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Spector pickup choices

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DONZI97, May 11, 2010.


  1. DONZI97

    DONZI97

    Dec 24, 2008
    Algonac Michigan
    This is for all you Spector guys. I have decided I like the general look and tone of Spectors, (Big AIC fan too). So I went to about 8 stores in Metro Detroit and found only 2 Euros, and spent a half hour playing them each, sitting down, standing up. One was the neck thru with the P/J pickup combo, and the other was bolt on Rehop with two soapbars. Both were nice basses to play, comfortable and ergonomic, so i like the design, and need figure out which pick up/preamp combo will be the most versatile, since I play everything from pop rock to heavy rock and funk.
    My observations on the tone was, the P/J was more aggressive and the soapbars were less aggressive, but i could dial in more subtle tones.
    Or would I be better off going the USA bolt on with the soapbars and aguilar preamp with the added mid control for ultimate tone variety? I pretty much want that Spector tone, with the ability to have more versatility. Any opinions? Thanks
     
  2. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    The classic Spector "tone" is going to be your NT instrument w/ EMG P/J's.
    I can coax a ton of different stuff from mine. But my new USA Bolt On has the EMG TW pickups, and I'm sure it'll just be a different flavor of what I already like. Just depends really. The USA bolt on will be a good bit more $$ though than the other 2 you mentioned.
    To put it this way, I never found myself saying "I wish I had 'this' tone" when using my NS2, which I use on just about anything and everything.
     
  3. DONZI97

    DONZI97

    Dec 24, 2008
    Algonac Michigan
    Thanks, what your opinion on the Tone Pump?
     
  4. Z-Bass

    Z-Bass

    Apr 22, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I recently tried out a Euro LX neck-through with the EMG-TW pickups and I assume Tone Pump pre-amp. You may want to give one of these a try. This setup had pull up pots on the volume controls to split each of the pickups to single coil mode. Just by manipulating the pickup settings alone, I was able to achieve a wide variety of useful tones, and that was before I even touched the preamp. So I would recommend this setup if you're looking for the most versatile setup in a Spector.
     
  5. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I don't dislike the sound or tone as much as I dislike boost-only, but that goes for ANY bass. I understand why some builders do it, but for me as someone who needs and uses cut and boost (which is the point of an onboard preamp anyway- the ability to toneshape w/out adjusting your amp on the fly) it doesn't make a ton of sense.

    But I am biased, as my '85 NS2 has the original Haz Labs pre! :D
     
  6. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    I'm 99% sure all of the new EMG-TW equipped models have the 3 band Aguilar EQ on them, not the Tone Pump.
    My new US NS5H2 has the Aguilar onboard (or it will once it's built!).
     
  7. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I think you will be happier, in the long run, with the neck-thru model with the P/Js. That setup is the sound that made Spectors popular. I agree that they do have a more aggressive tone than the soapbars, but it will cut through a mix like no other. Soloing the P p/u can yield a slightly mellower tone (only slightly though), and you can use nickel strings instead of stainless to calm things down ever more.

    I feel the same way as RSB about the Tonepump, it sounds good enough, but I don't like the lack of control that comes from a boost-only preamp. Plus, there is lots of potential for terrible tone from people who don't know how to utilize the Tonepump. However, you can get good tone with it if you use it right. But, I would swap the preamp out on either bass. I would probably go with an Aguilar OBP-2 or the EMG BTS. The Hazlab is awesome, but very pricey. I've played Spectors with both the Aguilar and EMG preamps in them and they sound much better, and offer more control, than the Tonepump IMO.
     
  8. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Exactly, the best two options if you can't afford the Haz are gonna be the EMG or Aggy if you wanted to swap.
     
  9. I have a Euro5 LX with EMG DC pickups and an EMG BQC System preamp. The bass was originally equipped with the TonePump. I stuck with it for a couple of years before deciding that I didn't like a few things:

    Boost only tone controls
    No midrange control
    Vol/vol for pickup selection

    I installed the EMG BQC System to provide:

    Boost/cut of bass, midrange and treble
    Blend control for pickup selection
    Single volume control

    I like this configuration much better.
     
  10. DONZI97

    DONZI97

    Dec 24, 2008
    Algonac Michigan
    It seems there is not much love for the Tone Pump. If there is so much dislike, why does Spector use them as the only preamp option on the Euros? Thanks for the answers, like I said, I can only find two to try out in all of SE Michigan, so I have to do a lot more research.
     
  11. rockstarbassist

    rockstarbassist Banned

    Apr 30, 2002
    The Woodlands, TX
    Endorsing Artist: HCAF
    Simple figures, really IMO. You make your own preamp, you don't have to source out another part!

    But yeah the Aggy 2 bands have been an option for a while now, methinks.
     
  12. tycobb73

    tycobb73

    Jul 23, 2006
    Grand Rapids MI
    You have to remember there are a lot of us here, but it is still a small part of the bass community.
     

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