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Output very low - what to do?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by sickranium, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Hi guys! Pardon my possibly stupid question, but I hava a problem regarding a bass I own.

    Years ago I bought a six string bass from my teacher, a beautiful hand made custom passive P/J.
    I'm absolutely in love with it, it sounds amazing, but the problem is it has extremely low output.
    Which bothers me for various reasons. The most important of which being it's incompatibility with most bass effects (it fails to trigger my touch wah pedal even at maximum input sensitivity), and the fact that I'd sometimes like to use two basses in one gig. The latter is practically impossible to do, since my other bass(a Mike Lull M5V)'s output is rather high and the difference between the two in volume exceeds what the a/p switch on my amp is supposed to control by far...
    Plus it gets tiresome having to dig into the strings like a construction woker ;)
    Some friend recommended changing the pickups, which I'd rather not do, because it has been done before to less than satisfactory results. Plus, those pickups were especially built for this bass and may very well be the reason for its great sound. And having to throw away those mahogany pickup covers would pretty much break my heart :(
    My ideal solution would be something that simply raises the instrument's output without necessarily changing its sound. Maybe a Glockenklang preamp might help?

    :help: :help: :help: :help: :help:
  2. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    You might want to read this thread and do what the OP did. It's a cheap thing to try.

    An even cheaper solution would be for someone to check the pickups with a DMM and see if they don't have a short or a break, both of which will compromise the output.
  3. Wow, thanks for that link! If it is indeed as easy as that, that would be absolutely awesome!
  4. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    There could be several reasons for the low output. Can you post a photo of the bass's pickups and controls (with markings what control does what), maybe a shot of the electronics compartment? Maybe there's a way to fix it without a need for extra magnets, though a DMM might still come in handy.
  5. joegrant413


    Dec 6, 2009
    FWIW, I've used a clean boost that I bought for guitar. I got a Keeley Katana, but I would think other clean boost would do OK, too.
  6. Ok, here are some shots of the electronics compartment. Best I could do with only an iphone camera... :meh:

    Attached Files:

  7. What the controls do is pretty simple: there's a volume knob for each pickup and a passive treble control.

    Attached Files:

  8. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    The first volume control has two resistors soldered between the input (center) and output (top) lug. Those two are dissipating a lot of the signal. Unsolder them and you'll likely get some output back.