Upgrading Pick-Ups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Gus Borden, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Hoping to find some assistance, input and direction...

    I recently purchased the Schecter Stiletto Extreme-4, needed a cheap bass as a back-up that I could be less worried about than my Warwicks. I full-well knew that I'd most likely replace the p/ups - it's the bass itself, the bones - that I knew was solid like most Schecters I have owned previously.

    So, my question? How do I go about making sure that I get the right pups to correspond to the Schecter's current active set up (4 pots: - 1 volume, 3 EQ - bass, mid, treble) as well as fitting properly in the cutaways that exist for the current p/ups

    Thanks all. Take care, Gus
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    As far as the physical rout holes, you just have to measure them and then read the measurements posted by the pickup manufacturers. If the Schecter routs are a weird size, you can do a couple of things- get smaller pickups and have somebody like Jeannie Pickguards make surround rings for them; or have a pickup maker like Nordstrand custom wind some pups to fit inside the Shecter pup shells.

    As far as the active setup, there should be no problems with just about any pickups. The only issue I could foresee is if the preamp circuits of the Schecter are housed inside the pickup shells ("active pickups") or if you choose active pickups as the replacements. Either of those scenarios can mean extra difficulty.
  3. Call me an idiot (well, actually, please don't -lol) but did you say that putting active p/ups in an active bass would mean extra difficulty?
  4. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    There are two parts to your question:

    1. What are the best pickups for me?
    2. How do I install them?

    PART 1
    The first one is completely subjective. I have a series of videos on YouTube which show a series of EMG pickups in my Schecter bass. That may help.


    Also, consider passive pickups. I know how easy it is to say ACTIVE EMG! I recently added a set of Basslines SSB-4 to my thunderbird, and I love them! They fit the EMG 35x series housing, and they sound amazing! I am even considering selling my EMG 40P6, 40J's and buying a set of SSB-5! Anyway, here is the video for comparison!


    PART 2
    The HZ pickups that came in my schecter had a 5 conductor cable connection to the BTS EQ system. The EMG 40 series (and 35 series) pickups have a 3 conductor cable output! To keep your EQ system you may need to rewire to to have the new 3 conductor cable going in. This isnt hard, but if your not comfortable with the idea, get a tech to do it for you.

    I opted to remove the EQ system and run a strait V-V-T, and filled the 4th hole with a grommit. It looks great. I also upgraded the cap to a Sprague Orange Drop 0.1. I dont know how necessary it is, but I use them on all my basses.

    I would also recommend changing the nut to a Graphtech Black TUSQ nut for better tuning stability.

  5. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yes, because (a) both systems need their own batteries, and (b) some active pups contain their own EQ circuitry (with external pots) and some don't, so there would be a question of which EQ/pots/wires you were going to use, and (c) you'd have to decide whether the noise level and signal level were acceptable and what to do about them.