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Inquiry about SD MM Ceramic Pup/Preamp Combination

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Geri O, Feb 1, 2018.


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  1. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I am happy with the tone of my 99 Stingray SR5, but there's times I wish it had more output. Like on gigs where I use both my Mike Lull Jazz bass with a pretty hot output and the SR5 with a rather low (some would say "normal") output. Not a big deal, except with I have to use the same wireless belt pack with both basses. A belt pack for each bass would be the obvious solution, but at $1500 for the Lectrosonics SMQV belt packs, it's an expensive option. I can make it work, but I hate giving the soundguy heartburn with having to change the bass channel's input gain.

    Looking at the SD MM 5-string ceramic pup/preamp combination on Duncan's website, I can't find any tech info on the preamp. There appears to be two gain pots on the preamp board, but I can't find any info on just what those pots do.

    And the description of the product also mentions "not for use with Music Man basses with the 3-way blade switch". That rules out a LOT of SR5s, doesn't it?

    Yes, I've emailed SD with this same inquiry, but I'd like some outside thoughts if anyone has any besides "get a passive bass" and "what the hell are you doing with a $1500 transmitter?"...:D

    Thanx,
    G
     
  2. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie

    Mar 24, 2006
    NoVA
    both of the trim pots on the Duncan pream are for the “slap contour” adjustment. One is for the amount of mid-cut, the other is for bass boost. The preamp does not have an output gain control.
    The issue with the blade switch non-compatibility...I could be wrong on this, but...
    Early SR5’s used Parallel/Single coil/ Series on the switch. These could be used (I think) with these preamps. Later SR5’s did away with the single coil wiring and went with a “Series with preamp filter” instead. This is a no-go as the actual preamp manipulates the tone at this option. The Duncan preamp will not do anything here. I’m not sure of the details of these basses, but you might get away with rewiring the switch for actual SC option..

    EDIT: the note I see in the product description is:
    NOTE this preamp is designed for use with a standard 2-coil Music Man style pickup, and will NOT work properly if combined with a 3-coil Sterling style pickup.

    Off the top of my head, the only preamp that does have an output gain control are Bartolini preamps...but I’m sure there must be others...however you still may wind up with the same problem the Duncan preamp seems to have...

    To help with the volume balance from bass to bass, might I suggest a volume boost pedal instead?

    I hope I have shed a twinkle on this...
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2018
  3. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Very much so, thank you!

    I missed the explanation in the copy about the 2-coil/3-coil situation. As well as the description you listed about the trim pots. Well, it was rather late...:D

    I will check out the Bart preamp, but since you mentioned a boost pedal, now I’m leaning toward a Radial box I remember seeing a while back that would serve as a boost unit. Radial always makes great stuff.

    Thanx again, Eddie!
     
    eastcoasteddie likes this.
  4. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    why not lower the gain trim pot on the lull? doesnt he usually use bart pres?
     
  5. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Ahh, was keeping that one as a last resort. Yes, it has a great-sounding BART preamp.

    I like hitting my wireless pack with the level I am now with the Jazz model and I’d like to have the level of the Stingray hit the pack with the same level.

    But I’m about to acquire another Mike Lull, this one is a passive P model. So it makes sense to back the gain down in the Jazz model. Hitting the wireless pack with less gain won’t be a problem.