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Luthery question?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by DWBass, Jul 12, 2004.

  1. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    With all the advancements in luthery, bass design and innovation, why have pickups and pre-amps not advanced into plug & play or snap in technology. Think about it. If you wanted to, you could 'snap out' your pickups and 'snap in' a better set. Same with the pre-amp. Of course there would have to be a standard size developed for both for it to work but I think it's a good idea! What are your opinions?
  2. Brubaker already does this with their preamps IIRC.
  3. Probably should be in Luthiers forum
  4. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    Well, EMG kinda does this. The EMG's all use a common style connector for each series. For instance, I like the DC style pickups, I have them in at least 6 different basses, but if I decided I wanted to try a CS or TW all I would have to do is take out the 2 screws, pull it out, disconnect it, connect the new one, and screw it back in. No soldering required. Their passize HZ pickups are the same way I believe.
  5. Tung


    Jun 26, 2003

    A few reasons that spring to mind are a lot of preamp/eq are made for specific pickups. Voltages can be too high or to low. Nothing like having someone snap in a new pickup and smoking your preamp or pickups. Most likely just sound like crap but it could happen.

    Connectors can cause poor connections. Nothing beats a good soldered connection for making sure you have a good connection.

    Just something to think about.
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Ok. Yeah, this is what I wanted to know! Thanks for the info. I just thought it would be nice to have a nice universal-plug & play pickup and pre-amp system. Sorta the way Midi came into play for synthesizers.
  7. Josh Curry

    Josh Curry

    May 29, 2003
    Frisco, TX
    It will never be that plug and play for the reasons that Tung stated. Not all pickups and electronics are compatible. But you can easily switch between SOME pickups and electronics, just do your homework first and make sure they are compatible.

    Most systems are either 25k, 100k, 250k, or 500k so as long as you don't do something really dumb like replace active pickups with passive ones or vise/verse you should be able to switch out pickups. I found this out the hard way with my Pedulla ET-6. Do a search for "Pedulla Bartollini" and you should find it. I documented what happened, learn from my mistakes. hehe.
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I read about your nightmare! Wow! Well it seems basically, unless your bass is passive, you can switch out pickups without much fanfare but if your bass is active, you'd be better off switching out both pups and pre-amp which still isn't too bad! I like the EMG setup though. Just run the wire through the body to the pickup cavities, connect the little wire harness to the pickups, install the pots and jack and connect the battery. well, at least it seems simple enough.
  9. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    Alembic has been using solder-less conectors for a long time......they sure seem to make good connections : )
  10. I wonder how they last without oxidizing. Of course, that's not an extremely large issue in a bass, since there aren't many connections and they're all easy to get at.
  11. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner Commercial User

    Jul 14, 2004
    I design and build electric basses and pickups under the Turner, Renaissance, and Electroline brand names.
    Use gold plated connectors with some DeOxIt.

    Interchangable pickups go back at least as far as Dan Armstrong, and I did it on the first Alembic bass...Jack Casady's 71-001. That had interchangeable electonics as well. Why didn't we continue? Bass players (and guitar players) just don't give a commercial rat's ass about it. Most players want a few (a very few) great sounds from their instrument, and don't want to screw around with interchaging parts. The market has already decided on this issue which seems to be reinvented about every 10 years (same as light beam pickups), and then yet another inventor/luthier gets to eat his financial shorts in the deal while going down shouting, "But this is such a great idea..."