Spirit 5 string

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Steve Dallman, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I've been playing 5 strings since '88. I traded an amp for a Steinberger Spirit 5 string years ago. I disliked the stock pickups...too dark, weak and didn't pick up the B or G string well. I routed it for soapbars, and not wanting to sink much into this "project bass" I tried a few inexpensive pickups, but ended up using Mighty Mites from my Pro-tone Squier, with the higher output pickup in the treble position.

    I didn't care for the passive tone. I've used active basses since the late 70's when I built a preamp for my 64 P bass.

    I built a couple to squeeze into this bass, but wasn't happy. I tried a couple three band EQ's, including one with a sweepable mid, but just wasn't happy.

    I replaced the three band with sweepable mids in my MM Stingray knockoff I built with a two band Stingray preamp I built and really love it. While not as versatile as the three band, what it does is just great.

    So I thought, why not a Stingray preamp in the Spirit? I was even prepared to route for a MM pickup and fill in the soapbar routes.

    I put the preamp in yesterday. It works with the MMite soapbars and 500k blend pot well. I think it's what I have been looking for.

    The Stingray 2 band is an interesting preamp. The treble is sort of boost and cut, but boost in a pretty passive way, with the boost just being a cap in parallel with a large input series resistor. Rather shallow, but effective. The cut with the treble is feedback type using a small cap from output to the inverting input. The bass is an active boost.

    It's sort of a preamp voiced for passive bass lovers. It adds what an otherwise sort of thin, wide aperture pickup lacks, and a little more versatility than a passive treble cut. I can see why it's so loved. Add that it's pretty quiet and with the original op amp, sucks next to no current from the battery.

    I have practice tomorrow night. We'll see how this bass works. With the old preamp I had too much high end noise for our church setting in the PA.
    7dollarbologna likes this.
  2. Colonel Clank

    Colonel Clank

    Mar 8, 2012
    How did it go at practice? I'm looking to add a preamp to my spirit 5-string to add some bottom, extra output and maybe a little grit to the stock pickups. The stock pups are very clear but lack punch. -CC
  3. I wasn't happy with the sound of mine stock. I bought it as a cheap, convenient backup fro days when I didn't feel like bringing my "real" bass to a practice. I'm sure it doesn't help that I tune down a step, but the low string sounded terrible. Could have lived with the mid-strong "honk" in a 4 string. Swapping the electronics for a 2 band EMG active EQ helped somewhat. I couldn't fit much else in the control cavity. Without a dedicated mid control to curb the honk, I still wasn't happy, but didn't have any pickups that fit and couldn't justify buying any. Part of the problem could be strings, but there aren't many choices for double-balls. Can't justify buying an adapter for 1/2 of what I paid for the bass.

    What saved the Spirit was my finally realizing I was never going to be able to revive the poor, sad corpse of an 80's Explorer I had in the closet. The pickups fit well enough and now it finally sounds decent, without the need for active electronics.