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Barts in a Spector?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by philthygeezer, Aug 8, 2004.


  1. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer

    May 22, 2002
    I have an NS2000 neck-thru and like the looks, feel and playability but don't like the sound so much. Too much clanking and glissing and clicking! Kind of cold and clean sounding. It has 35DC and 35CS pickups with a BQC 18volt preamp.

    How would changing the pickups to Bartolinis affect the sound? Are there any other options to make it sound warmer, woodier and less sensitive to every little freaking click and gliss?
     
  2. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I've also been thinking of this lately. IMO Barts are much warmer sounding, so I believe they'll improve your sound quite a bit.

    I have a question: Does your Spector easily distort with the 18-volt circuit? My Czech-Spector has a 9-volt EMG BTS EQ system. When I really dig in it distorts. I put in a fresh Energizer before my gig this weekend, but it still sounded 'farty'. On the other hand, my Modulus Q-4 has an 18-volt EMG BQS EQ system which sounded ultra clean on the same gig. I want to stick with the EMG P/J set that came stock with my bass if possible.

    Thanks and best wishes.
     
  3. 6-3-2

    6-3-2

    Sep 20, 2003
    Possibly the EMG pickups send a stronger signal to your amp and it overdrives it, and your modulus doesn't. That happens to me, but I have passive pickups, I dunno either way I push my amp to overdrive when I really dig in, I love the way it sounds though. A pickup change might do it, but also maybe if you had an amp with more watts, it wouldn't overdrive as easily, that headroom thing people always talk about.
     
  4. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I've never noticed the problem before, and it's really wierd. I run a 700 watt QSC amp. The EMG soapbars in the Q-4 drive the amp harder than the Spector's EMG P/J setup does, but without causing distortion. About the only thing I can figure out is that the 18-volt circuit has more headroom and is harder to distort. The distortion seem to be coming from either the Spector or that it drives my tube preamp harder. :confused: :confused:
     
  5. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    BTW, my Q-4 has EMG 35CS soapbars too. They're very glassy sounding and they're really sensitive to clanks. I experience the same thing you're experiencing with them. I'm sure Barts and a Bart preamp will work wonders. But it looks to me that the Bart soapbar is a bit narrower than the 35DC & 35CS. Hopefully Bart makes a soapbar of similar dimensions to your EMG's.
     
  6. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer

    May 22, 2002
    I've read (here I think) that the Bart M3's are direct EMG 35 series replacements and that they work really well with the BQC preamp.

    How do you deal with all that glassyness? It seems like every little mistake is amplified and put on public display! Do others notice this the way I do? Do some people actually like this clanking clicking sound every time they fret a note?
     
  7. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Are you sure the bass/preamp/pickups are the problem? How hot do you run your input gain?
     
  8. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer

    May 22, 2002
    :confused:

    I'm not sure. The bass is a lot louder than my other basses though, and I usually have to turn down on switching basses.

    Is there an input gain adjustment on the BQC preamp?
     
  9. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    No, but it sure would be nice!

    No doubt the output on Spectors are hot, especially with Active pickups.

    Why did you swap out the EMG HZs?

    I use a volume pedal in my rig, so when I switch basses, I just adjust the volume that way. Also helps me build dynamics within songs.
     
  10. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I've had to learn to play with a lighter touch. I also roll the treble off from both my bass and my amp, and I rarely if ever use my cab's tweeters. I've adapted, but it took some time. The hardest thing was changing my touch. When I solo I tend to dig in.
     
  11. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer

    May 22, 2002
    I bought the Spector on Ebay with all the upgrades already installed. Wanted to see what 'the Spector sound' was all about.

    The bass on the thing is positively thunderous. But the highs are driving me nuts. Maybe I'll put flatwounds on it. :D
     
  12. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    You know, groundrounds, like 'Half-Rounds' or 'Brite-Flats' might help. I'm also thinking it may be something as simple as raising your action slightly. This will certainly reduce the 'clanks', but I personally prefer a lower action.

    Just some thoughts.
     
  13. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Have you tried changing the knee frequency on the BQC? It affects which frequency the treble boosts and cuts. That might help your high end...
     
  14. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer

    May 22, 2002
    How do you do that?
     
  15. RicPlaya

    RicPlaya

    Apr 22, 2003
    Whitmoretucky MI
    There's a little switch on the pre amp to adjust that.


    I was wondering what changes the tone more, the pup or the pre amp? I would like to get more solid low wend from mine too. I have 2 Spectors one with the HZ and Spector Preamp, the second with HJ's and the BQC. I'm thinking maybe a different pre amp will warm up the tone?
     
  16. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer

    May 22, 2002
    The dip switches on the BQC pre-amp have a significant effect on the overall brightness relative to the bass tone. Toning it down seems to roll off the highs and the sparkle. It takes harshness out but also takes some of the life with it. I decided a good compromise was the knee setting at 5kHz. It rolled off enough off the sparkle to let the bass be a bass, while still retaining a little bit of that piano-like tone.

    Thanks for all the help!
     
  17. When I hit the strings hard on my Korean Neck Thru Spector, it distorts too. :crying:
     
  18. smperry

    smperry Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Man I was just about to suggest changing the dipswitch settings! Tooo late.

    I couldn't believe the difference it made. I'd guess that a bunch of people off their Spectors without adjusting that, and they might be sorry if they knew. If you crave that piano tone, EMGs are the way to go.

    Glad it worked out.

    Marshall
     
  19. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    what kind of amp are you using? If it has two inputs, try using the active input, or turn down your input gain down.