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Ibanez Musician Bill Lawrence upgrade

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Cdoh, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. Cdoh


    Jan 29, 2014
    Liverpool UK
    Hi guys,

    First post but all the advice on here has helped me so much. I'm kind a novice when it comes to any aftermarket stuff but I've decided to take the plunge and i guess I'm looking for some knowledgeable folk to run through my thought process.
    I have an '82 Ibanez Musician that I bought for £80 quid of a mate a few years ago (This should be some indication of the state she came to me in). I just love the feel of it, it's a solid plank of wood, weighs a ton and looks like I've pulled it from a skip but it just fits. For some reason though the active EQ has never worked so I've just used the bypass switch as a kill switch. As the years have gone by its just started to sound muddy to me so I put it down in favour of the jazz. Till I got it out a few months ago and remembered just how nice it felt. So I did my research, oh how I did my research, and finally found Bill. I was won over by his sound and business ethos in equal measure and ordered a P/J set from him. Sadly Bill passed away in November and so I wasn't expecting anything in the post for a while, but a couple of weeks ago they turned up and they look amazing.
    Now, I have no intention of fitting them myself (all those wires scare me), so I've found a good luthier who had quoted me a £40 plus parts to fit them and overhaul the electronics. So I'm taking it in Friday for him to run his eye over. I've already had it open and the wiring looks in pretty good condition, I can't see any obvious reason why it doesn't work, so I'm hoping it's just a loose connection somewhere and doesn't need completely ripping out.
    Does anyone have any experience with these basses that could give me a clue what to look for? The P p'up is slightly wider than the cover of the one that's in, so I'm not how that's going to work. If they'll make a new cover or just take it off and fit it, exposing the routing. Not too fused as it's not really a museum piece as is. Are there any potential problems I've overlooked? As I said I'm a noob when it comes to this.

    Thanks for reading.
  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    If you have faith in your luthier's skills, then just leave the job in his capable hands. This kind of thing is absolutely routine for any experienced guitar tech or luthier. Piece of cake.

    As for the slight difference in the dimensions of the Lawrence "P" pickup, your guy would likely just carve out the cavity a bit, so as to fit the new pickup snugly - especially since your Ibanez is a player - not a museum piece. Much easier than fooling around with putting the new pickup into the old housing - which IMO would be just asking for trouble.

    As for your "wiring" concerns, I'm not sure I follow. If you're looking for a simply passive wiring job, there's nothing to it. But if you want to start using the stock preamp (a good thing to have), then your guy will need to do a little troubleshooting. Again, it's absolutely routine for a job like this.

    The solution could come down to something as simple as reconnecting a loose wire, or something much more extensive. It's really impossible to speculate from a distance.

    If you really want to preserve the active electronics option (I certainly would), then you might even consider having an updated onboard preamp installed in lieu of the original. While I have no idea of how good the 1982 Ibanez Musician preamps were, I can tell you that the state of the art has advanced dramatically during the past 30+ years. You owe it to yourself to at least consider what an upgrade could do for you. :meh:

  3. Cdoh


    Jan 29, 2014
    Liverpool UK
    Thanks for getting back to me. The passive works fine, no problems, it's just the active EQ that is knackered. It works passive with a bypass toggle switch cutting out the EQ. I dont know how good it is either, as I've never heard it working, but I do want it reinstated even if it's only till I can afford something new to go in. It is something on my wishlist for it, but this should tide me over while I save, and research what I want to go in.

    Cheers mate.
  4. gingerbeer


    Jan 9, 2005
    if the circuit is on a board ,when it's get old sometimes the soldering dry ,so the entire board have to be replated ,(i got this problem on my steinberger), it should be done by a specialist .