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Active Raven Labs P-bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by vlad335, May 26, 2003.


  1. vlad335

    vlad335 Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Latrobe, PA
  2. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    This probably isn't exactly what you're looking for, but here goes :)

    I recently installed one of these in my '78 Musicmaster. Wow! Night and day difference... I had to make a new pickguard, (The pots are hardwired to the circuit board and there is no flexibility... The control spacing is slightly different on the Musicmaster and I didn't want to mess with my pristine, original pickguard! This wouldn't be an issue with a P), but installing was a snap. Solder the 'hot' wire to the pre-tinned hole marked 'Hot', (or 'Pos'... it's been a month and a half)... The ground to the other pre-tinned hole, attach to the pickguard and go. The instructions supplied are very explanatory.

    The electronics made the bass come very alive... The tone control takes a bit to get used to... Clockwise from the center detent boosts the highs while cutting the bass. Counter-clockwise boosts the bass while cutting the highs. On the Musicmaster, setting the tone control to 3 adds mucho booty to the bass and is my fovorite setting. The little Strat pickup has been wired in bypass mode for the past year and I was always pretty satisfied with it's tone... Adding the RetroFit makes it sound much more commanding and present. The volume knob does what it is supposed to... The gain realized by adding the unit is pretty significant. If not double, then pretty close...

    While cranking the tone control thins out the sound too much for me, I have a feeling that this might be more related to the instrument... If I had installed this on my P bass, (if my P didn't already sound ridiculously good!), I imagine that the voicing would be pretty optimal. The Musicmaster had a pretty midrangy voice before installation, so that probably contributed to the thinner sound. It's not bad, (definitely has bite and cutting power), just not my cup of tea.

    Build quality is what you'd expect from Raven... top-notch. Pots feel like butter turning... batteries included... They even supply conductive tape for installation, (instructions state that the unit will not work without the tape installed as shown)... While my installation isn't typical useage for this unit, with the results I've seen, I can heartily recommend it as a viable upgrade :cool:

    -robert
     
  3. vlad335

    vlad335 Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Latrobe, PA
    Thanks for the reply!

    Sounds great. I am going to get this for my P. The pots are real scratchy in it right now...

    So you don't have to solder the ground of the pickup wire to the back of the pot? I'm sold! I am really bad at that kind of soldering
     
  4. vlad335

    vlad335 Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Latrobe, PA
    Went ahead and ordered this from Vintage bass trading Co.
    I have to say that Steve Barr is a very nice guy. Quick Email replies too.
    Will post a review of sorts when i get it.
     
  5. vlad335

    vlad335 Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2003
    Latrobe, PA
    Just received the Raven Labs pre from Vintage Bass and installed it in my MIM P-Bass this afternoon.(Fast Shipping!) Instructions were great! Obviously written by someone with English as their first language.

    It was a snap to solder the pick-up leads ( just as you descibed rllefebv ) and the bridge ground wire to the output jack. Thats saying something because I suck at soldering. The only setback that occured is that the electronics wouldn't go down in the routing cavity at first but this was easily fixed. I had to chisel a small amount of material out near the volume pot and it went right in. This is probally the result of MIM craftmanship. I'm sure it would go right in a USA bass.

    Wow does this thing add output! Thumped my 30 watt practice amp hard. The bass side of the tone control kicks serious booty. I don't know what frequency this activates but it seems to be perfect for the P-bass and my Bartolini PU, adding tons of low groove. Turning the tone past the center detent into the treble side sounds great at first then it gets alittle to thin for my taste as you go higher.

    The unit is ultra clean with no noise heard whatsoever. I couldn't even tell my bass was on while not playing, even at 3/4 volume!

    The Downside: I wish it had concentric Bass and Treble controls. Also the center detent on the tone knob is alittle hard to feel. Thats about it!

    I have yet to try this with my main rig but will tonight. This is surely a major upgrade to my P-bass even through my little practice amp.