Upgrading a Tradition MB500 5 String Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Tonecraft, Jul 13, 2020.


  1. I've been playing my 5 string Tradition which I really enjoy. It lightweight, has a neck-through design, feels good in my hands, has a comfortably wide string spacing, all things I really enjoy, but sounds very dull and muddy in comparison to the basses I have owned/own. I have a Dean European Custom Select which is basically a Spector with a Dean headstock which has EMG CS pickups and have owned a few Schecters with EMG HZ pickups - a Studio 5 and a fretless 4 string Elite. The Dean by far sounds the best, which could be due to a number of factors (brass nut, brass bridge, wenge fingerboard) but I believe the pickups contribute heavily the sound. I got a great deal on a David Ellefson signature EMG pickups which is a CS for the neck and DC for the bridge and all the wiring needed to set it up. It was $100, so for 50% of retail, I have a relatively low risk investment that I can use in another bass down the road if I decide to sell this one. The Tradition currently has active no-name pickups which I couldn't find any info on. I got the bass for cheap enough that it is worth it for me to upgrade, so hopefully there in an improvement in sound quality when it's all said and done.

    The kit is plug and play and I assumed I could use the same preamp that was in the bass already but when i took of the back cover plate, I saw a setup that I have not seen on any of the basses I have had before. I am concerned that I will have issues installing the new pickups this weekend because of the way it is wired and the fact that the kit is plug-and-play and requires no soldering. IMG_9797.jpg unnamed (1).jpg

    I am proficient with a soldering iron so if I need to make modifications I can physically do so but I am under the assumption that the new pickups have a preamp as a part of the kit and that I can just remove all the old wiring and replace with what is in the kit. Here is a link to the pickups :
    EMG DE Set David Ellefson Signature Active 5 String Pickup Set

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
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