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New pickups in Warwick Fortress?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by daasbraad, Oct 16, 2005.


  1. daasbraad

    daasbraad

    May 13, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Hi all,

    a little bit of advise needed here. I recently purchased a Fortress One, the passive model with the p/j setup. I love the thing, but find the sound a bit too much mid-concentrated. I kinda miss the 'boom' of the P and the sharpness of the J pickup. Also, I find that the two control knobs hardly influence the overall sound. What replace pickups would you guys suggest and should I also replace the pots and wiring? Many thanks in advance!

    edit: the bass now has, as you probably assumed, the MEC dynamic correction pickups.
     
  2. daasbraad

    daasbraad

    May 13, 2005
    The Netherlands
    No one, really?
     
  3. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    never had the bass and the only Warwick stuff I've had is a set of active EMG PJ's and harness from an early Streamer - and EMG PJ's haven't changed from day one, except the quick clips which I personally don't see as progress from a players perspective.

    You should have at least 3 controls if you've got two pups.

    There are lots of things you can do depending on what you want.

    You can change capacitor values on a tone control and that will significantly alter tone with a 15mfd change in value.

    You can go to Harmonycentral.com and read reviews on your bass and see what changes guys have made to theirs.

    You can read pup reviews and see if you see any consistency that sounds appealing to you and go that direction.

    You can go external and get a Sans Di, MXR M80, Yamaha NE-1 parametric EQ, a Boss GEB-7 graphic EQ (7 band will give you more control of your frequenceis with 15dB boost/cut for each), or the like and not touch the bass at all.

    You can try different strings. (TB thread "What kind of strings do you use")

    A TB search for whatever. A wealth of knowledge and more important - experience.

    If you do any of the above, some curiosity to explore and learn more should be aroused. That will point you in a direction. But no matter how much information you gather, you won't know anything till you actually make a change and judge the results for yourself.
     
  4. daasbraad

    daasbraad

    May 13, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for the reply man! It's just that the whole pickup/preamp thing is still a bit beyond me. I always find the posts that say: "I'm starting to play bass guitar, what should I get?' rather annoying, but realise I just posted the same kinda thing on a different subject. I will dive into this a lot more deeper. I was actually thinking there would be a very obvious choice in this matter, that I'd get three or four replies saying: "Definitely get (insert pickup brand)!

    Thanks again!
     
  5. Silly advice coming up:sell the bass! :meh: :confused: :ninja: fortresses have been discontinued and i know a ****load of warwick slap boys that would give their thump for one(too bad it yours doesn't sound good :D )otherwise go for emgs actives guaranteed to kick ass :hyper:
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    that happens sometimes. There a so many variables in tone aside from personal preference that I would be skeptical of such replies without knowing what they play through, the style of music they play etc. But I would still listen and followup and draw my own conclusions.

    You may actually see some consistency like that in Harmonycentral reviews if there's enough of them on that bass.

    Tone is an educated crap shoot when it comes right down to it. Information overload is an initial hazard and it will take time and repetition for things to start jelling. And you may just need to grab something with a solid track record for starters cause you're probably going to be more confused than anything for a while. You can only absorb so much before it turns to mush.

    And actually, a set of active EMG PJ's is solid set of pups for a shot in the dark. May not be just what your looking for but it's a solid versatile tone, not mid heavy but a good frequency spread, and you have a higher probability of doing worse than better in a pup choice I gaurantee. A BTC is a good pre with them if you want boost/cut. I'm not a heavy favorite of actives but it's a quality, versatile tone and it's dead quiet. That was my first transplant.
     
  7. daasbraad

    daasbraad

    May 13, 2005
    The Netherlands
    Thanks for the reactions guys!
    It look like active emg's has now been said twice. I'd rather keep everything passive, but wouldn't passive emg's be an improvement on the MEC's as well? I mean compared to active's, which means installing a preamp, which I'm not sure I want to do. Thanks again!
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    What makes a pickup active is that it has a preamp built into the pup. All you need in addition is 25K audio pots (for EMG), a cap for the tone control, a 9v battery, a battery clip, and a stereo input jack. The additional onboard preamp isn't necessary unless you want independent control of frequency band widths (bass/treble/whatever) and boost/cut. One of the advantages of an EMG BTC is that it's a basically a stacked pot that drops in an existing pot hole. The real +/-'s of any given preamp to me are really in factors having nothing to do with tone quality - they all sound the same to me.

    Some players like the passive EMGs, called selects, but the EMG reputation is built on their actives not their passives. I've never had them the Select PJ's. I've had the HZ35 soaps and they weren't bad tonewise - if you could ever get them adjusted to play to a tune. The actives are no problem in that respect. The general concensus seems to be, the selects are ok but not desireable.

    If I was going to recommend a shot in the dark passive pup combo it would be Dimarzio Model PJ set. Each is a 4 lead HB so quiet with the option of sereis or parallel wiring for each pup. That will sound really nothing like the EMGs. DM's will be much more raw and unrefined - fairly hi output. The EMG's will be quite hi-fi toned - average output without additional preamp. Barts would be a hi-fi passive tone. Nothing really like the other two but in between. They too are typically quiet, relatively low output.
     
  9. luknfur has a very valid point...

    everyone is so quick to change out their pickups and slap in preamps and everything like that...that's all well and good...but you really need to KNOW what you want first and a very good way of doing that is by running your bass through something like a GEB-7 (7-band graphic EQ) first.

    Not only will this help with your basic tone, it will also help you "visualise" where you want to go with your sound.

    I'm all for mods that cost little money and get the best results (e.g. capacitor, series switch, humbucker coil switches (if you've got humbuckers)...beyond that, outboard gear is an economically viable way to go because you can always sell or reuse the gear.