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Fender Roscoe Beck V owners

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bonafide, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    Have you noticed that your pickups are quite a bit lower output than any other passives?- This is a new bass to me and the level seems to be real low on my pickups compared to any other jazz bass pickup. I have the pickup height where it should be.

  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    That's deliberate. Beck wanted something that sounded like his vintage J.
  3. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    i don't think that the output is overly low. i do have to dig in a little bit more to get that real bridge p-up 'burp' but that's fine by me... i have no problem getting my bassballs opened wide with it either...

    it's a sweet bass! :D
  4. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    Thanks for the replys. Actually even a vintage J pickup has more output. Even in series mode this bass has lower output, either pickup.
    A signal boost would,I think I will add an active circuit.
    Otherwise I agree, sweet bass.
  5. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    The Roscoe Beck is the first passive bass I've bought in the last 20 years......and it drives my rig just fine, and the output dosen't seem lower than my 70's Jazz bass. I like the bass a lot....very nice vintage tones in a five string;)
    Blackbird likes this.
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    This is from the Bass Player review reprinted at Roscoe's site (the "Making Of..." sidebar in yellow at the bottom):

  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    So the point is that raising the pickup would cause intonation problems (or warble!) on the B string!!

    I never found it a problem but it did mean that the output was ideal for use with the Sadowsky outboard preamp that I have - it made it sound much better! :)

    I think Roscoe Beck mentioned in interviews that I read, that he preferred a low output passive bass, as it meant he could choose the pre-amp he wanted.
  8. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    That Article from Bass player sounds like Roscoe spewing a bunch of second hand nonsense he heard from Bill Lawernce (Who has a natural penchant for the flapper).

    A Stratocaster has low frequency osscilation or warble in the upper registers, It is know as 'stratitis'. But that is not due to magnetic strength but to the fact that 3 magnetic fields are sensing the string vibrations at the same time. And the string of a Stratocaster have MUCH less mass.
    'Stratitis' happens even with the lowest alnico 2 magnets.
    The whole business about the the J pickups not working 'correctly' is a pile of worthless info. Have any of you J players ever had a problem with a 'warble' up in the upper register on the E string? Of course not. Besides there isn't even close enough guass strength in an Alnico magnet to cause string pull to be noticable. Even brutally strong ceramic pickups with extra large pole pieces will just barely hinder the sound. J pickups aren't even close to this.

    There is string pull of course, otherwise there would be no sound! It is the attraction of the ferrous metal in the strings to the magnetic field that is making the whole business work.

    The bottom line is that the Bill Lawernce design pickups in this bass are weak in output, they hum MUCH MUCH more in single coil mode than an everage J pickup (That complaint is documented everywhere) and have you noticed that the B string magnets hum like mad if you touch them, regardless of the mode? They aren't grounded. The bass itself is really great and I do like the series split paralle switch on this style of back to back J..However the pickups themselves are marginal IMO.

    I know that several pickup makers submitted designs each for this bass, personally I think Fender and Roscoe went with Lawrence because he was working for Fender at the time.. coincidence? He certainly isn't on top of the pickup food chain.
    I will swap these out when I can and see how much difference it makes- I'm sure this bass will really come to life.
  9. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
  10. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    Hey Smash, actually it is only in the bridge pickup. Check it out again when you get to your bass.

    I am really wanting this bass to be the 'most amazing bass I have ever owned'. Right now It feels good, it looks good. It even sounds good, but it doesn't sound great.
    My other 2 J's sound great and I think with the switch that this bass the potential to be insanely toneful.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree and I would personally far rather trust Roscoe Beck to know what he wants, than somebody I know nothing about whatsoever.

    I have since sold it on, but I bought my RB5 before I had heard anything about it -but was lucky enough to have an afternoon trying Jazz basses in a shop with large stocks - the RB5 really stood out as sounding much better than all the other J basses there and any I had tried before. I bought it straight away and played it in several gigs in the next few days with huge compliments about the sound .

    I have also heard lots of Jazz basses with intonation problems above the 12th fret - especially 5 strings.

    I must say that my RB5 was the best bass I had owned until I discovered my pre-Gibson Tobias, but I have heard of variations between them on discussions here and the FDP - differnet neck profiles etc - maybe you just got a bad one?
  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    No problems with hum or buzz on mine. It's a tone machine as-is.

    Well OK: I get some hum/buzz when I solo one of the pups in single-coil mode near an electrical device, but that's to be expected.
  13. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000
    still waiting for that RB 4....:mad:
  14. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    Although I recently used my RB5 as a trade-in I can say that in the several years that it was my primary gig bass I never once had a problem being heard. Yep, the pickups are lower output but that's a function of getting the desired tone. And...that aside...that's what amps are for!!
  15. Bonafide


    Oct 15, 2002
    It surprises me that so many people who just love this bass, compliment it up and down- have sold it.

    I was able to get mine at a great deal from someone who thought that this bass was just amazing. Go figure.

    And DaveB, at least someone here agrees that the pickups do indeed have lower output. I'm still certain the tone can be improved for my stylewith new pickups.
  16. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Good idea, I'm trying out an RB5 tonight, maybe I'll bring my Sadowsky Pre along to see how it sounds...
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I got my RB5 at a great deal from someone who thought it was amazing. He had become a Lakland endorsee (endorser? you get the idea), so clearly, his RB5s (yes, plural: he had owned three) weren't going to get much use. Bigger picture: I've sold a lot of gear I was happy with simply because I'd found something I was even happier with (at greater cost, usually). So, you can't assume that a piece of gear is being sold because someone is dissatisfied.

    No question that the pickups are low output in singlecoil and parallel modes. As Smash mentioned, series mode is about normal output for a passive J-bass. And I would never think to tell you not to change the pups... let us know how it works out. I once saw one that had been refitted with Lane Poors... it was up on eBay, so it must not have worked out. ;) :D :D
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    An apple and an orange. The Sad doesn't do tube emulation, it's designed to clean/fatten up the sound of a Jazz-style passive bass. Has bass and treble eq only, boost only.

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