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Rio Grande Powerbuckers

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by florentinepogen, Jul 23, 2003.


  1. I know the question has been asked before,but I can't recall ever seeing an answer.

    Does anyone play a Rio Grande Powerbucker, and what do you think of it?

    I'm planning to build a Warmoth and I've been thinking about going this route, but I'd like more info.
     
  2. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I ordered a Warmoth body and two powerbuckers for a fretless, passive 4.. will let you know how it turns out.
     
  3. Which powerbuckers are you using? I spoke to somebody at Rio Grande who recomended a Tallboy Powerbucker in the neck and a Muy Grande Powerbucker in the bridge.

    Also what kind of body are you getting? I really wanted an SG, but neck dive is a big issue. I'll probably go with their carved top Dinky P.
     
  4. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    florentinepogen, there is only one model of PowerBuckers - PowerBuckers. Those are two J-pups, side by side.

    TallBoy is replacement pup for Precisions with Single Coil pups, Muy Grande is the replacement for traditional split-coil Precision pups. Neither of these is called a PowerBucker.

    I am getting a mahogany body with a spalted maple top, standard J shape.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Actually I spoke to someone at Rio Grande this week and he told me about the two Powerbucker models. They aren't on the website, but they are avaliable. The Tallboy Powerbucker, the one on the site, is two Vintage J-Bass pickups. And, the Muy Grande Powerbucker is two Muy Grande J's. Also, he said the newer Powerbuckers look different, they have open sides, like their guitar humbuckers.

    Also, he told me that the Pitbulls are two '51 p-bass pickups wired together, in case you were curious.

    That spalted mape is going to look amazing. Does Warmoth send you pics like that so you could choose your top? :) Are you getting a Tobacco Sunburst?
     
  6. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Actually, I got that top off of eBay and had it shipped to Warmoth. I went that route because Warmoth could not send me pics of their spalted boards, and examples that I have seen before didn't impress me all that much.

    Board was thick enough for two tops, so I asked them to make me a mahogany body in cherryburst and alder body in honeyburst. Both bodies will be slab type with binding.
     
  7. DW

    DW

    Jun 22, 2000
    You were told wrong about the Pitbulls. They mount in a standard guitar humbucking mounting ring. But a '51 P bobbin -- just the bobbin by itself without the wide base -- is longer than a humbucker cover, and two of them together would be wider than a humbucker cover. So I would be very suspicious of the explanation.

    The Powerbucker on the website is not a tallboy, because the Vintage Js are not tallboys. The pickup is loud and too midrangy for me. I imagine a new Powerbucker made from two Muy Grandes will be evn more midrangy.
     
  8. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Thanks for the info DW. This being a fretless, I was going for midrangey sound, and I imagine some of that midrange would drop off if you reduce the volume. Besides, neck is maple with ziricote (ebony) board which should add some high end snap to it.
     
  9. Well, being that Rio Grande is such a small company, I would think their employees would know their products. Maybe the bobbins are somehow modified to fit in the Pitbull cover, I don't know, I'm not a pickup builder. All I know is that the guy from Rio Grande said that the Pitbull is equivalent to two 51 p-bass pickups and that it sounds fairly massive.

    I believe they are calling the Powerbucker made from two Vintage J's a Tallboy because there is no such thing as a Vintage Jazz Humbucker. Also, if you look at the guitar pickups on the Rio Grande site, you will see that the terms vintage and tallboy are always used together. For example they don't have a vintage strat pickup and a tallboy strat pickup, its a vintage tallboy strat pickup.

    I hope I don't come off as a major a-hole, and I appreciate your concern at the possibility of someone being misinformed, but the guys at Rio Grande were super nice and I felt the need to post this. They spent about 30 minutes on the phone with me talking about their bass pickups, wiring options, and even body design and wood choices.
     
  10. DW

    DW

    Jun 22, 2000
    florentinepogen, I'm sure the people at Rio Grande are not trying to deliberately mislead anybody, but facts is facts. Coil shape has a huge influence on tone. The SCPB bobbin is longer and wider than a guitar HB bobbin. If the size is modified, there will be a change in tone, period. And even if Rio Grande is using the same 3/16" Fender-style magnets, any change in polepiece spacing will change tone; an HB-length bobbin will just about have to have different spacing. With a blank metal cover, I have to wonder if they are even using magnetic polepieces. Bottom line, if the bobbin is modified then it's not a SCPB bobbin.

    Of course, even if you did series- wire two vintage-spec SCPB bobbins into one HB, it wouldn't sound anything like a SCPB.

    Their website describes a Tallboy as having an expanded body (meaning in height). They do not describe the Vintage for J Bass and the Powerbuckers as Tallboys. That's probably because standard J bobbins are already the tallest.
     
  11. DW, your point about the Ptibulls and pickup bobbins is well taken. I'd really like to learn more about pickup construction as I think it would improve my understanding of bass guitar in general. Any sources you would reccomend?

    I think Rio Grande are calling the Powerbucker made from two vintage J's a Tallboy simply because the term Vintage Powerbucker doesn't really make any sense. As we all know there are no vintage humbucking J pickups.

    Brooks, when do you expect to get your Warmoth order? What are your plans for the second body?
     
  12. DW

    DW

    Jun 22, 2000

    You might take a look at the AMPAGE pickup makers forum at http://www.firebottle.com/fireforum/fireBB.cgi?cfg=gt&forum=pmgd&enter=go . The forum discussions may be over your head right now, but take a look at the links on the right hand side of the opening page, they will lead you to a lot more information.
     
  13. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    One body (for the fretless) will be mahogany with spalted maple top, birdseye maple neck with ziricote fingerboard and PowerBucker set, passive.

    The other body will be alder, same spalted maple top, and an all-maple neck with black binding and blocks. That one will have Basslines J+MM ceramic pups and U-Retro Deluxe preamp.

    Warmoth should be shipping the bodies and the neck within 10 days or so, but will take me a while to get all the other pieces together.
     
  14. DW, thanks for the info.

    Is this a Warmoth neck? I didn't think they did inlay on their bass necks.
     
  15. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    This particular neck is from AllParts. I got it together with a Fender JP-90 body (neck was brand new, never mounted on the body).

    Warmoth also makes necks with binding and blocks - go to their Thrift Shop, right now there are 3 or 4 for sale.
     
  16. Brooks,

    I was wondering if you got your Warmoth parts yet and if so what you think or if you have any pics.
     
  17. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I just flew in from a 3 day trip that turned into 2 weeks...could be parts are waiting for me at the office.
     
  18. Did you get a chance to check out your spalted maple babies yet? I caught a pic of your DP in another post and I must say it looks like a beauty.
     
  19. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Spalted bodies haven't arrived yet...should be any day now. Can't wait to see how they turned out!
     
  20. Did you get those bodies yet? I'm anxious to hear how they turned out.