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Upgrading an Ibanez

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by embellisher, Oct 10, 2000.

  1. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Now that I've got a good bass to play 90% of the time, I figure it is time to upgrade the 506.

    I would like to replace the bridge with something like an ABM, with drop in string loading, and I want to find out from people who have these - do they let you put in a larger string gauge of traditional wound strings, or do you have to stick with taperwounds for large B strings?

    Also, what pickups would be a good drop in replacement for the ADX6 soapbars, and what preamp would be a good match for the pickups?

    I love the neck on this bass, even though the string spacing is a tad tight, the neck fits my small hands well and, unlike some Ibanez' I've heard of neck problems with, the neck on mine is very stable.

    But I want a better bridge, the stock one is just a step up from bent steel, and the holes in the end are too small for anything heavier than a .125 B string.

    And, I want better, more even response than the stock pickups deliver.

    With these upgrades, I would probably leave it at church and play it all of the time there, and save the Pedulla for gigs.
  2. Embellisher -

    If I were you, I'd go to the Warmoth website and order one of the Kahler bridges from the Gecko page. They're sadly out of production (Kahler is now making golf club shafts instead :rolleyes: ), but they're wonderful bridges. Extremely solid, drop in stringing, the most adjustable for spacing I've ever seen by far as well. The only odd thing about it is the height adjustment - the actual bridge saddle is a large screw with a "saddle" machined into the top. A lot of people have told me that they don't think you can "dial in" good action with the bridge, but the truth is the threads on the saddle are VERY fine, and half a turn doesn't move the saddle very much at all. I've got them on both of my main basses, and I love them to death. I'm thinking about ordering a pair of 5 string bridges soon, in case they run out, as eventually I'm going to build some "frankenstein" 5's and would prefer to use the Kahler to any other I've seen (including the ABM and Hipshot ones). They'd be a great match for the Ibanez because you can get your string spacing exactly where you want it.

    As for pickups/electronics for that bass, I owned an SR 506 for quite a while myself. I evenutally replaced the lame stock stuff with a pair of EMG's (40J in the bridge, and a 40P in the neck) and the EMG BTC (bass and treble cut/boost) active tone package. It made a WORLD of difference in the sound of the bass....like someone had removed the plastic wrap from it or something. It just came alive after that. The EMG 40 series pickups fit almost perfectly in the routs in the body (I think a bit of sanding was necessary to get them in, but not much, IIRC), and there are several choices in that size: the J which is a Jazz style p/u, the P which is a Precision style p/u, and the DC which is a double coil (StingRay) style p/u. Of these my present favorite is the DC, the reason I put the 40J/40P in the Ibanez is because I replaced them in one of my other basses with the DC's and the BQC (bass and treble cut/boost, mid cut/boost w/freq sweep) active tone package. If I were starting from "ground zero" here, I'd go with the 40DC's and the BQC, no question, but any of these would be a MARKED improvement over the stock stuff. Good luck.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Damnit! That was one of the bridges I was interested in Gard, but they only sell them with Gecko bodies. Damn!

    Regarding the EMG DC pickup, how Music Man does it really sound?
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Anybody else got PU or bridge suggestions?

    Maybe a set of Bart Soapbars?

    Hey JT - convince me that I should get Lane Poors instead of Barts. Come on, you can do it!

  5. Did you contact Warmoth to see if they'd sell just the bridge? I sure hope you haven't and just assumed that they only sold them that way! If not I'm gonna be REAL bummed :(.

    As far as the tone of the EMG 40 DC/StingRay comparison, well, the DC is a bit hotter, and cleaner than the MM p/u's I've heard, with similar punch and heft, and a bit brighter. I prefer it myself, some may not.


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