Rewiring Mike Watt Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Gearhead17, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I picked up a bass guitar originally owned by Mike Watt - custom built for Mike in 2001. Even has his name on there! Anyway, the bass is way goofy with the two passive pickups -A Lane Poor P-Bass pickup (neck position) and a Kent Armstrong Music Man Style pickup in the bridge position (Mike Watt swapped pickups when he owned this bass). There are two flip-style switches on this bass: you mute either pickup and use just one of them or you can combine them.

    The issue with this setup - it's all passive, LP pickup is really quiet and the Kent Armstrong is crazy strong in the signal level. It's a pain in the butt to switch pickups live with such a huge volume change. The combined volume of the two pickups is just slightly louder than the LP pickup by itself.

    I want to increase my signal level and get the pickups to the same output level or at least closer. Soloed or combined, I need to have the levels really close to one another. Is that possible?

    Thinking of adding a Glockenklang pre-amp, but what else should I do to achieve my setup ideas? I am not a big fan of passive tone knobs, and extra EQ knobs (besides a bass knob) are not helpful to me. I am trying to NOT piss off the sound guy!
    2001 Thelacaster 4 string, Check it out!
  2. funkybassplayer

    funkybassplayer Commercial User

    Sep 16, 2003
    Longview, TX
    Nordstrand Audio, Epifani
    Damn man. THat is a beautiful bass. I love the grain on the top. What is the top wood?
  3. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Mahogany Back combined with Ash and an Ash top. It sounds like a P-bass, but tone is much thicker and growlier. It's a unique sound and I know I like it way more than any other P-bass I have tried....

    Maple Bolt-on Neck, Ebony Fretboard, 24 frets, 35" scale - no string flop at all! Stiffer feel overall on the strings, but that's how I like it.
  4. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    Just bumping my thread...... does anyone have any input on this topic? Is it just not possible to do such thing?
  5. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS
    Find a Lane Poor 2ax1 or other preamp that has an active blend with variable inputs. I believe the U-retro also has this feature (or at least the J-retro I have does).

  6. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I have heard that a blend knob affects the overall tone of a pickup and that a Dual volume control setup does not. Is there any truth to that?

    I don't know enough about pickups, but will a blend knob bring the signal level down of the Kent Armstrong pickup without altering the tone?

    Is the key here to get the Lane Poor pickup to the same level of the Kent Armstrong? Or vice versa? Should I forgo the switches on the bass? I really just want to use the pickups separately or together.
  7. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    wasn't that bass sold here? slapman's, maybe?
  8. Gearhead17

    Gearhead17 Supporting Member

    May 4, 2006
    Mount Prospect, IL
    I bought it from BassNW last week.
  9. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Inactive

    Oct 20, 2004
    Depends on the blend knob. I just found a good one. AllParts sells a 500K blend with the MN taper. It's perfect in every way. At the center you have around 500K to ground, and only about 100 Ohms to hot.

    You have to wire it up the correct way though... if you do it backwards it wont work right.

    I just converted one of my basses from two 500K volumes to this blend, and it sounds exactly the same. I did A/B recordings to make sure. :D

    You have to wire it this way. If you swap the output and ground connections it wont work right.

  10. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    Yes the bass went from slapman to someone else then almost to me in trade then to BassNW then to this guy. If you ever feel like getting rid of her let me know.

    I can actually sell you a Lane Poor 2x1AC preamp. Each pickup will have it's own gain trimpot adjustment of x2 to x15 so that you can match any 2 pickups together. My price is $180 plus shipping.

    DavidRavenMoon may also be able to make a preamp for your needs.
  11. Um, isnt that Mike Watt's bass that was recently stolen???????????????
  12. No, one of Watt's SG basses was stolen. This thread is about the Thelecaster he got rid of years ago.
  13. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    I would try to contact him and let him buy it. I'm sure he would set you up for a random act of kindness like that!