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EMG pickup problems

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Special_Ed, Dec 18, 2004.


  1. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed

    Oct 3, 2004
    Hi all,

    I have a spector professional series bass with EMG pickups. My bass seems to be getting too bright of a sound. It doesnt seem to be getting a round warm type of a sound. Are these types of basses just known for a very bright sound?

    Another problem stemming from the original is that I am not quite sure what the function is for the 4 knobs on the bass. The top middle one is volume, the right and bottom middle ones seem to control the volume of each pickup. The middle knob closest to the neck seems to not do anything at all. Can someone please give me a rundown of the knobs and their functions?

    My teacher seems to think that maybe one of the pickups isn't picking up sound properly. I completely turned down the bottom knob and cranked up the middle knob farthest from the neck to make the bass more bottomy and fuller sounding. Seems a bit drastic through. Any thoughts?
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    interesting post.

    Trying to get tone when you don't know what the controls do is kind of a random act. Not to cast a shadow on your instructor but he really should be able to figure it out in short order as well as whether the pups are properly functioning. 4 controls is probably vol/vol/tone/tone - not necessarily in that order. The Spec site, harmonycentral.com under reviews of that bass, or a general google search should tell you. That should tell if the controls are stock as well.

    Otherwise you can turn all the controls off (counterclockwise). Turn one on at a time and pluck the string. If you get sound you know it's a volume and if not it's a tone or blend. If you can't figure the others out from there at least you know more than you did.

    Once you know the volume, you can determine pup function by turning only the neck or bridge volume on and tapping the pup lightly with a small metal object (allen wrench, whatever) with amp volume low. You should be able to tell just by plucking the string but tapping on the pup isolates it were plucking the string feeds both pups so it's more definitive with tapping. You could also determine a blend pot this way.

    The same exact model of bass can vary dramatically in acoustic tone no matter what the materials are so you can't go by that. Technique, strings, rigging, accompaniment will all affect tone in the mix as well. What a bass sounds like solo has no practical application for the most part as those tones will rarely work to any kind of music.

    You didn't say whether these are active or passive EMGs or whether there's a preamp. Warmth is not a characteristic typically associated to EMG actives but in general they are decent pups and they work well to various styles of music.
     
  3. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed

    Oct 3, 2004
  4. Timbo

    Timbo

    Jun 14, 2004
    If it is like my rebop 5. The top 2 will control pick up volume, the knob below the bridge volume knob will do bass, and other one will do treble.
     
  5. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed

    Oct 3, 2004
    I am freakin bummed! After you telling me about those 2 being volume, I tapped my finger on each pickup to see if it was picking up sound.

    When tapping on the farthest right pickup, it sounds like im tapping on a mic, I hear a thud sound each time i hit the pickup directly with my finger.

    With the other pickup, I hear NOTHING when i tap on it with my finger. I cranked all the knobs to full volume, and when I tap the pickup hard with my finger it doesnt pick up any sound at all.

    It all makes sense now. That one knob which I couldn't figure out what its purpose is, is actually a volume knob to my non working pickup.

    AHH *** I just bought this bass brand new 2 months ago.. :( :(
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    proably a loose or poorly soldered wire. Just take it back to the store and they'll repair it in short order.
     
  7. Special_Ed

    Special_Ed

    Oct 3, 2004
    Luknfur, you are brilliant. :) I took the back panel off and found that one of the wires, the red one, had never been soldered in place. I took the wire and physically touched it to the metal prong it should have been soldered onto, and the broken pickup started working.

    Now I only hope these guys who I bought the bass from at my local store are nice enough to solder it on tommarow without hassel.