Stereo outputs?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Kraig99, Mar 31, 2002.

  1. Hi there! I've heard of some basses, usually featuring 8 or 9 strings, that have 2 outputs so that the higher strings' signal can go to a guitar amp while the lower strings goto a bass amp. However, it is usally also possible to send the signal from all of the strings to one amp as well. How is this done? I know I've seen at least one Conklin nine string configured like this...Thanks for any help!
  2. Chambers


    Apr 9, 2002
    Vancouver, WA
    There are a couple ways to do this.

    The most common when using a stereo output on the instrument is having two different pickup outputs. One pickup (or set) for the lower strings, one pickup for the upper strings. On 8/9/10 string basses this is easier by using two 4 string, a 4 and a 5 string, or two 5 string pickups.

    Another way is to use a crossover in your signal path. This divides the signal at a certain frequency, rather than physically between different strings. They usually have an adjustable "slope" to set how much the signals blend/overlap/crossfade about the specified frequency.
  3. To help keep things more luthier specialty questions, i'm moving this to basses.
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Many bass pickups (even for 4's) are set up as "split" humbuckers, with one coil under the upper strings and one coil under the lower strings. Have a look at the pickup diagrams over on the Bartolini site ( and you'll see what I mean. With this kind of pickup, it's fairly straighforward to do a "stereo" setup with different outputs for the upper and lower strings.

  5. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    I've owned a couple of Alembic Series I's that could be run in stereo.
    The Alembic Series I has two pickups, with each pickup covering all four strings and going to it's own output. This way, each seperate amplifier has all the strings sounding through it.
  6. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Just to add to zomby's info, Alembic Series I & Series II basses do this with an external power supply that has two outputs that you can send to two different amps. On older basses the external power supply is a floor box. On newer ones it's a rackmount.

    Another cool thing about Alembic stereo basses (maybe it applies to others, too?) is that you can plug a set of stereo headphones directly into the bass and get full sound.


  7. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I don't think the Bartolinis give you access to the specific coils though. You get the + of one and the - of the other, and they are in series internally.

    I'm trying to think of an instrument I've ever seen with top/bottom outputs separate that didn't have distinct pickups for each half. Can't think of one.
  8. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Well, the quad-coils (not the quadrophnic ones, but the ones that give the option of wiring as a wide humbucker, P, reverse-P, etc.) must give you access to the +/- for each coil, since you can't do that switching any other way. I don't know what the standard outputs for most of the split-coil Barts are, though, so you could certainly be right. (If you want the option of series/parallel swtiching, you also need to get outputs for both coils--anybody know if that's an option for the split-coil Barts?)

    FWIW, I wired an old Jazz with the split-coil DiMarzios up in stereo that way, with one set of controls for the top strings and one for the bottom. The utility was rather limited on a 4, though, unless you were using effects.

  9. the Michael Manring Zon Hyperbass had independent outputs for each string- definitely from the piezo bridge transducers;
    I think it allowed individual outputs from the Bartolini MM p/up too- I might be wrong though.