Easy (or any cheap) mods for a Passive 6er...q

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by xolin, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. I've got a Brice passive 6 stringer which I love because it sounds really good for a lot of stuff (slapping, jazz) (although it doesnt cut through too well in rock situations due to the stock soapbar pups).
    Anyway, I want to know what options i have. I believe that they are two passive soapbars, and they have absolutely no noise, so maybe humbucking (2002 Hsb-896 model). Anyway, it wasnt an expensive bass so I never thought to put a lot into it. I would like to know some mods i can do to give me some different tones, or maybe some cut.

    Pickups are an option, but really I dont want to spend much money.
    Preamps not worth it for my purposes.
    Pickup circuit alterations--any i can do, but I would like to keep the nice warm tone an option.
    Anything I'm not thinking of or dont know?

    Thanks for suggestions!
  2. A good start would be with the Series/Parallel mod, which should give you a fairly drastic change in sound almost straight away. There's a fair sized thread dedicated to the topic that you can check out.

    On top of that you could try an in/out phase switch, though thats probably not the sound you're after. What you'll need is a DPDT on-on switch (should have 6 tang thingys, two rows of three, and probably only two positions). It goes somewhere before one pickup signal meets the other, and just flips the hot and ground from the pup, so anything thats in common is lost (which you should be able to see will be a lot of bass), which sounds bad but isn't neccesarily so. What you have is the hot and ground go into the two top tangs, then a wire comes from them to the two bottom things tangs but so that they are crossed, you then have the new hot out go from the middle tang on which ever side the hot came in from and the ground on the opposite.

    The optional capacitor is there so that you don't lose all your low end, its your own preference but somewhere between .1-.02mfd should be good, and don't use the cheapy caps cause you're using the signal you pass through. You chose between either cap or the straight in wire, not both.

    Yeah I flogged most of this information out of Dennis Waring and David Raymond's book How to make your own Electric Guitar and Bass. I highly reccomend it because of his electronics section at the back.

    Josh D
  3. woah thanks man. ! sounds interesting. If i do the series parallel with switch i may try this too. Thanks, again.
  4. You should be able to stick the switches with a few of your pots. I dunno what your setup is now but what I'd end up with is something like neck volume with the series/parallel switch as a push/pull pot and the bridge volume as the in/out phase switch also as push pull. That way you don't have to drill anymore holes neither.

    Also something you could do is two tone knobs, one for each pup. I imagine you've just got the one at the moment, you could put a stacked knob and still not need to drill anywhere. It also means you can customise how the tone knob will affect the tone, cause all it does is pass certain frequencies, either to your output or to the ground. The frequencies depend on the value of the capacitor you use, so by having different caps you can have different frequencies roll off when you turn your tone knobs.

    However you also have to know where to draw the line, sure having massive amounts of knobs and switches makes you feel sweet, not always are they that great, you'll spend half your time finding the tone you want and then trying to remember where everything had to be to get it. Plus as you go through heaps of different knobs and switches and stuff you'll have some signal lose (like treble frequencies leaking through pots), which when you have a whole mess of stuff can add up.

    Josh D
  5. I know you said you didn't want to mess with a preamp, but I've seen EMG BTC stack knob preamps for around $35 used. Add a battery and you're all set, total investment around $40. No holes to drill. And if you don't like it you can always resell it. I think they kill for slap, gives you that nice snappy high end. A little bump in the bass is nice too, though don't use too much, it'll probably strain your speakers.

    Just an idea, thought it made some sense.

    Stay Low,

  6. Thanks for the ideas, again. The preamp I wont consider because i like the passive sound (although it dont cut much). As for the two tone knob (stack) idea, I think thats a great idea. Also, the series parallel push pull (can you have a push pull stack knob or would that be like crazy wiring?) would be the best bet, prob one of my volume knobs.
    Also, The bridge does also lend to parallel string vibrations (the Low B especially, but it doesnt always get in the way)...I mean its helped tons for my muting technique :cool: and I can mute fine. now, when I slap (although when im lazy i get harmonics), but is there a better bridge (cheap) that one can suggest for a six stringer? I'll give string spacing later, its narrow...

  7. Also, would the music store sell the stack knobs or push pull pots?
  8. Not real sure, it'd depend on the size of your store but if the stores near you are anything like those around me, I doubt it. Radioshack is the name of a place I've heard a fair bit of, you're looking for an electronics store that stocks a full range of bits and bobs for kits and stuff.

    Any Aussies know of places where I'd be able to get ahold of a fairly complete range of these sort of items? I've tried Dick Smith and they didn't have anything I was after. I'm thinking Jaycar is my best bet, although its a bit of a hike to my nearest store, otherwise I have no idea.

    Josh D
  9. lol, I actually imagined you hiking to the store when I read that.
  10. I wouldn't actually hike, its just a figure of speach. I'd take the kangaroo...

    Not really. My car isn't in such hot shape at the moment, so its questionable as to whether it'd make the distance. And its a fair way to go for a single pot.

    Josh D