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Active EMG's in passive spector

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by PollyBass, Dec 20, 2001.

  1. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Well. i (think, most probly) am getting a spector. its got a active tone curcit, but not active pickups. 9V. I know i would have to add another battery for the 18V electronics. How on earth would i do this? should i not touch and let someone else do it? tell me anyway, even if you think i should take it to someone. Do i have to cut another hole in the bass? gosh i hope not. So, how would i add another battery?
  2. I'll be happy to try and answer your questions, but I'm afraid you sorta lost me. You have a Spector with passive pickups and an active (EMG?) EQ that runs on 9v.

    So what is it that you're hoping to do, exactly? If you just want to replace the passive pickups with active EMGs, you don't need to add a second battery or convert to 18v--a single 9v battery will run both pickups and EQ just fine.

    If you want to convert the EQ to 18v, though, you'll obviously need to have room for a second battery. I don't know all the Spector models all that well, but if the battery is in the control cavity rather than in its own separate battery compartment, there may be room for a second one without any routing.

    Good luck!
  3. jerryoram


    Feb 7, 2001
    I`ve been interested in Spectors especially the 2002b.Spector recommended an aftermarket pickup set and active package you should contact them.
  4. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    ive been thinkin about doing the same thing to my spector. I'd just be a matter of wiring the new pickups into the pre-existing pre-amp. If you wanted to add a battery that would be no problem, there is sooooo much room in a spector cavity.
  5. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Yeah i just looked at that cavity. I could fit a Trained monkey in there. So, i have to wire them to the existing preamp. ok. any diagrams on how to do this stuff somewhere? I like to know as much as possable about the workings of bass. And i dont even know HOW i would hook another battery up to the thing.
  6. I'm still not totally clear what it is you're trying to "wire in". If you're gonna replace the pasive pickups with active EMGs, there are diagrams on EMG's website ( http://www.emginc.com ).

    If you're just trying to convert from 9 to 18 volts, the simplest way is to wire up a harness out of 3 battery connectors, connecting them together in a "triangle" with the red wire of one going to the black wire of the next. Then, you can use two batteries on two of the connectors, and plug the remaining connector to the original battery connector inside the bass.

  7. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Sorry. The dude at spector said i would NEED 18V electronics for the actives i am going to put in there. Was he wrong? Thanks for the battery info, i needed that. I keeped asking but no one would tell me or knew how to do it.
  8. I _think_ the standard EMG circuit that comes in most of the lower end Spectors will handle 18v, but it's worth asking the Spector folks to be sure.

    I've run the high-end EMG stuff with both 9v and 18v, and it sounds a little better with 18 (though the difference is pretty subtle). I've nver heard that any of the EMG stuff _needed_ to have 18v, though. What are you putting in?

  9. Pollybass,
    You won't have to add another battery. The NS-2000 Spector you are looking to buy has a 9 volt preamp already in it and that battery can power active pickups as well.

    The only way you would need to add another battery is if you insist on replacing the 9 volt preamp with an 18 volt preamp. Personally, that is a waste of time and money!
  10. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Ok good. i mean, if i dont have to. But PJ Rubal (or something like that) said and i quote "The bass is active via the EMG 9 volt preamp circuit in the bass.
    You can easily upgrade to the active EMG pickups (35DC, 35CS,35J, 35P),the housing is the same standard size. This will increase the output and tone. Be sure to add another 9v battery in series for this upgrade as this series of EMG pickups
    prefers 18 volts." If i dont need another battery, why did he say this? The pickups im getting are either dc's or cs's. So, im guessing he was wrong then. I dont know. is he saying something im missing? And thanks for all your help with the spectors Mr Dead.
  11. Well, PJ certainly knows what he's talking about, but he didn't say you _had_ to add a second battery, just that the pickups would sound better with 18v han 9v. To my ears, the difference was pretty subtle on my Modulus. Some people think it makes more difference than others, but it probably depends on the bass, your playing style, the strings you like, etc. etc.

    Converting to 18v involves about $2 worth of parts from Radio Shack, and is totally reversable, so it's not exactly a big deal to try for yourself and see if _you_ think it makes a difference.

  12. The 9 volt -vrs- the 18 volt circuit is always a hot debate. What is funny is that the US made Spector NS-2 as well as the Czech made NS-4 and NS-5 feature EMG pickups connected to a 9 volt EMG preamp.

    The US NS-4, NS-5 and NS-6 are housed with a Spector made (not EMG made) 18 volt preamp.

    In a nut shell, not all Spector basses with active EMG pickups are wired to an 18 volt circuit. Mr. Rubal is suggesting to you that you re-wire for 18 volts but is not necessary. I have compared my stock 9 volt cuircuit to a buddy of mine who has installed an 18 volt circuit in his Spector. To me it's just a waste of the soldering time. The choice is yours to make.

    BTW, happy to be of help!!!
  13. BTW Pollybass,
    If I can make 1 more suggestion. You should consider buying a Spector NS-2A from E-bay. These were the Korean made neck-though Spector basses sold new from the mid to late 80's. An NS-2A in good condition shouldn't be any more than $350-$400. The advantage is that the NS-2A has the traditional NS body style (unlike the current Korean Spectors). Also, with the money you saved you can upgrade the pickups, bridge and tuners for not much more than a new NS-2000 would cost alone.
  14. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    HOT BEANS! SWEET CHEESE! O man, i didnt know about those. sounds like what i wanted. I mean, i dont go by LOOKS as much as sound. but that body style is the sweetest thing i have ever seen. THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP MAN! im goin to go check it out now..... maybe ill go that way if i can find one. GOD I LOVE SPECTORS....