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New SD quarter pounders... signal too hot???

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ::::BASSIST::::, Sep 6, 2005.


  1. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I just put in some QPs and I find when I play below the 8th fret I can hear what sounds like fret buzz or possibly distortion. I know the strings are not the issue as they are quite high at the moment. So I lowered the pickups to half the height they were at. It helped quite a bit but not completely.

    Do I have to lower the pickup so they are flush do the pickguard? They're not too far from that now. It seems wierd to have more powerful pickups but not be able to harness their power because the signal may be too strong. All the sound issues clear up when I turn down the vol. pot on the bass.

    The only other possible cause of this is my headphones. I use a reasonably high quality set of panasonic earbuds. Maybe they cant handle the volume? Not sure but I would think they would distort with lower/bassier notes not the notes higher on the neck. Then again, the notes higher on the neck tend to have greater volume "spikes" so that could be a part of the problem.

    I cant really play my rig in my house b/c I live in a condo so I use headphones. When I have my next band practice I will crank her up and see what happens.

    anyways any ideas?
     
  2. syciprider

    syciprider Banned

    May 27, 2005
    Inland Empire
    My Jazz 24 has 1/4#ers. I haven't noticed gain enough to cause unwanted distortion.

    Maybe it's your headphones.
     
  3. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I'd also vote it's your headphones, or something. I have P/J 1/4# ers in an ESP MIA bass of mine, and while they're hot pickups for a passive bass, they never distort or sound bad to my ears.

    -Ray
     
  4. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    I had the same issue with a DiMarzio Model P. The output was so hot that it caused clipping all over the place at my previous "normal" settings. Lowering the bass side of the pickup helped, as did turning down the volume on the bass.

    But it might be something else in your signal chain. What's powering your headphones? If it's an amp or other device (like a Tascam bass trainer) with an input gain control, try turning that down, or maybe use the "active" input or pad. That will have an effect similar to turning down the volume on the bass. Or, as you suggest, it could be the headphones.
     
  5. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I am running the headphones out of a Roland Mini Cube gtr amp.

    Something's gotta give b/c I bought the SDs for their power and because of the power I am getting distortion.

    Really hope its the headphones.
     
  6. Selta

    Selta

    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Maybe the amp, since it's a guitar amp though also? I don't really know. I've played bass through guitar amps (hey, who hasn't?) and got smoe mean ass distortion, but if you EQ it right, it wont do that. You signal should be clean really.

    -Ray
     
  7. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    its not the amp because I have used it many times without problems and almost always with headphones. usually the distortion problem is b/c of the speaker.
     
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    Well, it seems to me it could just be a bad match between hot bass pickups and the guitar amp's input stage. A guitar's output is much lower than the typical bass, so I suspect hot bass pickups could easily cause clipping in the input stage of a typical guitar amp, especially the lower notes which cause the clipping. And guitar amps have neither separate active and passive inputs nor or input pads to deal with extra hot signals.

    Coincidentally, I have a Roland Cube 60 guitar amp, so I'll try my P-bass with Seymour Duncan Hot for P-bass pickup and let you know what happens. I don't think it has output as high as your QP's, but hey, it's worth a try.
     
  9. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Philadelphia
    Well, I broke out the P-bass, and plugged into my Roland guitar amp. I listened through cheap Behringer montior headphones, and cranked it. No clipping.

    So it might be the headphones, but I still suspect those QP's are clipping your input stage. Try different headphones (monitors style if possible), and see what happens.
     
  10. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Thanks Ned. I brought the big rig to the band rehearsal tonight and the problem didnt show up. So its the headphones for sure.

    Now I have a different problem. The A string is way louder than the other strings. I even raised the string higher but that didnt do enough.

    If I put some black electrical tape over the pickup's poles under the A string would that dampen the signal a little?

    I got some other ideas to try to solve this too, but I wish this quarter pounders had height adjustment for each pole. Oh well.
     
  11. Electrical tape will not change the magnetic field, hence will not dampen the signal...no not even a little.

    You can try lowering the pickup on the A side more. But, yeah, adjustable pole pieces are a nice-to-have, for sure.
     
  12. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    hmm... well they are p-bass style pickups. I dont really want to lower the A side because then i have to lower the E side which is already barely tolerable. I think I will try lowering all the pickups flush with the pickguard. My preamp has a pretty hot output so I cant turn my poweramp up all the way to max vol. Therefore whatever signal loss occurs from lowering the pickups I can make-up for by increasing the output of the preamp. It just sucks though as I was hoping to utilize the more powerful pickups. As long I get even tone in the end with all the vol possible from the rig I will be content.

    any other suggestions are certainly appreciated.
     
  13. you can lower the A side and leave the E side where its at...P-pups are actually more adjustable than J-pups.

    Leave your pickups up...lower them only as much as necessary to eliminate problems...get your signal from the pups and start from there...that way you get richer harmonics, because of the stronger magnetic field
     
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Well, I already tried lowering the A side. Brought her all the way down and cranked the E up as much as I could, as I find that string isnt loud enough. This didnt solve the problem as the A string is still too loud compared to the others.

    I noticed that A string not only has its two poles of the pup under it, but also has a good chunk of the D string pole from the bridge pickup. My next move is to change the physical placement of the pickups so that the poles are lined up differently under the A string. These pups are put in a SX shortscale. I was thinking that perhaps because this bass is cheaply made it could be the cause of the problem regarding the poles not lined up properly.

    However, I dont really know if lining up the poles differently will help. Does it matter? I am just guessing.