SMB-4D Humbucker In A Music Man S.U.B. (2004/5ish)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by srambo590, Sep 21, 2016.


  1. Hey fellas, complete newb to these forums and the world of guitar modification. I've lurked these boards over the years and figured you'd be the best crowd to ask before paying a tech at a store. I want to update the humbucker in my Musicman S.U.B. to a Seymour Duncan SMB-4D. It seemed simple enough until I opened up the bass and the wiring is completely different than what I expected. The included diagram says it's as simple as attaching the red & black cables to the active input ground and all the others to the bass pot, however the current stock configuration has a white & black cable running from the humbucker to the pre-amp only. I'm not at all sure what I should do here. Am I biting off more than I can chew? Is it even possible to install this humbucker on this bass? I've included the link to an image gallery below. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated!

    Dropbox - SUB SD
     
  2. Having not personally changed one of these, I can`t give you specifics. I can say that the new pickup will be able to be wired to the preamp just fine, the extra wires just make a little more work. Might be a good time to think about a series/parallel/single switch for the pickup as well.

    -Jake
     
    srambo590 likes this.
  3. I'm a minimalist, would it be a terrible idea to go full-on passive and completely abandon the preamp altogether?
     
  4. That's a loaded question. It's possible to go passive with it. But a Stingray without a preamp doesn't sound quite right to a lot of people who like stingrays.
     
  5. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    Cool bass! I own the guitar version. It looks like your stock version only has hot and ground? Can it be split with the preamp? On our pickups, you can connect red & white together and tape them off. Black is hot, green and bare are ground.
     
    RBS_Johnson likes this.
  6. @Zoobiedood here's the included diagrams, it sounds like what you're describing is illustrated on the lower left hand diagram, but like I said I'm really new to this stuff. I feel like my head's gonna explode!

    Dropbox - STC_3M4_Wiring_Diagram.pdf
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  7. mouthmw

    mouthmw

    Jul 19, 2009
    Croatia
    Your original SUB wiring is the typical Stingray wiring (same pickup and 2 band electronics too), your humbucker is wired in parallel and has two wires coming to the preamp - white is hot, black is ground. You can also see that the preamp has them marked with B and W where they are connected. I believe Seymour Duncan SMB-4D has an option to connect to a switch where you can select parallel/series/single which is why there's more wiring. Check out the "music man sound and pickups" sticky thread here, I know I've seen people describing how they put Seymour Duncans on their Stingrays. It depends on how you want it - parallel or series.
    I've switched the pup in my SUB for an Aguilar AG 4M but that pup is wired in parallel and only has the white and black wires (hot and ground) coming out of it.
     
    srambo590 likes this.
  8. So looking at this standard parallel diagram I'm thinking I could probably snip the white/black cables from the stock humbucker going to the pre-amp, then attach the red/black cables from the new humbucker to the white cable and the green, white, and bare cable to the black cable coming from the preamp. Or am I an idiot and completely wrong?

    @mouthmw I'm OK going parallel, I want a hotter/punchier mid tone from this bass. The stock humbucker is a little too scooped sounding.
     
  9. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    No, it wouldn't be a terrible idea at all. In fact, you can totally do, say, a Volume pot, a Treble Cut pot, a Bass Cut pot. It won't sound exactly like a Stingray, but it would sound good with a good pickup like a Duncan. That said, for passive use, I think I'd much prefer the coil in series than in parallel, so I'd suggest that you use it in series, or maybe put the parallel in a push-pull pot.
     
    srambo590 likes this.
  10. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Series is hotter with punchier mid tone. Parallel is more scooped and much less volume.
     
    srambo590 likes this.
  11. mouthmw

    mouthmw

    Jul 19, 2009
    Croatia
    I'd suggest you contact @Laurent, he tried out both Seymour Duncan alnico and ceramic pickups (and others) with his Classic Stingray, so he knows how to wire it to a stock Ray 2 band preamp. He also gave out some really good reviews on all of those pups. For a more aggressive mid tone, you went the right way.
     
  12. I ended up finding someone local to do it for me. I'll let you guys know how it turns out :)
     
    mouthmw likes this.
  13. The guy knocked this out pretty quickly, so I imagine it wasn't as difficult as I was making it seem. Anyways the sound of this bass has now rejuvenated my love for this guitar. The stock scooped tone I've always felt this bass had has been eliminated and it actually sounds like the on board EQ has way more control than it did prior. It's a really warm tone and isn't too punchy (which I prefer since I have a modified p-bass for that sound specifically). Thanks for the help regardless, guys!
     
  14. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    Well, I just checked out this thread again, and I am happy it is sorted out! Those SUBs are excellent instruments, and word is that EB/MM lost money on the project. They don't come up used much,either, so people are on to them. Can you post a pic of the completed bass? I just love the SUB's finish.
     
  15. I'm waiting for a replacement pickguard and tuning pegs but I'll post a pic once that stuff shows up :)
     
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  16. Had to import this pickguard, but it fit one to one! So glad I decided to spruce this bass up instead of selling it. Thanks for the help guys :) mzjjBIU.jpg
     
  17. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    Just love that color. I love the textured finishes overall.
     
    srambo590 likes this.
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 25, 2021

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