Carvin Icon 505S preamp rewire, re-shield & switch mod.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Keith Medlock, Dec 3, 2013.


  1. Keith Medlock

    Keith Medlock

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Messages:
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    Hello all. I got annoyed with my Carvin Icon's preamp switch being the instrument cable/stereo jack. I don't feel like removing the instrument cable every time I'm done playing to avoid battery drain. Therefore, I'm going to add a rotary switch to control the preamp on/off function while still leaving the bass' factory look in tact.

    At the same time, I will take the opportunity to completely rewire and re-shield with copper conductive coating, silver epoxy and single conductor shielded 18 awg aircraft wire. This will reduce the circuits overall resistance/current draw and increase protection from RF/EMI. However, it will also lower the capacitance and affect tone in theory although I believe the change will be imperceptible.

    I'm sick as **** with an awesome sinus/respiratory/ear infection and bored so I thought It would be nice to take some extra time and post the process for anyone else interested in doing this to their instrument. For the sake of this thread, I'll start with my Carvin Icon disassembled/gutted with the new rotary switch hole drilled.

    If you want to know what I started with, look at stock Icons on the Carvin site. If you don't know how to disassemble your bass or drill a hole into the instrument cavity to get to where I'm beginning this thread, you may not want to attempt the rest of it either.

    Distance between holes is approximately 41.5mm and hole is diameter approximately 8mm so the new hole was placed to be uniform with the factory pattern.

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    Initial solder tac of the three long prongs on the stereo jack. They'll all be ground now and the short prong will be for signal. Once the ground wire is in place I'll pretty it up.

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    Copper conductive paint won't bond to the shiny plastic cover so it needed some prep. First it was wet sanded to 400 grit and cleaned with wax & grease remover to get rid of any mold release agents. Then it was masked on the outside, sprayed with adhesion promoter and top coated with sandable primer. In 24hrs I'll wet sand the primer to 400 grit and it'll be ready for a thick conductive coating and grounding straps.

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    The original wiring had the series wire between the batteries routed through the control cavity. The new setup will make both battery holders one piece with the series wire directly run, reducing the length of wire to 2cm.

    To keep the factory look I fabricated a thin black plastic bonding strap to connect the holders from underneath. All of the mating surfaces were buffed to 3000 grit to ensure a good cyanoacrylate weld between the pieces.

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    The new strap was tac'd down with a tiny bit of CA just to hold it in place temporarily. The top of the strap was coated with CA and the battery holders were put in place. I used the factory screws along with locking pliers to hold everything together nice & tight. In 24 hours I'll carefully pry up the holders, breaking the CA tacs I used to temporarily hold the strap in place. This will damage the UV cured polyester finish, but that has to be removed to allow for the thickness of the new bonding strap anyway and all will be hidden.

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  2. Keith Medlock

    Keith Medlock

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    Filled two existing holes with poplar dowel and drilled the new wire routing hole. In 24 hours I'll cut the excess dowel away.

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  3. Keith Medlock

    Keith Medlock

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Messages:
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    Polishing the battery holders. Notice the ceiling fan reflection.

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  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

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    Upstate, South Carolina
    None of the pics work.
     
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  6. Keith Medlock

    Keith Medlock

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2013
    Messages:
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    That sucks. Site won't let me upload attachments so unless I host them somewhere my thread is useless.
     

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