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ATK305 second pickup options?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by steve_rolfeca, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    While I wait for my sunburst Ibanez ATK305 to arrive, I'm pondering a two-pickup upgrade.

    The general idea, is to create a virtual 5-string P-bass, that would coexist with the stock ATK electronics. Call it a PTK? I'm thinking about inserting an EMG ABC active blend control before the jack, in order to blend between the ATK electronics and the P-bass p/u at the neck. Another option would be to use a switch to select either "ATK mode", or passive P-bass operation.

    Anyway, I'm particularly interested in your input regarding narrow-spaced 5-string "P" pickups. These are currently on my mind:

    1. An active EMG 40PX-5 soapbar. I have a 40P5 in my good bass, and enjoy it. This would be a welcome excuse to sample the new X-series.
    http://www.emginc.com/products/index/238/252/2

    2. An active EMG P5X. This would give better control of string-to-string balance...
    http://www.emginc.com/products/index/321/243/2

    3. An Aero e5pd passive p-type soapbar. Anyone ever tried these?
    http://www.aeroinstrument.com/pickups.html

    4. A passive Delano PC 5 AL/M2 in narrow spacing.
    http://tinyurl.com/pc5alm2

    5. An SGD ND3-40 (wide). I know, they're not a "P", but I'm intrigued by the tone samples on Dave's website...
    http://www.sgd-lutherie.com/pages/ND3-40.html

    6. A Bill Lawrence P-46, from Bill 'n Becky. Apparently works very nicely on 5-strings. Not only do a lot of people like 'em, but it's hard to find anyone who has tried one and didn't.
    http://www.wildepickups.com/

    I'm really interested in the idea of being able to sample P/ATK blends. I've seen lots of J/MM setups the last while, but never a P/MM-equipped bass. Is this because it's been tried, and it turned out to be a bad idea?
  2. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    I just realized a Lawrence P-46 would probably give sufficient coverage for the narrow string spacing.

    Bonus!

    Edited the original post to add that option...
  3. Jamie_Funk

    Jamie_Funk Supporting Member

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    Howdy to a fellow Londoner!

    Just in case your experiments lead you to dump the ATK electronics and go all EMG, any 40-sized EMG will fit in the pickup cavity of the ATK - I used both a 40DC and later a 40CS in my 305.....

    J
  4. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    Hey, Jamie.

    I can't see myself doing a soapbar in the ATK position- the ATK is supposed to be a contrast to my "good" bass, and I already have a 40p5 and a 40CS in that one.

    Still, that's interesting info. 40DC's have that bright, aggressive top end, I wonder if one might be an option for people who feel that the stock ATK p/u isn't bright enough...

    How did it sound in your ATK?
  5. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    Updates:

    EMG sez the new X-series pickups and ABCX are out. They won't play nice with other electronics. For this application, they recommend the regular 40P5 and ABC.

    Meanwhile, last night someone used a P-bass pickguard as a template, to determine that the front coil of the ATK p/u sits right on the normal location of the back coil of a P-bass.

    It looks like an authentic P install would also require moving the ATK p/u back towards the bridge a little. This requires some more thought...
  6. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

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    How would you manage that, without cutting chunks out of the bridge?
  7. i_got_a_mohawk

    i_got_a_mohawk

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    Also, there are quite a few P/MM basses (check Sandberg or Clover for instance).

    The problem with the P/MM combo is the classic pickup positions of the P and MM overlap slightly, so you either end up with the P moved towards the neck or the MM pickup closer to the bridge.
  8. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    That's why some thought is required.

    Rather than butcher the ATK bridge, my first impulse would be to install an MM bridge, enlarge the p/u rout fore and aft, and then make an MM-style teardrop pickguard to cover it all up.

    $15 for an OLP bridge on fleaBay. I also emailed Babicz about one of theirs in a tighter spacing. $200 bridge on a $170 bass? Sounds about right to me...
  9. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    On second thought, the existing bridgeplate could be shortened so that it stopped at the corners of the existing pickup opening, and a longer pickguard created to meet the bridge at that point.

    Here's a very rough draft that I did on lunch:

    [​IMG]
  10. MrBasseyPants

    MrBasseyPants Supporting Member

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    Just replace the bridge. If it is like the ATK 300 there is no other routing under the bridge other than where the pickup is and where the string through holes are...but the new bridge would cover the string through route.
  11. dug dog

    dug dog

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    That looks sharp!
  12. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    Got a very prompt reply from from Jeff Babicz, indicating that Full Contact is working on a narrow-spaced bridge(they currently only have 0.75" spacing), and they expect to release them in the new year.
  13. Justin Tuskey

    Justin Tuskey Supporting Member

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    I kind of like the little mock up you did there. the chrome meeting the black guard looks pretty slick. so what overall tone are you trying to go for? I mean are you wanting to move both pickups back in the say "wal or g&l" position? apparently the atk pup is already in the "little farther back than a P but a little closer to the neck than a MM" postion
  14. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    My ATK is still in transit, so this is all speculative 'till I get my mitts on it. But my thought at the moment, would be to put a P-bass pickup in the conventional position, enlarging the rout and moving the stock pickup back as far as required.

    I took measurements off a Stingray at lunch today. I'll have to see how much room there is to work with. Hopefully, it's possible to put the ATK in the authentic MM position, without compromising the location of either pickup...
  15. Justin Tuskey

    Justin Tuskey Supporting Member

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    gotcha, so you are going for a trad P and trad MM if possible. interesting, as you dont really see those. Ill be following this. My audere 3zb preamp shipped yesterday so next week Ill be popping that in one of my atks :)
  16. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    OK, what gives? I started taking measurements tonight, and unless I misremember the numbers I got off that Ernie Ball the other day, the ATK pickup is pretty much smack-dab in the official Stingray position!

    Have to take another look at that 'Ray, if I can get out at lunchtime tomorrow...
  17. Jamie_Funk

    Jamie_Funk Supporting Member

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    I should have commented on this before - not sure why some think it isn't, but the ATK is EXACTLY where the Stingray pickup is. I've measured both before, and all my basses have had a humbucker in the Ray position, since I MUST have a Ray-like sound but don't own a Ray (or the ATK anymore) as I need 5 strings with 19mm spacing (which I have on my Frankenstein Yamaha)

    So a standard placed P pickup, if split into two halves, will overlap part of the ATK pickup position

    J
  18. steve_rolfeca

    steve_rolfeca Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Jamie.

    Clearly, the darker sound of the ATK compared to a Ray, either comes from the way the pickup is constructed, or preamp voicing.

    On the weekend, I found that I could cop a better Stingray vibe by rolling off the bass control, instead of boosting the treble. I had to increase the gain on my amp to compensate for the loss of volume, but that actually injected less noise than diming the treble control.
  19. Jamie_Funk

    Jamie_Funk Supporting Member

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    I'd suspect the preamp voicing more than the pickup - keep in mind that the character switch also has a circuit related to it which in Attack mode cuts mids too - it isn't just used for the filtering in Trad mode.

    Be interesting to hear the pickup passive and wired for humbucking (both coils) in parallel to see if it gets the Ray vibe...or at least as much of a Ray vibe as a passive setup can get.

    Steve, if you are interested, I have an ATK pickup that is collecting dust in my parts box...you can have it if you want to play with a dual humbucker setup. Might even have the switch for it too.

    Always loved how Ibanez designed the ATK so that the 4 string and 5 string use the exact same pickup (size and internal guts are identical) - smart move.

    But it is a nice EQ IMO - very muscial and well-suited to that bass.

    J
  20. dug dog

    dug dog

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    Hey guys: Interesting stuff. Please keep us updated on your findings.

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