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EPI T bird low output from pickups

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Michael Cline, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Michael Cline

    Michael Cline

    Jan 13, 2018
    I just recently acquired an EPI Thunderbird with passive pickups and the output is amazingly low. Passive pickups. Half the output of a passive Geddy. Any suggestions for troubleshooting before I buy new pickups for this thing? Thanks
  2. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Pickups are probably not the issue. It would be unusual for one to die, and even more unlikely that both died. It suggests to me that the wiring is faulty somewhere, so it would be best to remove the back plate and inspecting the wiring for broken connections, or even some sort of foreign object in there causing issues.

    I'm thinking this because Epiphone Thunderbird pickups are epoxy potted, so fairly impervious to the sort of things that would harm a more traditionally constructed pickup. I've experimented with a few Epi T-bird pickups, and the pickup itself is set in a smaller block of epoxy that is then set into the wider pickup shell with the screw holes etc. I've successfully transplanted Epi T-bird pickups into different covers. They are robust and don't break easily!

    Having said that, they should have a fair output on tap though. They are pretty dark, smooth pickups; especially compared to '60s Thunderbird pickups. As such they push frequencies in different places to your Geddy Jazz. However, overall they should deliver more output.
    Michael Cline likes this.
  3. Tori2013


    Aug 28, 2015
    Raise them perhaps? My brother just bought a T Bird VP. He had to lower the pick ups because the bass was so loud!
  4. Michael Cline

    Michael Cline

    Jan 13, 2018
  5. Michael Cline

    Michael Cline

    Jan 13, 2018
    Already raised them. Something is wrong i guess. Should be loud but it isn't
  6. StraffordMike


    Apr 25, 2015
    I have the Classic Pro which uses the actual Gibson pickups and the pickups are silly hot. Don't need a fuzz, just raise the pickups and dime your volume knob.
  7. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    Some thoughts...
    If you're sure the pickup height is correct - and on some basses (like my Gretsch Broadkaster) the "correctness" window is pretty small....
    - Check the pickup's impedence with a multimeter. I don't know the output spec, for those pups, but it should be pretty high; 9K ohms or more. If that's OK...
    - the pots may be gunked up - or just duds. Check those, too..
    - Wiring harness problem?
    - does your cable work OK with other basses?
    -I'm not real familiar with Epi T-Birds (no lefties), but I've seen posts - in Pick ups & Electronics, I think - about some of the passive-only basses using pickups that can also be used in the active T-Birds. And, sometimes the factory's wired them... kinda wrong.
    Other than that? I got nothin'; sorry. Hope you get it sorted out soon...:thumbsup:
  8. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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