Noiseless Replacement Pickups for Passive Warwick Corvette Ash (4 string)

Discussion in 'Warwick Basses' started by FiyaPowa, Dec 12, 2012.


  1. FiyaPowa

    FiyaPowa

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Hi everyone,

    I have a German-made Passive Warwick Corvette 4-string Ash with the stock J-style MEC Pickups that I recently obtained and I absolutely love the tone of it, but it is extremely noisy and susceptible to RF noise such as fluorescent lights, etc. I tried shielding the pickup and control cavities with very little success. I have been an electronics technician for many years, so shielding ability, soldering and general troubleshooting is not an issue.

    So the question is: Has anyone replaced the stock J-style MEC pickups in a passive Warwick Corvette Ash 4-string and maintained the stock tone as close as possible and only lost the noise? If so, what pickups did you replace them with?

    The objective is to maintain all of that growl/grunt/grind (use whatever adjective works for you) that Warwick Corvettes are known for. I know there are some great J-pickups out there and I already have a Fender Jazz with Nordstrands, but the objective is not to sound like a J, but to sound like a Corvette.

    If anyone has before and after sound-clips, that would be absolutely awesome.

    Thanks for the help everyone.
  2. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    Central Pa.
    I have had some noise issues in the past with stock MEC pickups and preamp buy only when I crank the treble almost all the way up. It’s been rare as well I guess just some of the combination produce a little more noise than others. The control cavity in some of my Warwicks have been painted with shielding paint and some older ones not but it never seemed to be the deciding factor on noise.

    I have done a ton of modding and pickup and preamp changes on almost all my Warwicks. My Streamer Stage 2 I have active basic single coil EMG pickups and a Seymour Duncan STC-3s for active pickups and it is dead quiet and the tone is pure Warwick and to me and my band mates the best sounding Warwick I play and I bring in 7. I believe to keep the tone of a Warwick with singles the active is my preference passive I would probably go Delano with the large pole magnets or Duncan Basslines. I have way too many issues with Bartolini and the split in the magnet falling under a string and having volume drop out. I had a Corvette with the MEC Dynamic Correction singles and was not a fan but that’s just me. I have a Soundcloud clip of my band with my SS2 below FYI.
  3. FiyaPowa

    FiyaPowa

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks a lot Means2nEnd for the suggestions on passive pickups and the clips of your tone. I'm going to try the passive route first and see if that does it for me.

    Anyone else have any passive J-pickup suggestions to maintain the stock passive corvette tone minus the noise?

    So far we have:
    Delano JMVC
    Duncan Basslines (Quarter Pounders) SJB-3

    another thread recommended:
    Dimarzio Area J, Model J and Ultra Jazz pickups as well.

    Thoughts?
  4. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    Central Pa.
    I put Seymour Duncan Basslines passive jays in my limited Streamer redwood and it rules and also dead quiet. I found them much more aggressive than the Barts that it came with and fuller and more growl.
  5. FiyaPowa

    FiyaPowa

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks was it the Quarter Pounders (SJB-3)?
  6. Means2nEnd

    Means2nEnd Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Location:
    Central Pa.
    Nope they wouldn't fit in my model. Got to make sure they will fit and work with the 17 mm spacing. I used the SJB-5 stacked. They are a blade design and no problems with spacing and you have to check your size mine is a custom shop so the pickup length was different for the bridge and neck and that's unusual for Warwick. I forget if you said yours is a 4 or 5 but measure the length you might need two neck pickups or two bridge depending on shape..
  7. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Disclosures:
    Product Specialist, Marketing/Social Media: GHS Strings
    If the pickup routes are standard (and like Means2nEnd said, make sure to check), you have a lot of options available. Personally, I would go either with the Hot Jazz pickups or the Quarter Pound, depending on the sound you want. I've had both in basses, and the Hot Jazz (SJB-2) are a very smooth sound, whereas the QPs (SJB-3) really are beasts. Both are dead quiet.

    If you wanted to get fancy, you could always do one of each; a QP and Hot Jazz. My PJ Bass was wired this way, and I found the Hot Jazz smoothed out and reined in the tone that the QP had.
  8. FiyaPowa

    FiyaPowa

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks a lot for the replies guys. I'll measure tonight when I get home and then check out sound clips of each and make a decision. Thanks again for your input and help. Much appreciated.

    I'm looking for mean all the way since I already have smooth covered in a few other basses. So am debating between the QP's and Delano JMVC's which also seem to get a lot of praise and have the large pole pieces like the QP's.

    Thanks again!
  9. FiyaPowa

    FiyaPowa

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    The neck and bridge pickups are different sizes, so that will limit the search a little bit. Bummer.
  10. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Disclosures:
    Product Specialist, Marketing/Social Media: GHS Strings
    Not as much as you think. Fender has done that for decades, so look for specific models that are labeled "neck" and "bridge" as a starting point. Double check measurements, but I doubt you'll have a problem finding replacements.
  11. FiyaPowa

    FiyaPowa

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
  12. nickbass5

    nickbass5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    I have a bubinga 5 string corvette that I put Duncan SJB5 set in. Quite, nice full bottom end. Has a upper midrange bite that the original pups didn't have that I don't particularly care for but great for a rock tone. Put the same set of pups in a maple body peavey TL5 and the midrange is a lot smoother. So it's probably the wood combination in the Warwick bringing out the mids like that. So if you want to tame those upper mids you might want to go with pups that are more flat or scooped in the mids.
  13. FiyaPowa

    FiyaPowa

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks Nick. I'm going to test drive the DiMarzio Ultra Jazz set next. Appreciate the tip.

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