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Modded Fender Roscoe Beck 5's?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lo-freq, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Has anyone out there either added an on-board preamp (such as the Aguilar OBP-3) or switched to active pick-ups on a Fender RB5?

    [Been thinking about getting one. I have heard plenty of positive comments on the stock version.]

    RB5 users' thoughts on the matter appreciated.
  2. I don't own one but have played a few and I really would not see a need to add a preamp. it has a very wide variety of tones and I think the fact that it is passive is part of it appeal.
  3. Chuck M

    Chuck M Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I use an RB5 a lot and would not change anything in the electronics. All I've done to mine is put a set of TI flats on it and play it. This is a fine bass just as it comes from the factory.

  4. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    I know Captain Scarlet on these boards uses his with a J-Retro outboard, I'm curious as to if anyone ever thought of defretting it, if I get the cash I might buy a second one and defret it.
  5. slam

    slam Guest

    Mar 22, 2000
    Id like to mod mine to make it lighter. I love my rb5 but I rarely play it do to the weight. Anyone know a way to reduce the weight of a bass? Maybe I could drill some holes through the body, like swiss cheese.
  6. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Maybe rout out more of the body under the pickguard area.
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I currently have a EB MM SR5.
    I like being able to EQ at the bass and leave my Dem preamp's settings (pretty much) alone.

    If the onboard preamp was transparent enough (sonically), it should not muck-up the basic tone of the bass.
  8. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I thought I'd bump this back into the loop to see if anyone has tried anything like what I'm thinking about doing.

    The OBP-3 is supposed to be fairly transparent sounding when set to 'flat', so it shouldn't muck up the basic tone of the RB5.
    Just give more tonal diversity.
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Not exactly true. Active electronics, even when flat, have a different sound than passive electronics. In short, actives have greater fidelity, which means more highs and lows. If you want greater fidelity from your RB5 then this probably isn't a concern for you. But even though I do like onboard EQ on some basses, I would never change the sound of my RB5. I prefer its array of traditional passive tones.

    The most interesting RB5 mod I'm aware of is Bill Bolton's: he added a blend pot between master volume and tone.
  10. main_sale


    Apr 26, 2004
    Cape Cod
    I love my stock RB5 just the way it is!
  11. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Well if I manage to score one, I'll give it awhile in its stock state and go from there.

    I just really like the 40Hz bass control on my SR5 (my pre's bass control is either 60Hz or 120Hz); I can easily see missing it.
  12. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've done some mods to my RB5:
    * Added OBP-1 onboard on stacked knob (mini-toggle allows engage or bypass the preamp)... double-battery box routed in back.
    * Volume is push-pull where 'pull' bypasses the Vol + Tone pots, sending signal straight from pups to the switches (slightly snappier, more high-end, more 'organic' sound)

    Does it need to be modded? As others have mentioned, nope... it's a killer 5-string as-is. But the OBP-1 sounds great! I personally can't hear a difference between the preamp bypassed vs. engaged w/no boost (aside from slight extra hi-end you'd expect from a low-impedance output helping minimize loss of high-end caused by the cable). I particulary like to (i) boost bass and treble for slapping with both pups, and (ii) roll off passive tone + boost bass while playing bridge pup alone.

    Basically, it's still an RB5, just with even more flexibility, i.e. there's no loss or change of functionality, all I did was add to the tonal palette. The OBP-3 would probably sound great.
  13. liran


    Dec 18, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I've owned and gigged with my RB5 for a while and I have to say that the sound is amazing stock. I has worked in every single musical situation I have put it in. The sound is so up front and smooth. It is by far one of the favorite basses I have ever played. If you have any specific questions just let me know.
  14. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I love the RB5! I wouldn't mess with the electronics on it, whenever I want a more modern tone out of it, I have a Sadowsky stomp preamp that gets me there. Just my two pennies.
  15. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I'd like to thank everyone for your input.

  16. I am having the same thoughts about my RBV, and I also play an SR5.

    I am thinking the best route to go is an external preamp for it. This way I could use the preamp for other instruments to boot.

    What do you guys think would be the best decision? Sadowsky?
  17. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    Fodera or Sadowsky.

    Have you check the clips on www.basstasters.com?
  18. I am heavily leaning towards the Sadowsky.