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Ibanez BTB 6 string Pickup / Preamp upgrades?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by el murdoque, May 15, 2018.


  1. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Germany
    Hi,
    here's the long version:
    Short version:

    Does anyone here have any tips regarding upgrading the stock PUs and/or the preamp of the Ibanez BTB686sc bass? AFAIK there are the cheap Bartolini licenced PU's in there and the preamp is Ibanez' own.
    What Pickup choices do fit into that bass?
    What preamps would work nicely?
    What are your experiences?
     
  2. Aidil

    Aidil

    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    Yes, the Bartolini pickups on the BTBs aren't USA made, but still, they're not some generic licensed pickups like the MK1 pickups. Bartolini stated on his website, starting the MK2, the Bartolini pickups on the BTBs were the result of yearly partnership development of himself and top Ibanez engineers.

    On your BTB686SC, the BH1 pickups were the next development after the MK2. But as always, some would like them, some wouldn't. The current BTBs with Bartolini BH2 pickups are their latest collaboration result. These seem to have gathered good praises, at least here on TB.

    Now regarding the replacement for your BH1 pickups... (which have the same dimension as previous MK2 pickups, but not the MK1 pickups), Bartolini has already made USA replacements called the H6 pickups. The H6 comes in various coil configurations: their classic bass, original bass, singularity, and 2J Squared (quad coils). In case you would choose the 2J Squared or the classic, you'll have options of coil switching.

    For the preamp, you could always start by using the Ibanez stock preamp with any of the USA H6 pickups to know whether you'll like the combination or not. Next, you could opt for Bartolini HR-5.4AP/918 or HR-5.2AP/918 preamp, or any other preamp to your own liking.
     
  3. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Germany
    Thanks for the insight, Aidil!
    I will have a look into the Bartolini H6 line.
    Switching the PU first and keeping the preamp seems like the reasonable thing to do.
     
  4. Aidil

    Aidil

    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    I might have to add that besides the coil configurations, the H6 comes in 2 strings arrangements: H65 for the 5 string models and H66 for 6 string models. Both have same outer dimension, but the internal coil sensing areas are different. So, be sure not to order just H6 pickups, but be more specific by stating H66. Then choose the coil configuration which would suit you the most.

    Another thing, among the 4 available types of coil configurations, not only the 2J Squared that has coil switching feature, but the Classic Bass is also.
     

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