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Is This Insane Or Just Too Obvious?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by luknfur, Feb 28, 2004.


  1. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Sheepdog posted this thread "Testing out pickup configurations.... (warning: slightly crazy)" which is in this forum. It's basically about routing out under the strings to test different pup configurations. Something I'd been thinking about for a while but the post got me motivated and I've gone off a bit on it. My progression of insanity can be tracked by reading through that thread if you're interested - not a long thread and may make more sense in context.

    But it's taken me to the following (an excerpt from my last entry) and somebody's bound to have done this or had some exposure to it. Years ago I ran across a shpiel and know Hagstrom made some guitars that had quick change pups in them cause I'd already thought about it and wondered why nobody had done it. I'm primarily interested in other peoples experiences but feedback in general may produce something of interest:

    ... started thinking back to routing all the way to the pots and mounting pups and electronics into a blank that could just be slipped in below the strings and screwed in place. Then it occurred to me that if I did that, instead of having a bunch of basses, I could have a bunch of these mounted electronics and just a couple basses. I could make a portable case to store and transport the electronics. Talk about a flexible rig.
     
  2. jdombrow

    jdombrow Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I don't know if anyone mentioned it in the other thread, but bass player magazine did a jazz bass pickup shootout in the last year or two, and they built a removable jig for swapping and testing pickups. You might look at that for ideas.
     
  3. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Yeh, I remember reading that. They did a jeri-rigged set-up that was just a temporary set-up. But I don't recall any pics - at least not on the online version. But I'm glad you mentioned it cause I should go back and re-read their reviews on the pups.
     
  4. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Went back to the bass player article. It did show a pic after all (of all liars, your own memory is the most convincing). Also noticed they'd thrown a piece of copper shielding on the back of Ducan pup and ran a ground wire off it to try and shut the thing up. Have a Hotstack with an SBJ-2 (I think) p pup and I've spent hours trying to make it clean - to no avail. Not a bad sound with an OBP-1 though, just noisey.
     
  5. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    The "Hot" p pickup is the SPB-2. The J is is SJB-2. I quite enjoy my bass through the aggie pre (SPB-2 and OBP-3) :D.
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Do you get any noise out of your setup? If not, did your pups come with a copper backing - maybe a later model than mine or something.
    The pups test fine. I've pulled them and replaced them with other pups in this harness and no noise. Put the Duncans in another harness and noise. So I know it's the pups. I've shielding the control cavity, and done the bass player thing on the pups - no change.
     
  7. Dan Armstrong had a nifty system on their clear acrylic instruments that had a twin banana plug configuration so that potted pups could be slid in under the strings and speared on the plugs.

    Here's how I did it. This is a test bass I've put together for a fellow TB'er to use as a test bed for electronics. The body is slightly thicker than a standard body and has a perfectly flat back with an extended neck pocket. This is so the bass can set flat on a workbench and have the test circuits installed or tweaked. Other than that, it's a playable, nicely balanced instrument.
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Yeh, the Hagstrom and Armstrong were apparently pretty close. But your bass is pretty close to what I had in mind. Did you notice any wierd kind of almost acoustic properties in playing the bass after the meat was removed?
     
  9. BoiNtC

    BoiNtC

    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    hmm. I think if you cut different pieces of wood to fit into that gap routed for different pickups and some way to hold it in place it'd be a cool "lego-type" gigging bass :p
     
  10. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    I don't anticipate securing the electronics to be any problem, just screw in place like a pickgaurd. If a bolt-on neck will take the abuse, this can be rigged.

    It would be nice if I didn't have to route all way to the edge of the bass so I could throw a pickguard over it and you couldn't even tell, but I don't see anyway to fit it under the strings otherwise without loosing them up. Not that loosening the strings up would be a big deal, but it would be ideal to have it both ways.
     
  11. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    I get noise when I play most of the time, but that's because I play in front of a TV, computer with a window in the side of the case, and a 19" CRT monitor! If I turn all that junk off, it's quiet as can be. No shielding came with the pickups, and I haven't added any to the bass. Considering the Hot P is a humbucker and shouldn't hum anyway, it might be something with the preamp. Try shielding the pots and the preamp, see if that makes a difference.

    EDIT: Also, none of my pots are especially good quality, so keep that in mind with my last suggestion. I can't remember how exactly you shield a pot, but I know it can be done.
     
  12. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    It's been a while since I've played that bass outside the room. I'll have to check it out. But in this room, if I want that bass to be quiet, I have to cut the amp.
     
  13. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Reading another post gave me the idea that I'd have more flexibility and less hassle if the onboard preamp were outboard. Lack of onboard control is not an issue. So I pulled the NTBT out of the experimental bass today and wired it into an outboard preamp to get a feel. I think I may go that route and just route the pickup area. I'd have to loosen at least some of the strings, and probably all of them, to slip the pups in place. Will cut a filler with pups and see how it goes.