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Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by d1sc0_540, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. d1sc0_540


    Apr 11, 2009
    Hi guys!
    I'm new here, but i really need some help. everywhere i look, i find nothing...
    I bought a Tonika bass guitar (made in the late 60's in Russia, for those of you who don't know). on the bass, it has a DIN-5 connector to plug a cable into. i was wondering if anyone knew if there was anywhere that i could find a cable that was DIN-5 to 1/4 inch (so i could plug it into my amp)?
    if no, would it work if i took out the DIN-5 connector on the bass and replaced it with a 1/4 input connector?

    any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    The Tonika never did catch on around here. But, take your bass into a good tech and see what he can do to make the connectors more North American friendly. If you trace out the connections inside it should be an easy enough job to switch over to a 1/4" jack. There'll only be two wires going to it. I imagine because of the age of that bass, that it's passive which makes things simpler.
  3. DIN5?

    I am thinking of MIDI connectors and 1990's computer keyboards...
    I don't know much about the connector, but i didn't know it existed in the 1960's.

    Either way, just take a look at the wiring of the bass.
    Maybe you could post a picture?
  4. d1sc0_540


    Apr 11, 2009
    line6. the picture on the left is like the one on the bass. i can try and post pics. what exactly would you like a picture of? the current connector has 3 wires leading to it. could i just use 2 of those? or would the wires have to be swapped out? and is there a way to test active vs. passive?

    and 62bass. i have been looking around for a place to take it. the first place i called, their advice was "google it" :meh: real great advice eh? sucks, cause where i live there really isn't any GOOD tech shops... :bawl:
  5. A picture of the wiring work, so we can identify what is what.
  6. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Great advice allright. :meh: But, if it's a passive bass, as I said, it should be a simple enough matter to find which two wires are hot and ground. Fitting in a 1/4" jack might require a bit of woodwork and mounting the jack on some sort of jack plate.
  7. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Hi d1sc0_540.

    You may wish to make an appropriate DIN-5 to 1/4" converter cable (or box) to preserve your instrument's collectibility/confirm that no weird pickup & pot impedances prevents your bass from working with capitalist bass amps. :D

    Is this the instrument that you have?


    It's a l-o-n-g shot, but you could always try posting for help locating a schematic here:

    Vkontakte (Russia's equivalent to Facebook.)

    sovietguitars.com (This site is in Russian.)


    EDIT: Your commie bass may have active electronics:

    Soviet guitar wiring

    "Soviet guitars sometimes featured very complicated onboard preamplification, effects and numerous controls. One of the impotant components was DIN-5 plug which was the industry standard - instead of the simple mono jack used on "western" guitars. Unfortunately, this system was considered useless by the majority of guitarists and on most of the Soviet guitars DIN-5 was replaced with an ordinary guitar plug.

    DIN-5, which looked a lot like a MIDI connection, allowed several functions impossible with a regular guitar jack. First, there was a phantom power pin for onboard electronics - effects and the preamp. The phantom power (+9V) was supplied by an amplifier. It was also possible to have a stereo output with DIN-5. Despite all the options, most of the guitars had the DIN-5 wired in a very simple manner, and the cool functions were reserved for the future guitars. The "simple" DIN-5 (=DIN-3) output was called (in Russian) "SG-3" and had three pins - ground, signal and phantom power, with the last two sometimes jumpered. The "full" DIN-5 was named "SG-5."

    There are also some schematics with this text but I don't know if they apply to your bass beyond providing clues...
  8. d1sc0_540


    Apr 11, 2009
    thank you for all of that. that IS the bass i have, except its in much nicer condition. i've been on that site a lot b/c it seems that is one of the very few places that has information on it.

    about making a cable, that is the route that i prefer to take. how would i go about doing it? is it as simple as just getting a DIN5 cable and taking off 1 end and putting on a 1/4 inch end? (with the help of soldering obviously)(or doing this vice-versa as to which cable you start with?)

    i was going to call a music place today and ask them about swapping out the wiring for the 1/4 inch connection.

    which way do you think is better??

  9. I'd go for making the DIN to 1/4" cable myself, if possible. It might take a little effort but at least you won't be compromising the bass at all.
  10. d1sc0_540


    Apr 11, 2009

    anyone know how to make one of these magical cable?? or where i could get one made? if someone would like to make one (for a reasonable price) and pop it on ebay, ill buy it. (as long as it works :p )
  11. I don't think that a DIN5 cable is suitable as an instrument cable.
    I am not sure how well it is shielded for one, and the capacitance may be different from a normal instrument cable.

    I would take a regular guitar cable, and fit a DIN5 connector on one end.

    You may have to use a thinner guitar cable, because the connector probably wont accept a large diameter cable.

    FWIW, I think that Redco could make you a cable like this if you don't want to do it yourself.
  12. d1sc0_540


    Apr 11, 2009
    yeah I was thinking that too about the cable...but i found a place (about the only place) about 40 mins from my house. im gonna head there over the weekend. they said they could make me any cable i needed. and they do wiring/electrical stuff too!
    hopefully it works out

  13. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Sheesh. Talk about odd pickups...
    Still, even with a DIN5 chances are only two leads are used - in that case, a plug converter would be very easy to create.
  14. Shawn80


    Mar 17, 2009
    I see no problem either way to change the input or to do a DIN5 plug on the cable.
    Basically, the first is what we did when we were kids and didn't have any option but to use such staff as Tonika, Ural, Stella e.t.c. (Yes, I still live in Siberia;).

    But keep in mind that DIN5 is a lousy unreliable connection simply by its design. You sure don't want to occasionally loose plug when your amp is kranked.

    Hope this helps.
  15. d1sc0_540


    Apr 11, 2009
    alrighty guys..i took it to the local guitar shop. they swapped out the DIN5 input and put in a 1/4 inch. only cost me $20. and it works great!

    thanks everyone for all of your help!!
  16. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    No pics, no Bolshevik bass! :hyper: :D
  17. d1sc0_540


    Apr 11, 2009
  18. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Banned Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Hi d1sc0_540.

    Thanks for the pics. :)

    Your new bass looks a lot better than I thought it might! :cool:
    I'd be a great prop in a music video or for a magazine shoot.

    How is it as a player though? Have you had it set up?

    Does it still have its original fret wire? If so, do you have it strung with flatwounds?

    Its pickups look to be single coil units. Are they RWRP? Are they microphonic at all?

    Is its wiring noisy? How are its pots?

    Is that a rotary switch in the volume knob position?

    Which other bass does your Tonika sound similar to?

    BTW. Where did you find this thing?! :confused:
  19. d1sc0_540


    Apr 11, 2009
    so many questions! haha
    lets see...
    it plays wayyyyy better than i thought it would. sounds just like any new, decent bass would sound.
    original fret wire; but i took the flatwounds off cause it was missing one so i just put on a a set of regular strings.
    the wiring isn't noise. pretty stable.
    the volume knob is the smaller one in the back. the other switches between 3 tones and also the bottom notch kills the sound, so its handy.
    as far as what else it sounds like, i have no clue. haven't played a big array, other than my ibanez semi hollow, and some other off brand i got as my first. the sound reminds me of the communist party: not perfect, but darn well close! haha (jk im not a commie :ninja: )
    and i found her on ebay haha. was really nervous about buying it, not knowing what i was gonna get. bought it from a guy in Ukraine. its the only one i could find to buy ANYWHERE; i searched google for hours and hours!!

  20. Stealth


    Feb 5, 2008
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Soundclips or it didn't happen. :smug:

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