Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Should I replace my pickups/preamp?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Techmonkey, Jun 19, 2005.


  1. Techmonkey

    Techmonkey

    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    Well now I've finished building my Jackson PS4/PS2 Performer/Concept guitar I'm itching for a new project. My Traben Phoenix 4 has an MM in the bridge and a single coil jazz in the neck. I love the sound from the single coil - It's warm and smooth, yet aggressive with the treble up. The MM pickup is a different story though, it's somewhere inbetween being agressive and being smooth, but neither of the two. I'm not sure whether I should replace it with a Bartolini for a smoother tone, or a Seymour Duncan for a more agressive brighter tone. I think the preamp might be an issue too - but I don't have a clue about any of that, this is my first active bass.

    I'm thinking about wiring my pickups passive to see how it sounds, but the bass is only a couple of months old and most definitely still under warantee, so I don't want to do anything I'll regret. What should I do? Play it safe and spend the cash on a new set of guitar pickups, or have a go at doing something with the Traben?
    Btw: I play all styles of music, I'm in a metal band, but I'm into slap style funk more than anything else really, like RHCP style. I'd love to get the tone Flea does in Aeroplane from my MM pickup...
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    from what I can gather the Traben is the new guitar and to my knowledge anything you do to it would void the warranty, going passive or changing pups - if that's the concern. But a Bart MM is going to sound "smooth" and more like an LP (Flea) than any other MM I've experienced. If the MM in the bass is currently an Alnico 5 mag, any alnico 5 MM I've had has sounded so much alike it's splitting hairs - from an original Ray to a Carvin. So changing for another alnico 5 MM stands a good chance of little change. Duncan makes an alnico and ceramic MM.

    If your satisfied with the tone of the Jackson there's not much point in changing it. If not than a pup swap may be in order.

    If you've got one stuck on warranty and one your satisfied with, there are plenty of cheap basses around - buy a fretless or something different. Or buy a cheap bass and route a trough beneath the strings so you won't be limited by routings and you can use as a working pup test lab to stick whatever pups it in you want. If your interested in preamps, buy a Bart and wire it as an outboard to use on any bass or try a bass pod or Sansamp or something that will alter the tone of the basses you've got.
     
  3. Techmonkey

    Techmonkey

    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    Thanks alot for the advice! I converted my first bass to fretless, and I'm getting a 5 string bass kit from Carvin for my birthday in November. I'm thinking about a router for Christmas so I can do something just like that, buy a P-bass body with a scratchplate or something and route out the control cavity to experiment with different styles of pickups.

    As for the Jackson, I'm pretty happy witb the tone as it is, so I'll leave it - A raise of the bridge pickup should give it the sound I'm after.

    Also the preamp I was looking at (Aguilar OBP3) uses 2 batteries I think, so it's not really worth routing an extra hole.

    Thanks muchos, I knew I could count on TB!
     
  4. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Seems the OBP-3 runs fine on 9V. I know I ran an OBP-1 on 9V with no problem.
     
  5. Techmonkey

    Techmonkey

    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    Really? Whoa, I'm a complete newbie when it comes to active electronics! Is the OBP1 any good then?
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Lot of guys like the OBP-1 and from what I undestand it's what Flea's used. It is the most transparent preamp I've had and I personally couldn't tell any difference when it was in and out of the bass. The 1 is a 2 band and 3 a 3 band. The 3 band has a myriad of options including a variable mid (which I didn't like at all) Additional batteries typically just add headroom which I never needed myself - if you don't get distortion, you don't need it. I've seen reference to 27V and even 36V's.

    If you want to really get confused:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=128756&highlight=experiment
     
  7. Techmonkey

    Techmonkey

    Sep 4, 2004
    Wales, UK
    Thanks muchos for the info... I'll check the link now.