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Hot pups, distortion issues.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by andrklet, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. andrklet

    andrklet Guest

    Could probably have asked this in basses or pups, but as distortion with pedals (and amp gain) is my issue I´ll try here. Sorry for the long write up.

    I have a Fender Modern Player Jazz, with relatively hot passive humbuckers. Run into a MXR bass overdrive and an Ampeg PF350. When turning up gain I can get a quite heavy distortion from the amp. It seemed way to "on and of" in the beginning (no gradual increase), but it appears to have settled down, and in a band setting sounds good now. (Although a class D amp shouldn´t bed in??). Tried a passive Yamaha, with single coil pups, and couldn´t get any distortion at all. Even with gain at full. Noticeably quieter, so very different pups.

    With the MXR bass overdrive and my Fender I get a lot of distortion even at the lowest drive setting. With the Yamaha I can go from virtually no overdrive, to lots of overdrive. Which is what I want. I love how the fender sound clean. But I cant seem to get the soft tiny bit of overdrive I want from it. Could there be something wrong? Or is there something I could do to remedy my issues? Rolling of volume on my bass, almost all the way, kind of helps, but not a good solution I think.

    I´ve got a VT Bass pedal on its way, to hopefully get my soft mellow over driven sound, but now I´m skeptical something is up with my Fender. Any one had similar issues?
  2. The only fixes I know about would be:

    - Lower your pickup height
    - Mod the bass to fix a resistor in between the output and ground to permanently lower the maximum volume
    - Use your volume control, a volume pedal, EHX Signal Pad pedal or some other kind of inline attenuator to lower the volume
    - Get a different amp and different pedals that respond better to hot basses
  3. Dave Curran

    Dave Curran Lilduke

    Jul 27, 2013
    Start with the pickup height.

    Bass Side Treble Side
    8/64" (3,6 mm) 6/64" (2,4 mm)

    And if you still don't get what you want, use the volume knob to reduce output.
  4. andrklet

    andrklet Guest

    Oh, man. That was painfully easy and obvious. I even, myself, lowered the action, before I got the pedal and amp and had no distortion anyhow. Everything sounded grate, so I did not think of lowering pups. Had to go a bit further than Curran´s measurements. Closer to 5.5 mm´s. But now its all good. Very good!

    Thanks a bunch :)
  5. Dave Curran

    Dave Curran Lilduke

    Jul 27, 2013
    I have a squier tele bass that I had to lower that much. The pickup in that is very hot. Glad it was that easy!