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How to "Warm up" the sound of my Essex BG-180

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hawtin47, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. hawtin47


    Oct 9, 2003
    Lyons, Oregon
    Greetings -

    I could use some advice on how to fatten up the sound of my Essex BG-180. I'm really green with all this, so please be kind.

    I play at church through an SWR Basic Black into the PA, and it always sounded great with my Cirrus 5 (18v active) and the cheaper Peavey the church owns (9v active). Granted, the Cirrus 5 is wonderful, but I don't think the other Peavey is anything special. When I played Saturday and Sunday with the BG-180, I couldn't get much warmth at the bottom end. Didn't sound bad, but did sound much thinner than the other two.

    Granted, the Essex is passive. Is that the bottom line? All I've done so far is remove the original strings and replace them with D'Addario XL nickel rounds.

    Do I need to buy something like a SansAmp Bass Driver DI and place it between my bass and the SWR? I know they cost more than the bass itself, but I don't mind spending the $$. Would that do it? Or do I need to swap out the pickups? I'm not too handy with a soldering iron, but I have a friend who is and can follow directions.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. A pickup upgrade in it would make a big difference.
  3. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Flatwounds. Tone knob.
  4. Definitely try flats, but I'd say a pickup change would give you that low end. Some pickups have a lot of low end, and you can find out which in the pickups forum. But it could potentially add a lot of bass and overall sound quality to your Essex.
  5. I can heartily recommend a set of active P/J pups from Seymour Duncan. That's what I put in my Essex P and it's become one of the best tone machines I've got in my arsenal. The P alone is worth the price. I'm usually a jazz guy and having a nice growly J to bring things out front is what I favor. I'm using the stock SD V/V/T but it would benefit from a V/T/B setup.
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Yup. I'd add varying right hand technique.

    You don't mention, have you spent any time fiddling with the EQ on the front of the amp? The answers lie there IME.
  7. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Lighter fuel ?........ :bag:
  8. hawtin47


    Oct 9, 2003
    Lyons, Oregon
    Thanks for the help so far.

    Tyler - at the risk of cross-forum behavior, do you recommend anything specific for the pickup upgrade?

    Sonorous - I'll give the flat wounds a try in the future...any harm taking off my current set and then going back to them if I prefer them to the flats? Tone knob is one thing I HAVE tried!

    jenderfazz (great name) - thanks...I'll dig around in the pickups forum...having trouble grasping how it works between buying a P/J set, buying the P and J PUP separately, if I can use active PUPs even through it's passive, etc. I've tried to read up, but not getting it so far.

    Hambone - again, risking wrong platform, how does that work with a passive bass?

    Philbiker - messed with the EQ a bit, but not much. I'll spend some more time there...thanks. My right-hand technique does vary...only because I'm not very good!

    Paul A - thought about torching it too, but the $$$ Phoenix won't rise again with my $140....

  9. P/J set? Can't help ya there. Sorry. Search the pickups forum for what you want in em.
  10. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX

    No there shouldn't be a problem. Sometimes they seem a little loose after you take them off and put them back on but its no crisis.