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Installing Bartolini NTBT in Pedulla Thunderbass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Lonnybass, Oct 1, 2003.


  1. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Good evening,

    I have a beautiful cherryburst Pedulla Thunderbolt 5 string with the Thunderguts switch (lots of pics of this bass on www.theparamours.com). Lately, I've been thinking of upgrading the electronics to include the Bart NTBT preamp (concentric bass + treble).

    Has anyone does this type of upgrade themselves? I don't really want to ship the bass halfway across the country to the Pedulla shop.

    My main concern is how the Thunderguts switch fits into the circuit - otherwise it appears to be a relatively straightforward install. Anyone have any experience with this on their bass? Let me know...

    Lonnybass
     
  2. dabshire

    dabshire

    Dec 15, 2002
    McKinney, TX
    I have a Thunderbolt with the Thunderguts as well. Why do you want to change out the pre? (If you don't mind my asking).

    You could probably email Pedulla, and I'm sure they would help you figure out how the electronics work. I have always revieved great customer service from them.

    Purdy bass by the way. (Looks just like mine) :)

    Don
     
  3. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    It definitely is a sweet looking bass - the photos don't really do it justice! This thing is like a really, really fast sports car...

    Anyways, I definitely have come to love the electronics, especially the Thunderguts, but would like to add the bass and treble boost/cut to the circuit as an addition to the existing modules. Don, is your bass the three-knob config. with the switch?

    Lonnybass
     
  4. xparis001

    xparis001 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Worcester, ma
    Product Manager, Akai Professional
    having dealt wih pedulla's shop in the past, I can say its worth the money to send it to them. also, I believe the upgraded preamp was specifically tailored to the thunderbass. could be wrong.
     
  5. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Yes, I'm definitely starting to think that sending the bass back to Pedulla will be the best option, especially considering there are already two preamp modules in the cavity and adding another without a clear understanding of the system is going to be a major, major task.

    It's going to be about $310 total including shipping...worth the plunge?

    Lonnybass
     
  6. dabshire

    dabshire

    Dec 15, 2002
    McKinney, TX
    Yep. Mine has the volume/blend/tone with the switch.

    I bought mine used. The back pot only seems to affect the tone when the switch is on (I assume the switch is the "Thunder Guts" part, but I'm not sure). I usually play with it off. The bass just gets too big and growly for the setting I play in with it on, altough I will flip it when I do slap stuff, just to give it a little more beefy sound.

    Will Pedulla send you a wiring diagram so you can do it yourself or so you can have a local tech do it?


    Don
     
  7. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Don,

    I'm definitely still learning how the Thunderguts switch works in conjunction with the global tone knob, as it seems to be most effective with the switch engaged.

    The Thunderguts definitely adds a lot of bite and a hefty increase in volume - I suppose it is necessary in my rock setting, trying to "compete" against two guitarists and their Marshalls. I haven't really found a song in our setlist that the switch is useful in the off position (not to mention the necessary gain adjustments I'd have to make) - what musical setting (and control setting) are you playing in?

    Lonnybass
    www.theparamours.com
     
  8. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Forgot to mention that Pedulla won't send out a wiring diagram...they said it would be too much work for them, plus their Bart system is proprietary to their basses. I guess they don't want to give away the farm...
     
  9. dabshire

    dabshire

    Dec 15, 2002
    McKinney, TX
    I play in a praise and worship setting in my church (roughly a 1500 sear auditorium). Most of the tunes we do are a mix between rock, funk and jazz, but I don't have to compete with giant Marshall stacks :). The drummer also uses an electronic kit, and the guitar amps are mic'ed backstage (we all use in ear monitors), so that reduces stage volume as well. The stage bass amp is basically just a monitor (it's another TBer's rig - Jeff Rader) and it's also there so we can "feel" the bass (we refused to let the sound guy get rid of it :D), and the system handles all the out front sound.

    I guess if you want to get the pre installed you will have to send it in, or find someone locally who can figure it out.

    Good luck!

    ;)

    Don
     
  10. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    I can definitely see how a praise/worship setting wouldn't be an ideal "Thunderguts On" kind of environment, particularly if you are using in-ears. The switch definitely adds a lot of fullness to the sound, and a definite volume boost.

    I've been quite happy with the bass, and while my band's stage volume isn't "loud" there is definitely a lot of sonic room being taken up by the two guitarists. I like the global EQ, but think that separate bass and treble might be a bit more versatile and flexible. (I mean, it's not like I have a huge rack setup...oh wait a minute):cool:

    But it does look like I'll be sending in the bass to the Pedulla shop.

    Lonnybass
     
  11. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    Having played the actual LonnyPedulla, I can attest that it's a beautiful bass.

    As for your rig...you need to post a picture in the Show Us Your Amps thread that awaits you just around the corner.

    Would an outboard Sadowsky or Aguilar do the trick? And if you haven't looked behind you when you're playing...you've got a whole bunch of EQ back there in that stack of racks:D

    Lonny, got time this weekend to get together to pull the cover off the Pedulla and have a looksee?
     
  12. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    Lonny,
    I've install the Bart preamps in many basses including a couple of MVP Pedulla's. None had the so called Thunder switch but I can tell you it's no rocket science. The price of $310 is pretty steep in my opinion. There are plenty of optional Bartolini wiring configurations that you can select when installing a NTBT. They should be on the Bartolini web site, if not I have ton's of them and would be glad to fax or mail one to you. I'd even draw an easy to follow schematic for you in CAD (it you feel confident in your soldering skills) that would optimize your current control/sw configuration. You do need to make sure that you have the correct value and type pot's (concentric for stacked bass/treble or seperate) and switches (DPDT, SPST, on/on/on,...). You decide what exact functions you want and I'll provide a parts list.

    Here's the Bartolini link for diagrams:

    http://www.bartolini.net/Installations_menu.htm

    Let me know if I can help.
     
  13. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Joe,

    Thanks for the reply - I definitely appreciate your willingness to help.

    My bass is equipped with Pedulla's standard 3 knob configuration + Thunderguts. I'm extremely confident in my soldering skills- the big fear is how to patch the "Guts" into the system. :) Since this design is proprietary to Pedulla, I'm not sure what to look for on the Bart site that would serve as my guide. (FYI The NTBT I'm looking to install is a concentric style).

    Any ideas what I diagram I should use for reference, be it off the Bart page or a CAD drawing? Thanks for all your help!

    Bill - thanks for the offer! I'm SWAMPED this weekend...off to Midwest Audio shortly to get the Stewart inspected, then downtown for two fun weekend days filled with work. :mad:

    Lonnybass
     
  14. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    Lonny,

    No problem...we'll get together soon...

    Perhaps you eq quest would be answered if you used some "real" speakers:D :D :D;)

    Did you look to see how the Thunderguts circuit is patched into the current wiring? It can't be too difficult...pickups into preamp into thunderguts to output jack or pickups into thunderguts into preamp to output jack. There really aren't too many possible combinations.
     
  15. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Just my luck, Midwest Audio never called to let me know when I could stop by...the Stewart has been pulled from the rack and replaced with the Crown for the time being. Good to have a backup on the depth chart...

    I'm beginning to think that the NTBT install is simpler than it seems from my glance into the Pedulla cavity. I guess I'll go ahead and buy it...hope you guys are ready for questions. :)

    Lonnybass
     
  16. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    Lonny,
    This basic diagram on the Bart website will give you what I think you're looking for.

    http://www.bartolini.net/instructions/electronics/ntbt/ntbt_2.gif

    I think if you wire a couple of different value caps to a DPDT ON/ON/ON switch it will give you some nice tone variations (you utilize the unused blu/gry/wht wires). I didn't see the schematic I was looking for on the website but I'll dig out all of my Bartoilin diagrams tomorrow and let you know some of the wiring options for the sw.
     
  17. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Here's mine. See the family resemblance? It's got the TBT electronics from the factory, so it must be a straight-forward installation for the electronics, but I think you're going to have to add a knob. Maybe not so straight-forward, eh?

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Minneapolis by way of Chicago
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Munji,

    That's a sweet lookin' bass you got. These Pedullas are kind of like driving a sports car, aren't they? It's probably the most comfortable instrument I've played that isn't my own design. How do you like yours? Looks like your bass has the NTBT already in there (B + T on separate knobs) in addition to the Thunderguts switch. If it isn't too much trouble, can you take a look into the cavity and let me know how it's set up in there?

    Joe - thanks again for checking the Bart diagrams. The one you attached is actually the one I saw on the Bart site the other day, which made me start thinking it might be a soldering job that was within my realm of possibility. But with the two Pedulla/Bart tone modules in the bass already, it looks like it could possibly be a major bolt on operation.

    The big fear with a concentric setup is that I'd have to widen the existing 3rd control knob hole - not an easy task even with my drill press. As you luthier types probably know, it's next to impossible to center a drill bit within a hole that has already been drilled out. And adding a fourth knob would mean relocating the battery...where, I'm not sure. Munji, where is your battery mounted? Mine's attached right underneath where your 4th control knob is located...

    Lonnybass
     
  19. JOME77

    JOME77

    Aug 18, 2002
    Georgia
    Lonny,
    Enlarging the dia. of an existing hole is not that difficult. I have 3/8" & 1/2" Dia. bits that I dulled on the ends (to prevent splintering the wood) and typically do it with a std. hand drill (I do use a drill press when enlarging holes in the head stock). DON'T USE A WOOD BORING TYPE BIT! I've never had any problems with the top splintering (and I've probably drilled out a hundred or so over the last 20 years). The larger bit centers itself in the existing hole. Just use a variable speed drill and start slowly. I think that you'd be better off enlarging an existing hole and using a concentric pot. If you need to talk about the task I'll be glad to PM my phone number.
     
  20. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Lonny ~

    Yeah, I really like playing mine. It's got the narrow spacing and it's fretless, and it's just a dream to play. The small size makes it real comfortable on stage. You look really good with yours (but I still don't want a date). Anyway, I'll shoot a couple pictures of the cavity and post them this afternoon.