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passive to passive in cheap yamaha

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by quail, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. quail


    Aug 4, 2007
    Bass: Yamaha rbx 270... one p one j pickup all passive electronics

    Sound: I play a lot of metal with this bass and I absolutely love the bass, I am not interested in buying a new one... but most of the time I notice the sound I get just sounds lifeless... there are no highs no growl no balls it just sounds completely sterile.

    I play through an mxr m80 and get a big improvement with the color and a touch of gain. Play in a rehearsal studio with eden wt800 head and swr cabs and do enjoy my tone there, but it is still missing something. I also have an ibanez srx700 with the alnico pfr humbuckers, and I know that a P style pickup will never match the output of those pickups, but sometimes going from that to the yamaha is painful cause I lose a lot of tone and just balls in the sound...

    Will going from a passive pickup and preamp, to a hotter passive pickup with the stock preamp really make any difference, I am really just looking for a little bit of a boost I guess so the change in instrument isnt AS dramatic. The yamaha has no room for a battery and I would rather not cut into the body at all or do anything like that...

    Should I just grin and bear it or might a passive pickup make a difference, and if it will what direction would suit me best, all I really know about are dimarzios emgs and sd's, anything else to research?
  2. why don't you change the title of your thread to "Recommend me a good P/J set...

    the cheap Yammy seems to put a lot of folks off...

    as a P/J lover, I've done a little research...

    first off...I'd stay passive...don't go active and try to "mask" the sound of your instrument...a good preamp won't do this, it will just "enhance" your tone...

    so start with the pups, and if then you need a little more "somethin'-somethin' " try a preamp...

    For decent P/J sets...you can go Nordstrand, Fender, Bill Lawrence or Fralin. for the more "vintage" vibe...

    SD and DiMarzio can serve up some options from "vintage" to "rock and roll"...

    but before you go down ANY electronics path...why don't you look into a different string?

    also, I did a series-mod on my Yamaha RBX170...(pull the 2nd volume knob and the P and J pickups go into series)...in that mode, the output is greater with the low-mids enhanced...
  3. saxofunk


    Jul 25, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    What are your strings and how new are they?

    "no high no growl" sounds like the effects of string choice as much as anything. Try some Fender Original Nickel 7150s on there first, give them a week to break in, if that doesn't give you highs and growl then get new pickups.

    I say this because I was starting down the trail of changing pickups on one of my basses. On a whim I grabbed a used set of 7150s out of my closet, put them on the bass, and it convinced me that the pickups aren't the problem. I've had the bass almost 7 years and just found the "it" strings for this bass.

  4. quail


    Aug 4, 2007
    ive tried a lot of different strings and am very familiar with how much new strings add... right now i have ghs boomers or whatever their heaviest guage is i forget off the top of my head... I tune it to CGCF most of the time so I really need a beefy set of strings. and like I said I play almost entirely metal with it although it is always my go to instrument. So I am not looking to go over the top and sometimes I can enjoy the rather flat dull sound of it playing some older tunes but that is a minimal of its use. And I intend on keeping it entirely passive as well I just really want to know if doing so Sounds like a good first step and if it will really make any difference.

    I have heard mixed opinions... some people say new pups are great some say on a cheap guitar they just make all the shortcuts/costcuts worse.

    the strings on it now are indeed kinda old and ill change them again soon and see how it goes, but if new pickups will help then new pickups AND new strings should be even better.
  5. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    Just stick with what you have and save for a better bass. I have a 260 that I tried modding with new pups (EMGs and then Fender) and it still sounded like poop. Your results could vary, but in my opinion its not worth it.
  6. quail


    Aug 4, 2007
    im not unhappy enough with it to change to a different bass was just wondering if passive pickups would make much of a difference... saying it sounded like poop is what im looking for i think hah... i have "better" basses but there is something about the yamaha that keeps me coming back to it...always
  7. MyUsernameHere

    MyUsernameHere ?????????????

    Nov 3, 2007
    Lexington KY
    Hey, if you're sure its the bass for you give it a try. You might like the results better than I did.
  8. interesting thread...I run my RBX170 with stock pups and D'Add XL-170 strings...

    I LIKE the sound of my RBX...and since doing the series mod (cost $10 for the push/pull pot), I have an added dimension to this bass...

    not jaw-dropping, for sure...but good enough to get 90% of play time at the moment.
  9. quail


    Aug 4, 2007
    yeah Im not gonna act on one opinion, but I do appreciate the input. I know as well as anyone else that the pickups alone arent the problem... and a lot has to do with me being cheap... but everything from the amp to my fingers and inbetween can make a world of difference.

    Ive tried ernie ball strings. Didnt like em
    I have elixirs in a green box on my 5 string love em.
    have tried different guage ghs strings.
    I need something heavy, but maybe the ghs' are a weak point.

    Id rather spend 100 bucks on a set of pickups than 600 or so on another guitar for the metal stuff. When I play out and with a band or w.e I like to go back to the yamaha cause its what I know the best, and right now for this kinda music Im 9 tenths of the way there to loving my tone, i WILL mess with strings if I can find somthing heavy enough, any good suggestions where to narrrow my search for the pickups. Perfect ideal would be something ballsy with an added gain and crispness but yet something i can roll back the volume on and stay perfectly smooth and clean... all without using a battery. hah does this exist? Should I mess with any pots while I am in there?
  10. quail


    Aug 4, 2007
    im not sure I understand the "series mod". stock it is set up in parallel and you can wire the pot to change from series to parallel and back on the fly? What are the differences btwn series and parallel

    also... I dont know if the 270 differs from the 170 but I have a volume blend and tone. Not two volumes. Are you calling the blend the second volume? or does the 170 have a seperate volume for each
  11. OK...the 170 is volume/volume/tone...volume/blend/tone is similar...it's like two volumes (reverse wired) on the blend pot and one master volume

    normally, you're in parallel...the two signals add together side-by-side (in parallel) to the output jack...

    in series...the j-pickup runs "through" the P-pickup and you use the volume pot on the P-pickup only (no blend)...the sound if fatter, a little less defined...louder with a good bottom end...I think with a plectrum (pick) series is great...

    to do a series mod on a volume/blend you can put the push/pull pot either on the volume or the tone...(either can be configured, as the push/pull is just a switch and the pot part can still do it's normal function)
  12. quail


    Aug 4, 2007
    bought a set of rotosound strings 50-110. I will get them strung in the next day or two. I was also told dr makes some nice heavy strings but were sold out. These are going to be lighter than what I currently play. Next I will order up a push pull pot and find the thread on here to do some homework on it. If the combination of the two don't work then ill experiment with a new pickup set.
  13. Sounds like a prudent approach to me...when you get y our pot, send me a PM with your email address and I'll sketch up a diagram for installing it...
    plus do some research on "series mod" in this forum, you'll find some good info and comments...
  14. quail


    Aug 4, 2007
    is a pot a pot a pot? are all push pull pots the same or is there something specific for me to look for?
  15. no a pot is not a pot...all pots are not alike...

    generally what you'd be after is something like this...


    with the above pot...since, it's a linear taper, it would work best as a tone pot...

    linear for tone, audio taper for volume

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