Schecter Stiletto pickup issues.
I picked up a Schecter Stiletto Deluxe 4 last week second hand. The owner described it as having a faulty output jack. In reality, the ground wire from the battery connector had disconnected from the common ground on the back of one of the pots.
The bass came with ancient roundwound strings. Really, these are the dullest rounds I've ever encountered. They show no signs of conventional wear, so I think the bass was stored in slightly damp conditions perhaps. From what I heard from the owner's mother (the owner was away), it had sat unplayed for several years at least.
Now here is the weird part. I thought the pickups were really unbalanced. The G string rings out solid and full; the neck pickup sounds like a Precision and the bridge pickup sounds like a Stingray. However, through the D to E strings the volume drops off, and all the character and tone goes with it. I figured this was the preamp playing up, so I bypassed it and wired the neck pickup directly to a jack. Sure enough the pickup responds exactly as I just described. The G string is barky and full, but each string after it reduces in volume. My Ashdown amp has a VU meter on it that confirms visually what my ears are hearing.
So what is the problem here? Has the pickup somehow sustained damage? Is it just like that? I figured these were high impedance pickups, as the pickup blend knob is two 250k pots ganged together.
I would ultimately like to replace the pickups. Enter problem two. They are thicker, but narrower, than any soapbar pickup I can find. Using a ruler, I measured the width as 34 mm and the length as 110 mm. This is longer than most 5-string bass pickups. The pickups are branded Schecter on the front but G&B on the back. The preamp is also G&B. The bass appears to be an earlier model as all the hardware is black and the pickups have screws at each corner. These features appear to have been revised before Schecter canned the Deluxe range all together.
The bass is lovely to play unplugged; it is light and balances well. However plugged in it sounds terrible. Ideally I would go for a passive setup over active, but anything is better than the sound this thing produces just now.
Perhaps the magnets have been broken or damaged?
That bit about the battery makes perfect sense! I found the wire floating around and figured it was tacked to the pot.
Today I was staring at the switching jack for half an hour trying to figure out how it worked. Now I know! :ninja::ninja::ninja:
Confession time, part two. When I lifted the pickups out of the bass I stored them with one sitting on top of the other. Could I have degaused them? They didn't receive any hard blows or anything, nor were they exposed to stronger magnets in the vicinity.
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