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Suggestions for increasing volume output on ESP?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Magneto, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. I own an ESP-LTD F204. 2 EMG 35HZs, B-64 3-band active EQ-9volt. Although I love this bass, I'm noticing that the output isn't very strong, even compared to most passive basses.
    On my amp, my input VU needle wouldn't even move, no matter how loud I cranked the bass or amp input gain, even on the passive input which I use. I thought it was defective. Took it back to the shop, hooked up another bass (EMG HZs, 2-band active), and the needle deflected about halfway. I'm not so much concerned about watching a needle flop around, but I am concerned about the lower output of my bass, especially since I'm almost on the edge of my amps power, and I haven't even a little headroom powering a 2x15 cab.
    I've tried going 18v. I couldn't really notice any output increase, even though EMG does suggest 18volts for the B-64. I've experimented with pickup height. Not much difference until I start lowering them down too far and then output drops even further.
    I noticed this lower output issue from day one. The problem used to be worse at pickup center blend position, due to a 500k linear blend pot that ESP had later upgraded. After installing the new 250k audio pot, my output was much better at center, and about the same at either pickup. The volume pot is still a 500k linear.
    I keep fresh Energizer batteries installed. I rarely go more than a week without changing them.
    Geez, what else can I try? I guess these HZs aren't very hot pups, but I really love my tone. Many of the better EMGs won't work with the B-64 setup. I suppose I could try some sort of preamp that would boost output between bass and amp, but wouldn't know where to start.
    So I come to the experts here... suggestions?

  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    The good news is you've got a tone you're satisfied with - which is much harder to obtain than volume. 18v will increase headroom but not volume.

    The VU meter things sounds wierd. You didn't say if the other bass had the same HZ's and same pre. Different pre's have different boost but that difference appears fairly major. First question that comes to mind though is if the 35's are wired in parallel or series? Parallel wiring will about quarter the output.