Low ouput from Geddy Lee Fender

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wwittman, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. wwittman


    Apr 21, 2004
    Westchester, NY
    Appreciate any opinions:
    I bought the geddy bass because i needed an extra bass to play with flat wounds (pyramids) tuned up a half step for a few songs, and i liked the neck feel and action a lot for the money.
    But i was VERY disappointed in the sound. Thin and very low output.
    I expected my very active 18 volt Status to be much louder (it's louder than EVERYTHING) but I was amazed at how MUCH louder even my Rickenbacker 4001CS is than the Fender.

    So I put in Duncan 1/4 pounder jazz pick-ups (on Mark Egan's recommendation)... but i am sujrprised to find not much difference!
    Not only is the tone similar, but the level is still quite low.

    There just seems to be something about the bass itself, which baffles me...

    so any other ideas?
  2. Corwin81


    Mar 18, 2003
    Ames, IA
    that neck is garbage. It totally kills your low end. You must remove it and send it here ASAP and get a maple neck without the blocks. :p :D
  3. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Check your pickup height. That makes an enormous difference in output. I play only passive basses but when I used an active bass some of the time the low output of the passive basses became more obvious. More gain in your preamp or amp head is all you should need.
  4. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    The Geddy Lee sig bass comes stock with Custom Shop 1962 reissue pickups. Those are some nice pickups to begin with. It's no wonder the pickup change made little difference.

    Make sure your pickup height is right. If it sounds thin, you probably have them set to low. As you raise the pickup, the sound should get fatter, and louder at the same time.

    I don't know the exact measurements, but I run my jazz with the pickups somewhere around .25 inches from the string. Maybe a hair closer. But just so the string doesn't hit the magenets. Most of the time that bass is excessively fat, even with roundwounds. Considering that your running pyramid flats, I think your problem is just pickup height. Or, maybe you need to adjust your amp.
  5. wwittman


    Apr 21, 2004
    Westchester, NY
    pick-ups are actually quite close to the strings (as close as reasonable without buzzing) and if i "adjust" my amp, the Rickenbacker will be too loud.

    Right now I am using an outboard booster just to get the Fender up to a reasonable level.
    Really shouldn't be necessary.
  6. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    Does the Ric have flats, also?
    Try to lower the pickups on the Ric. That should help.

    Have you tried the Ric or Geddy in a music store against other passive basses. It could be that the Ric has really hot pickups.
  7. I agree with Nino-Brown. Check it out in a music store against any other Jazz. You may have wired the pickups out of phase (which should only make a difference with both pickups on), but if there wasn't a noticable change that's probably not the issue. Heck, for giggles just try rolling off the bridge pu volume, leaving the neck pu wide open and see what that changes.

    Secondly, it's kind of unfair to expect two instruments to work identically off the same amp settings. Besides, when you unplug one and plug in the other you should at least have a mute or roll down the volume so you don't damage your speakers.
  8. Rock&Roll


    Jul 21, 2002
    Thats a good suggestion about pickup phase.

    I know my pickups in my MIA jazz came from the factory out of phase. My local tech service guy fixed it when he re-wired it with shielded wire.

    I also own a Rickenbacker. Though it's not a 4001CS. Mine's a 4003 with the modern high-gain pickups. Even with the pickups as low into the body as they can go, it is still a little louder than my jazz bass that has the same pickups that your bass came from the factory with. And just to be honest with you, my rick stomps on my jazz bass for tone and volume. So really, I think when you compare a jazz directly to a rickenbacker, you are effectively just trying to compare apples to oranges.

    If you find out that your bass is indeed wired correctly and that the pickups are indeed adjusted correctly, I would just say "live with it." I don't see any reason your jazz bass cannot be made into a great playing and sounding bass with some time, patience, and some tweaking of various things.