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Bass resonator upgrades: Lipstick pickup and pot recommendations?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SoundOfOneHandSlapping, Apr 16, 2019 at 12:44 PM.


  1. I'd like to swap out the lipstick pickup and the pots on a Harley Benton Resobass. Perhaps the cone as well. I'm looking for recommendations.

    The stock pots are stamped "ALPHA B500". The volume pot works as it should, but the tone pot does virtually nothing. Rotating the tone knob 100% accomplishes as much as turning a tone knob 5% on any other bass I've played.

    The stock "lipstick style pickup" has a (standard?) screw spacing of 89mm. It is very bassy and low output. It would be nice to brighten up the amplified sound of the instrument. I can't resolve these issues with effects pedals, it's almost as if the signal bypasses them entirely.

    The cone (9 1/2") has dulled overtime.

    It's a relatively cheap Korean made bass, but I get a lot of use out of it, so I figured I'd ask what's out there.
     

    Attached Files:

    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  2. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    Install a piezo?
     
  3. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    That's a liner taper pot, and it doesn't usually work as well as audio taper pot. So you could change that. But I'm not sure why it wouldn't fully kick in at 100%, that might require some more investigation. At that point, the cap is fully engaged and the pot does not matter. It should be a very dark sound. Maybe the cap is not large enough?

    In terms of pickups, Kent Armstrong lipstick pickups come to mind. I'm not sure what model exactly came in Lakland Scheff basses, but those were Kent Armstrong lipstick pickups, and sounded strong and clear.

    No idea about cones. Try other sections of Talkbass, you'd probably get more feedback there. Maybe even Luthier's corner?
     
  4. This is really helpful, thank you!

    Is there a specific capacitor or pot you could recommend?
     
  5. I may look into that!
     
  6. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    moonshinegtrs likes this.
  7. I'm sure it's a good system. The OP might want to contact Schatten before ordering it. The description specifically says spider bridge and he has a biscuit bridge resonater. They're similar but different and you'd want to check if that one will work with a biscuit cone. I looked briefly on their website for a system that said biscuit and didn't see one but I could have missed it.

    Having said all that, I have a Tele body guitar routed out for a resonater cone with the stock neck pickup and an old Schaller oyster stuck on the cone and a volume for each and it works pretty well for what it is.
     
  8. Ok, so I've found a cone replacement over at Resophonic Outfitters. I'm still looking for more suggestions for a drop in lipstick pickup replacement.

    The Kent Armstrong bass specific lipstick pickup is fitted for a jazz bass. Although, both Kent Armstrong and Curtis Novak make lipstick pickups wound for a guitar that would fit this bass. I wonder how those would sound? I'll keep digging...
     
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    When I hear the phrase “resonator bass”, I immediately think of @moonshinegtrs ...
     
  10. If anyone would know about resobass pickups, it would be Moonshine. I'm sure a Kent Armstrong strat sized pickup, if it fits, will sound fine.
     
  11. moonshinegtrs

    moonshinegtrs Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 28, 2009
    White Bluff,Tn.
    Owner: Moonshine Custom Guitars
    Thanks @ctmullins and @Matt Liebenau, I do dig me some Resonators...

    @SoundOfOneHandSlapping; Guitar Fetish makes a really nice lipstick tube pickup in 3 different outputs, the 8k pickup is almost twice the output of the stock pickup (8k vs 4.9k):
    KP - Pro Tube "D"- CHROME- Fits Danelectro - Kwikplug™ Ready

    A big part of the lipstick tube sound is how it is set up. I raise the pickup until it is almost touching the strings and then back off each side while playing the bass to find the "sweet spot.

    Another option is using a single coil early style p bass pickup, here is one of my basses with a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder pickup (it originally had a lipstick tube pickup).
    20171112_091601.

    It was a fairly snug fit but it worked great.

    The piezo pickup is another good choice but remember that it will also pickup any string noise, contact with the body, etc... (this could be good or bad depending on your playing style).

    I usually go with a magnetic pickup only or a combination of mag/piezo with a preamp. Schatten has some really cool stuff as does Fishman and LR Baggs. My personal favorite is Bartolini but there are many others out there.

    It is my hope to one day find a piezo system that can provide the sound I'm looking for, Rick Turner has that tone nailed.

    As for resonator cones, the Beard cone is a very good high quality cone. Being high quality it is hand spun and very lightweight which makes it both more responsive (louder, brighter) and more fragile... Something to consider, if it is dropped or banged around too much the cone can collapse which will pretty much destroy it (the cone). Bisquit cones such as yours are slightly more sturdy but can still be damaged. Of you do purchase one just remember to be careful with the bass.

    I have always loved the metal bodies such as the one on your bass... Beautiful!


    Moonshine :bassist:
     
    Matt Liebenau and ctmullins like this.

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