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Bullet Bass pick-up replacement

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassface11, Aug 13, 2007.


  1. bassface11

    bassface11

    Aug 13, 2007
    NYC
    I have a 1984 Fender Bullet Deluxe B-34 - all original and in great shape. But I can't take the sound, so I'm going to replace the pick-up with a P-bass pickup...probably a Seymour Duncan Antiquity.

    Does anyone have any experience with this modification? Besides the obvious routing considerations, is there anything else I need to look out for?

    thanks,
    andy
     
  2. danomite64

    danomite64

    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I'd hate to see you cut up that bass. Have you considered something like a Sadowski outboard preamp? Or maybe different strings? Anyway, I'm not sure that changing to a Precision-type pickup would make all that big a difference.
     
  3. AnRK

    AnRK

    May 17, 2007
    Leeds/Bradford
    Noooooooo!!! I love mine so much I dunno how you can bring yourself to do that.

    But anyway, I'm no master of electronics or anything but it seems to me from the wiring that perhaps it isn't wired as a humbucker like precisions and such. Then again I might be talking out my arse.
     
  4. bassface11

    bassface11

    Aug 13, 2007
    NYC
    the existing pickups on this Bullet just sound so...terrible...for the music I play. I need a thick, bumping R&B sound and these pickups, while loud, distort and sound generally crappy...very low-fi.

    I will try the Sadowsky outboard preamp/DI first, but I'm not super hopeful.

    I love EVERYTHING about my Bullet Bass, with the exception of its lackluster sound...I'm dedicated to finding the right tonal solution for this bass.

    If anyone has any other bright ideas, please pass them along - I'm all ears.
     
  5. rather than cut up the original pick guard/pick up, cant you just buy a new one to chop around? then if you ever want to sell it or prefered the original sound, you could just swap it back.
     
  6. Have you had a peek under the pickguard? there might be a pretty large route.

    If there is enough space for a P pup in the route, id try and get a custom pickguard made.

    Save the original PG and wiring harness?
     
  7. danomite64

    danomite64

    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I don't know how large the Bullet route is, but I do know they use the same pickups as the Mustang bass did, and you'd have to enlarge a Mustang route to get a Precision pickup in it.
     
  8. Its maybe worth having a look?

    Or how about getting one of the many quality pickup manufacturers to make a custom pickup for the bass that sounds P ish but is the same size as the pup already there?
     
  9. bassface11

    bassface11

    Aug 13, 2007
    NYC
    I'm gonna try the Sadowsky preamp first - if it does the trick, awesome. The custom pickup idea isn't a bad one, though I wonder how much room that pickup has to improve, considering its design and size.

    I've laid out the P pup covers on the Bullet and the existing pup cover could modified to work...a least temporarily. Eventually, I would get a custom pup cover.

    It would be nice to avoid modifying the bass, but at the same time, it could be worth it. We'll see how much the outboard preamp helps first, before I start cutting...
     
  10. AnRK

    AnRK

    May 17, 2007
    Leeds/Bradford
    Does anyone know whether it's single coil or not?

    Anyway I think I know what your getting at. Mine sounded not quite distorted but pretty compressed when I was messing about with the pickup height and had it close to the strings, I found for the cleanest sound possible it was best to have them both fairly far away. Seemed to give it alot more definition for me anyway. I use 110s on it though so perhaps that's why I get away with having them so low.
     
  11. ihateusernames

    ihateusernames

    Jun 26, 2006
    You might want to reconsider wasting money and time on an outboard pre. I've tried a couple and still hate the pickups. You can get pickguards on ebay for the Bullet on occasion, either black or tort. I'm going tort and dropping in a Reverend to hopefully get closer to a P sound. Just haven't taken the time to get at it yet. SS strings had a far greater impact than the holy grail sansamp with this guitar. Parametric EQ helps a good bit as well.
     
  12. Thinkarogadum

    Thinkarogadum

    Jun 11, 2006
    NE OH
    Try getting a replacement pickguard instead of chopping up the old one, then if you ever sell it you can throw on the original one.
     
  13. bassface11

    bassface11

    Aug 13, 2007
    NYC
    I just tried the Sadowsky preamp through a headphone amp and it definitely helps. I'll have a chance to play it with my rig tomorrow - that'll be the true test, but so far, so good. My amp has a decent EQ that helps. I also have an Aphex 204 aural exciter, which can help.

    Eventually, I think I might still change-out the pickups and do this:

    I found a place that makes replacements pickguards:

    http://www.wdmusic.com/fender_bullet_bass_pickguards_13552_ctg_2.htm

    Really, I think I'll need a new custom pickguard right from the start.
     
  14. The later Korean squier Bullet had the smaller bullet body with a Precision pickup. You can probably order that pickguard and I think it will fit perfectly. I'm not sure what the route under your pickguard is, but you might be able to slip a precision right in. If you do do this you won't affect the value of a bass that has been steadily gaining collectability. If you have to route, you might be well advised to look for a Korean Bullet. I know where I can pick one up for $150, and while it doesn't have the tele style headstock, the neck contour is very similar to an early sixties P bass, flat,wide, and very sweet.
     
  15. vtwo

    vtwo

    Dec 16, 2006
    Connecticut
    I think Seymour Duncan might make bullet-type pickups.
     
  16. How about having the pickups rewound???

    MM
     
  17. ihateusernames

    ihateusernames

    Jun 26, 2006
    Good choice on pickguard replacement. When I started contemplating a new pickgaurd on mine the torts where only $45 and plain colors $25-35. I'd love to put on a tort, just can't justify spending $70 or so to chop something up!

    Glad to hear the Sadowsky helped, these pickups are just boring.

     
  18. bassface11

    bassface11

    Aug 13, 2007
    NYC
    Ain't that the truth. Everything else about the bass is PERFECT - the way it plays, the way it feels, the way it looks, it's light weight...but those pickups are awful.
     
  19. Jeff Martinez

    Jeff Martinez

    May 10, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Just a quick tangent. About 10-years ago, I replaced my factory Bullet Bass electronics with Seymour Duncan Basslines P/J actives. Let's just say that I put a few miles on my Dremel that weekend. The end result was amazing. I still play that bass. If I can find any good pics, I'll post 'em. :bassist:
     
  20. bassface11

    bassface11

    Aug 13, 2007
    NYC
    nice! yeah - I'd love to see pics. I'm curious to see what you did with the pickguard.

    I have a set of Duncan Antiquity II P-bass pickups ready to go...I might pick up a Dremel and do the work myself.
     

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