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posiible idea and some questions...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dadodetres, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. dadodetres


    Dec 19, 2004
    let me 1st eplain my situation: i have a lakland 4-94 and a warwick corvette fretless (passive-passive).

    i love the lakland in every aspect except that i find the pickups to sound a little weak. Actually im not 100% sure thet the problem is the pup. But many people told me that bartolini sounds thin. So i was looking to replace the pickups.

    But since i live in Uruguay it is very difficult to order gear, and everything ends costing 200% of its price. And taking in consideration that i dont know whick pickups to buy yet i dont think is a good idea to just choose and order and see what happens....

    what i thouht i can do just for experimenting and for checking what part of the "problem" are the pickups and which is the bass, is the following....

    maybe i can change myself the J bartolini for 1 of the warwickps J MEC. I can also change it back any time soon.
    Do you think the neck or bridge MEC is more proper for this?

    do you guys think it will be a good idea? i cant think of any cons on doing this.... but maybe there is something im not considering.

    Can i do this by myself? i never changed a pickup, but have some experience with electronics and soldering.

    can you guide me thrpugh the proces?

    well, THANKS a lot and ANY INPUT is aprreciated!
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    don't pay much attention to basses but seems Lakland has a low-end line that uses Bart MK1 pups which say Bartolini on them but they are Bartolini designed pups not made by Bartolini. I've never had them but have heard they're decent pups. Better overall perception of them than the MEC's actually - I haven't had either.

    There's a signature Bart tone but they've maded LOTS of pups and, as with any manufacturer, their sound can vary significantly - some bright and thin and some so dark almost unuseable.

    The pups unlikely will sound better than what you're playing them through. So if your rig is junk then I wouldn't jump on the pups till I played through a decent rig.

    You can swap pups but if you like the Corvette, there's not much point aside from hearing what a different set of pups would sound like in it. If you don't like the Corvette, then you don't have much to lose. Also you could just wire a pup in the Lakland straight to the jack and see what the pup sounds like skipping the harness. A harness/pre can strip a lot of decent tone from a pup (or can enhance it) depending on the pups and harness/pre. If it sounds good straight to the jack, then you know the pup is probably worth salvaging and to try some different controls.

    Pup swaps are a beginner project - which doesn't mean you won't run into problems, can't screw something up, or may not regret doing it. It just means it doesn't get much (if any) easier than swapping pups.

    Another consideration, especially if you don't have a screaming rig, is to try something outboard, a Sans DI, MXR DI, NE-1, GEB-7, etc.. The Sans in particular I've read numerous post of them throwing some cahonnes into substandard bass/rig tone. I've had all of them and have the Sans and MXR and they're very similar. The outboards you could use with any bass and you don't have to change anything in your bass. They're good to have around regardless at anyrate. The main disadvantage is that controls to them are not onboard but you've already got controls onboard. They have a by-pass so you can skip them if you want as well.
  3. dadodetres


    Dec 19, 2004
    well, thancks for all the info!

    actually, i think my bass has the real bartolini, cause is one of the "real" laklands...

    my rig also is a "decent" rig, and i played many different basses with it, so i kinda knows how the rig afects the sound...

    so if you say that changig pups is a begginer proyect then ill go for it! im always into learning!

    how should i start?

    un-screw the the puckups and remove them? what should i find there?

    also, should i remove all the strings first? or i can do it with the strings on?
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    no offense but if you're asking questions like that, you probably shouldn't be doing this to a bass with any value. Unless that bass is built like some kind of stealth project, it should be obvious and you could very likely do some damage to the bass if you don't have some insight into how things in general go together and therefore come apart.

    There are lots of little things in messing with mods that can turn even simple apparently harmless projects into damage that didn't exist before or a bass that worked into one that doesn't. The fact is, beyond the skill to accomplish the intended task, a person really needs enough skill to foresee anything that could go wrong in the process so they can prevent it in advance or, at worse, correct it when it does a happen. That skill usually comes from having torn up a lot of stuff in the past. That's you pay for when you have worked done by competent individuals.

    It could be that you're being overly cautious and that's a different matter, but I would suggest you get a beater bass and practice mods on it if not. Butchering low end stuff and passing it along is one thing, but it's not so acceptable when it's cost some coin.

    That said, you desolder the leads (make diagram first), loosen the strings, remove the screws, remove the pup, and apply common sense throughout.
  5. dadodetres


    Dec 19, 2004
    well, thanks for that!
    ill take it to a profesional i know and tell him to help me with the task!
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