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To Kingston owners, is your K like this?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by RiverFunk, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. I've read that it's normal that a Kingston have a lot of midrange and no sharp highs, I think because of the pickup placement and passive electronics. However I had a preamp put in mine and still the highs aren't there and the mids are everywhere, i.e. I turn the mid pot to zero and it's still there, only muffled. This week my band started tracking in a good studio and our producer disliked the tone so much he said he couldn't record with that, and that a MusicMan has much more variety. Is this probably a problem with my pickup or these basses will always have this tonal character? I'm not worried because I love it, but my producer.. :eek:

    Thanks a lot
  2. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Yeah, I've noticed they are a littel hard to get the highs from. Try EQing your amp instead of relying on the onboard pre. I can coax some nice highs out of it but it's all in the amp. The bass itself is a mid/low creature, just by pickup alone. It's highs could use some work though. I do have trouble getting enough highs to reach a good slap sound...

    Just tweak with the amp...
  3. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    :rolleyes: Brings back memories of the days when producers and engineers INSISTED on a P-Bass as they didn't know what to do with anything else :p .

    What make & model preamp to you put in? Did you replace the pickup too, or did you leave the original in?

    - Frank.
  4. With the help of the amp EQ I could reach more diversified tones and be satisfied, but the producer said for the job of recording, he can turn down unwanted frequencies, but not turn up frequencies that aren't already there from the bass. He has problems with the correctness of the thing.. And now that he said it's strange that this bass can't sound more versatile, I want to investigate.. :confused:

    I wondered if he could be bitchin' about something that isn't familiar to him, like those Fenderhead producers, but he has real arguments..

    I don't know the brand of the preamp, but it was the $90 one (Barts were $130 and unavailable) that was supposed to work great with the alnico pickup in the words of the luthier. Being made by Bartolini I thought I wouldn't need to change it, but now I'm wondering if it could be the villain.. Or if it's in the woods of something that can't be changed.. I had an idea, I'll ask Mike and post his words here.
  5. LA


    Oct 17, 2001
    I second Brendan's response: the highs just aren't there, unlike the Grendel (hint hint...)
  6. Have you tried changing your volume pot? That's an old guitar trick (since our thin-stringed friends tend to be allergic to active electronics). Getting a Torres 1-megaohm volume pot does wonders for a lot of muddy-sounding guitars; maybe it'll help your bass.

    I've played a couple fretted Kingstons and not had too much trouble getting good high end from them, but those had maple fingerboards. (I'm getting a fretless one in two weeks, FWIW. Highs aren't important there.)
  7. There has been no mention of the EMG 2-band stack-knob active control known as the BTC. You have 4 freq points to chose from for the treble, and you don't need very much room to install this 9v gem either. Best of all, it can be had for around $100 if you do the install youself (piece of cake!).:cool:
  8. Today I installed new D'Addario strings on the K5 and the producer tweaked the EQ in the board (thanks for the idea Brendan). I got one *killer* of a sound that made me real happy, it had highs and lows and normal mids, I slapped a note and the note slapped my face. I was mesmerized at what sound my bass could produce, that I didn't know before! But after some hours I asked him to disable the board EQ and the sound was mud again.. It's so sad and strange that an onboard preamp can't do what an outboard could.

    I didn't imagine the volume pot could have an influence but I'll ask the luthier to change it monday. He'll also see if he can put a switch to change humbucker/single coil as he said singles have more highs but less output. And I'll see if he has one of these EMGs and if I can try it. I'll post the results here then.

  9. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Glad to be of service. :)
  10. Here is the EQ that improved my K5 sound a lot:

    Low: 80 Hz +7.5 db
    Low mid: 600 Hz -7.5 db
    Hi mid: 3600 Hz +15 db
    Hi: 12000 Hz +15 db

    That's a lot of tweaking! Try that and compare the tones.. Much better!

  11. Graphic representation of the EQ.
  12. I've learned where the nasal sound of the Kingston is and it is in the pickup wiring. My K went to the luthier and the stock pickup wiring couldn't be changed so he installed a Basslines MusicMan replacement and added a switch to change between series/parallel/inverted. I don't know which is which but one position gives a StingRay tone (from what I've heard in records), another position gives a more full hi-fi tone, and the other position, the original Kingston sound (lotta mids/little highs).

    To sum it up: Put a preamp (mine isn't even a great one) and a SD Basslines MM pickup with wiring switch in a Kingston and it will be 3x more versatile and much better sounding!

  13. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Well River...that's what a lot of people consider doing. It gives you a KILLER bass for under 700, or under 600 if you only throw in a preamp or a pickup...but either way, yes, the Kingston is very upgrade friendly. That might be one of the things on my list to do, though I would throw in a Bartolini pup and and pre-amp.

    But it's worth it. It plays like buttah!
  14. LA


    Oct 17, 2001
    How well does the Basslines fit the pickup cavity in the K5?
  15. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    There's some routing involved. I don't think many (if any) make a MM style 5 pup with "ears" like the K5 has...they all are soapbar style (no ears), so there's some cutting involved.

    Hey River, you gto some pics of your hotrodded K5?
  16. It did fit mine perfectly, only the polepieces were more close together than the strings, but no 'anomaly' can be heard.

    That's right Brendan, a killer bass!! If could only be better if it was a Heir, but it would be 'less cheap' too!

    I would like to put my conclusion another way: While the pickup is not changed, the tone of the bass won't be really improved.

  17. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    Hey, RiverFunk,

    Where did you buy your Kingston?

    Did you get it here in Brazil?
  18. The ears carved in the body are 'unfilled' when the BassLines pup is put in.

    I don't have a camera so I don't think I'll be able to post pictures. (Does that sound lazy?) Ok I'll try to borrow one. If you can picture a blue finish, maple fingerboard K5 with 4 knobs and a switch, and BASSLINES written in the pup, this is it. =)

    Hi pc! E aí!

    Comprei da Bass NW, e trouxe pela McTrading que está com o site fora do ar agora.. Ficou $2100 sem bag nem nada, quando o dólar estava em 2,40..

    Ordered from Bass NW, imported with McTrading which has its site offline now.. $2100 w/out bag, when dollar was 2,40.

  19. That's not BR2140, that's US$2140?

    Dear God, I wouldn't pay that much for a Stingray! Aren't there some Brazilian builders?
  20. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
    Peter, I think he is saying R$2100, what is a VERY good price, considering the 100% import tax they use to charge us :mad:. Its less than US$700.

    But Pedro, did you pay the full import tax? How McTrading did it?

    Eu to atras de um Heir ha algum tempo, mas nao sei como fazer pra trazer :rolleyes:...

    edit: Do you have a web page of your band?

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