Battery operated gizmos being weird (are they supposed to work like this?)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by kaljultdgl, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. kaljultdgl

    kaljultdgl

    Oct 21, 2019
    I have an ltd b-500 bass with two emg pickups. (controls: volume, volume, bass, mid, treble)
    I think there might be something wrong with the electronics, but I'm not sure.

    A little bit of history:
    When I bought the bass it had the original pickups, neck emg-35p (split coil), bridge emg-35dc(humbucker).
    One day the split coil pickup stopped working on the first and second string so I bought another 35dc to replace it (because thomann didn't have the 35p).
    After installing the pickup I noticed the pickup blend knob was weird. The closer I rolled it towards the middle (both pickups) the less output the bass had. It was very very thin sounding in the middle position so I decided to try what happens if I get rid of the blend knob and put a volume for each pickup. This made a big difference, but it's still weird.

    When both volumes are 100%, the sound is a little bit thin, neck pickup soloed is super fat (one of my favorite tones if I cut the bass! weird?) I think the bridge pickup soloed sounds normal.

    My favorite tone is: bass:cut mid:center treble:center neck volume:100% and bridge volume:80%. When I have the bass cut from the preamp I sometimes switch between neck pickup soloed and adding the 80% bridge volume. For some reason there is too much low end (at least for my taste) when I don't have both pickup volumes full.

    My question is: Is something wrong with the pickups/wiring/preamp or are they supposed to work like this?

    Sorry this text is all over the place but these things are driving me crazy. I shouldn't be complaining because I like the tones I mentioned, but I feel like using controls on a bass should not be so complicated. :rollno: (I think the lack of controls of a p bass would help me concentrate on the important stuff :D)
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    You're getting phase cancellation at some frequencies with both pickups on full, affecting volume. The solution is to back off one or the other (or adjust the blend knob a bit) until you find a sound you like. One of the "luxuries" of a 2 pickup bass - with great flexibility comes great responsibility! lol (It's a "feature".) :D
     
    ak56 likes this.
  3. kaljultdgl

    kaljultdgl

    Oct 21, 2019
    Yes I have heard of phase cancellation, but I don't think the way my bass sounded with the blend knob was right.
    Well I guess it might be normal now. Thanks for the reply
     
  4. If I’m reading your post correctly, the split pickup in the neck position got replaced with a humbucker? That could cause different phase cancellations between the two pickups and cause the blended sound to sound different from the split pickup. I had a bass with EMG P & J pickups that was unusable, tone wise, with both volumes up all the way but back either one off a little and it was gorgeous.
     
    bholder likes this.
  5. Crater

    Crater

    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    These are the symptoms of out-of-phase pickups. Your neck and bridge pickups are out of phase with each other, so when they're both "on" the signals that are in common to both pickups (mostly the bass frequencies) cancel each other out. To fix it, reverse the hot and ground on ONE pickup.

    This has nothing to do with "battery operated devices" because the same problem can occur on passive basses.
     
    bholder likes this.
  6. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Ah, yeah, more than just a little phase cancellation would mean out-of-phase, I missed that... (I love the "oop" sound, but wouldn't want it as the primary or only sound.)