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Ibanez SR495 5 String - Want to install new pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by soundman502, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. soundman502


    Feb 28, 2011
    Spencer, IN
    Good evening all,
    I've had this bass for years, even had it autographed by Victor Wooten a few years ago at The Bluebird. What a class act, no doubt about it. But I digress.

    I love this way this bass plays, the action and the balance, just fits me so well. I need to upgrade it a bit. Ibanez put these cheap $30 DX5 pickups in them and they're just crud. I'm looking at the EMG lineup, but I'm seeing the active pickups coming with their own controls and such, and the passives with the standard wiring harness. Problem is none of the wiring configs match what this bass has. By bass does have a battery, so I've assumed that it was active through and through, but I've been told that the DX5's were passive.

    The question here is this, if I go active and replace both pickups, I'll need to integrate both sets of electronics to the output. If I go passive, I should be able to utilize the existing active EQ unless there's some reason I shouldn't.

    Any tips or advice from the guru's here?

    Much appreciated!

  2. soundman502


    Feb 28, 2011
    Spencer, IN
    I'm finding tidbits, and I do sincerely apologize if I'm pulling a n00b move by re-asking something.

    I've found someone who has at least confirmed the fit of the EMG-40 into my 5 string, so that's great. Now just to determine the rest of the electronics path.
  3. soundman502


    Feb 28, 2011
    Spencer, IN
    Well, since I never got any replies, I'll answer my own questions here and hopefully help someone else.

    I went ahead and bought the EMG-40DC's. I replaced both of the DX-5 passive pickups with these active EMG's. They sound amazing, as they should. Turns out when I priced replacements directly from Ibanez, they were only $30 each. No wonder they sounded like a porta-pot at a chili cook-off.

    They don't fit perfectly, as they're just about 1/8" smaller in length and width.

    Since my bass had active EQ, I was able to retain the EQ section and just add power to the pickups, so the included tone and volume controls were not needed. Using the wiring block provided by EMG, I soldered the power leads to the power points on the EQ board and the made patch lines to run for the wiring block to the EQ inputs. Despite the cramped space, everything fits perfectly. I could have done it without the wiring block, but it meant a lot less soldering and less chance of a loose/bad connection.

    Massively improved tone. Lots of depth, perfect definition and more signal output. The EQ on my bass gets to stay flat, but still sounds good when cutting or boosting. I can't speak to the battery life yet, since everything is active now; two pickups and EQ. EMG says 1000 hrs per pickup, so with 2 I figure 500, and the EQ I'm gonna guess will cut me down another hundred, to 400 hrs, maybe. I'll put a fresh one in and see.
  4. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010
    im surprised nobody replied at all. :/
    thanks for posting your progress and results..i have an old 405 that i gig with..plays nice looks cool..but pickups suck anus. maybe ill give this a go.
    how much were the pickups btw?
  5. hemmerlinj


    Sep 21, 2012
    Astoria, NY
    Just saw this thread now. Haven't been looking on the forum too much lately, but I have Jury duty right now.

    I replaced my DX5's with EMG's a long time ago. Big improvement. I got one of their BQS systems for the eq. Bass, Treble, and a stacked sweepable mid. I also got the the tapped dual coil for the neck position. And this was in an SR405. Huge improvement overall. I haven't had to change my battery in a very long time either. I use the 2 9volts for the greater headroom. I currently have the Bass strung EADGC. I have 2 other 5ers to play with.

    Enjoy them.
  6. Mike Brown

    Mike Brown

    Sep 1, 2014
    I have a SR495, and I've been thinking of selling it. However I want to try to give it a little more life with something like this. How difficult is the pickup replacement for a beginner? (I also think new strings for it would help, it's just that buying for a 5 string is intimidating)
  7. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    The pickup wires go with the included pots (if EMG for active pickups), but the wires from the pots go to the same wires on the preamp as the old wiring did. And you already have a battery. If going to EMG actives, you just need a batt+ wire connected to the pickup red wires.
    Mike Brown likes this.
  8. phillybass101


    Jan 12, 2011
    Artist, Trickfish Amplification Bartolini Emerging Artist, MTD Kingston Emerging Artist. Artist, Tsunami Cables
    Get a set of Aggie DCB's and add and OBP3 pre. You'll be very happy. My Ibby GSR206SM is in the shop right now getting this upgrade. Mine as well came with the DX Pups. I didn't think they were that bad actually. I just like maxing out whatever instrument I have.

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