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New electronics and pups for ibanez sr506

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Michael kirby, May 29, 2017.

  1. Michael kirby

    Michael kirby

    May 14, 2017
    As the name of the post would suggest, I'm in need of new pickups and electronics for an ibanez sr506. I know very little about either of these things, and am looking for suggestions on what type would be the best. I looked at the emg website, and I was thinking about the BQS system pickups to change my bass from volume, pickup blend and bass mid treble, to a double volume bass mid treble controls. Then for the pickups, a 45jx system to get a jazz bass sound out of my 6 string bass. Are these things compatable, and would they work well together. I'm open to suggestions on other types of pickups and electronics that might work with my bass.
  2. GentProvocateur

    GentProvocateur Supporting Member

    Do a search for anything related to mk1, mk5/6 replacement, sr506 replacement, etc. As a fellow sr506 player, I promise you that this very thing is regularly discussed.

    Mostly because it's great advice, but also because someone is bound to reply with this: why do you want to replace the pickups and preamp? I.e. what exactly are you hearing and feeling in the tone that you don't like. Figuring that out, and then being able to articulate it not only helps people trying to help you, it helps you too. Case in point, there is no "best". There are different experiences and opinions, but I would recommend moving away from best/worst descriptions unless it's accompanied parameters such as "given limitation x and desire 1, 2, and 3, which would be best?"

    There are many people on this forum (welcome by the way!) who are willing and excited to help, but you gotta first give us some more direction.
  3. Michael kirby

    Michael kirby

    May 14, 2017
    I guess I should have prefaced with this. I Bought an sr506 on eBay, and when it came there were some serious electronic issues on it. The bass is almost unusable in its current state, and considering he bass plays amazingly (acousticly of course) I'd hate to let go of it. And pickup wise, I'm going for a 90's tone , which is why I was thinking something along the lines of there jazz style pickups. also, im not a very big fan of the stock controls on the bass, so the new preamp (which essentially turns this bass into a fender active jazz) was a good combination. I would like some suggestions that make my bass have a very versatile tone. Almost a chili peppers sound is what I've got in mind.
  4. GentProvocateur

    GentProvocateur Supporting Member

    1) What do you mean by serious electronic issues?

    2) Samples or links to songs with tones that you're chasing would help greatly. "Jazz style pickups" are one of the most, if not the most widely recorded pickups, so there's a lot to chose from. Flea recorded with a jazz a lot, but he's mostly known for playing Music Man Sting Rays and similar, which are very different than a jazz.

    3) What specifically don't you like about the stock controls? It's currently bass, mid, treble, volume, and blend. Depending on the year it has either no mid frequency switch, 2 position mid frequency switch, or 3 position. What controls would you rather have? It's a pretty standard setup, and active Fender jazzes have something similar.

    4) What's your budget? Where in the world are you located - this will affect cost and availability.
  5. Michael kirby

    Michael kirby

    May 14, 2017
    1) Very little if any sound comes out. I've replaced the nine bolt seceral times, and I tried to replace the input jack but still nothing. I though about having it rewired, because it's the bolder one without a switch so it's gotta be at least 10 years old if not more. When I took it in the people at the music shop said that it wouldn't be worth it to fix tinge stock electronics.

    2) tone wise, I'm looking for more a lot of the "by the way" Albums tone, so he can't stop tone would be the most ideal.

    3) I'm not much of a fan of the blend between two pickups feature, I've always preferred the jazz bass thing, where either pickup has its own volume. Also, because of the current state of my electronics, the little sound that comes out is very unshapable, and just sounds bad.

    4) the budget things not to much of an issue. I'd prefer not to exceed 400, but if it's necessary I will.
    GentProvocateur likes this.
  6. GentProvocateur

    GentProvocateur Supporting Member

    It's not everyone's favorite RHCP album, but I'll rock By The Way all day over the others.

    There are a couple options that would solve the blend issue. 99% of blends are passive, rather than active or buffered. Passive blends (for the most part, there are some miniscule exceptions) result in a volume drop when centered and/or some tone loss. Additionally, with a lot of passive blends the 'noticeable' effect of blending pickups together happens in a narrow range rather than equally over the full sweep.

    One way to solve this is with a preamp that has an active blend. I believe EMG, Audere, and some others make this. There are a few threads about this. Here's one: Buffering, or getting the "best" blended sound/level from passive pups

    The volume-volume setup is really common with passive jazzes as you know. So you could go with a passive setup that has volume, volume, tone, and then depending on the pickups you get, a switch for single coil-parallel-series switching. This switch would give you lots of tonal flexibility and would definitely put you in jazz bass territory. This gets back to the question about what don't you like about the controls: approaching the same question from a different angle, are you wanting a passive setup where the tone is cut only or do you want active eq like bass boost/cut, mid boost/cut, and treble boost/cut?

    Bartolini makes replacement pickups for the stock MK1s called MK6. Unlike the MK1s, which are just split single coil (like a p-bass), the MK6 is a true dual coil that allows for the single coil-parallel-series switching. They would be in your budget.

    I know a lot of TB folks have installed Nordstrand pickups as replacements. I am not sure whether they had to do some routing though. Sets of Nordstrand pickups will be around $260. Check out bestbassgear.com for other pickup and preamp options.

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