New Pickups or Capacitor?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bass4ThePublic, Jun 22, 2019.

  1. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    hey all! Ive recently installed a set of Aguilar 4p-60 into my parts Precision Bass. I’ve also installed a .1uf Orange Drop Capacitor alongside the pickups. The tone is way too muddy for my taste. With 1 month old LaBella flats, I cant tell the difference between the tone all the way up or down. I want to reduce the mud in the bass without changing the string type. Should I get a .047 capacitor, or get new pups? I’ve been eyeing Klein 59 p bass pups.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  2. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    There should be a marked difference between the tone on 0 or 10, especially with a .1uF cap--which rolls off deep into the mids. Perhaps your strings are just really dark, or your amp settings are rather dark..?
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  3. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Double check your wiring. Something doesn't sound right.

    The Aguilar 4P-60 isn’t a dark or muddy sounding pickup. If you don’t like the sound of the Aguilar you’re probably not going to like the sound of a Klein Epic either. I’ve got both of those pickups currently installed on two PBs. The Klein on the one strung with GHS Pressurewounds, and the Aguilar on the one originally strung with flats and now Labella White Nylons. No muddy sound coming from either bass.

    As far as caps go, after much experimenting I’ve found the standard .047 seems to be the best choice virtually every time for PB pickups.

    I’d check the wiring first and try a different cap second since it’s quick and cheap fix. Try a few different values while you’re at it if you like. Caps only run about 25¢ each. If that doesn’t help I’d start suspecting the tone pot is defective or damaged next.
  4. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Maybe the strings. My amp os flatlined.
    Maybe I wired something incorrectly?
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    This is going to sound like a rant..... cuz it kinda is. :D

    There are two very strange assumptions in the music world, particularly among bass players.

    1) If my rig doesn't sound like the left hand of God on a twenty foot Steinway with the EQ set to "flat' something must be wrong. That's ridiculous. The knobs are there for a reason.

    2) If my rig sounded great before, AMD I get new pickups/strings/bass/pedals/whatever, the new version sound sound even better using the SAME SETTINGS I was using before. Also ridiculous. Again, the knobs and switches are there for a reason.

    So, before you go buying new caps, strings, pickups, basses, amps, and a new house with better acoustic, have a go at the EQ section of your amp. Trying that is FREE and it just might produce some positive results. Remember, the knobs go from zero to 10 for a reason as well. So, if you have to crank your mids to 9 to produce the sound you like, there STILL isn't a problem.

    Short version: When you add a new, or swap out ANY, component of your signal chain, throw your preconceived notions and prior settings out the window. Start over with your EQ and see if you can dial in your sound with the new signal chain.

    (Yes, I understand the tone knob thing. But the new signal chain may be squashing or filtering out the frequencies most affected by said tone knob. It's worth a shot to see if you can find them again using your EQ.)
  6. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Thanks for the tips, but I’ve boosted/cut all of the eq options on my amp and there was still no change in my sound when I moved the tone control. I’m going to try to check the wiring today.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  7. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I found the Aguilar pickups to be pretty bright, almost modern sounding. I'd say the problem would be with the cap. I have never gone over a .047. It seemed unnecessary.
    Or, and I know this might sound crazy, don't use flats. Flats equal mud.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  8. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    This is the wiring
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  9. Keger Jupit

    Keger Jupit Inactive

    May 10, 2018
    The Great PNW!!
    :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  10. ctmullins

    ctmullins Dominated Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Take the capacitor out of the circuit completely, and spend some time listening to just the sound of the pickup. That will let you evaluate the pickup independently of the tone cap. Once you’re certain that the pickup will stay, then you can add the cap back, or even experiment with different cap values.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
    BlueTalon, Rock Salad and Pbassmanca like this.
  11. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    I can’t really tell anything from the pic, but I’d suggest trying a few notes with the pickguard off so you can see that noting unwanted is touching something else when squished into the cavity. That’s some long arms on the capacitor.
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  12. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    I did that, and the tone was significantly less muddy. The tone knob made a little difference but nothing much
  13. Kerplunk


    Sep 29, 2015
    Tell me I'm wrong but, it looks to me that, you have the cap wiring too close to the other components, i.e. the volume control. Maybe it touches when you put back the pick guard.

    I'd move the cap out of the way and see if it works. If it does, I'd detach the cap. Shorten its wires and reattach. Personally I'd go with what has already been said and go with the standard .047 cap.

    Ooops, looks like I was a bit late out of the gate with the first paragraph. Good luck.
    dkelley likes this.
  14. The pickup hot wire is NOT connected to the tone pot!

  15. ardgedee


    May 13, 2018
    Looks like one of the legs on the capacitor is touching a tab on the volume knob. Or that it will if it's pushed a little bit. Take the capacitor off, clip the legs short and try again.
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  16. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Wait, so the lug to lug connection with the singular black ground wire (top lug) should be soldered to the lug with the pickup’s hot wire to connect it to the tone pot (bottom lug)?
    Pic for reference
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  17. Leo Thunder

    Leo Thunder

    Sep 27, 2018
    There is a missing connection: the tone circuit is not active, that's why it makes no difference.
    One leg of the capacitor looks close to the output of the volume pot. If it makes contact, the tone circuit is suddenly engaged in full, bypassing the tone pot and acting as always completely rolled off.

    9mmMike, mikewalker, petrus61 and 3 others like this.
  18. Low profile

    Low profile

    Apr 16, 2019
    Lx, Portugal
    Joybass is right.
  19. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Thanks for the advice. I’m probably going to order a .047 ceramic cap, clip it, and install it when I get home (2 weeks).
  20. Like so:

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