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I need louder pickups!!!!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by pelvicfury, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. I just picked up a late 80's model Yamaha Fretless Bass (model RBX5F). The thing is so sweet to play, but it is just not loud enough. It has passive electronics now, and I was thinking of replacing it's split-coil with an EMG active split-coil. Is this Wise, or is there maybe some other pickup that might do more justice? Thanks guys!
  2. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    there's this knob on your amp, you know.
  3. Lockout


    Dec 24, 2002
    Heh, or you could also try raising your pickups a bit before making your final decision to replace them.

    If you've tried that already, just pretend I didn't say anything. ;)
  4. If volume is the issue then get a more powerful amp.

    Unless you mean you're getting weak output from the pickups, then swapping them would be the thing to do.

    Assuming you've tried raising them.
  5. Outboard preamp, such as the John East stompbox.
  6. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    An onboard pre will give you good juice if punch is what you want. If you're looking for sheer volume, sounds like you need an amp with more wattage.
  7. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    Take a good look at your pickups first. I had an old 80's yamaha with a split coil pickup and the screws were different than a typical P pickup. If you don't mind the possibility of doing some hacking, or the bass looking funky then go for it.
  8. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC

  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Yeah, I'm not clear, are you unhappy with the "sound" of the pickups? If not, there's no reason to change them. If you need a volume boost, there are umpteen pedals you can buy that will do that, they won't change your tone just make it louder. Or if you really want to, you can install a preamp in your bass. That's actually pretty easy, if you have enough space in the cavity, and if you don't have to drill any new holes. If you don't like the sound of your pickups, by all means replace them, and in that case you have a wide variety to choose from. You can stay passive and just get louder pickups, like humbuckers or something, or go active, whatever works best. Personally I like a midrange control, especially on a fretless, and that pretty much requires an active preamp, and I wouldn't hesitate for a microsecond to drill some new holes into a Yamaha (especially one I liked), but YMMV, and any "mod" you do to a bass will decrease its resale value, so that's something to keep in mind. You can leave the bass "as-is" by using a pedal and being generous with all the volume controls.
  10. It's not the tone or sound of the pickups, it's the output. They sound awesome, it is not loud though. The problem goes beyond my amp, as I have other basses and my amp does the trick with those. My fault for not being more specific, I should have expected a smartass answer. Anyway, a preamp seems to be a good idea, assumeing it's cheaper. Any suggestions as far as new pickups or preamps go?
  11. If they sound awesome but the bass is not loud enough, then the answer is a preamp, as others have said. Low output pups often sound better than hot pups tonewise. More detail and clarity.

    On a fretless, though, being heard is often a problem because the bass does not have the attack of the fretted animal. Cranking the mids is often helpful.
  12. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    doesnt DOD or someone make a new pickup booster, i swear i saw it in the new guitar world or sumthing. Sounds like just want you want.
  13. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Pelvicfury, do you have electronics knowledge and soldering skills? If so, drop me a PM. I'll send you a schematic, it'll cost you about 5 bucks in parts to build, and maybe an hour to put together.

    Otherwise, any of the commercial "boost-only" preamps will work, most of them run around a hundred bucks.

    I think a built-in onboard preamp would be a very good solution in your case. Another big advantage of a correctly designed preamp is that it will complete eliminate any hum problems you may be experiencing with your passive pickups.
  14. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I think you're thinking of Seymour Duncan's Pickup Booster.

    There's a ton of options available for making your bass a little louder before it hit's your amp.

    1) Hotter Pickups
    2) Onboard Active Preamp
    3) Pedal. This can be a pedal specifically designed for boost, or it can be any pedal that has the ability to increase gain (i.e. overdrive, eq, preamp, some compressors).