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Problems with installing Aguilar OBP-3

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by E.O.M., Mar 3, 2003.


  1. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Well, I tried installing it today, and all the soldering went pretty well, but I have a problem.

    There's 5 wires that I have no idea where to wire them. One is the ground wire, and I don't know where to wire that. The other four come from the pickups (each pickup has 3 wires coming out: one main, and two littler ones... I don't know where the littler ones go).

    Does anyone have any ideas? I don't want to have to go to Guitar Center and pay mucho dinero.

    btw, I plugged it in the way it is now (it's an Ibanez SR506 six string), and i didn't get much out of it. Basically all the output I got was radio, and some bass when the blend pot was turned to the neck pup side. However, the output from the bass was very weak, and only the lowest 3 strings (B, E, and A) produced output.

    I have no idea what to do.
     
  2. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I've seen that wiring diagram a million times. It says nothing about the ground wire coming from the bass, and it also says nothing about the two little wires coming from the pickups (all it has is one wire from the pups).
     
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    OK, so you have active pickups by the sounds of it. I don't know Ibanez basses / pups that well, but I do know that Ibanez have wiring diagrams for their basses on their web site. That may help for reference as most concepts are the same regardless of the preamp being used.

    Anyway, assuming active pickups, the usual color scheme for this is: red - power, white - hot signal, black - ground. If this isn't the case, you should be able to deduce which is which based on the original wiring setup prior to putting in the obp-3. Whatever went to your blend pot or individual balance pots is the signal. Whatever went to a common ground with the jack, or was grounded to back of a blend pot, is ground. Whatever went to the battery is power.

    The signal wires from the pickups will go to the center connections on the blend pots. The power wires will need spliced with the red wire going from obp-3 to the battery out so that the pups can get power.

    As for the black ground wire, that's eventually going to the same destination as the - out from the battery on the left - the ground on the jack. You may want to consider putting some copper tape in your cavity, add a connection from the jack ground to that tape. Then solder the pup ground wires to that tape also and they'll then share a common ground. This approach makes it easier to add new elements requiring a ground connection in future.

    Hope that helps. I wouldn't call myself a full blown expert but I've done this type of thing a good few times now so I'll help where possible.
     
  4. Joe'sBass

    Joe'sBass

    Mar 3, 2003
    I put an OBP-3 in my Warwick and am in love with it - but my local repair guy wasn't sure about the install and called over to Aguilar's Tech. My repair guy said their tech was very helpful...

    After what it did to my Warwick I bet you'll be thrilled with it in your Ibanez. I loved my bass before...but now - lookout! I'd call over to their tech if you still have trouble.
     
  5. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    The ground is a wire to the bridge itself that appears in the control cavity. In most cases, you wire some sort of ground loop to the tops of the pots (volume and balance at least, not sure about active b, m, t controls). That loop then goes to the ground to the bridge.

    Make sure that the jack is wired right. I have messed up tip and ring before and it sounds like crap (but won't damage the bass). If you switch it up, sometimes that works.

    The pickups (I'm assuming they are pretty standard active pickups) have a hot lead (usually white), a ground (either black or a braid inside of a coax cable) and a battery lead (usually red). When you wire an active pre, the battery loop doesn't tend to interfere with the tone controls at all, so wire up the tone controls before you do the battery loop.

    If you have a pic of the cavity as it is now, post it or PM it and I can tell you what to do.
     
  6. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    How do I know which prong of the output jack is what? There's 3... I thought they were all the same.
     
  7. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    One is a ground, one is a hot output, one is a "preamp on" pole.

    If it's a sunken jack (is a tube with 3 poles coming off the end inside the bass), then I believe it goes:

    Longest pole is ground (-)
    Shortest is tip (+)
    Middle length is the battery on tip (or on the schematic, the not - or + one)

    If that doesn't work, try switching the short and middle with each other.
     
  8. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Ok, you guys have helped so much. It's working now, and it sounds awesome, except for one thing. I can't run both pickups at the same time.

    I can solo each pickup fine, by turning the blend pot to either side, but when I turn it toward the middle (ideally both pups on), the output fades until you get to the very middle where there is no output. Does this have to do with the wires on the outside poles of the blend pot? The Aguilar diagram wasn't as clear as I would have liked it to be, and right now it is sort of like this.

    Top-Left Pole: wire to bottom-right pole.
    Top-Center Pole: Hot Signal in from Neck pup.
    Top-Right Pole: wire to bottom-left pole.

    Bottom-Left Pole: wire from top-right pole.
    Bottom-Center Pole: Hot Signal in from Bridge pup.
    Bottom-Right Pole: wire from top-left pole.

    So basically the wires on the outside poles are in sort of an 'X', if that makes sense. Then of course there are the wires going to the volume pot and output ground, which I have no problem with.

    Any ideas? You guys have been great help.
     
  9. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    That's odd. I'd check every connection starting with those and working your way out. The x is correct.

    Now you got me wanting to get one!
     
  10. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    You have your output and ground on the blend pot backwards.

    Aguilar can only supply you with diagrams for their own preamp. Every pickup manufacturer uses their own coloring and wiring schemes and so that's who you look to for advice on what all the little wires from the pickups do - the pickup manufacturer.

    The same goes for the blend pot. Aguilar doesn't supply them, so how you wire it depends on who manufactures the pot. And different manufacturers (Alpha v. Noble, for example) do it differently.
     
  11. E.O.M.

    E.O.M.

    Dec 7, 2001
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Ok, so how do I know which one is output and which one is ground?

    Sorry if I sound naive, this is my first experience wiring something like this.
     
  12. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Switch these two wires at the blend pot.
     
  13. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I'm having the same confusion as EOM now because I'm using a tube jack and not the aguilar jack. (I'm almost done wiring an obp-3.) Can someone verify if rojo412 has it right? He says "believe" in the post. :confused:
     
  14. adouglas

    adouglas

    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    Schwinn, that's right.

    Shortest pole is the tip, middle is the ring, longest is the sleeve. If you want to be absolutely sure, get a multimeter and check continuity.

    BTW, I just finished upgrading my mid-90s Carvin LB75A (Carvin's original 3-band EQ electronics) to Bart 59Js and an OBP-3, which if memory serves is basically the same thing you're doing. I've wired mine for 9 volt, simply because there's one battery compartment in the bass.

    Haven't played it through my rig yet, only through the headphone output of a fairly noisy practice amp. Immediate impression...there's a LOT of tone shaping flexibility here. WAY more than the original electronics.
     
  15. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    Thanks! You are using dual 59Js? That should be very good. I'm not concerned about the aguilar/bart combo anymore - it's a nice setup. I have only one 59J and the other pickup is a carvin HB5W. I want to replace that when I can find something that fits.


    I actually did it wrong last night! It sounds great. My first impression is that the 59J sounds a lot beefier with the aguilar preamp than the stock. All of the pots work like they should and I wired the mid switch the standard way. One thing I have to change is the way the HB is wired. I realized I only wired it for single coil (noticed when the coil splitter didn't work) - but a small fix.

    I also replaced the bridge from a piezo to standard because I don't like the piezo pickups and the regular bridge makes a better contact point with the strings I think.

    I had so much fun wiring everything, although next time I would wire the blend pot first since that has the most connections. It was hard working around everything else in my way. I want to build a kit soon!!
     
  16. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I have the wide model so the length is more than 72 mm. But thanks!