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Spector Tone Dump

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Rickett Customs, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Project: Tone Dump

    LOL...I like that name. I guess this is not much of an instructional, but here goes........

    heres the deal, I am swapping out my "tone pump" out of my Spector Euro 5-lx for an EMG BQC system.

    Tools needed for this include:
    1)A soldering iron (25watts or less with a "fine tip" preferably)
    2)Electronics-grade solder (60/40, which is 60% tin and 40% lead, I prefer 63/47) If you plan on using "acid core" instead, I'm gonna slap you across the back of your head!
    3)A set of jewelers Phillips and flat head screwdrivers
    4)Painters tape
    5)Newspaper and scissors
    6)Small set of needle nose pliers
    7)A cordless or corded power drill and a 3/8" drillbit
    8)A small crescent wrench, unless you happen to have a socket set or collection of assorted wrenches
    9)A steady-ass set of hands

    Heres the suspects:

    1- Euro 5 lx


    1- EMG BQC System

    So, it starts.I started by taking the knobs off and unpacking the EMG

    Heres the "tone pump" in all it's glory. It's actually a good pre, but got me snagged on no midrange control, no boost/cut (boost only) and I really don't care for double volumes.On a side note, if you do like the double volume, you could order the BQC control instead, it's slightly cheaper than the "System" version, though it's a teeny bit more complicated than just adding the "system".


    The battery has to go!!

    Removed the Velcro battery holder and foam that it wraps in.

    Time to tape her up and covered with newspaper, I suggest you do it too, if you decide to do this.


    Time to take the pots loose too.


    One more view of it before its removed.

    Here it is removed.

    This is the EMG blend pot (I prefer blends over double volumes), make sure that you add a little bead of solder (red circles) to the contacts for the pups.

    Bridge pup and neck pup soldered in (In Red).


    Red wires from the pups connect on this circuit board (In Red). Also the positive lead for the battery wire goes here too.


    Gotta prep for making the holes bigger to accept the 2 "stacked pots, it is wise to tape before doing so.


    Once done drilling, setting the pots in and securing them,putting the battery strap back in and the battery, this is what I have. Also I had to complete the wiring, by connecting (soldering) the green and black leads on the other circuit board to the input jack.

    Finally, I put the supplied knobs on. I don't really care for them, but they function. I plan on getting some gold plated ones soon, since the rest of my hardware is gold.

    That's about it folks. Did it leisurely in about an hour (From "prep" start to "in the case" finished), took my time for sure.
  2. Spector_Ray


    Aug 8, 2004
    Awww baby...that is friggin sweet! How much did it set you back and if you can, post some sound clips, QUICK!

    Oh btw...did you know you bass is backwards?:bag:
  3. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    I've been wondering how your plans regarding this were going since your thread about the BQC.

    The big question is: How do you like the change? The sweepable mid control is fun, isn't it? :cool:

    I still like the BQC on my Warmoth. A persistant crackling from my bridge position EMG means a pickup change which means the pre is gonna come out in favor of a 4-band Audere. The BQC is probably going to see life as a refit into my Steinberger XP-2 with a single EMG-HB. Tasty.

    Great set of pictures and good tips on a preamp swap! Thanks!
  4. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    I have a friend that runs a local M&P, gave him a call, he actually had one on hand, I told him put my name on it and made a B-line after work. He sold it to me for $109. I thought he was mistaken about the price (seen it online for $125 and upwards) I had to ask him 2 times if it was the BQC system or the BQC control. Good thing was I had 3 gift cards for that particular store, leftover from last Christmas, covered it and then some.

    Sound clips....... I'm really getting behind on that, I will see about getting some up by this weekend. I need to get some done on with my sansamp programmable DI for another set of folks too.

    Yeah, i'm backwards, no question:D
  5. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    The sweepable mid is awesome. another nice addition is the knee frequency via the dip switches on the circuit board is just as awesome too. The difference between the two: The tone pump's highs and low's definitely were noticeably higher (+18db) when cranked up, but the highs were just too much.I'm used to the "center indent" on the tone pots, never could find the middle:meh:
    The EMG, Even with the highs cranked, is better to my ears, not as irritating. The lows appear to be centered differently (maybe a little further up the freq band) the d and g string seem to have additional low end, but this may also be from the mid controls too.

    But yeah, I like it.

    I'll end up transplanting the tone pump into my first bass (1985-86 Squier P bass), as soon as I get a pair of EMG P's for it.
  6. DGbass70


    Jun 1, 2005
    Rochester N.Y.
    how much bigger did you have to drill the holes for the stacked controls?
  7. RedCoatMonster


    Aug 14, 2007
    Thomas, OK
    Whoa, thats some big text lol.
  8. WarriorJoe7

    WarriorJoe7 Inactive

    Mar 12, 2004
    Syracuse, NY
    Contact MoonDoggy on here. he might want your tone pump...
  9. davidmpires


    Aug 5, 2007
    What size was the drill for those wholes?

    I have exactly the same bass, same colour and all. I might do the same thing. Those are some ugly knobs.

    Thanks a bunch for that.
  10. davidmpires


    Aug 5, 2007
    Did you feel a lack of headroom? I read on EMG's website that the system works with one 9v battery but they recomend 2 batteries in series, did you have any issue with that?

    how wonder how it would look if I put wooden knobs on my bass along with wooden covers for the pickups?
  11. Nice job on the install: I plan on doing an entire electronics & pickups job myself (Nordstrand Big Singles and Aggy OBP-3) although I disagree on the blend question. Ever since I've been introduced to Vol/Vol setups I vastly prefer them.

    I also have a ReBop 4 I bought used with DC/CS & a BTS System, also hate the knobs myself and would like to swap them out for a set of Q-Parts... but for the life of me cannot find the right Allen wrench to remove them. :spit: Can anyone pass along the correct size (English or Metric) so I can swap them out?
  12. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    I'd like to know this one too. I haven't made a concerted effort, but in a casual search none of my allen keys will fit.
  13. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    I used a 3/8" bit for the stacked ones, the other 2 dropped right in.
  14. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Yep, those knob are atrocious. I will be replacing them very soon.
  15. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    No, don't have an issue thus far. If it ever is an issue though, I have everything needed to change it to 18v. IIRC,I think they merely suggest to go 18v for more headroom, OTOH, I run through more than just "striaight into a head", I go through 1) A compressor
    2)A 31 band eq 3)A Sans Amp, so I see no real lacking of head room yet.

    I think If I was gonna go with wood knobs, I'd have to find some that match my top.
  16. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    IIRC, I think it's a "#2 allen key". But to be on the safe side, Awhile back I had bought a "set" of allen keys, not really too expensive and it's handy to have a set when setting up all my basses.
  17. The "headroom" you gain at the pickup stage is noticeable regardless of what outboard gear you use further down the line. I've used EMG DCs for years and regardless of onboard eq or not, going 18v improves the tone - less compressed, more open and dynamic. I can't recommend it enough, and wouldn't run any EMGs without 18v. YMMV, but why not try it? BTW, dual coil models (DC/CS/TW) benefit the most from this....

    Check out this old TalBass thread for feedback on this:


    That being said, 27v makes no audible difference to my ears, even though EMGs can support it.


  18. Baryonyx

    Baryonyx Inactive

    Jul 11, 2005
    Marathon Man
    Glad to see it all worked out well! I have a Tone Pump in my Spector and I love it, since I never fiddle with my mids (unless I move my amp), I just leave them boosted a tiny bit.

    I would hate having to get rid of my Spector knobs though, they look amazing! Such a good design imo!
  19. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    IME, Going 18v will do one thing, reduce your chances of distorting (clipping), as far as changing the tone, that is subjective. I've used Emg pups with 9v since about 1986 or 87, with not much of an issue. It's sort of relative to "Phantom power" on Condenser mics you will have all that head room but the application is similar, the sensitive element is what makes the difference (and why it's hotter) in that instance though. I just think to a certain extent,that people get a little "drunk with power", without all the technical info in this instance. Also realize that any piece of equipment you utilize that has "Input gain sections" in it does also make a difference in the end of the signal chain.

    But you never know Jamie, I might just go 18v in the future:).

  20. davidmpires


    Aug 5, 2007
    Alembic I think if i decide to do that i'll speak to Martin (sei bass luthier) and ask him to build the knobs and pickup covers with similar wood.
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