Replacing single coils with humbuckers

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by TheCreep, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. TheCreep


    Dec 19, 2012
    Hi there,

    So a few years ago I bought a Warwick Streamer LX5 from around '96 (wild guess). I was really looking for a bass that mimics the sound that Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse, Blotted Science, ...), I basically wanted a really present midrange around 1,5kHz. So my choice was either a Spector Euro 5LX (which Alex Webster plays) or a Warwick Streamer LX5 and I've chosen the Warwick because of its playability and wood quality although I thought the Spector had a better sound.

    The Warwick has been treating me nicely except that the single coil MECs and preamp system sound a little weak and have started to act up recently, perfect opportunity to replace the whole wiring and pickup system.

    So I'm going to do the unthinkable to Warwick fans and 'Spectorize' this bass. So the single coils are going out and I want to replace them with EMG 40DC's and a EMG BQS System (suggestions on pu and preamp choice also welcome), but that means I will have to cut into the wood. I have a friend who's a professional woodworker but he's not really experienced when it comes to guitars or basses so we don't really have an idea about what measurements we should use when cutting.

    Is this a terrible idea or has anyone ever done it before? Any tips and tricks are welcome here. I'll probably post pictures when we actually start doing it.
  2. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    Unless EVERYTHING about that Warwick is perfect, I would sell it and try to get Spector.
    If you decide to do it, good luck! ;)
  3. TheCreep


    Dec 19, 2012
    I've thought about that but in my country or around it (Belgium) there aren't that much secondhand Spectors, and if there are they go for around €1500, while I've only spent €750 on the Warwick.
    nolezmaj likes this.
  4. bassbooty

    bassbooty -Rey Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2006
    I installed the standard EMG Jazz set in my Warwick Streamers with Aguilar OBP-1 preamps > no routing of the bass involved. I prefer EMG pickups over MEC. I also really dislike the MEC preamps and have always replaced them on each of the active EQ Warwick basses I've owned. I've bought and sold 25 other Warwicks and have settled on the 2 Streamer Stage II basses that I currently own.

    The active EMG pickups with the Aguilar preamp is an excellent combination! The EQ controls on the OBP-1 have a crazy amount of boost with the OBP-1 (+ up to 18 db). With just a 1/4 inch turn of the bass knob, the Aguilar really warms up and fattens up the bright clarity of active EMG Jazz pickups for a super deep (yet clear), well balance tone. Even with no EQ boost, you get a warm, fat & clear tone with this combination compared to the EMG sound without the OBP-1. I've had exactly this setup installed in both of my Warwick Streamer Stage II basses for 15+ years and they sound amazing! You gotta hear it to believe it!

    BTW, I actually have an extra Aguilar OBP-1 preamp that came stock in a 2006 Spector that was removed from the bass before it sold. It is currently for sale in the classifieds if you end up being interested:

    For Sale - Aguilar OBP-1 Preamp > prewired for active pickups w/voltage doubler battery clip

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  5. TheCreep


    Dec 19, 2012
    Thanks, I'll look into it!
  6. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    There's a routing template for EMG40 size at Best Bass Gear. Your friend the professional woodworker can't go wrong with that. It'll be done quite nicely!

    Definitely do the EMG 40DCs to Spectorize that bass. I've owned the BQC system (Exact same circuit as BQS, but the bass and treble were on a concentric knob) The DIP switches on the circuit board of the EMG preamp that let you set the knee frequency of the treble knob are kinda nice. I think if you were wanting to try other preamps, you'll still have the right tone going on because of those pickups, so there are tons of preamp choices that'd rock with those pickups. The EMG pre is solid though, and that semi-parametric midrange is kinda cool.
    TheCreep likes this.
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