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Can we clean up muddy?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bass-desires, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Bass-desires


    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    I just got an Epi Embassy V in the mail, and whoa is it muddy sounding. I put new strings on it(GHS Nickel wrapped steel), and it is still very muddy. I tried EQ different ways and it is still really muddy sounding. I dono how it was setup for the BP review because the way he described it, is NOT how this bass sounds. :rollno:

    I dono if this is the correct place for this, but other than changing the pups?(which I am unwilling to do considering I just got this bass and don't want to deal with modding it)

    Any suggestions or am I just stuck with it?
  2. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    I don't know that bass so forgive me......but is it active? My actives sound like mud when batteries are low.
    How about a different cable? Has the bass been set up? Maybe adjust the pickup height? Checked all the wires for loose connections?
    Hope you find it soon!
  3. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    I get rid of muddy/boominess with a BDDI. I'll use a VT Character Series if no DI is needed. I bought a Behringer Bass EQ a couple of years ago which worked surprisingly well, too. I run flats on my basses so I really needed a boost for the highs, also.

    Just a thought

    Attached Files:

  4. Bass-desires


    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Wow, thanks for the replies. I have a simple 3-band EQ on my DI box. I tried upping the mids and highs a little but it was still pretty bad.

    Its a passive, and everything is working pup wise. When I change the vol for bridge or neck, it works and the tone control also works correctly.

    The pups are not really close to the strings, maybe back them off a little more?

    Been setup, as well as can be done with a stripped truss rod nut. :scowl:
  5. Exploiter8

    Exploiter8 Demons run when a good man goes to war

    Jan 18, 2010
    Commercial FREE!
    This is a stupid question on my part (not surprising if you knew me!), but you've played another bass through your amp and it sounds good, right? Is the other bass passive or active? Is there a passive/active switch for the amp that maybe you forgot to engage/disengage?

    Just wondering.
  6. SpamBot


    Dec 25, 2008
    St. Paul, MN
    Pickup height is super important. Play around with it a lot.
  7. Bass-desires


    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Yeah, same amp I have here at my house. Two other basses sound great through it. The amp doesn't have an active/passive switch or input. Just "Guitar in" haha. And yes it is a bass amp.

    I will look at the pup height here in a bit. Would you recommend raising or lowering them?
  8. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Raising the pups or the pole peices a little might increase articulation a little as they ussually have little more treble content then. But it could also just be the pups themself are mud prone. Do you have th option to return the bass? For either something else or refund? Otherwise pup change is likely best choice. In a few cases, lowering neck pup and raising birdge pup can help. As this adds more bridge pup to the sound when running both pups on full.
  9. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses
    Compare it to your other basses unplugged, without an amp.

    If it sounds undefined and anemic unplugged, good chances are it just doesn`t sound good and no piuckup or preamp is going to change that.

    If it`s passive try running it through and impendance buffer of some sort - it often works wonders.
  10. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Turn the neck pickup volume all the way down. Turn the bridge volume and tone controls all the way up. Now start adjusting the pickup height. Any difference?
  11. Bass-desires


    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Ok, well I adjusted the pup height and it is more 'thumpy' and a little more defined but still really dark. I was thinking maybe its the capacitor? The tone pot doesn't change much from full on to all the way down. I was thinking of changing it out with a .047uf I have here on hand or a .022uf. What do you think?
  12. thumpbass1


    Jul 4, 2004
    You may want to try the trick that some Les Paul guitar geeks use to clean up muddy sounding humbucker pickups, and that's going down to a .015 cap if things don't clear up with a .022.
    .047 caps are generally good for bright single coils. At least experimenting with different cap values is a simple and reversible mod.
  13. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    The other thing to check would be to see what they are using for vol and tone pots if they are 250K then changing them out to 500K would brighten it up quite a bit.
  14. Bass-desires


    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Ok, checked the pots and although they are both labeled 500k, the resistance goes up only to 230k and as low as 120k. Cheap pots I guess. The tone pot however goes up to 530k (there is a degree of variance).

    So I should swap the two pup volume pots? Or is it the tone pot that really matters?

  15. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    Before doing a lot of work and ordering parts I'd try it with the pickup straight to the jack. If that doesn't demud it enough for you there's no sense in swapping pots because it'll sound darker with them (no matter what value the pots and the cap/s are).
  16. Bass-desires


    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Yeah, I haven't spent any more money after the new strings. How would I go about what you recommend? Run the pup wires directly to the jack?
  17. testing1two

    testing1two Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Southern California
    Your volume pot is definitely bad regardless. Pots typically have a +/- 20% tolerance and you can order better pots with 10% tolerance. In this case you want a minimum resistance of 500k since anything lower than that will attenuate high end and affect the output. A 500k linear taper will make a significant difference.
  18. Bass-desires


    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    OK, I will think about that. At this point I trying not to spend money because I dono if I want to keep the bass.

    So would it work to wire the pup directly to the jack? Or would I really need to get a 500k pot first. Then wired to the jack. (not real expensive I know)
  19. GlennW


    Sep 6, 2006
    I'd try it potless first. Leave the ground/negative pickup lead soldered to the back of the pot (or whatever it's solder to).

    Unsolder the hot/positive pickup lead from the volume pot. The splice it so it goes directly to the hot side of the output jack. That'll give you the brightest sound.

    If that sounds ok (or too bright) I'd go for a 500K pot, and maybe a smaller cap.
  20. Bass-desires


    Oct 25, 2008
    El paso, TX
    Ok, great thanks for the info. I was practicing just now and am falling asleep. So maybe tomorrow night or Tuesday morning since I work 14 hours tomorrow. :meh:

    I will let you guys know what hashes. Thanks again.

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