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I wanna "activate" my '79 Ibanez Musician

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 440Hz, Nov 17, 2003.


  1. 440Hz

    440Hz

    Nov 17, 2003
    Midwest
    I am really wanting to slap some new electronics in this bass 1) as it's my main bass and the tone is just not quite there, 2) we tune down to C and there is NO sustain it seems and 3) I love the bass and don't wanna spend a grand on a newer one.

    Here are a few pictures of it.
    ONE
    TWO


    Optimally, what i'd like to do is take out the 3-way toggle and have four potentiometers; one push/pull for active/passive, a sweepable bass-mid-treble and possibly a blend now. Is any of this possible? I don't know much about onboard preamps etc so ANY info would be appreciated.

    My rig:
    '79 Ibanez Musician bass
    Ampeg SVT-III Pro
    Peavey 3620 2x18"-2x10" cab[​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. I THINK (not 100% sure on this) you will have to make more room in the cavity to add in an onboard preamp...
     
  3. Take a look at the U-retro preamp from Vintage Bass Trading Co. Tons of features with a variable mid frequency and gain. This is a very small package with outboard pots that should fit your cavity
     
  4. 440Hz

    440Hz

    Nov 17, 2003
    Midwest
    I'll check out the U-retro preamp from Vintage Bass Trading Co. The only thing that i am worried about is the fact that the cavity is somewhat small. I don't know how small they make onboard preamps; most of the ones I have been looking at are a bit too big, methinks. If it comes down to it and i CAN find a killer onboard preamp, making the cavity a bit bigger is an option...

    Thanks for the input!

    I cant seem to find the U-Retro, only the J-REtro, which doesn't look that bad. I have read a little bit about them on this forum and most say they have pretty good results. is there much difference between the J and U-Retros? It appears that I would need the non-plate version as my spacing is a bit different, as well as my bass being rear routed. Are these hard to self-install?
     
  5. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    440hz,

    The J retro and U retro are the same preamp, same thing, just different mounting type. The U is what you'll need. When you see the pictures you'll see what we mean.

    I have the same exact '79 Musician Bass, but mine has the factory active system, and the cavity is BIG! Almost routed out to the same size as that cavity cover plate. Which ever preamp you go, I feel you'll have to rout a little bit out, but You got plenty of wood to spare in there.
     
  6. Funkster

    Funkster

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I like my Musician electronics, But I never tuned down to a B either, Hmmmmmmm
     
  7. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I also have a '79 Musician. Yours is passive, so there's not a lot of room, but it looks like the cavity cover is the same size as the active version, so you could rout a larger hole if you wanted to.

    Mine has bart pups and 3 band eq. I love it!
     
  8. 440Hz

    440Hz

    Nov 17, 2003
    Midwest
    Jondog, what model bartolinis are in your bass? I'd REALLY like to change out the pickups as well, after hearing there are more of these killer basses around. I checked out seymour duncan music man pickups but they are about 2 mm too large and I really dont wanna have to make bigger pickup cavities. Got any pics?
     
  9. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    I don't know what model they are, I got it used. The neck pup is clearly too big and the hole was routed out. The bridge pup looks very close to the original size but I suspect the hole had to be enlarged a bit. It's also got a Kahler trem! It's definitely a player bass w/ many dings, and I had to pay to have the Kahler sunk into the body because the original install didn't create enough downward force on the saddles. I traded a Yamaha DX-11 w/ a bad battery for it, good deal! If you like the bart tone and know a tech you trust to rout your baby, I say go for it. It's my best sounding bass -- I would bring it out more but I need my 5er and I'm loving my synth controller bass right now so 3 basses are too much to bring to shows.

    I do have a digicam but I can't promise pix for at least a week.
     
  10. bigbajo60

    bigbajo60

    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    ...I have a Musician with the Ibanez active electronics package and it sounds wicked! And that's taking into account the "Sounds of the '70s" settings it's locked into.;) The front pickup solo'd sounds just like Sting's bass on the early Police releases.

    Bartolini used to offer a direct replacement pickup for those Ibanez Musician brown p'ups. And with the wide assortment of preamps they offer, you'll probably get an exact match to what you've got in mind. Visit the Bart website to see what I mean.
     
  11. 440Hz

    440Hz

    Nov 17, 2003
    Midwest
    bigbajo60, thanks for the tip. I'll do some research on this and post any findings i dig up..
     
  12. 440Hz

    440Hz

    Nov 17, 2003
    Midwest
    well, this is what i found so far:
    http://www.bartolini.net/information/bass/new_bass_pu_s4.htm

    I think that I need these:

    W4CBC - W4 soapbar shape available in neck (B) and bridge (T) dual coils List Price $ 118

    though im not totally sure. adding those and an onboard preamp would make this sing! Now i just gotta find the money to buy all of it. ahhh....
     
  13. bigbajo60

    bigbajo60

    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    ...and click on the "Selecting Pickups" page, you'll see an option for Ibanez that'll take you to...

    http://www.bartolini.net/special_instruments/mfgs_ib.htm

    That's where you'll see that direct MC924(Musician Series) replacement pickup.

    Since I don't see a Model # per se, I guess you have to call 'em for specifics and ordering.
     
  14. Wow!

    I didn't know there were this many '79 Musicians out there. I have a '79 Musician too, but it's different from the one 440hz owns. Mine only has 22 frets, and has different bridge saddles. It's got the stock factory EQ, and has more of a "laminated" plastic finish on it. It still looks and sounds great. The 3 way switch is scratchy sometimes, but that's about it.

    I was thinking about putting Barts in it, and changing to a blend knob. (I'm not a fan of 3 way switches on a bass) It's all original, so I'll probably just leave it as it is.

    We should start an old Ibanez club. :hyper:

    And I should get around to posting pix. I never do. :(

    Good luck with yours, 440, and all Musician owners out there. ;)

    Mike
     
  15. 440Hz

    440Hz

    Nov 17, 2003
    Midwest
    yeah, I am thinking about installing some Barts in mine, as well as blend knob (can't stand the 3 way toggle either! ha!!).

    There used to be a great vintage Ibanez site that had a comprehensive list of their old gear, but apparently the domain is down and for sale...

    I also have a '77 Ibanez Professional 2681 in my collection.

    If anyone has any leads to purchase Barts for these basses and other assorted Musician goddies, PLEASE post them here as it sounds like there is a large community or Musician owners.
     
  16. That's pretty much mine, bigbajo60.

    The two big knobs (volume and boost) on mine are see through, and look like the ones at the very top of the page, but are tinted brown. http://www.rexc.com/parts/knobs/control_knobs.htm

    Notice the different bridge saddles, and the 22 fret neck.

    It's good to meet someone with the same bass! :)

    Mike

    I'll try to get a picture up.
     
  17. top028

    top028

    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    annother option for you guys to think of. Aguilar was running those comercials in bassplayer for thier on board preamps. They had a guitar pick right next to them and it was about as small as the pick cubed. I assume its good quality.
    http://www.aguilaramp.com/

    warmoth has knobs and all that crap. Best prices I have seen
    www.warmoth.com

    stew mac also has parts. Thier blend knob is junk dont be tempted. they have a 1 battery 9-18v converter that could help save space.
    www.stewmac.com
    only use them if you have to because I have had 3 strikes of bad service...they suck but they have stuff no one else does.
     
  18. 440Hz

    440Hz

    Nov 17, 2003
    Midwest
    The Aguilar preamps look pretty nice, though i dont know much about them. I hear the Aguilar soun is much saught after. Anyone know how these wire up? I assume the 3 band would have 3 controls (low, mid, high)? Maybe I could install this, take out the 3-way toggle and add a Concentric Pot for volume-blend. Hmmm...If I installed this, I may not need the Barts...though it sure would be nice.
     
  19. bigbajo60

    bigbajo60

    Nov 7, 2003
    Laredo, Texas
    ...has any Musician owner ever heard their pickups "direct"? That is to say... have any of you ever had a "bypass" switch/mod that takes the signal straight from the pickup to the output jack?

    That might tell us whether the old brown p'ups are worth juicing up!