Scratchy Pots Already?

I have an Ibanez SR655E which I really enjoy but it seems unhappy to have been taken from California, USA to Thailand. My apartment in Thailand is air-conditioned (think hot and very humid) but whenever I leave I switch the air conditioning off as electricity here is somewhat expensive. I can only guess this is causing moisture buildup inside of the metallic parts (think potentiometers). After only 3 months whenever I adjust any of the tone/ pickup/ volume pots I can hear a faint but audible scratching sound. I guess I could spray contact cleaner into the pots if they have any openings in them but that doesn’t sound totally safe. Any ideas?


I’d recommend something like Deoxit or other liquid contact cleaner, a drop in the pot hole. Then twist the pot back and forth for a while.

You can sometimes improve or even fix dirty pots by twisting the pot repeatedly for its full range without any cleaner in it, as well.


What @howard said.
Metal and humidity don’t mix well.


Wow, just turning each of the 5 pots 50 times each fixed the problem with no chemicals that would be harmful to both my bass and the environment. Every time I pick up my bass now I twiddle each pot a few times as a preventative measure. Thanks so much.

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Cool. That’s worked for me too.

Dirty pots are among the easiest problems to fix, along with “fret buzz” (which usually just needs a setup). Good to look out for when people are selling used basses and mention it - often the problem will clean up immediately, like you found.

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My bass had some scratching on the volume poti right out of the box. Fortunatly disappeared with some usage.