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Has anyone Modded an MTD Z-Bass and gotten good results?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by IotaNet, Jan 21, 2008.


  1. To the Group -

    I have had an MTD Z bass and I hated it -- I could not get a tone I liked. To my ears, it was way too middy/honky/choked sounding. I sold it within a month. :rollno:

    The trouble is, the Trans Cherry/Maple version of this bass makes my heart flutter every time I see it -- man what a beautiful bass!!!

    [​IMG]

    Is there anyone out there who has modded this bass (with better electronics) and come up with something that they like?

    Dr. Cheese said it best about this bass ... "The Z is like a fine woman who can't cook -- you love looking at her and touching her but you KNOW you can't marry her."

    Has anyone out there taught this particular fine lady how to cook?
     
  2. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Someone on here put in a set of Nordstrand Dual coils and an OBP-3 IIRC. However, thats as good as my memory serves. I don't think that's much help other than to confirm that it has been done on TB!
     
  3. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Very interested in this also. I have one on the way, which I bought for a backup bass. I've heard all the talk about how the electronics are pretty thin sounding, so if I like the bass's playability and feel, I'm thinking a set of Barts and an Aggie OBP-3 would take care of that. That is, if I actually do have a problem with the stock electronics.
     
  4. rommfullofmirro

    rommfullofmirro

    Jan 21, 2008
    + 1 on the barts (change pu`s for sure)


    Only change for me might be the pre. should be a decent bass and might turn out to be a keeper. keep me posted.
     
  5. Since the MTD vibe is all about a more "Modern" sound, I'm thinking that another option might be Nordstrand DC's.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. There is a new version of the Z on the way with American Bartolini electronics. Personally, I cannot stand Bartolini electronics, but its a good alternative for those that do.
     
  7. I've seen that. The price point on that bass is $1799. (Check out this post/thread for more details: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showpost.php?p=5162356&postcount=186)

    I don't know if that's list or street but either way, that's a pretty steep premium for what basically amounts to an electronics upgrade. It would seem that one might be able to do their own upgrade and come out a bit cheaper.
     
  8. jazzy grille

    jazzy grille - Arrogant Bastard

    Aug 15, 2006
    Sarasota, Florida
  9. Yeah but after all those mods, he sold the bass!!!

    Was it because he was dissatisfied or for some other reason?

    I'd actually like to hear some comments from him as well as from the TB'er who now owns it.
     
  10. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    The Barts in the USA MTDs are like no other Bart pickups/electronics I have ever played.
     
  11. Interestingly enough,the preamp is to be "a ressurection of a circuit similar to one that Mike used in his pre-Gibson Tobias instruments."

    Take that for what it's worth.
     
  12. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    I sold it for no other reason except the 535 GAS was too strong. I thought I could survive it, but it was just overwhelming.

    After I upgraded that Z5 it was simply amazing, and if I could have held on to it, and still bought my 535 I would have. Trust me.
     
  13. That's the same thing I've heard about the Barts in Modulus basses. And Zon basses. And Pedulla basses.

    Sorry, I'm slightly bitter when it comes to Bartolini electronics. They are just not me at all.
     
  14. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Hey how come the strings don't line up with the pole pieces in the Z you upgraded? I think that would bug me....
     
  15. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    No, I don't mean just sound, I think the MTD pickups are actually active pickups similar in design to EMGs.
     
  16. tbone0813

    tbone0813 The faithless say farewell when the road darkens.

    Aug 6, 2005
    Grand Prairie, TX.
    I'm pretty sure that was the camera angle. They lined just fine as far as I remember.
     
  17. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND

    Yes, very true. My only problem is spending that kind of money on pickups I may not like. I've never tried Nordstrands(although I've heard many good things about them), but I am a fan of the "Bart sound" so that might be the direction I go.

    But, I guess it would be best for me to actually try it out in stock form first, and take it from there.

    It's scheduled to be here on Thursday. I'm really looking forward to getting it, I've been wanting to get my hands on one of these since they first came out.:)
     
  18. IotaNet...

    You're a jazz bass lover, correct?

    What you need, my friend, is a set of Nordie big splits...

    noiseless and with the dripping goodness of a jazz vibe, only BIGGER! :)

    I tend to believe that a lot of the unpleasant midrange "honk" that can be found in the MTD Z, the Carvin Icons, and the Yamaha RBX374 (375), comes from the humbuckers themselves and another bucker will still have a bit of that "honk" character...

    some folks dig it...personally, I don't...
     
  19. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    Well, I got mine today. The feel/playability of the thing is great--I'm very impressed. It feels like a quality instrument, to me.

    The jury's still out on the tone of it, I just haven't had long enough to mess with it to see if the stock electronics are going to stick around or not.
     
  20. steve21

    steve21 Inactive

    I'm in this boat as well. Barts sound like poo to me. That being said, yeah I've heard MTD is ACTUALLY different. I haven't tried one so I won't comment. But Modulus Barts suck. Those pickups, IMO, are the exact opposite as the rest of the ideas behind a Modulus.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    May 6, 2021

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