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Need help with low output bass!! Help!!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Akami, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I put an EMG active electronics harness and some Barts in a Jazz Bass Special and just realized this last Saturday that it has incredibly low output compared to the Stu Hamm MIM that we have.

    Does anyone have any ideas of what we can do to get the output level up?

    Really love the sound of the Barts and am assuming I'll need to pull the EMG system?!? :confused:

    Please share any helpful input you may have.
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Most EMG electronics aren't supposed to be used with passive pickups.
    The output level of the barts is too low in the first place and the electronics don't do much to correct it.
    You can
    - add a preamp between the harness and the barts.
    - Use proper electronics that will fit the barts.
    - Use active pickups.
  3. turn the volume on the amp up?
  4. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    Do you have any preference between a Bartolini or Aguilar electronics?

    I've heard so much good about the Aguilar's but wonder if a Bartolini would be the best match.
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    It's possible it's just the Barts. Typically low medium output and some are down right suprisingly low. I had a Bart classic P pup that was that way - 9cpjd or some such. Also I've noticed the discontinued Bart pups tend to be lower output than they're current models.

    I rigged an EMG BQS "control" up outboard and ran it to a myriad of pups including Barts, along with an outboard NTMB and outbaord OBP-3. Ran them side by side. It was splitting hairs to tell the difference tonewise and I recall no issue with volume. EMG's "system" pre's have that EMG blend that's designed specifically to work with EMG pickups. That may cause a problem. EMG has all that information on their site.

    If you're using a 25K volume then you may be choking already marginal output pups to death with it. It's been too long for me to remember what volume pot I ran in the EMG outboard. I recall for a fact using 25K volume pots with passives in some pre harness and it choked output down to about what you're probably experiencing until I replaced the volume pot.

    So if you have the EMG system with their blend or are using a 25K volume, I'd give those some follow-up.

    Also, like actives, Barts can be raised as close to the strings as you can get them and that can make a significant difference as doubling the distance from the strings drops output by about 60%.

    If you're running them parallel then you're dropping output to about a third or fourth of series. If you're heavy on bridge and light on neck volume/pan wise you're doing about the same.
  6. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    Thanks for this info!
    I raised the pickups and got a very noticeable increase in output. We're playing in a couple hours and will have a chance to see what the difference is onstage.
    I'm hoping it'll make enough difference that I can hold off replacing the electronics for at least a little while.:meh:
  7. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    Man what a difference!!!! :eek:

    The bridge is a lot fatter sounding and both pickups much more aggressive sounding!

    At first she wanted to change basses because the definition was so much clearer than what she's been used to, but after half a dozen songs she started liking it and by the end of the night was quite happy! :)

    Both pre and master are now at 10:00 and very in your face, which is how I like the bass to sound!
    Just a touch of low boost from the bass itself and plenty of bottom with no eq from the Focus.

    Thanks again for all the help!
    :bassist: :hyper: :cool: