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Replacing Pickups On Gibson EB5

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by TA Reger, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. TA Reger

    TA Reger

    Feb 5, 2016
    Paris, Texas
    I bought a Gibson EB 5 a year ago and the craftsmanship was lacking from day one. I would love to own a new bass but don't want to part with the money so I've decided to "hot rod" the Gibby, so to speak. I want to put active pickups and electronics in it but know very little about pickups if I'm honest. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Rui Ribeiro

    Rui Ribeiro

    Feb 14, 2016
    I bought a EB5 too and yesterday i use it in a gig with flatwounds and must change it for my jazz bass at the 4th song
    Today i am changing strings but i think the bass needs some boost. Very confortable and good playability but sounds lower and muddy than my warwick corvette$$

    Did you make some modifications?

    Thanks in advance
  3. gregbackstrom

    gregbackstrom Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Tacoma, Washington
    Hi TA Reger,

    In my opinion, the Gibson pickups are super! What the stock bass lacks--for me--is an active preamp. I just had Mike Lull install an 18-volt Bartolini three-band active preamp in my EB5. It's now active / passive, mid frequency is selectable (250 Hz or 800 Hz), and he put in a series / humbucker switch. Since mine is a 2013, he had to move the output jack to the side. This thing sounds fantastic after this $500 mod. Here are a couple of pics of the finished product.

    preamp. battery compartment.
  4. BassikLee

    BassikLee Commercial User

    Feb 13, 2004
    Deltona, FL
    Owner: Brevard Sound Systems
    If the pickups are good, I'd say a preamp is worthwhile. I happen to really like the Audere 4 band preamp. Well under $200.
  5. gregbackstrom

    gregbackstrom Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Tacoma, Washington
    I have an Audere in my custom Mike Lull. It's a great preamp, but I like the Bart better in the Gibson, especially at 18 volts. It gives the bass a bit more "grunt" in series mode.
  6. I know this is super old, but figured I'd chime in. I thought the pickups needed something too, but I didnt want to start cutting into things, just in case I wanted to sell it one day. I ended up buying an xotic bass rc booster pedal. Basically an xotic preamp in a stomp box. Completely changed everything for me. The eb5 still sounds like the eb5, just better. Ballsier and deeper. Look into it.
  7. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    I play an EB4 and love it. For me I keep it passive and split the neck pickup. No mud.
    thanos k likes this.
  8. my eb 2014 5 string sounds great and i'll leave it stock. i do use a preamp pedal to eq my sound but more or less everybody does (whether is eq from an amplifier or eq from a preamp pedal doesn't matter)... i think those stock pickups and electronics with the push pull are great IF you like the general gibson sound character
    kbakerde likes this.

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