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Good idea or even possible?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by WhoDidTheElf, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Hey guys,

    So I'm super noob when it comes to wiring so I've come to the experts.

    I picked up a Squier VM P-Bass that I wanna do a frankenbass job on just out of curiosity.

    Here's what I want to do;

    Put a MM styled humbucker in the bridge position. I was thinking of the Nordstrand MM4.4 since I've heard a lot of good about the pick up. Now I know it's impossible to put the pickup in the true MM spot with the P pickup where it is, but should I try to aim close or just put it in the bridge slot? I really don't care to nail the MM tone, but would like something similar with the high mid focus.

    Put a Soap bar style pickup in the neck. I'm not entirely sure what I want to put here for what I want to do. I'm looking for a pickup that will have solid low and low mids but isn't muddy. I was looking at the Nordstand big split since I've heard it has pretty tight big low end, but I'm open to suggestions really.

    Now here comes the more interesting part...I wanna run a three band EQ on board. Was thinking about either the Aguilar OBP-3 or the Bart NTMB but to be honest I've never tried either out in person, they've both just come highly recommended to me.

    Lay out I was thinking of was...V/V/V/Master Tone/B/M/T. Active/passive switch (hence the master tone), 4 way switch for the MM pickup (Front/Rear/Series/Parallel), and possibly a kill switch for each pickup, but I don't know if that's redundant.

    So any help would be great! I don't know if it's even possible to do but I was hoping.

    Sorry for the stupid long post, thanks guys!
  2. It's possible, but overcomplicated, IMO.

    How about VVVT with the preamp controls, an active/passive switch and a series/split/parallel switch only?

    Blending of dissimilar impedances will not be as useful as you think. Why not simply use a 5 way Strat-style pickup selector switch, and a master volume?
  3. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    sure it's possible, but like most of these "five pickups crammed in there, wired in all possible combos" wiring ideas, it likely won't sound very good. (there's a reason you don't see basses hanging on the music store wall with silly setups like this.)
  4. I think the 5 way selector sounds like more what I'm aiming for, don't know why I didn't think of that from the get go. I don't want to blend all of them because that seems like it would just be a muddy mess of hell.

    With that said, V/T with the preamp controls and a switch for the series/split/parallel and active/passive sound like a better goal?
  5. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    I sure did during the '80s.

    B.C. Rich and Alembic were well-known for having "everything and the kitchen sink" pickup switching arrangements. So, yes, what you want should be do-able, just realize there are tradeoffs that come with that extra complexity.

    For example: (image hotlinked from the Alembic site, thanks)


    I see three pickups and one hum-cancelling 'dummy coil' pickup, six pots, three rotary selector switches and at least two toggle switches, and both standard 1/4" out and an XLR output. :meh:

    My suggestion? Do your mods in stages...Add the preamp or MM pickup first, make sure you getting working and play it that way for a while. What you're wanting to do is quite complicated and there's a potential for extreme frustration if things go wrong.
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    No, you see two single coil pickups. The one in the middle is the dummy coil.

    Alembics have a volume for each pickup. A master volume, and the low pass filter control for each pickup, and a variable Q (resonance) control for each filter. Also often a 4 position pickup selector which has a mute setting.

    This bass clearly has some extra custom stuff... I have no idea what that might be. :)

    The XLR is to bring power into the bass from an external power supply, and send the stereo signal to the amp. Each pickup has it's own output.

    Now if you want to see a lot of knobs and switches on a passive bass, check out my old Rickenbacker in 1976:


    Although I might have had a preamp in the bass by that point, but it started out looking like that without the preamp. I just switched the function of the passive tone controls (which were wired up like the passive tone controls on a G&L).

    You can make a bass as complicated as you are comfortable with. Some people like to use one or two different tones, and some people like more options. For every person that uses a Jazz bass and keeps all the knobs up all the time for every song, there are a few that like to change the tone.

    How about legendary producer/bassist Tony Visconti? He's clearly ready for any situation! :D

  7. Kentucky Ryan

    Kentucky Ryan

    Feb 12, 2012
    that looks like a lot of magnetic pull on those strings.
  8. Thanks for the advice guys!

    Yeah I think going in stages would be best advice since I'm new to this.

    I think I might start with just doing the MM pickup.
  9. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    That all depends on the pickups. With alnico rod magnets, yes. With the DiMarzios, no. The WideRange humbuckers used fairly weak CuNiFe magnets.