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Low output from used bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tbass-chicago, Oct 24, 2005.


  1. tbass-chicago

    tbass-chicago

    Oct 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Hi,

    I bought a used Warwick Streamer Stage I with EMG's to replace my old DeArmond Pilot 4 with whatever pickups that had.

    The tone on the Warwick is great, but the output level is about 1/3 that of the DeArmond. While I had my gain level about about 3 on my amp with the DeArmond, I now have my gain and master volume cranked to get any kind of level at all out of the bass.

    Is this typical for EMG pickups? The Warwick is using the original pre-amp, which would have been designed for the MEC pickups. Is that a problem? Is there a way to measure the output level of the bass so that I know if I'm getting the right output?

    Thanks!
    Tom
     
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    EMG pickups are pretty hot.
    Maybe a problem with the preamp or, just the battery ? :)
     
  3. tbass-chicago

    tbass-chicago

    Oct 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I was surprised by the low output, too.

    Just changed the battery. I suspect the pre-amp, as well, but I don't know how to test the output. That is to say, I have a multimeter and a scope and I know how to use <I>them</I>, but I don't know what you test on an output jack to see if you're getting the output you need.

    Also, current EMG pickups seem to have the pre-amp built in. These are probably mid-nineties pickups. Did EMG's require a seperate pre-amp back then?

    Thanks!
    Tom
     
  4. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    No but you typically need an external preamp too for EQ duties.
    The internal preamp only manages gain and impedance, not corrections.
    Your best chance is to plug the PU straight to the jack and see what happens.
    Also, in case of an ultradumb previous owner, pickups may not be connected properly to the battery and their preamp wouldn't work.
     
  5. tbass-chicago

    tbass-chicago

    Oct 11, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    [snip]
    Also, in case of an ultradumb previous owner, pickups may not be connected properly to the battery and their preamp wouldn't work.
    [/snip]

    A possibility. He had the 9V jack all hacked together. It worked, but it was a mess.

    I'm also wondering how the EMG pickups work with the MEC pre-amp. Neither the EMG diagrams for the PJ set, nor any of the support documentation mention an external preamp. Perhaps he wired it into there, but it's just messing up the gain.

    Anyone know the nominal output voltage for an active pickup?
     
  6. FYI

    I think there is some confusion here about preamps.

    1. There is a preamp inside your bass. It is connected with the volume and tone controlls on your bass.

    2. When you plug your bass into an amplifier. It is going into a preamp for the amplifier. Let it be a combo amp or a rack setup, there is a preamp to go into first.
    This is a separate preamp for the amp

    Hope this helps
     
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Actually, we're talking about EMG pickups. They have a built-in preamp.
    In addition to that, there's another one for bass/treble corrections, also in the bass.
     
  8. So......How many preamps "in-toto" are there in your bass?