Bass Electronics

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by thebassguy, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. thebassguy


    Mar 21, 2004
    Hey, I am new to this forum and I am just asking for a helping hand. :help: I am getting in to learning about electronics of the bass and what does what here and there. I have an old crappy bass that I can mess around with without fear of breaking anything, but I would like a littel direction so I know what I'm doing a little bit. Does anyone have any suggestions on any books I can buy or something similiar? I will be grateful for any help you can give me. Thanks!

    P.S. I know this is a pickup thread, but I figured it was the closest thing to electronics on the list, so it was what I went with.

    The Bassguy
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    There are books on op-amps etc, but it sounds like you might be better starting off with some simple mods i.e. changing pickups, series/parallel. Maybe scour ebay for some cheap preamps to install, where it doesn't really matter if you fry it.

    That's really how I got started. I changed pickups and installed a U-Retro preamp on a Hot Rod Precision bass. When I think back now, I cringe when I think of the quality of the soldering on that first job. But it worked!

    Once you've done a few things like that, you'll get a feel for how things have to be wired generally and you can mix and match from various wiring diagrams to make your own.

    There's good diagrams at and

    If you have any specific questions, fire away.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    If there are any books out that worth anything, I don't know about it. I've got a copy of guitar electronics for musicians which is still stocked by music stores today even though it was published in the 80's and hasn't been changed a word since. Okay for passive stuff but virtually useless for active. A person could make a killing.

    As for onboard stuff, there's nothing I've ever run across that will damage anything no matter what you do - in the guitar. Not so with the amp. Overheating with a soldering gun is more likely to cause damage than anything you wire wrong.

    Preamps do go out on occassion so you could possibly pickup something useless off ebay but I've bought tons of stuff with no problem. Speakers, you better watch your @#% on ebay. Stewmac and those folks charge at least $8 to ship ANYTHING, even a pot.

    So the tip is - jump in, water's fine.
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    If you are looking for a project, properly grounding a bass is a good start.

    Lots of information at
  5. JOME77

    JOME77 Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    "GUITAR ELECTRONICS" pulished by "d.b.Music Company P.O. Box 953, Ojai, California" is a decent book that explains the basics on guitar electronics. As others mentioned, the Inet provides loads of great mod's to exisiting circuits as well as entire schematics for specific bass/guitars.
    It would help a great deal to familarize yourself with the definitions of the basic components like potentiometer, capacitor, switches (DPDT, SPST,...), pickups ...
    Also an understanding in the basic theory of how these components work together to produce sound that can be amplified would really help.
    The above mentioned book covers all of this well.
    You also need to get down the basics of soldering.