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More low end out of my Geddy Lee

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ojthesimpson, Apr 21, 2004.


  1. ojthesimpson

    ojthesimpson

    Jul 21, 2003
    Draper, UT
    I've been trying to get my Geddy Lee to register more low end. EQ can't do it without making it sound like mud. I love the passive natural fender sound so I dont want to throw in any pups that are going to make it sound like a puddle of mud/linkon park/incubus bass sound. Not to knock on it or anything it's just not me. What I want is a nice vintage sound with lots of low end, beauty and the beast. Any reccomendations on a pick-up upgrade?
     
  2. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    before you swap pups, put in an series/parallel switch. Easy mod to do. Use a push/pull volume pot and you won't even have to change the look of the bass at all. The pups in series will have alot more bottom end to them.
     
  3. ojthesimpson

    ojthesimpson

    Jul 21, 2003
    Draper, UT
    I was hoping to find something passive I could just drop in. What does in series mean?
     
  4. wwittman

    wwittman

    Apr 21, 2004
    Westchester, NY
    I have similar issues..

    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?
     
  5. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    Simple solution: Sadowsky Outboard Preamp. It will blow you away. Go to Sadowsky's site and read user reviews. The bass boost will give you all the bottom you can dial in and control. Pickup changes may work for you. The outboard preamp will give you more tonal variations.
     
  6. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    series boosts the overall output and the lows. I have heard that it also scoops the mids a bit.
     
  7. Series = P-bass wiring and sound
    Parallel = J-bass wiring and sound

    When you put a switch in (can be a push/pull pot that won't require any extra holes in your bass) you can switch between the two.

    This is a very common Fender mod. So common, that Fender started slapping the S-1 (a series/parallel switch) into their American series. I *tried* wiring mine as the tone knob. I *tried* because I cut the last wire just a little too short, and as the solder hardened on the connector, the whole post that I was soldering the wire to snapped right off the switch. :meh:

    BTW, I have an extra Push/Pull pot that I'd be willing to part with, and its still in the packaging I bought it in. I've since decided to put a Bart 3-band pre into my fretless Jazz.
     
  8. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    a series/parallel mod is the probably the best mod (bang for the buck) possible for a jazz bass. If you can solder, the mod only costs (maybe) $15. Do a search on TB for the mod and you will find lots of information on how to wire the mod.
     
  9. Fret Boiler

    Fret Boiler Pity World

    Apr 12, 2004
    Purdue University
    Hey BASSnSAX, other than from you, where could I find the push/pull pot for this mod? Can I get one online?

    Thx
     
  10. sheepdog

    sheepdog

    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    www.allparts.com

    www.stewmac.com


    pretty much any place that sells bass parts.
     
  11. wwittman

    wwittman

    Apr 21, 2004
    Westchester, NY
    Just let me say...
    I've played old (50's an 60's) J-basses that sounded HUGE.
    This bass simply sounds tiny.

    These original Jazz basses did not require rewiring or external preamps... they were simply good basses.
    It's been my feeling for YEARS that Fender hasn't made anything decent since 1969.
    this Geddy Lee has only reinforced my prejudice.

    and it's frankly disappointing.
    It played and felt pretty good in the store.
    Its sound is its downfall and i cannot believe that Fender thinks or prosposes that this is acceptable.
    SHOULD a (equally passive, single coil) Rickenbacker be three times as loud? AND fuller in the bottom?
     
  12. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    My geddy lee plays great, sounds great. Has a pretty high output throught the stock pickups. Then I replaced them with some Nordstrands and dropped in a J retro. BOOM.
    But, let me stress that it did sound very good without the replacements. Sounds like you might have gotten a bad set of pickups. (or I got a good set)
     
  13. b15fliptop

    b15fliptop Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Florida
    The lack of low end is a bit disappointing, as I read Geddy's interview in BP when Vapor Trails came out, and he said that the reason he's been playing his jazz so much was because he got more bottom out of it than any of his others. Funny that so many owners of the GL sig are finding the tone to be too thin. Just goes to show how authentic a production signature model is compared to the actual instrument it's based on...

    :confused: :meh:

    I've only played one unplugged that a buddy was showing me, but at least the neck felt great on it. I'd agree with the outboard pre suggestion to thicken things up.
     
  14. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    You've played a 50's Jazz bass?! :rolleyes:

    Peace
    Nick
     
  15. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002
    Before you start rewiring your bass you may want to change the bridge. As has been discussed many times before in other threads, a BAII bridge does indeed change the tonal character of a bass. I have stopped using heavy mass bridges such as the BAII or the Gotoh 201. Using a standard Fender bridge, what you will hear is a fuller, more open bottom sound. The pickups on the GL sig bass are the Fender vintage type. Those pups are the fullest, deepest jazz pickups they offer, IMO. I find SD/QP line to be to harsh. I used the QP's on my precision for a few years and eventually went back to Fender originals. I mention this issue because you said you wanted an articulate sound, that is exactly what I found to be missing with the QP's. Another issue that I have noticed since getting my jazz. Bright rounds will really suck the bottom out. GHS rounds on my prercision sounded good, plenty of bottom, however they were very thin on the jazz. I use Fender 9050ml flats on my jazz now, and get a wonderful vintage tone, nice and full, not thin in the least. I have also had good results with Smith rockmasters, they sound like Geddy's jazz. I went with the flats because I did not like the fret wear from stainless strings. One final thought, I assume you have checked your setup carefully and have your pickups adjusted properly. Good luck.
     
  16. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    the thin sound could be pickups that are out of phase or a bad pot.
     
  17. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I would phrase it the other way!

    Why buy a new bridge when all you have to do is move some wires around?

    Peace
    Nick
     
  18. glwanabe

    glwanabe Guest

    Apr 21, 2002
    I disagree Nick.
    I bought a jazz bass to sound like a jazz bass. When you change the wiring schematic you change the character of what makes a jazz sound the way it does. I am not saying that it is bad sound, but it is different. In this situation there are lots of different solutions with none more right or wrong than another. I have played a jazz with the switching mod and I would prefer to just have a good precision instead.
    I would evaluate the difference between a BAII equipped bass and a standard bridge. Take the bass to the store and get a good standard jazz then go into a quiet room. Make sure they are both tuned properly and play them unplugged and played through an amp. You can also compare how a modded jazz will sound with one of the new S-1 equipped models. Also if it is a new bass and there is a problem, Fender is good about warrenty work.
     
  19. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland

    I have two Sadowsky's: the older belt clip and the newer floor model. I acquired the floor in a trade over Christmas.

    I had a SABDDI for about 11 months before I traded it. I could never get a good sound out of it.

    I find the Sadowsky gives me all the bass boost I could ever use. I have never dialed it past three or four, with the blend control favouring the back pickup.

    My jazz has Custom Shop 60's and I have wired it Vol/Blend/Tone. I am very very satisfied with my setup.

    I have never had the opportunity to try the other products you mention. We don't have well equiped stores around these parts.

    Responding to the thread, if you want to retain your bass as stock, an outboard or pedal preamp would help boost bass response.
     
  20. Jeb

    Jeb

    Jul 22, 2001
    USA
    I'll agree with glwanabe's assesment here.

    The BAII is the culprit. Pickups are different on MIA (ASe, AStd) and MIM models but both have good low end response to my ears.

    The BAII, tuners and slightly thinner neck profile (less graphite) on the GLsig is really the only significant difference between the GL (mij) and ASe\AStd.

    I put a BAII on a MIM Fender Jazz once. Very bright/punchy and less low end was the result.