Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

i need some advice...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by chub fresh, Jun 1, 2005.


  1. howdy. i need some advice.... i play a '69 gibson les paul recording bass. it's fun as hell to play, but the problem is that it sounds really flat and dead, like plunky. i'm considering having a pre amp installed, but i have many questions about these things, like, are they hard to install yourself, or should it be best left to the fix it guy? how much do they cost? what kinds of pre amps are out there? please help, because i really don't have a clue about them. i really appreciate it...thanks alot people!

    charlie
     
  2. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    you may want to conisder a pickupchange first, or at least a switch to some bright stainless strings ( usually does the trick for me! )

    i would suggest D/addario Pro steels, and for pups, look into EMG, deffintly will brighten up your sound a lot more then a pre amp

    on a side note, id leave it alon considering its a 69' gibson.....
     
  3. Steve

    Steve

    Aug 10, 2001
    Thats a short scale bass and it's going to sound like that.

    As stated, given what it is...get and outboad preamp. sadowsky...east....fodera....maybe a boss 8 band eq pedal...pick one.
     
  4. JoeB

    JoeB

    Dec 19, 1999
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    In situations like this I always try to do the cheapest/least invasive improvements first and *then* start upgrading.

    The quickest way to dramatically change the sound of your bass is with new strings. Read more in the strings forum here and ask other players in your area about what they've tried.

    If you've already tried that then new pickups are probably the next cheap upgrade. Again, do some reading in the pup forum to find out more there. If you do get some new pups, try to get ones that don't involve extra routing and hang on to the original ones in case you ever sell the bass. It would likely be more valueable to a buyer with the originals.

    If that still doesn't work then consider (as stated above) an outboard preamp. Ask around again. I personally feel that preamps can't dramatically make a sound that is lacking into a good sound but can make more of the good stuff already in the bass.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    IIRC, that bass has nonstandard PUs, so replacing the PUs isn't gonna be possible without major surgery that would pretty much ruin its value and make it unrestorable to its original condition. I'd suggest new strings (try not only different makes but different styles--flatwound, roundwound, groundwound) *and* an outboard preamp. If that doesn't work, sell the bass and get a different one that sounds better to you.
     
  6. yah, it does sound a bit better with new strings. but it still doesn't have the punch that it should. it's just really plunky. kinda like a surf bass sound. . . . . i usually run it with a rat pedal (just a touch of distortion), and i even tried one of them sans amps in line after the rat, and that helps a little, but not enough...
    ......ok, so let me get something straight. if i was to put an "onboard" pre amp into this bass, would its body will need to be routed out or something? like richard said, i can't really replace the pickups. so i'd hafta keep em in there... sorry, this stuff just seems so high tech to me. i don't really know **** about this kinda thing. i'm a plug-in-and-play kinda guy... i love the bass. it plays like a mother****er. i just wish i could get it to sound good.

    thanks for ya help dudes.

    charlie
     
  7. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I still say, *don't* use an onboard pre, use an *out*board pre. Two reasons: (1) it requires no routing, and you can try it out at a store just by plugging it in; and (2) if the pre doesn't help, you don't have to go through the hassle of uninstalling it from the bass, you can just unplug it and return it to thje store and sell it on eBay. I'd suggest trying the Sadowsky or Aguilar outboard pre, either of which is IMO better than the Rat or the Sans. I'm sure there are others, I just can't think of them now.
     
  8. JoeB

    JoeB

    Dec 19, 1999
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    yes, I'd agree with Richard's answer. Just get an outboard preamp. If it doesn't work you can always return/sell it with no damage to your bass.

    I think what you're hearing is just the sound of a short-scale bass my man. They do have that "plunky" sound which is different from long-scale but kinda cool in its own way.
     
  9. Lyle Caldwell

    Lyle Caldwell

    Sep 7, 2004
    Memphis
    +10
     
  10. ok, so how much does one of them things cost? i'm not really that concerned with damaging my bass, cuz i'll never sell it or anything... it's a short scale thing huh? hmm. i also got this beat down old hagstrom swede bass that i borrowed from a friend, and it sounds way better, but it plays like ****. the bridge is rusted to hell, the inlays are falling out of the neck, and screws fall out of it all the time... dang.
     
  11. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    Roughly $150-200 used for either the Aguilar or Sadowsky. The Sadowsky is $240 brand new, and the Aguilar is $230 brand new.

    -Mike