Help with J pups upgrade on Toby V

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by RSerbel, May 30, 2018.

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  1. RSerbel

    RSerbel

    Jun 10, 2016
    I recently bought a Tobias Toby V - 5 string, nice bass, but I knew the electronics weren't great going in to it but got a good deal on the bass. I'm electronically inept, and would like to upgrade the electronics on it but don't know where to start, so I figured here would be best.

    The stock pickups are buzzy and mostly thin/ trebly / "hot" per some reviews. I'm looking for something darker in terms of tone, and want to keep it active. I found that Bartolini makes some (Classic J pickups) that fit what I need, however they are passive. That's fine, but that would require a new preamp (right???), and then potentially new pots.

    I'm willing to buy whatever, within reason, but don't know what to go with. Any advice would be great.

    Both pickups are currently: Tobias J pickups (same size, just a hair under 3.75")
     
  2. bass_vic

    bass_vic

    Dec 28, 2017
    I know it's been almost a year since the question was asked but here it goes. The Toby V is one of the "Deluxe" models with the Tone Expressor (bass boost). This bass has passive pickups and an active "preamp" The HUM you are hearing is the tone expressor circuit. These basses are notoriously noisy. You might be able to rewire to the tone expressor and cleanup some of the noise.
    The Bartolini pickups will work in giving you a slightly boosted signal, but won't do away with the buzz from the circuit. When purchasing pickups make sure you get neck and bridge pickups of the same size. This does not have the shorter neck pickup as some Fender basses. This is a compatible Bartolini Model (59CBJD L1/LN1).
    You could rewire it to eliminate the tone expressor, if you choose, and the wiring should not be too difficult. I have the Deluxe IV and rewired it as passive, but kept the original pickups. I love this bass.
    Good Luck
     
  3. dzem

    dzem

    Oct 26, 2022
    Hey man. Don’t know if you will reply anymore as it’s been years but here goes:

    I created an account in the forum just to comment on this thread.

    i have the Toby Deluxe IV since 2015. Last year in November I took it to a luthier to make all circuitry passive and rewired it to standard jazz bass (VVT) scheme plus 1 dead knob from the tonexpressor. There’s no preamp now. All pots are 500K and input jack is switch craft. The hiss has reduced considerably but the lack of low end bothers me as i play metal.

    i want to change the pickups. However, the dimensions for both neck and bridge pickup are the same: 9.5 cm x 1.9 cm. Screw projections are 2.9 cm at their widest point and 4 cm apart.

    how the hell am i supposed to find a 4 string j bass pickup set with these dimensions?

    there’s a chap on this forum who did a project on this bass. Here’s the link to the thread: Tobias Toby Deluxe IV by Epiphone Project

    he installed a bartolini L1/S1 set. You can see in the photos that the neck pickup is shorter than the bridge (therefore different dimensions)

    How was he able to install it? Doesn’t having different dimensions mean that the distance and positioning of the 4 screwholders will also differ from the stock pickup? This is confusing me so much because I have the choice pickups I wanna put in (MEC passive dynamic correction J bass neck and bridge pickup: MEC Passive Dynamic Correction J-Style Bass Pickups, 4- & 5-String) but the dimensions don’t match.

    how did this guy in the thread above do it?
     
  4. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Nah. Throw them in there. Besides a few makes and models here and there, pretty much all pickups are passive. The pre amps are the "active" part.
     
  5. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Fralin will make you pickups to those specifications, for a slight up charge. Duncan will re-wind the ones you have already installed. Nordstrand might too.

    Duncan's been doing that since the 60's. That's how he started his business.
     
  6. dzem

    dzem

    Oct 26, 2022

    Thanks for the reply. Fralin and SD custom shop orders are not possible as I live in EU. The cost of shipping and customs is out of my budget.

    also I think you misread my post I never mentioned that I have duncans installed. I just have stock pickups that I want to replace, but their dimensions are not like typical j bass pickup set. The bridge pickup has same dimensions but the neck pickup is longer than traditional neck pickup.

    in conclusion, both neck and bridge pickup of my j bass have the same dimensions, and these dimensions are that of a standard fender IV Jbass bridge position. So I need to order a neck pickup which has dimensions of bridge pickup.
     
  7. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    I didn't misread your post.

    I said Duncan will re-wind your pickups that you already have installed. They will. That's how they started thier business.

    You send them your pickups, and they'll take them apart and re-wind them for you to acheive whatever it is you want from them.


    But, fralin has size options. When you buy a pickup from them, you select the sizes.


    Nordstrand will wind you new pickups, in your old cases if you send them to them.

    Since you're in Europe, and shipping sucks, you should probably do a search for a pickup company over there.
     
    dzem likes this.
  8. dzem

    dzem

    Oct 26, 2022
    I didnt know that is something that could be done. That opens a qhole new world of possibilities. Thank you so much!
     
    JeezyMcNuggles likes this.
  9. JeezyMcNuggles

    JeezyMcNuggles Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2018
    Santa Maria, CA
    I suck, but nobody really notices
    Yeah. Seymour Duncan started his business by taking famous Musician's guitars, dismantling the pickups in them, and re-winding them into custom pickups. He did it for everybody.

    On their website, they still do that. Now, you being in Europe is the only problem. For you, you need to do a search for someone on your side of the world, who offers a similar service.