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need advice, EMG P with a stock passive J pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by CROZ, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. I had to pawn off all my gear awhile ago.

    I recieved a Yamaha RBX170 as a gift. I was pretty grateful seeing as I was depressed not having any gear to play at all.

    I wasn't really happy with the sound so I put in an EMG P pickup that I had in storage that used to be on my old mexican pbass. It's wired up by itself right now. I took the stock harness out completely and theres just a hole where the 3rd knob was.

    It can sound pretty good for a sub 200 dollar bass but I'm not happy with the sound on the lower register (specifically the E-string) right now. It's too muddy, boomy.

    I have a couple soundclips (they are on soundclick, though sorry, you have to sign up to listen to it. If you know any better site I can show off mp3s I'd be very interested to hear it.) they were recorded on a small behringer mini-mixer straight into m- audio delta soundcard via cubase.


    Anyway, ok. All I have to do is use the 25k pot for the emg's volume and the old 250k pot for the passive J pickup's volume and it will work right?

    I really don't want to throw money into this bass as I'm saving up to buy something nice. (bongo!)

    Has anyone tried this?
    Should I try to add in the stock J pickup with the emg? Should I just shell out and buy an EMG J pickup?
    Or should I just leave it alone it sounds ok?

    I really don't want to spend any money upgrading it but it seems to be lacking something at the moment and it may be a few months before I can get a better bass.

    Thank you,
    J.- returning to talkbass after 4 year absence.
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    While you can do what you say, I'm not sure the results will be great.

    When you mix active and passive pickups in a bass with passive electronics (i.e. vol/tone controle) you'll have impedance mismatch issues. You won't damage anything, but it'll affect the sound of the J pickup IMO.

    You can mix/match active/passive pickups if you have a preamp that has an active blend to match different impedance sources (e.g. active/passive,magnetic/piezo)
  3. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    Agreed. Based on the pot values you quoted, if you just dump these two signals together, as a first guess I'd expect:

    1) Much lower volume from the J than the P.

    2) An exaggerated "exponential" type taper from the J volume control -- as you turn the volume up very little will happen through most of the range, then suddenly the volume will climb rapidly.

    3) The sound of the J will be very "dark."

    That having been said, if you don't mind taking things apart and tinkering -- and you're reasonably good at it -- it certainly won't hurt anything to give it a try. I just wouldn't suggest making any permanent or irreversible changes to get there, as I think the odds are against your liking the final result.

    As davidmwilson also said, though, a preamp could make all the difference, so keep your eye out here, on eBay, etc.