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MTD Kingston Z5 Pickup Upgrade

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by XtromatriX, Mar 9, 2008.


  1. XtromatriX

    XtromatriX

    Dec 18, 2004
    MD
    I have a MTD Kingston Z5 five string bass, I love the bass as far as it's general sound and feel go. But I'm thinking about upgrading the pickups, I don't think the current pickups do this bass full justice. I'm thinking about maybe some model of Bartolini but don't have a clue as to what would be best and have a perfect fit. Any suggestions or insight? The type of music I play mostly is funk with a lot of slap, jazz, light rock, and gospel. Thanks in advance. I also need to mention that I'm also willing to change the preamp if needed.
     
  2. Nordstrands.
     
  3. lowfreqman

    lowfreqman

    Aug 18, 2001
    behind a bass
    I just went through what you are contemplating. I chose Nordy Big Splits for my Z5 along with a new Bart preamp. I couldn't be happier with my decision. The Big Splits give you most of the warm growl associated with single coils, but have a thicker, less nasally sound. I guess you could characterize them as a hybrid between true single coils and dual coils. This upgrade has turned my KZ5 into a tone machine!

    All of the Nordy Signature pickups (Dual Coils, Big Singles, Big Splits, and Fat Stacks) have the same dimensions as the stock KZ5 pickups and the same mounting screw hole locations, so the upgrade is pretty simple to install.

    My Big Splits were $250, but they were well worth the money.
     
  4. XtromatriX

    XtromatriX

    Dec 18, 2004
    MD
    Thanks Lowfreqman!
    That sounds like a real option for me, what type of Bart preamp did you get and was it very expensive? I sure don't mind spending the money if it's going to give me the sound that I want. Actually I really like the bass and it will most likely be my main bass for a good while so I just want to upgrade it to my needs. Did you install everything yourself or did you have it done in a shop.
     
  5. lowfreqman

    lowfreqman

    Aug 18, 2001
    behind a bass
    I got the prewired NTMB Bart preamp for 5 knobs. It has a push/pull mid freq shift (250/800 Hz) and a push/pull volume for active or passive operation. It can be installed to operate at 9 V or 18 V. I had mine installed to operate at 9 V to eliminate the need for extra routing.

    I got this preamp for ~$150 from The Perfect Bass.
     
  6. superflybass

    superflybass

    Feb 16, 2004
    La Crosse WI
    I am doing mops on the kz slowly and I put in a aguilar obp-3 it sounds really good
    it makes the stock pickups much better I still might mod the pickups to bart -p2's ot nordies not sure yet
     
  7. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    Try USA Barts PUs and electronics...I have a ZX with the specially designed USA pickup and pre (specially designed for the ZX, not available for sale unfortunately...) and while I'm happy with the KZ5, the KZ5X is something special, you can indeed tell the difference.
     
  8. lowfreqman

    lowfreqman

    Aug 18, 2001
    behind a bass
    If you get Bartolini pickups, the P2 shape is the one that fits the routing of the KZ5 bass. With these pickups, you will have to do some drilling, as the mounting screw holes don't align with the those in the KZ5.

    I did not have an opportunity to hear these pickups in action. So, the combination of the extra drilling and the unknown sound quality pushed me toward chosing the Nordy's.
     
  9. rc_1manband

    rc_1manband Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2006
    Houston, TX
    I did the same thing. I actually enjoyed the Nordstrand dual coils and the Audere 3 band with mid frequency switch. It was just a little too natural though and I got to hear details of the wood that I would rather not hear.

    I had the parallel/single/series wiring done and that really opened up the bass to do some great things. You will get the humbucking tone but you can get a vivid jazz tone with the pickups in single mode. I was convinced the Marcus Miller spirit took over my bass.

    I did have the Aguilar preamp and that is when I had the most compliments on the tone. Really strong lows and the right amount of clarity (I can't believe I just said that) and gave the bass some definition.

    Seeing that you've already done the Aguilar mod, I'd suggest the Nordy dual coils for the best tonal options and I believe that's all the mod you will need.

    Have fun.
     
  10. XtromatriX

    XtromatriX

    Dec 18, 2004
    MD
    Thanks Guys, I think I'm leaning to Nordi with a Bart preamp..... I just need to learn a little more about the specs and what kind of tonal options I gan get.
     
  11. jayvpric

    jayvpric

    Feb 9, 2009
    Hey guys,

    I just bought the KZ5 a week ago with a mtd case!! I was very satisfied with overall look and feel of the bass but knew instantly it was not at it's full potential. So i did what you all are doing, I asked questions to professional bass players endorsed by MTD and looked at different forums and one search led me here!! I finally said let ask the maker of some of the best basses in the WORLD!! I e-mailed "Mike" and he IMMEDIATELY emailed me back :)hyper: to my surprise) I told him I loved the bass and highs and lows were excellent but mids didn't have that growl I so desperately wanted he told me to get the xxP2c Bartolini pickups!! I am ordering them as we speak!! I WILL KEEP YOU GUYS POSTED on how they sound!!
     
  12. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    Great. I'm a little surprised that you were getting the highs and lows you wanted while you found the mids to be a little lacking - in my experience (and that of most on here) I found the exact opposite to be true!

    Lonnybass
     
  13. jayvpric

    jayvpric

    Feb 9, 2009
    Well let me ll more specific! It's not that they where lacking they just didn't have that growl I wanted!! I have david eden full cab, amp and all. To be quite honest the highs were PERFECT true MTD quality!! The lows were about a 7/7.5 out 10. Maybe it's just my ear what sound I like to here. U have any suggestions on how to to my amp or bass I'm all ears!!
    :confused::eyebrow:

    I tried ever possible combination in the book but maybe it somthing I have overlooked!!
    Thanks
     
  14. RevGroove

    RevGroove Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2002
    Burlington ON Canada
    Manager, Account Services: Long & McQuade Ltd. (Burlington); MTD Kingston Basses International Emerging Artist; Bartolini Electronics Emerging Artist
    What styles, amps, and strings are everyone using? Just wondering what factors are coming into play here.

    I'm playing through Traynor and GK amps, using exclusively Dean Markley Alchemy strings. My ZX is in the shop (tried the DR Black Beauties there, no comparison, so switching back!), so I used the Z5 Sunday am and pm at church. Sunday AM was more laid back and the evening was agressive...I got a nice jazz bass tone going on that sat really nice in the mix using the new DB300T on top of a custom 2x12 cabinet. No mods done, just the extra 9v added in series. I was suitably impressed, I've been reaching for it more and more lately...
     
  15. jayvpric

    jayvpric

    Feb 9, 2009
    FELLAS LET ME TELL YOU RIGHT NOW THOSE BART xxPC2c are FIRER!!!!! It was the best thing I ever did I promise its worth ANY AMOUNT I Promise!!!!! I played for the first time today with the new pickups and It is everything I hoped for and more!!! my cuzin was blown away and I was too!!!! Listen Michael Tobias new exactly what he was talking about (of course :) ) He is the king of craftsmanship!! I'm so excited and happy at the same time!!
     
  16. thombo

    thombo Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2006
    Denver, CO
    very cool!
    did you have to route the bass for the xxPC2c or the screw holes?
    new preamp also or just the pups?
     
  17. godspeed

    godspeed

    Nov 26, 2008
    I know this thread is old, but I am confused about the XXP2C pups mentioned. Bartolini offers a XXP25c quad coil pup on there website but not the XXP2C pup mentioned above. I am assuming they are different pups, but need some clarification on this.

    This would mean that XXP2c would be custom spacing, P2 shape and Classic Bass. Is the XXP25C a 5 string pup and the XXP2C a 4 string? If so there is still no mention of XXP2C in their 4 string offering on their site.
     
  18. TonyP-

    TonyP- Excuse me but you have your I-IV-V in my II-V-I Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2003
    Boston Mass
    A-Designs Audio Mike Lull Custom Guitars Gallien Krueger amplification Tsunami Cables GHS Strings RMI Basswitch Nordstrand Pickups Darkglass Electronics
    Scratch that...Got my answer thanks folks...
     
  19. lowfreqman

    lowfreqman

    Aug 18, 2001
    behind a bass
    As far as I know, MTD's standard options for their Kingston Z fretboards only include maple, rosewood, and ebanol (fretless).
     
  20. godspeed

    godspeed

    Nov 26, 2008
    Thats correct. All Kingston Z necks are maple, but you can choose between maple and rosewood fretboards. Would be AWESOME if they came with Ebony, but they don't
     

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