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'51 P5 Retro: MM5+J5...which goes where...?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Chef, Dec 19, 2005.


  1. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    For my '51 Precision P5 retro project, I'm pretty sure I want to run an MM5 variant of some kind where the "normal" pup would be, and add a J pup at the bridge. Probably both Norstrands, with one of his new fat J singles for the J...This should do a good job of giving me the big fat early P/Tele sound out of the neck position, and adding the J pup at the bridge will add some sonic variety, while sorta keeping a period look. Plenty of the old basses weere modded like this.
    But, I've had plenty of folks pm/email me saying they would do it the other way around with the MM5 at the bridge, and the J5 at the neck...
    I'd like coil taps on both and perhaps an OPB-1 preamp with stacked pots for volume/volume and treble/bass...this will let me keep the original 2 pot control plate and it's vintage looks, while adding some modern tone sculpting...

    Thoughts and why's?

    thx-chef
     
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Chef,

    You might want to consider the OBP-3...I only say this because you can hide the mid-switch under the control panel (doesn't sound like you're planning on using a mid), but you'd get both boost and cut from the bass and treble, while with the OBP-1 you only get boost, unless you add the passive tone roll off, which would mess your 2-knob configuration up. Otherwise, with the OBP-1 you can't cut your treble and would have a hard time getting a 'vintage' sound when you may want one. Otherwise, is it possible to get the Sadowsky pre? I know he builds a 2 band that sounds like it might work.
     
  3. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Valid points, and just the stuff I need to know, thanks!
     
  4. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    the Sadowsky 2 band pre and the OBP-1 are purt near identical in tone shaping capability - both are boost only ... unless you have a great fondness for the Sadowsky knobs, you can save yourself a load of dough with the Aggie.

    All the best,

    R
     
  5. dooft11

    dooft11 Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2003
    HongKong
    i think the opb-2 has boost and cut right?
     
  6. Rodent

    Rodent Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Regenerate Guitar Works
    yes the obp-2 is boost/cut, and it's also rated at 9v/18v whereas the obp-1 is 18v/27v

    All the best,

    R
     
  7. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    That makes OPB-2 seem better...does it reamin as "neutral" in passive as the OPB-1? Do either have a passive tone control?

    chef
     
  8. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Chef, I think the passive tone option is an 'add on'. I know that someone has posted a wiring diagram around here somewhere...with both cut and boost you may not need the passive roll-off, but if so, you're gonna up your knob count. Maybe if you only did one pickup you could run two stacked knobs? One would be vol/passive tone and the other would be active bass/treble. I was also thinking that a push-pull pot might work for a preamp-bypass for you so that you could run in true passive when you wanted.

    I've been looking at this issue for a while as I considered adding a different preamp to my PRS bass, which only has the 3 knob Jazz bass set up...and I had a really hard time working a layout I thought would work.
     
  9. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    Just a note, there have been a few people on the boards (including myself) that have contacted Aguilar and been told that the OBP-1 will run fine on 9v.
     
  10. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The J will be a lot lower output than the MM ... so thats something you'll need to manage.

    No double bucks for you? You could use either the L2500 (closer to the bridge) or HH SR5 (closer to the neck) as a placement tempate.
     
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I don't think the new Nordstand fat stack singles will be hugely lower output than the MM, but I could be wrong.
     
  12. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Just check it first. It would be a drag if you had to adjust the volume every time you changed the pickup blend. If the MM is wired in parallel (rather than series) it'll probably be closer.
     
  13. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Yeah, I need to call them and have a chat...thanks!
     
  14. If you're not that picky about your preamp you can try the Raven labs P pre. I have one in a J that Smash modified a little to include the second pickup. It's supposed to fit into a 2 knob layout - basically master volume, and master tone that works as either a boost bass/cut treble or a cut bass/boost treble. Very useful and simple, and you could always mod the volume knob into a stacked vol/vol.

    Another suggestion would be an Aggie OBP-1 with an added tone control. Since that might not fit into the 2 knob setup, you could try stacking the first knob as a volume/tone knob, with the volume knob controlling the bridge pickup volume only. I can see you having the bridge J pickup for some added highs and variety, but if you don't see yourself soloing the bridge pickup you can leave the neck MM full at all times with a knob basically blending the J pickup's presence.
     
  15. here's what I'd do with two knobs and two pickups...


    CRY!!! :crying:



    hahaha...just kidding...(I'm so funny!)...


    actually I'd do exactly what you're suggesting...
    I'd have toggles for the coils on the pups(series/single/parallel) I'd have a stack pot for volume (MM/J)
    and I'd have a stacked knob for tone (Bass/Treble) and go with an OBP-1.

    But I think after looking at the pickups, for a '51 P-style bass, I would probably want go with two Jazzes...one near the bridge and one in the classic position...in which case, I'd only have 1 toggle switch (for putting the two pickups in series)...

    but, hey...that's me...you do what YOU want to do...we're all different and that's GOOD!