1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

New Villex Pickups and Passive EQ

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fullrangebass, Dec 4, 2007.


  1. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    No need to say that I have so far been very impressed from Villex products, namely their pickups, their Passive Rotary Tone Booster (PRTB) and the guitar booster. I have bought and tried many pickups and preamps through the years and while there are many great products out there, none has impressed me (sonically) as much as Villex.

    There was a talk for a new line of Villex pickups coming out, as well as a passive EQ that would independently boost highs/mids/lows. It sounded like mission impossible, but Villex has made all promises come true so far; so I went ahead and ordered a pair of the new Villex pickups and EQ for a Bart equipped high end bass. The bass had 5 holes drilled for controls. I wanted to try something different from the vol/vol configuration that Villex suggests (which I truly love on my Dingwall Voodoo), so I asked Villex if I could use a 4 position rotary switch instead. First surprise here: Unlike the Villex “Classic” mid-control which is part of the sensor curcuit, the pickups are independent from the Passive Booster EQ circuit!!! This means I could use the 4 position rotary switch (just like I like to have). Still the EQ board is ready to receive the output wires from the pickups, any moment I choose to go to Vol/Vol configuration.

    The appearance of the pickups show no sign of what is about to be heard. The pots came already soldiered (just as I asked for), leaving only the pickup wires to be soldered to the 4 pos rotary switch, the rotary switch to the volume and the hot and ground to the output jack. The wiring diagrams were included and all were clearly and idiot-proof labelled. The whole soldering and pickup placing took less than 30min. Impressive.

    Now it’s time to plug in. Expectations are high. The “Classic” Villex pickups are full, balanced and organic. How do the new compare?

    When I plugged the new Villex equipped bass the sound came out full, detailed, balanced and LOUD. The output is hotter than Villex “Classic” but it sounds very vibrant and dynamic, not compressed at all. Still all the pots are in full counter-clockwise position. The bass frequencies are solid, full and clear, the mids are nice and open and the highs are present in a very nice way. Villex “Classic” has been described as dark sometimes; the new Villex pickups are far from that. The highs are present, yet not harsh, metallic, clanky or clicky. Still the sound is Villex only fuller, more balanced and more detailed.

    The signal to noise ratio is excellent even with all controls in full(super great for recording as well as performing).

    An added (and very interesting) bonus is the XLR option output (just like Wal or Manne to name a few). I have not used in the studio, yet but I may add a second output if this bass turns into a full-time studio bass.

    The 4 position rotary switch allows for a wide range of sounds straight from the start. The bridge pickup is brighter, the parallel more open, the series setting is the loudest with complex mids while the neck pickup alone is thick along the lines of the full, detailed and balanced.

    Now it’s time to start using the Passive EQ Booster. The treble adds a nice bite and airy detail to the sound (never getting to sound clanky or harsh). The mids are musically voiced to add body and substance to (but not to blur) the notes and the bass adds great thickness to the sound without muddying or darkening the sound. It’s very impressive that the controls do not subtract from one another while providing great sounds along the range. Even when the controls are wide open the sound is not compressed, artificial or “plastic”. I was not able to make the bass sound thin, anaemic or weak (in any frequency or setting) and this has nothing to do with the good output of the pickups and the circuit; it’s all related to the quality of the sounds produced.

    The whole Passive EQ Booster circuit works in a way that is quite different to the Passive Rotary Tone Booster (sound-wise). It is very versatile, with a great range of tones, great sounding yet PASSIVE. I have no idea how Villex did it, but it works.

    The range of sounds provided cannot be fully appreciated through PC speakers. My iAmp800 along with my 4x10”& tweeter and 15” have really allowed me to listen to a new universe of sounds.

    I am very impressed. The promise has become reality. Fantastic new sounds as well as a versatile Passive 3-band EQ Boost!!!

    Highly recommended!!!

    I have already placed the order for another set of new Villex pickups and Passive EQ Booster


    PS I have just posted this very text in the review section along with two pics of the pickups and the EQ mounted on the bass
     
  2. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    Nice!!! What i find weird is how nobody seemed to have tried some reverse enginering on Villex stuff, im sure other pickups makers dd that, but Villex must have some good patents.
     
  3. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    If he's applied for a patent, there's no need to reverse engineer as there'll be enough info in the documentation to work it out. I bet there's no patent, but the pups are epoxy encased so it'll be hard to take one apart and copy.
     
  4. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    I really don't know how he does these things (and I really don't care). What I care for is the sounds that I can produce from these pickups and products, and I am sure that this is the main point for every player. The new Villex are different sounding than Villex "Classic" but both are great
     
  5. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Not to wear you out, but these comments got my attention. One of the things I like about Villex is how "even" the tone is. I would not say they are dark at all, just no hyped highs...very even. I get the impression from reading your post (though they seem great) is that the new system is (overall) brighter...? Would that be accurate?

    I mean "Still the sound is Villex only fuller, more balanced and more detailed" sounds to me like it's louder and I can't reconcile "more balanced and more detailed".

    Again, I appreciate you've given a thorough review with a lot of info (and I'm ordering the system anyway just on faith in Williams' products) but I'm really wanting to know how the new system will differ from what I have now...?
     
  6. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Interesting. Thanks for the review. I'll be doing some more research on these.
     
  7. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Do reviews need to be approved before being published? I can't find your new review.
     
  8. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    Reviews need to be approved before being published and I am 100% with that.

    Marcus, the new line is indeed a touch brighter (compared with the Villex "Classic") but in a more analytic way. Never harsh or anything. Still it's unmistakably "Villex": full and ballanced just more open too. The output is hotter than Villex "Classic" but it's not the output that makes it sound different; it sounds like it's more "expanded" in lack of a better term
     
  9. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md

    Excellent. I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss it. I'm thinking about this setup with a Redeemer unity gain buffer to eliminate any interaction from the cable or the amp input.
     
  10. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    I would like to add that there is no audible interference when I sit in front of the PC screen and play through the soundcard and the Adam A-7 near-field monitors. I am still trying now things
     
  11. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    415/707
    glad to see he's making some " brighter " pickups now,, i had a set of SC's, and he made a custom HB for me & both were VERY DARK,, from mud dark to just very dark, could get some serious DUB tones from both, but no growl or spank at all.

    have since been installing Nordstrand, Fat Stacks & Big Singles,, no comparison,,, imo, of course.. goodbye William
     
  12. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    With the new set I can get from Dub to clear and bright and everything in between.
     
  13. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    I listened to the midrange booster samples that are on the Villex website. It did boost the mids, but seemed to cut the highs while it was boosting the mids. Do you notice anything like that with the 3 band?

    Any chance you could post some sound samples?

    Thanks!
     
  14. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    The PRTB does exactly what you described and it's really great at taming highs in a very different way while boosting lows and mids. On the new EQ this is not happening.

    This is what I was referring to when I wrote "It’s very impressive that the controls do not subtract from one another while providing great sounds along the range".

    I am heavily booked at my work and in the little spare time I am recording all my basses right now (starting with my Dingwalls). I will try to post samples after the weekend.
     
  15. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Sorry I missed that. Looking forward to the samples. I've always like the idea of the Villex pickups, but never pulled the trigger. I think the new line will push me over the edge.
     
  16. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Interesting. Good to see William is keeping a foot in the lab. Will have to roam over to the site.

    Do you know if this new EQ works with the old pups?
     
  17. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Always groove.... Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Nothing on the website about the new pickups.
     
  18. fullrangebass

    fullrangebass

    May 7, 2005
    Europe
    I am more than happy to be on the forefront of using high-end stuff. I am just a very fuzzy and demanding customer, not an endorser.

    I am pretty sure that Mr Villex is very busy with orders. My next pair or pickups with the EQ (along with a twist) is very high on the list
     
  19. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    415/707
    ya "clear and bright " definately does NOT describe the two different pickups i purchased from Villex, single coils and a custom Humbucker.

    i wonder what he's doing differently now that he wasn't doing say a year & a half ago. I listened to the hype, & pulled the trigger not once, but twice, & was very dissapointed both times.

    oh well,, ya live & ya learn
     
  20. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    I picked up a pair of HB's and a MM J combo but not with the stock harness and beyond the mid pod the harness isn't to Villex specs so I'm not the best judge on what they're supposed to sound like. Pretty interesting wiring setup for the pups Villex has. Anyway I'm basically a bridge player and prone toward clearer full range tones and although I found the Villex to comparatively a darker pup, it was not without a fitting top end and tones were fairly clean and modern sounding - though work well to classic rock and R&B. They're probably in my top 5 pup picks.