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! :)

Ovation Magnum 4 - repair, replace, or remove active electronics?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Colonel Monk, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Howdy all:

    I got a call from my guitar tech awhile ago about this bass I bought a few months ago.

    It needed a new nut and a setup to be playable, so I didn't really go over the bass at the time - it made sound but that was the extent of my testing....

    Apparently all the wires to the Active Electrics are cut, and the pups have been wired direct to the output, bypassing everything.

    So I'm curious, those of you with experience, is it worth pursuing a repair or does it make more sense just to go passive with a volume, blend, and tone?

    I'm not too disappointed as I have no experience, I had played one before in a store and I liked the tone and feel and look of the bass which is why I bought one. So I'm not married to the original tone.

    Probably though the original owner should have told me, and should have told me about the broken nut as well.. If I hadn't gotten it for such a low price I'd be way more bent out of shape...

  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The original active EQ in that model was noisy. The previous owner probably chose to bypass it rather than replacing it because it's a graphic EQ, so the pickguard has holes for sliders rather than knobs. If it was me I'd have a new pickguard cut, whether staying passive or installing a new preamp.
  3. Curmei


    Dec 29, 2008
    I played Magnum IVs for a long time - most of a fifteen year stretch. I never messed with the on-board EQ - always just set it flat. I thought it looked cool - but never cared if it was there or not. Last year I picked up a Magnum III, and it sounds just as good, and doesn't require 18v to run it. Personally, I would leave it bypassed. If you need a new pickguard, there's lots of places that can make them. I would highly recommend Tony at Pickguardian.

    Good luck - I don't play my Magnums much anymore, but they are cool basses.
  4. Thanks for the replies so far... Yeah my tech said he never really liked 'em much, but I never had a chance to check it out on my own....

    I used to do active quite a bit, still have active in my Alembic Spoiler but all my other basses are passive and with the exception of weak output on my Gibson Ripper, I think they all sound pretty killer.

    I didn't buy the Magnum for the electronics - rather I think they look cool and I've heard well-made and a decent player.

    I would assume that an Magnum 3 pickguard would fit yes? Then all I'd have to do is replace volumes, passive tone, blend....

    Any lovers of the Mag 4 preamp out there? Anyone replaced it with an Audere or other?


    Col Monk
  5. cos


    Aug 13, 2004
    I have a Magnum III. I also picked it up with some wiring issues. I basically replaced the wiring with a rickenbacker 4001 stereo harness and found a NOS pick guard from someone on the Ovation board. It's a pretty cool bass, made out of mahogany and it sounds not bad, it is all passive. The neck pickup is a monster and the stereo jack is a blast to play around with. That being said, it's more of a collector's piece for me, but a solid rock bass, almost impossible to slap with though. I would query the Ovation site for a wiring diagram first and see if you could get it going and then look to replace the preamp, etc.
  6. Hello everyone.... I'm raising my own zombie thread.

    I still have the Magnum 4 and this winter I want to finally get it playable.

    I'm not going to replace with the original electronics, and since it had a pre-amp originally it seems fitting to keep it an active bass.

    I'm somewhat familiar with some of the brands of preamps, but to tell you the truth I really don't know where to start. I'm not a Hi Fi player and I sold my Alembic which was the only Hi Fi bass I ever had.

    My amp rigs are also decidedly analog and tube based.

    Any suggestions? I don't plan on changing the pups at all so whatever I do it's got to work with what I have.



Share This Page