the cable is not shorted, plug it into the socket and then check to see if is shorted in the socket by touching the tip of the cable with one end of the meter probe, and at the same time touch the shank with the other probe lead. There should be no continuity. If so, the plug is shorted to ground. Next with the cable plugged in, touch the shank of the cable with one lead and then use the other lead to touch the bridge or strings. You want to see continuity. If not, then there is a open (broken) wire from the plug to the ground circuit. Then check again by touching the tip of the cable with one lead and the bridge/string with the other. There should be no continuity (open circuit.

Good Luck…

Oh, if my explanation is a bit confusing, let me know and I’ll take photos of each step and post them here for you.

Keep on Thumpin’!


I’ll make a T shirt of me weeping with this as the text.


@joergkutter Yes! Only borderline insulting :rofl: but it’s okay. The male and female parts have been fully connected “click, click”. Been playing this bass for years so I guess it’s about time for something to finally break.


Another possibility is the jack shorting against something inside the bass.


Might just be a bit out of shape internally. Check your cable first. If the cable is good, pop the back cover (or front if applicable). Check to make sure the plug is making contact and the wires are still connected. If it the Jack is bent or not making solid contact, gently bend it back to shape. If it’s the wires, it’s a simple solder.
I had this problem with my T-20. Easy fix, even if you have to replace the jack and/or wires. I had 0 soldering experience at the time. All went well.


Since you said you checked the wires and solder joints on the jack and then tightened it I would double check that a wire or solder connection isn’t grounding out on the jack/pot/shielding. I had a similar issue once and tightened the jack nut which twisted the jack around and a sloppy solder joint grounded out on the copper shield tape.