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EMG BQC system in Spector

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by seansbrew, Nov 9, 2005.


  1. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    Just wanted to give a little report on the modifications I had done to my Spector. I changed out the pre amp in my Spector Euro 5. I took out the tone pump (2 volumes, 1bass and 1treble, boost only) and put in an EMG BQC system which has volume, blend, and midrange with frequency dial, treble and bass. All controls have center detent with cut and boost. I did not change the pick-ups that came with the bass (EMG 40DC x 2). WOW, what a difference, I have a ton of flexibility with this system. It really does sound like another bass. The midrange selector alone was worth the upgrade. There are also dip switches for the treble dial that allow you to choose from 4 different frequencies. I am sure it will take me a while to find all the tones that are possible, but so far so Good. :)
     
  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
    Try an EMG 40CS in the bridge, really takes some of the harshness out of the high end that I find the DC has, IMHO.

    I've done the BQC upgrade with my Pro 5, waiting for another unit to come for my Q5. Well worth it!
     
  3. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    I agree... the DC does not make a good sounding bridge pickup. Too chirpy. I commented about this to the head engineer at EMG (who's name escapes me at the moment) when the DC first came out, and he said it was not intended for use as a bridge PU. It's really a Music Man style humbucker, and sounds best in the "sweet spot."

    The CS is a warmer sounding PU, and I guess was their solution to that problem!

    The EMG preamps are quite good. I've been using the two band system for years. The DIP switches are very subtle. I remember messing with them a bit, and then just setting it back to the factory setting.
     
  4. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I have more control over the highs with this new pre-amp, but they are still a little to pronounced for my taste. I might look into the 40cs. I love the midrange controll on this thing. A little boost in the 300 hz range makes this bass sound mean. Also, I have my dipswitches set to 2k for the treble. This makes the bass very aggresive for slapping. I still subtract some of the highs, but I do it from the head. I do think the strings that I have on the bass certainly aren't helping. These strings are way to bright. Do you have any suggestiong for strings that will tame the highs a little? I am thinking some kind of non SS string. Also, tapered would be nice. I might post this in the STrings forum, but feel free to answer here. Thanks
     
  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
    I used D'Addario SloWounds for awhile, unfortunately they're discontinued...so I moved over to coated Stainless Steels, DR Black Beauties...they sound great, feel great, don't write off SS untill you try these out, they're fantastic!
     
  6. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Another thing to consider if you don't like the DC is that EMG makes a few pickups in that same case. I have a 40P, 40DC, and 40J on my bass. My other bass has the 40P and 40J, which is my favorite combination.

    The 40J isn't as loud as the DC, but I like the tone better and think it's a bit punchier.
     
  7. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    You know D'Addario says all the strings are made like the SloWounds now, which is why they discontinued them. I use the XLs, and never tried the SloWounds, so I can't say if they sound the same, but I love the XLs.

    Have you tried the ProSteels? I've been wanting to try them.
     
  8. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    One more modification to make. I am going to install an EMG 40cs in the bridge position. This pick up is billed as being much warmer than the DC.
     
  9. 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
    No, not yet...and while they claim the XLs are the same as the SloWounds, I disagree, personally...and in any case, there's no Tapered B in the XLs, at least as yet I haven't seen any available, I'll have to check at the office...
     
  10. 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
    Good call, keep us posted!
     
  11. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Interesting... I wasn't aware the SloWounds had the tapered B. I'll tell you though, I love the low B in the XL set! On my bass it sounds just like the E as far as clarity. I used to use tapered strings, and I don't really miss them.

    I'm curious to try a set of ProSteels, but I'm spoiled by the twin set of XL's... it's a great bargain.
     
  12. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Yes, the DC sounds great in the MM "sweet spot" but in the normal bridge position it has a "chirpy" high end that's almost impossible to tame. And on a bright sounding bass, it's a bit too much.

    EMG says the CS is their most "traditional sounding" pickup.
     
  13. philthygeezer

    philthygeezer

    May 22, 2002
    What if you had a DC in the neck and CS at the bridge? Would that sound good?
     
  14. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    That is the configuration that I am going with. A 40DC in the neck and 40CS in the bridge. Right now I have two 40DC's installed in the bass.
     
  15. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Were you unsatisfied with the Tone Pump's sound?

    My Q-4 came with EMG 40CS pickups and the BQS EQ system and I like it a lot. My Czech-Spector came with the EMG BTS system which is a 2-band cut/boost set-up which IMO works fine with it's EMG P/J pickups.

    I played a Euro-LX 5 at a G.C. for about 30 minutes and I couldn't tame the Tone Pump. That bass had a lot of output. IMO your mod sounds like a real improvement. :cool:

    -Art
     
  16. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I couldn't tame the radical tone pump pre and it was overdriving my combos and pedals. The Out put was way to hot and I did not have enough flexibility with tone shaping from the bass; I had to make all the corrections from the head. Being that the tone pump was boost only, and no midcontrol I felt constricted. I would have the bass and treble turned all the way down with the pups 3/4 of the way up. That was all I could do to get a good sound. The natural sound of the bass with my ear on the neck was not coming out. I love the way the bass fits me and it is really comfy to play ( a rare thing). So I decided to see if I could fix this problem. The BQC system that I had installed is awesome. I went from a 9 volt pre to an 18 volt pre. Now I have cut and boost, and the midrange dial with midrange frequency attenuator. This is what was missing from this bass. Also I am no longer overdriving my combo amps. The signal from this system is not as hot as the tone pump. The sound of this bass is more aggresive than before now that I can bring out the low mids. There is still too much harshness from the bridge pick up, but I have a feeling that once I change it out my problems will be solved. I will let you guys know what the final outcome is.

    ONe more side note, so far I am just over $900.00 total cost for this bass. I purchased it brand new at a blowout sale, best playing most inexpensive bass I have purchased. :)
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    You got a screaming good deal on your Spector, that's a great looking bass! :cool: I also like the BQS EQ system in my Modulus Q-4 for the same reason you've mentioned; midrange control. I like it's sweepable Q; I'll move the dial until I find the tone I want, then I'll use the cut/boost control depending on the sound I need for the song. Very cool IMO.

    Congrats on your bass and the EQ mod. I bet it sounds great.
    -Art
     
  18. seansbrew

    seansbrew Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2000
    Mesa AZ.
    I had my lovely wife stop in the bass place on her way home from work to pick me up an EMG 40cs. They gave her a 40cstw which is esentially the same pick up. But this one can be split via a push pull volume pot. this push/pull volume pot allows you to change from the clarity of a single-coil to the fatness of a dual-coil. I am tempted to put it in but I would have to have it installed because the wiring is different ( six pin instead of 3) and I would have to change out the vol pot. I think I will wait for the bass place to get in a 40cs. But again, I am tempted.
     
  19. 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
    OR...

    ...you could keep it, put it at the neck position, and have the 40CS at the bridge...I've considered that...but on my defretted Q5, I'm going with the 40J (which is essentially the single mode of the 40TW) at the neck and the 40TW at the bridge...
     
  20. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    If you put it in the bridge position, you can switch from a CS humbucker to a burpy jazz tone. You can even run both at the same time. That would require new wiring though.

    If these were out at the time, I wouldn't have had to add a third pickup to my bass...

    Wish my lovely wife would bring me home pickups! ;)