Replacement Electronics for 5O's style P Bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Red Planet, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    May 29, 2005
    Talking Rock GA
    OEM Manufacturing Supplier
    Looking to upgrade the electronics of my new 53 reissue P Bass.

    This is the one that has the single coil pickup and a small compartment for the pots.

    How can I get a TMB type preamp in it without major mods to the Body?
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Why on earth would you buy a 53 reissue if you want to install a preamp? Why not just buy a bass with a preamp? I'm sorry, but all this modding business is my pet peeve about Talkbass. You don't buy a 53 P bass reissue to stick active electronics or a preamp in it. Sometimes I think people on here have no idea why they're modding their bass.

    Sorry if I come off heavy handed, but geez...buying that bass if you want a bass with a preamp in it makes absolutely no sense.
  3. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Just to offer another perspective... sounds like a pretty cool modification. I've thought about doing something similar to an older-style P, as those single-coil pickups have a pretty interesting sound, adding a preamp that you can engage/disengage just adds to an already-good tonal palette.

    Raven Labs made a small preamp for P-basses that would fit under a pickguard... but they're no longer in business. You may be able to track one down used, or possibly NOS (Steve Barr was a dealer, he may be able to point you in the right direction... though that's a long shot).
  4. I second the Raven Labs suggestion, if you can find a used one. It has 2 knobs and is configured to fit a P without mods - likely fits the older style Ps as well. It has a master volume, and the second knob is a bass/treble knob - clockwise boosts bass and cuts treble, and vice versa. Sounds pretty transparent when flat. I have one in a J (Smash modded it - genius!) and it sounds good.
  5. Red Planet

    Red Planet

    May 29, 2005
    Talking Rock GA
    OEM Manufacturing Supplier
    Thanx for the help. I like preamps what can I say. Back in the day I had an old P Bass with an EMG Pickup and preamp that smoked and of coarse all the Basses I've had with keelar preamps in em. I think this Bass would sound great with the meaty single coil and a pre w/ defeat switch. Some of the factory stuff on this thing is a little cheesy including the pots. If I do anything gonna jerk out the pots, jack, and maybe bridge for some better stuff it plays good and sounds good just needs some refinement. Thats all.

    I boguht this to replace the very first bass I had which was a 50's origional. Damn I'm old. :crying:

    The origional had been refinished and had a Gibson Les Paul Custom Humbucker in Place of the single coil which fell apart shortly after I got it so I got my wood chisel out and made the hole bigger and stuck that guitar pickup in it. It worked great! It was a kick arse Bass. Got rid of it for a Blue Rickenbaker which I dont mis. Man I wish I still had that first Bass. No telling where it is. I was 13 at the time.
  6. fresnorich


    Sep 17, 2003
    Fresno, CA
    I'm pretty sure the Raven Labs PBR-1 will require some routing in order to fit a '50s P-bass.

    The tricky part is that the control plate is actually pretty small and may not cover the neccesary rout.
  7. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    The pbass only has 1 pickpup, so you don't have to have the preamp onboard the bass. I would say go with an offboard pre. Ravenlabs, aguilar, sadowsy, etc, etc, etc.

    As an additonal feature, you can use that preamp for other basses as well.