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active 6-string pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by E.O.M., Dec 22, 2001.


  1. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I play an Ibanez SR 506. Everything in it is still stock. Which means, it has 2 passive soapbar-style pickups, and 9V active electronics.

    But I feel that the stock pickups (ADX6?) do not have all the low end that a good pickup should have. So I'm considering buying new pickups. I've never done this before, so I'm wondering what would be my best bet? Bartolini? EMG? Seymour Duncan? Other?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    *bump*

    Can anyone answer this?
     
  3. oddentity

    oddentity

    Nov 20, 2000
    Philly
    Well, right now I only play four-strings, but I use EMGs in one of my Jazz basses. It has tons of low end and great tone overall. I don't use a preamp, either...
     
  4. I like Bartolinis myself, I have them in my Dingwall 5 string and I am putting them in a bass I am building (unless the Lane Poors I am dealing on work out to a reasonable price).

    If you go with a good set of Bartolinis, EMGs or Seymour Duncans, you really can't go wrong. Lane Poors are supposed to be good, if you can find a pair.

    I have heard, though, that EMGs are not voiced as well for low end as some of the Bartolinis, but this is heresay.

    Geoff
     
  5. I felt the same way about my bass, liked the looks and playability but the sound was lacking. I put Basslines ASB-5 soapbars and the STC-2A 2-band preamp in my SR-505, replacing the ADX-5's and stock preamp. The result was a much better sound overall. Bigger, tighter, cleaner with a lot more variety. Make sure you specify the knob arrangement if you are going to get a 2-band preamp. Your control cavity is the same size as mine and the preamp is quite big, so fitting it all in there is a little tough, but worth it. Also, I checked with Ibanez prior to swapping out mine and the ADX pups are active. There are schematics on their site if you're interested. Cheers.
     
  6. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    How much did all that cost?
     
  7. It cost $450 Cdn, so about $300 US at current exchange rates. You might want to try just the preamp first. I would have done so, but the wait would have killed the deal for me, it almost did anyway. It took 8 weeks to get the stuff up from Ca, but I see you live there. The stores down there must have better stock and better pricing. I still might go and order the 3-band unit. Cheers.
     
  8. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    So if I can only afford either the pickups or the preamp right now, it's better to get the preamp? Can you tell me the pros and cons of just getting the preamp/pickups?
     
  9. I think the general consensus is that in active Ibanez SR basses like ours, the preamp is the most likely culprit if the sound is less than stellar ie: muddy or limp bottom. I think that a good start would be any name 3-band preamp with sweepable mids. Putting new pickups in with the existing preamp will limit the performance of the new pups. Conversely, the new preamp will definitely let your existing pickups perform to their max. Perhaps you should start a new thread asking the question of which to do first. I'm sure the replies will be even more helpful. Cheers
     
  10. I have done this swap for a customer with a Ibanez 6. I left the pups in, and replaced the crappy stock preamp with a Seymour Duncan 3 band for active pups. The difference was not mind-blowingly huge, but worth it. The lows were more useable with less "woof", and the highs lost their "brittleness". I think that replacing the pups as well WOULD make a huge difference, as those Ibanez pups are just Mighty Mites, same as in the Korean Tobias, and they are low output.
     
  11. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    The Ibanez SR 506 has 4 knobs: One for overall volume, one for pickup blend, one for bass cut/boost and one for treble cut/boost. If I'm not mistaking, that's using a 2-band preamp. My question is, how would I go about using a 3-band preamp with 4 knobs? Would I have to get rid of volume or blend?
     
  12. hujo

    hujo

    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Naahh, just use stacked pots. for instance, vol, balance, bass/treble, mid/midfrequency, or whatever. if you go with a preamp without a mid-frequency sweep, you could do it like this: volume/balance, bass, treble, mid. EMG and Bartolini have preamps that will work like that.
     
  13. if you don't want to drill an extra hole in your bass for a stacked mid control, as hujo says you should be able to get all the tone controls on stacked pots with separate volume and balance pots no problem from any of the mfr's. the only thing is that those stacked pots take up a lot of room in there along with the battery and the preamp, fitting it all in there securely could be a pain. it might pay to find out which is the physically smallest setup and go with that, unless of course you're set on a particular brand name. I had to alter the arrangement of the pots slightly on my Basslines stuff to make it all fit in nicely as some dufus (me) did not specify 4 knobs on a 2-band preamp and got a stacked tone control. Yeah, I stuck it in anyway, I'll fix it later. Cheers.