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Problems with Bartolini NTMB-918F - No Sound

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by larrygs, Feb 11, 2014.


  1. larrygs

    larrygs Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    I recently bought a Bartolini HR5.4AP/918 Preamp Harness, I installed on my Ibanez SR-505 which has Bartolini MK1 pickups (stock ones).
    After the installation and reviewing the diagram a few times I still have problems, first, I has having a hum and only noise like a grounding problem. Yesterday I shielded the control cavity and the pickups cavity and ensure all ground connections were good and the grounding noise was gone but I get NO SOUND from the pickups.
    I know I'm missing something really basic but I need advice on what to check.
    I have been repairing stuff for a while on electronics so I know how to solder and how to use a digital multimeter so advice on what to check are really welcome. This is my first time installing a preamp and is driving me nuts.

    Attaching some images, big red and green cables are the pickups to the blend pot. All grounding is landing on the Bass pot and from there to the output ground on the jack.

    The output jack have battery negative, green wire coming from volume and grounds coming from the Bass pot.

    General ground circuit goes to the shielding too.

    This is the original diagram: http://www.bartolini.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/NTMB-918F.pdf

    General View:
    [​IMG]

    Grounds to Shield:
    [​IMG]

    Blend Pot with pickups wires:
    [​IMG]

    Any help will be welcome!

    Larry
     
  2. larrygs

    larrygs Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    I'm willing to give a $25 Amazon Gift card is somebody can help me troubleshoot my problem, I need to start a new recording in a few days and I still do not get sound on my bass :meh:
     
  3. ex-tension

    ex-tension

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
  4. larrygs

    larrygs Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
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    ex-tension I think you are right, I will check tonight and will get back to you, thanks for the heads up!
     
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  6. LightGroove

    LightGroove

    Joined:
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    I was going to add that those solder joints look like they are cold and will create problems
     
  7. aproud1

    aproud1 I don't feel tardy? Gold Supporting Member

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    Make sure you haven't accidentally shorted something to your shield. a lot of those pots get pretty close to the shield and poof no noise. You can pull all the pots out and see if you get sound. When I do a full shield I put a piec of electrical tape in any spot that could potentially be a short.

    That link above should be pretty helpful too.

    Also make sure your 1/4" jack is wired right.

    http://www.bestbassgear.com/ebass/repair/long-threaded-barrel-jack-lug-assignments.html
     
  8. aproud1

    aproud1 I don't feel tardy? Gold Supporting Member

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    And I know it's a terrible feeling. I have broken many perfectly good basses myself. I feel your pain. If you keep at it and are methodical you'll get there.

    :)
     
  9. larrygs

    larrygs Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    Thanks a lot to all for the replies!!!

    I finally got it working and ex-tension was right! it was the issues of the post he linked.

    So now I have my bass back and the NTMB sounds great!

    I touch up several solders as most of then I reinstalled in a rush while troubleshooting, I use Silver Bearing solder which always gives me better result and avoids cold points on the solder.

    About shielding that it was mention, there are not shorts, I checked all connections with the multimeter, however I never put attention about the "double" wire of the pickups.

    Now the pre-amp is working as expected, and I actually set it up for 18 volts configuration to have more headroom :)

    Now wondering if is worth to put in a MK5CBC-Set of Bartolini pickups. I will not replace this bass anytime soon, has a lot of history, so I do not mind investing, but not sure of those MK5CBC will make a lot of difference form the MK1 currently installed.

    I'm happy now!

    ex-tension, I will PM you, thanks!
     
  10. aproud1

    aproud1 I don't feel tardy? Gold Supporting Member

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    Glad to hear. :hyper:

    Are you happy with the way it sounds now with the upgraded preamp? I always thought the MK1's were OK. But the preamps in those basses were the weak link. If you like the way it sounds now I wouldn't worry about it.

    And do yourself a favor and make sure to keep an extra barrel jack on hand.
     
  11. larrygs

    larrygs Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Costa Rica
    Hey aproud1, yes I really like the sound now, I heard MK5 are a bit warmer and less metallic than MK1, but after the preamp replacement the sound is way better than before. As you mention, the MK Preamp was not good and a bit noisy for me. I think I will not think on replacing pickups for a while, still need to get use to the new preamp.

    And yes! I'm getting some Switchcraft 152B, to have in stock, I think I will actually put a new one since the current already has suffer some abuse.
     
  12. ex-tension

    ex-tension

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Glad the problem is solved and you have a great sounding bass :)

    You put solder blobs at the top of the cavity. Don't they bump the cavity lid?

    The MK1 pickups have split coil arrangement inside. MK5s have 'dual coil' arrangement and has 4-conductor connection. (with an on-on-on switch on each pickup) You can connect them in series or parallel or single coil. So, you will have many different combination of pickups on the same bass.
    See this thread about it:
    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f38/upgrading-bartolini-mk5cbc-pups-wiring-options-667628/
     
  13. larrygs

    larrygs Supporting Member

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    No bump on the cavity, they might look big on the picture but are almost flat. I already retouched them more to have them more flat, but no issues here.

    Yes I saw all the wiring options with the on-on-on switch, could be nice, but not needed now honestly. But it is a good option to consider for future.

    Thanks!
     
  14. mmbongo

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

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    MK5's are a vast improvement over the MK1's. They are dual coils, so you can add series/single/parallel switches for them. Outstanding!
     
  15. larrygs

    larrygs Supporting Member

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    Thanks mmbongo!

    They are on my list!
     
  16. LightGroove

    LightGroove

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    This....but also better string balance... Mk1 seem to lose it on the a and d strings
     
  17. larrygs

    larrygs Supporting Member

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    Crap...I was playing last night, doing some recordings, the new preamp sounds great but as some people posted on other threads and you guys mention, the MK1 are just ok and do have some issues. I heard recordings with the MK5 and they have a lot better body on the low/low mid side and not so "metallic" highs as the MK1s.

    Guess I will be putting in the MK5CBC sooner than expected! LOL!
     
  18. larrygs

    larrygs Supporting Member

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    After seeing the wiring diagram for the switch, there are many combinations, looks like DPTT is a good option, however, any of you guys have recordings or videos about how those combinations sound?
     
  19. larrygs

    larrygs Supporting Member

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    Guys take a look at the last post on this thread:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f38/bartolini-mk1-537974/

    "I just checked the MK1's again very carefully. The upper magnetic area is only for the D and G strings. The lower magnetic area is for the B, E, and A strings. Unless some very precision assembly was done, this could be a problem for hum cancellation due to unequal winding size. It is the very nature of the humbucking process (two identical coils, of opposite magnetic polarity, connected together in series or parallel) which reject induced noise. Any change in that relationship (magnetic, electrical, spatial, or otherwise) can affect the noise rejection ability."
     

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