Spector help?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Musicman1901, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Musicman1901

    Musicman1901 Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    Hey everybody. I have some questions for anybody who owns or has played spector basses. I am currently considering getting one and there are the few things I cant decide and would love any information/opinions about the matter. 1. Are the USA models worth the extra cash? How much better are they opposed to the Euro models? (I will be getting a BO either way. NT basses are not my thing) 2. I have heard people argue about the OBP-3 vs the Haz Lab vs the Tone Pump etc. What are the pros and cons of all these preamps. I believe you can pay an extra fee to have them put a different pre-amp in it just like paying for any other options. Is it worth the extra money to pay for the haz labs? Is it really that much better than the aguilar? And lastly, is that "spector tone" I usually hear from bands from the EMG pickups. I saw a spector for sale with MM style pickups on it which I thought was interesting so I looked on spectors website and saw you can swap out the EMG's for MM's if you want. Just curious if anybody has tried that. I have always loved musicman basses but if I buy a spector I wouldn't want it to sound just like an HH stingray. I know it's alot of questions. I would love any input from spector owners. Thanks everybody!

  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Yay! Another excuse to show off my Spectors :)

    I have an NS-5H2 with a single MM style humbucker at the bridge and an NS-4H2 with DiMarzio Area J pickups. My 5 has an Aguilar pre (stock) and my 4 had a Tone Pump, now with a Bart pre. Both came with EMG's which I could not stand. I honestly feel like both of mine now sound far more Spector-ish with the new pickups. The 5 is definitely not a Stingray clone, it's 100% Spector! But here they both are:

  3. gene beauchamp

    gene beauchamp Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2012
    I have owned and played several spectors over a 25 year period. The spector tone is in the bass but you can alter it to your choice with pickups and preamp. Personally I like the emg and tone pump. I believe the original growl was in part the emg pickups. Queensrych,Alice in chains. Best bang for your buck is the Euro for sure. Very close to USA model.
  4. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    1. USA vs. Euro- well, I own a Euro, but not a USA. The Euro is an EXCELLENT instrument. That said, as I get older, I will say you generally get what you pay for. Is the USA "really" that better than the Euro? I couldn't tell you. But I do think the electronics are better (from opinions of those who know more than me). Leads to…

    2. The pre-amps. I haven't played the Haz-lab, but that is what is really what is part of the iconic Spector sound. Again, I have a Euro, with a Tone pump, which cops it ok, but is a pretty different animal (boost only, I imagine the frequencies are different). Yes, you can buy a Haz-lab pre from them (I don't know if they'll install it), but it will require some routing in a Euro. And speaking of the iconic Spector tone…

    3. You say you don't want a NT, but, at least to me, the "Spector" sound is from the NS-2, which is a NT P/J. My Euro is the less expensive version. Again, Spectors have a very distinct sound, which I don't think is anything like an EBMM. That said, if you put in a MM style humbucker and put an EBMM style pre amp in, it might. But, why would anyone do such a thing?

    I hope this helps. What exactly is the "tone" you are looking for?
  5. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    Let me just add that, in terms of quality, my Euro is possibly the best made bass I've ever owned. Aside from the electronics (which are still impressive), it's just about perfect. Easily the most comfortable bass I've ever played in terms of weight, balance, and feel. It was my main player for several years. I stopped using it only when I wanted a more vintage sound (P bass). You should know, if you buy one, you will stand out, both sonically and visually!
  6. ilovenofrets


    Dec 25, 2010
    Mine is the discontinued Legend Custom bubinga. I wouldn't trade it for anything! And those EMG HZ P/J pickups give me 'that' tone. I also owned this in a 6 banger a while back, and also owned an NS2000/5. I am happy to finally have a 4, and am a Spector fan for life! Whatever model you chose, you won't be sorry.

    Attached Files:

  7. bassrob68

    bassrob68 Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Hey Mike,
    IMO you picked one of the best brands to own as Spector basses sound incredible. In my 30 plus years in the bass game I've owned 10 different Spector NS-2 American made basses so I really can't speak to how the imports sound but what I can tell you is there's nothing like the sound of those basses. Now I should clarify, all the basses I owned except 1 were all Kramer & Pre-Kramer era instruments that had the Haz Lab board which again IMO IS THE Spector sound. I bought a new instrument in 2000 and I didn't care for it at all so my advice to you is first go to spectorbass.com and check out all the models then IMHO save your pennies and save to try and get an American made bass or better yet, try to find a used NS-2 and get that. Believe me once you hear and play one, you'll be hooked as their sound is unreal. If you'd like more info you can email me bassman0468@yahoo.com
    Hope that's helpful
  8. Musicman1901

    Musicman1901 Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    I am not completely opposed to getting a NT I have just always preferred bolt ons, NT basses are usually too warm for me. Then again with dual EMG pickups i'm sure it will have plenty of bite. I was looking at an NS4 NT online and it has a "spector preamp" Is this the tonepump? It's not a haz lab or the aguilar. Has anybody heard of this?
  9. peledog


    Jul 9, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Spector preamp in US models is the US 9V (or Hazlab as some call it).

    If you're looking for bolt-on, you can also go the Euro route with a Rebop model. I have a Rebop 4 - EMG HZ pickups and Tonepump. I also have a Euro 5LX NT, EMG active P/J and Tonepump. I used to own a USA Spector Forte that had active EMG P/J and an Aguilar OBP-2. The thing I noticed most about USA models is the build. They are incredible instruments. One thing you should also pay attention to is the neck thickness, as this varies from bolt-on to NT, USA to Euro and Korean.

    If you post in the Spector club thread, you will get a lot more responses. I prefer the thinner necks on the Euro 5LX and the Rebop 4DLX. I loved the Forte, but my hands would get fatigued because of the neck thickness.

    If you can, get a US bolt-on, note that the body is a flatter NS design than the NS-2 - the US bolt-ons usually come with Aguilar preamps. I find them to be a lot 'cleaner' than the US 9V or Tonepump. That 'Spector tone' is definitely a combination of the bass, the EMGs and the preamp. The TonePump is PJ Rubal's 'copy' of the Haz Lab, he helped design with the Czech shop.
  10. ddhm


    Mar 18, 2011
    Memphis Tn USA
    I love my Euro 6. It's my #1. The tonepump is a pass though. I swapped mine for a Demeter and couldn't be happier. It is my understanding that they use the same woods for the USA and Euro models... might just be the neck beam though? Honestly, I can't speak for the USA vs. Euro part but my luthier said that he'd put my Euro against anything from the USA shop. That might not apply to ALL Euros though.

    I agree with the idea that the "Spector Tone" is from the bass itself. Mine sounds the same unplugged as it does through an amp.

    I've also got to speak on the way that the Spectors (NS) feel. The curves are perfect for me and whenever I play anything else, I always want to feel them.
  11. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    The Woodstock Stu I had was flawless in appearance, but I could never get the neck as straight as I wanted...couldn't get the low action I tend to like. It looked and sounded amazing, though. It had this kind of crunch tone to it, especially when you really layed into it with your right hand. I think that's what people expect from the NS basses, that tone.

    I've never once heard of anybody else having that same problem with their's, just to let you know.
  12. Musicman1901

    Musicman1901 Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    After looking on the spector site it appears the only difference between USA and EUR is that the USA models use the OBP-3 preamp and the EUR models use the TonePump preamp. Also in the NT models the US models use Walnut wings. The EUR models just say walnut slab and alder back whatever that means. I am looking for that super aggressive spector sound. I love Fleas tone on mothers milk! There is a gorgeous US NS4 NT on basscentral right now that i'm looking at I just cant decide if its worth an extra 1800$ to get the US model. I can either buy the US model or the EUR model and a new amp
  13. Musicman1901

    Musicman1901 Supporting Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    My only turn off to the tonepump is that there is no midrange control:meh: