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The "Official" MTD (non-US made) Club Part 3

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by smperry, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
  2. tank73

    tank73 Supporting Member

    May 20, 2008
    Played my newly acquired kz5 today at church. First time hearing it thru any amplification. Loved playing it, really liked the sound. Brought my amp and cabinet home so I could play with settings more. Now I am not too sure of swapping all the electronics out.
  3. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Congrats on the good deal. I was eyeballing possibly the same one. All I could do not to bid on it. I'm trying to hold out for a KZ6. Good to hear about the electronics.
  4. Andyroo721


    Apr 25, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Well, this is the beginning of a new era for me... Bought an older 5 and 4 string heir. I traded in a Lakland Skyline AJ-55 for the two and some parts. Installing nordstrand mm 5.2 in the fiver, slapping on some gotoh gears, sadowsky pre, and a set of thomastiks JR345's. going to keep the fiver active and 4 passive. I'll post more when I have more time as progress comes along.
    fender68 likes this.
  5. tank73

    tank73 Supporting Member

    May 20, 2008
    Made the choice to swap out the electronics in my KZ5. Cant say that I dislike the stock pickups/pre just want to try something different. Going to go with Bart pickups and pre from Bass Central. Also ordered some knobs with pointers on them so I can tell what my setting are.
  6. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    You change them out yet?
  7. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Look what came this week! Big ups to Grasshopper at Bass Central.

    fender68 and .BumeStik. like this.
  8. Dug2

    Dug2 Supporting Member

    Sep 24, 2011
    i too have a kz5, and was thinking about doing the same changes as yourself (barts). i'd be curious to hear the difference and your opinion.
  9. wcmackin


    Dec 29, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    Can't believe I've never posted in here, been on talkbass almost a decade and playing MTDs longer than that. I've had numerous Kingstons, an old Saratoga, two Beasts (my favorite), etc. Here is the current lineup: stock CRB 5, KZ5 with Bart pickups/preamp, and the latest project: an old Kingston Heir body that I found on the bay. I hope to have that one finished in the near future. I will say that the electronic swap in the Z5 made a world of difference. Kinda like if you bought a Mercedes with a Ford Escort engine and then swapped it for the stock engine...the bass comes to life! I'm sure positive results can be had with Nordstrand/Aguilar/etc. but I took Mike T's advice with the Bartolinis and have been pleased. Maybe one day I'll have a 535, but in the meantime I'm happy with the more budget friendly line. Also, props to Mr. Tobias and Danabgoods for killer customer service!

    Attached Files:

    fender68, cesarbass and Mattsochistic like this.
  10. RobertUI

    RobertUI Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    With the help of Santa Clause and my son (labor) I have a Saratoga that I am INCREDIBLY happy with. I had an Heir fretless a while back that I regret selling, so I wasn't surprised with how incredible this bass is for the money. I've had it a while, but these recent improvements make it fantastic!

    Bartolini 59J1 pickups
    Bartolini Mk2 preamp
    Dunlop recessed straplocks


    Here's the full album.
  11. vHarmonic


    Oct 20, 2009
    Thought I would jump in here and join the club. Here is a shot of my Heir and Saratoga.


    I love these basses. When I started have problems with the nerves in my arm, I considered selling them and solely playing shrot scale bass. But I could't bring myself to do it. I am now really glad that I din't sell them. They are just a a pleasure to own and play.

    I find it very interesting that people in this thread either feel the Heir is Not Versatile at all, or that is is Super Versatile. I was in the not versatile camp for most of the year I have had it. But I have been playing it allot lately and I have been surprised at the different tones a I am getting out of it. I have even gotten some decently dark tones out of it, just using the onboard pre. I wonder if the EQ just takes some getting used to?
  12. unseen_storm


    Jun 21, 2009
    ok so I recently got a MTD kz4 burl maple top and while I love the feel and weight of this bass I am not getting the really deep fat tone from it. (I started on a fender jazz then moved to an Ibanez and the Ibanez has tone deep enough to feel and make your ears hurt according to my wife.
    If I unplug the Ibanez and move to the MTD it sounds ok but not nearly as deep.
    So is it worth changing the pickups and if so what do you good people recommend?
    Or should I do a complete mod of all the electronics?
    Sorry I am not real knowledgeable about modding a bass...or any other musical instrument to be honest lol.
  13. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I'm working on modding the preamp right now and leaving the pickups. I should have it done in the next couple of days (needed another jack). The stock preamp is not that powerful. I've read a lot that the preamp is the weak link and the stock pups do fine with a different preamp. So I'm trying the preamp first.

    I'm putting in a Bartolini 3 band.
  14. datsaxguy


    Oct 28, 2008
    Recently got a KZ6, first thing I did was put a set of ultralite tuners on it. It helped out immensely with the balance, gonna do a bridge also to match the tuners. Aguilar Pups and Bart preamp if I mod. The bass does not sound bad stock. I'm also used to a slightly thinner neck but its decently comfy and this bass is growing on me.
  15. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    First thing I did was the ultralites as well. Big improvement for sure. Gonna keep the pickups. Does sound good stock. Pre with these pickups will be nice.
  16. unseen_storm


    Jun 21, 2009
    let me know how it works out. I really like the look and feel of this bass and want to keep it but really want a good deep bottom end sound out of it,
  17. Paladin54

    Paladin54 Rockin' the root...

    Feb 3, 2012
    Are there any fret markers on the Saratoga?
  18. vHarmonic


    Oct 20, 2009
    The Kingston Saratoga has fret markers on the side of the neck, but not on the fretboard.
  19. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    I've been short on time, but gave it a go putting in the preamp. The input jack that comes with the Bartolini doesn't fit the body - it's a short profile and you need a barrel. I tried to make the existing work, then ordered a stereo barrel jack. Still not working. I think it's likely my crappy soldering. Going to bring it to my tech when I get a chance. I'm good with the wood and metal (changing hardware, filing fret ends) but the electronics get me sometimes. Played the Saratoga with 57J pups and 3 band Bart yesterday, so only slightly bummed the KZ6 is out. But I'm jonesing to record some more with it.

    On the fat bottom: I emailed Mike and was talking pickups and preamps. The Bartolini preamp is a good choice. But he also suggested the xxP2 split coil pickups for a fatter tone. I think the stock pickups are going to suit me. But you may want to check out those (check the bart page for more info).

    Hope to report back by this weekend.
    comatosedragon likes this.
  20. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Yeah, naked fretboard. Mine has some really nice grain in the maple of the board. The back of the neck has some flame on the bass side as well.