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Question about pickup change

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Dragonlord, Jan 1, 2006.


  1. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    I've got a Warwick Corvette 5 str. Standard with MEC pickups. This is it:
    [​IMG]

    I read in other threads that its pickups don't do justice to the bass and that's it's better with EMG or Bartolini. I've started thinking about it and I have a couple of questions:
    a) Will it be easy for me to change the pickups myself? I do not have any relevant previous experience.
    b) My first bass is a Washburn XB-100, like this one:
    [​IMG]
    After buying the Warwick it was useless, so I defretted it. Of course the sound is still ****ty, so it's not useful as a fretless either. I was thinking, if I change the Warwick pickups I will have two MEC pickups with no use. They are of different shape as you can see, but is there a way I could put the MEC pickups in the Washburn? Also, do you think that it's worth it (will I see any sound improvement)? Thanks.
     
  2. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Bump up the volume
    Come on, there is no possibility that there isn't someone here who's changed pickups to answer my two simple questions.. peelease?
     
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    a) It's not hard as such, but if you have no soldering experience or electronics experience you might want to get someone to do it. Since you don't say what you don't like about the current sound, I can't comment on whether emg's or bartolini's would get you closer to what you want.

    b) Not without routing the body to fit the J pickup shape
     
  4. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    a) It's not that I don't like sth about the sound, it's just that I read a few topics in TB where bassists with my bass changed pups to barts or emgs and most of them said that it sounded much better, richer tone etc. So I was thinking about trying it and, if I don't like the result, I can always put my MECs on again. Any feedback from anyone who's put barts on a corvette would be welcome, like which exact model they put, if it fits perfectly or needs modifications etc.
    b) This probably means that I'll have a gap in the body, as the mecs are smaller than the ones on the washburn. How about the other question, would it really sound better? thx
     
  5. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    With few exceptions (none that come to mind), I wouldn't recommend someone defret a bass becuase it's a one way trip. Nevertheless, one of the most critical aspects about a fretless tone is setup. Gary Willis has a good site for setting up a fretless. I would make sure it's setup right before doing anything else.

    With few exceptions, there's no such thing as a drop in modification. Something will always be screwed up. Go to the sites and get the pup dimensions and compare that to what you've got. J's can vary 1/8" aside from neck/bridge variatons. You can go to harmonycentral.com and read the user reviews to see if they've switched pups in their Corvette and which they chose. They also have pup reviews. There's lots of posts on TB on Corvettes and TB has a search.

    I doubt you'd be dissappointed with the standard active EMG J set but only you can decide that. Barts have quality tone but they are different. You'll need 25k pots for the EMGs. Don't know what size pots you've got.

    I can't make out what you're trying to do with the Washburn.
     
  6. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    Thanks, I'll look at GW's page for setup.
    What I'm thinking of doing with the Wasburn is putting into it the old MEC pups of the warwick as they will be useless. What I'm asking is if that's possible given the shape of the pup gaps in the Washburn and if it would really affect the sound, that is if it's worth it.
     
  7. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    That was my interpretation but given the J's are twice as long and the split P's 1/3 again as wide, I assumed I misunderstood something. No, that's not a viable option. You could route for PJ or a JPJ ala Stu Hamm (or whoever it was that made it popular).

    Swapping pups is an entry level mod. Defretting and routing ARE NOT and refretting is best left to someone who KNOWS what they're doing. It would cost about $300 to have that Corvette properly refretted.

    Not sure what you're playing through but your basses will never sound better than that gear. If you play a cheap bass through a decent rig you've got a good chance it will sound decent but if you play a $10K bass through a piece of junk you've got about a 99% probability shot it will sound like a piece of junk.
     
  8. Dragonlord

    Dragonlord Rocks Around The Glocks

    Aug 30, 2000
    Greece, Europe
    I have already defretted (on my own) the Washburn, never thought about defretting the Warwick! Maybe didn't clarify that enough.
     
  9. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Yeh, see what you were saying now.

    Anybody can rip out frets, whether they can do it without damaging the bass is another issue and depends on the bass to some degree or just dumb luck if they don't know what they're doing.

    The knowledge involved is not so much in removing the frets as knowing whether the neck will make a suitable fretless and having some idea whether the acoustic properties of the bass lend themselves to decent fretless tone. The neck basically needs to have the capacity to lay perfectly flat, no neck/heel humps or any of that junk. Also in knowing up front that the nut will need to be recut unless it was cut too deep to begin with, the bridge adjusted, and intonation reset.