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Need Help Please

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Michael Leon, Dec 5, 2018.


  1. Michael Leon

    Michael Leon

    Dec 5, 2018
    Okay, I currently have a Standard American Fender Jazz Bass with an S1 button, my bass, of course, is passive. I want an active bass because so I can achieve different tones. I bought the OBP-3 took it to my local Sam Ash and the guy was telling me how much work it would be to convert and install the preamps he told me it wasn't worth it (plus he hates active electronics) he advised me to not do it. So I'm just wondering is it even possible to install these preamps in my bass, has anyone ever done it before, is it worth it, any advice on how to get this done? Please help me with as much info as possible. I will be forever grateful.

    Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    earth
    Is the tech at that particular Sam Ash the only tech in town? Google is your friend. Because he hates active electronics let him not place them in his bass. It can be done so just locate a good tech, not a lazy judgmental one.
     
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  3. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    I can't remember whether your bass is top routed or if it has a cavity in the back? If it doesn't have a big control cavity (and a cover that you can see on the back), there may be not enough room to install that OBP-3, the necessary control knobs, and at least one 9-volt battery to run it. That routing job (creating a control cavity in the back of the body) truly is a lot of work to make the bass accommodate all that extra stuff.

    Take a look at other basses in your travels or even in photos posted here and it's easy to spot the ones that are "back routed" with a plastic cover screwed into place (on the back). A Jazz bass that's back routed will have knobs mounted right into the wood surface. A traditional passive Jazz will usually have the control knobs mounted in a line on a control plate with the jack for the cord at the end of the plate. Those volume/tone pots and jack take up a lot less space so they work fine dropping into a narrow space routed into the top of the body.

    There is one aftermarket preamp for a Jazz that's built on a traditional control plate and it drops into that top routing along with a 9-volt, but it's a tight fit and some basses actually need just a little extra routing to help these preamps fit that narrow cavity.

    You have a really good preamp, but you may have a bit of a square-peg-round-hole scenario in terms of getting it to work in that specific bass.
     
    Reedt2000 likes this.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Yes and no. It’s not actually that difficult to route a cavity in a chunk of wood.

    Easiest solution here is to install the preamp in the normal cavity, under the control plate, and install a battery box on the back of the bass. Battery boxes are quite easy to route for, and they make battery changes super easy as well. Win-win!
     
    Clark Dark likes this.
  5. Michael Leon

    Michael Leon

    Dec 5, 2018
    Once the preamp is installed would I still have to have to volume knobs for each pickup, or would I just need to have one master volume and a blend knob for pickup selection?
     
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Either would work. If you have a four-knob plate you could do Volume/Volume/Mid/stacked-Bass-Treble, or Volume/Blend/Mid/stacked-Bass-Treble. Those are the two most popular schemes, but others are possible.
     
  7. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    You're right. I naturally think of going ahead with routing a cavity as being "a lot of work" compared with swapping out a set of pickups, etc. I suppose that if I was a luthier though, making a cavity would probably be just another day at the office.
     
  8. Michael Leon

    Michael Leon

    Dec 5, 2018
    Here's a picture of what I'm working with.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Ah. Then you can either drill for a side jack and use four holes for knobs, or you’ll have to use stacked Volume/Volume. Either is straightforward.
     
  10. You could also get a 3-hole plate, drill 2 extra holes between the existing ones, then you'll have a 5-hole plate...
     
    ctmullins likes this.

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