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Replacement for Bartolini MK-1 Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Kwesi, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. jg42


    Jul 12, 2012
    Agree! here's what they sound like with Bart 5.2 preamp on a fretless ibanez sr370F.

    P.S. in Europe, I would also look at Delano. I have them in my fretless carvin and they kick ass too!
  2. Nofret.dk


    Mar 28, 2015
    Thanks for that! As for the pre-amp, unfortunately it can't be replaced on the Portamento, because the piezo under the bridge is integrated in the stock pre-amp. So I have to live with it (until someone comes up with an alternative), but with better PU's no problem, i guess.
    In another forum (Ibanez) a poster claimed, the Nordstrands have to be custom made for the Portamento because of the string spacing (16,5mm), i recon Bartolini's don't have?
    Other replacements in P2 size have the same problem? Size would fit, I've read...
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
    jg42 likes this.
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    String spacing is not a concern with Bartolini's because they use blades. They work with all spacings.
    Preventer and jg42 like this.
  4. Nofret.dk


    Mar 28, 2015
    I'm just confused about the wiring with the Bart MK5's, as they are dual coil and a set has 4 conductors... I still want to keep Vol/Blend config, when changing them.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    The dual coil allows you to wire them series, parallel, or single coil..or have a mini toggle for all three. Standard wiring is series though if you don't want to bother with the switch. It comes with the diagrams you need..in series you connect two of those wires together leaving you with the hot and ground.
  6. CaneyBoniface


    Feb 17, 2015
    I'm using Ibanez SR305 Made in Indonesia upgrade with Bartolini® MK1 Pickups, Seymour Duncan Basslines Active 3-Band Tone Circuits™ STC-3 onboard preamp.

  7. Pete Greaves

    Pete Greaves

    May 1, 2014
    Old thread, but I know folks like myself look up older threads, so here is my experience.

    I picked up an older SR-905, through neck, through body strings. I actually love the MK1s in the SR500s, but this has a maple body and it was way too bright. I spent about 6 months researching and decided to do the Pup upgrade first. I actually had a Nordstrand DC5 lying around I tried in the neck position and it was incredible sounding, but it was 19 mm spacing so the allignment was off. I decided to go with P2 sizing simply because it opened up more possibilities. I had decided it was a tossup between Reed James Neos and Nordstrand Dual Blade Neos, when lo and behold Bestbasssgear has a huge sale, and had a pair of Bartolini Quad Coil P2s at less than half price, so I took the chance (normally $166 each).

    Bestbassgear screwed up the delivery (which they did with 2 of the last 3 orders) and delivered 1 quad and 1 dual. Got them to overnight the other quad, but in the meanwhile I installed 1 quad at the neck position. I won't dwell on this, but the only reason I will buy from them now is when the price is right.

    I installed in series, and the pickup totally overpowered the Mk1 at the bridge, so my guess is the MK1s are in parallel internally. Rewired in parallel, so I had one Quad and one MK1 and could roll fully to either. I also did the reverse to see if the impact on the sound was the same. Folks have previously talked about the sound difference being an evolution rather than a revolution, and I can tell you that was not my experience with putting in the quad. When I rolled to the quad the the sound was immensely better, and the remaining Mk1 (in both configurations) now sounded hollow and tinny. I put both MK1s back in temporarily to make sure it was not my imagination.

    In short the Bart quads sound incredible (expensive normally but worth it) and the bass is transformed with no new pre-amp, this is now my main fretted bass. Wiring in parallel for each pickup gives it a highly defined sound. The next step with be a switch to let me change the Barts so I can isolate each coil (which I can do noiselessly since it is quad coil).

    Pete Greaves
    Preventer likes this.
  8. ex-tension


    Jun 11, 2009
    MK1s are split coil design.
  9. mmbongo

    mmbongo Regular Human Bartender Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    They could still be parallel though. Anybody know what their resistance measures?
  10. vmabus


    Nov 1, 2013
    The Nordstrand Dual-blade 4-string fits in place of the MK-1 5-string, except the holes are off a little.
  11. ex-tension


    Jun 11, 2009
    Around 7-8kohm
  12. This is important to know because there is a gap between the coils. If a string falls over the gap it will sound dead. Ibanez put split coil 6 string pickups on some 5 string BTB675s so a bunch of us ended up with dead A strings. I think this happened because the pickups on those guitars are all the same size and they got the bodies mixed up.

    I replaced them with real Barts and a real NTMB pre so that fixed the dead A string issue. The tone difference was noticeable in my basement but lost in a live setting where tone shapers, PA settings and room response are bigger factors.
  13. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    So the MK1 is an inline split, not P-style split?
  14. brstma

    brstma my dog is an awesome dog Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    Thanks for the post. I have been considering whether to replace the pickups or preamp or both on a bass with MK1s. I thought the preamp would have more to do with the tone but now I may have to reconsider what to do. Like other people have said, I turn the treble all the way down to get a half decent sound out of it. The output level is actually lower than some passive basses I've played as well. It's OK like this but in general I think this is the worst sounding electronics I've ever had in a bass, and I've had way cheaper basses than the one I have now with MK1s.
  15. FatFunk


    Jan 5, 2015

    So currently you have a SR905, with no preamp and 2 USA Barts?
    Do you have any sound clips by any chance?
    I have the same bass, with the stock MK1s and I'm not sure which way to go. I also thought the preamp would be a cheaper option.
    I want to try the pickups straight to the the output jack, or with a passive tone control, but haven't got the occasion to sit with the soldering iron and the Ibby.
  16. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    I read:

    "In short the Bart quads sound incredible (expensive normally but worth it) and the bass is transformed with no new pre-amp, this is now my main fretted bass"
  17. ex-tension


    Jun 11, 2009
  18. rbeard


    Aug 9, 2003
    Atlanta, GA
    IBenz cerro preamp replalcement
  19. Schooley_m


    May 22, 2016
    I too have an Ibanez sr500, seriously considering ditching all the electronics and going full passive. Really want to throw in some dual coils for some coil tapping/splitting wizardry.
  20. Aidil


    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    you'll get coil tapping ability by replacing current MK1-4 pups to MK4CBC pups.

    Are you sure you wanna go full passive? If you swap the current pre-amp with Bartolini HR-5.2AP/918, you can still have the option of EQing your sound as well as real passive mode (without battery installed) by operating its push-pull volume pot. This pre-amp also has mid frequency selector using its push/pull middle pot. Then the hole which used to be used for mid freq toggle selector can be use for the coil-tapping mini switch.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    May 9, 2021

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