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Another 18 volt bass question...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Josh Emmons, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. Hi all! I am hoping to transform my Warwick Thumb from a 9 volt, to an 18 volter, I at this point don't have the money for a luthier to do this professionally, so I am going to have a friend do the work for me for free. (he is an electrical engineer, whose specialty is to work on amplifiers, who has 30+ years of experience building and testing electronics), but something we both need to know, will the current 3 band electronics handle 18 volts? or will I need to have something done to them? any help will do,
    thank you!;)
  2. s4001


    Feb 2, 2009
    Thanks for the question. I'm curious about this, too. My Kubicki is 18v but I don't understand the reasoning.
  3. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I really don't see the advantage of an 18 volt circuit. I own passive basses, 9 volt and 18 volt powered basses and I just don't hear any better tone or headroom or anything really from the 18 volt versions. In fact my Musicman Bongo has such a hot signal that you can't turn the volume up all the way or it clips the crap put of my amp.
  4. throbgod13


    Mar 26, 2005
    there are practical differences.. in typical EMG installs, going from 9-18v is not going to make a tonal difference, it will extend battery life.. you can install up to 27V on a standard EMG install.. this does not include tone-shaping preamps..

    with tone shaping preamps, they all react differently to 9V+.. it depends mostly on the opamp IC.. some are not 18V tolerant and will burn out.. others are 18V tolerant and will react differently to the added voltage.. this is dependent on the discrete components on/in the preamp.. you might have an opamp that is tolerant, but other components are not.. this is why you must look at the schematic and component list to determine if the preamp is tolerant to anything above 9V..

    if your preamp is tolerant, you'll notice more headroom.. usually a 6dB increase in boost levels.. again, this is generalized, some may have more, some less, dependent on the design of the preamp..

    if it's not.. at the very least the opamp will fail.. other components will fail in the process..

    as for the OPs question.. i'm not sure if MEC preamps are 18V tolerant.. you'll have to ask your EE friend to look at the schematic and component list to determine if it is.. if it is, it's simple to wire another 9V in series..

    in my personal experience, i have two basses that have the JE-2000 preamp (Jackson) and they do benefit from an 18V install.. with increased headroom and volume.. i'm very, very happy that i didn't have to buy another preamp for each bass.. it's made a huge difference in tone for me..

    as for the MM Bongo, use your input -10dB pad switch.. ;)
  5. Crabby


    Dec 22, 2004
    I hate using padded inputs as I like things to sound as open as possible. Its no problem to keep the volume turned down a bit on the Bongo but it just seems easier to have the volume cranked on the bass. Of course this defeats the purpose of a volume control if its always at full.

    I hope the OP doesn't do any damage to his preamp by adding another battery. As mentioned, make sure the preamp is designed for it.
  6. throbgod13


    Mar 26, 2005
    i don't use my input pad much either.. but it is an option on a bass that is just too loud.. and sometimes the compression from using the pad is useful..

    he's just going to have to either contact Warwick, MEC, or have his friend tech it out.. hopefully before installing the other 9V.. ;)

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