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Bypassing the EMG preamp in a Spector?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Lockout, Dec 8, 2003.


  1. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    Okay. Here's my situation.

    I've got a Spector NS2000-5 with passive EMG-Hz pickups and an active 2-band EMG preamp. I like the bass, but I don't really care for the tone I've been getting, and I've been searching for ways to make the tone more to my liking. It's got a bit of a honky high-midrangey sound right now, and I'd like to try to coax some more low midrange out of it, or just tame the high mids. Originally I had planned to gut the bass and put in some active EMGs and an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp, but I'd like to look through all my other options before doing so.

    I was thinking of rewiring it to bypass the preamp, just for the sake of trying. First off, is this possible without having to replace pots or anything?

    I don't have a whole lot of knowledge regarding bass wirings, so I really need your help with this. How would I go about bypassing the preamp? Specifically, which connections would I have to change?

    Also, if anyone's got any wiring diagrams they could share, or suggestions of other things to try, I'd really appreciate it. :)
     
  2. 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
    Okay, first of all, have you tried changing the dip switches on the preamp to get different sounds? (e-mail me off list and I'll send you the Word document, talkbass wouldn't let me attach the file...)

    Or, have you tried rewiring to allow two batteries to run in SERIES (not parallel) to get more headroom?

    Rewiring instructions

    Try those things first...I'd do both before rewiring to bypass that preamp...then I'd try different preamps!!!
     
  3. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    I've tried both. :)

    Experimenting some more with the dip switches the other day, I mananged to get a sound slightly closer to what I wanted, but not good enough. :(

    I think I might know how to wire it now though...

    Would I be able to wire it like this? (but without a tone pot...just sending the wire from the bridge pickup volume pot to the jack?)
     
  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    howdy....you guys seem to know your Spectors really well....i have a question.

    i have a NS2000/Q5....on the back it says it was made in Korea, and the serial number is 99024603...it has four knobs on it.....one for bass, treble, neck pick-up volume, and bridge pick-up volume.....on the front, the two pick-ups say EMG-HZ....these are passive pick-ups right? when i pop the cover off the back, where is the two band pre-amp? i see four "things" in there.....i wanted to upgrade to active pick-ups, and change the pre-amp since i heard it improves the tone....is there a pre-amp in my bass? can i find a diagram somewhere that can explain to me what all of that stuff is in the back of my bass? i prolly should already know this stuff, but i don't...

    -Mike
     
  5. 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
    Lockout- I guess that could work...you may want to replace the bass and treble pots with just straight 250k pots to control tone.

    MJ5150- You have EMG-HZ passive pickups and an active EMG BTS preamp in that bass. I have both the neck through version and the Q5 bolt on version of that bass. I've modded the neck through with EMG-DC pickups. Both basses have the 18 volt mod. Again, contact me off list and I'll send the diagram explaining the DIP switches on the BTS. Cheers!
     
  6. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Hey Rev....thanks for the tip. I just sent you an e-mail.

    -Mike
     
  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
    Check your inbox...sent you a reply!!!

    :D
     
  8. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    I'd rather not swap any of my pots at the moment, as I'm probably still going to eventually upgrade the electronics.

    I just can't spend money on these upgrades right now, so I was looking for some way that I could improve the sound a bit to hold me over until I buy the pickups/pre. If I wire it passive and find that I really like how it sounds, (not likely, but who knows :)) then maybe I'll find some tone pots for it and forget the other upgrades.

    So is it possible to wire the volume pots directly to the jack without a tone pot?
     
  9. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    Ok. I just rewired it, and I've got a small problem.

    From what I can tell, it sounds better that it did with the preamp (maybe I'm just a passive kinda guy? ;)). However, I'm getting some major noise, especially when I touch either the strings, the bridge, or the pickups.

    Could it be a bad ground somewhere? What should I look for?
     
  10. Lockout

    Lockout

    Dec 24, 2002
    Illinois
    Hmmm...

    Now that I think of it, I'm not sure how I should have the wiring connected to the output jack. My Spector's got a stereo jack, but that diagram I linked to calls for a mono jack.

    Can I use the stereo jack for this? If so, how should I wire it?