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vintage japanese bass electronics

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by thedevilisbad, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. thedevilisbad


    Dec 14, 2010
    Jackson, MI
    Hey guys! I have this old aria short scale copy of the original P bass that I'll like to put some tlc into. It's a lot of fun to play but sounds incredibly bland when plugged in. I'm curious as to what pots I should use for the volume and tone nob, if I need a tone cap, and maybe even suggestions on pickups.

    I would love to get seymour duncan pickups for it, but I'm not sure if the magnets would line up with the string spacing or if I want to spend that much money.

    What results have you all gotten with rail pickups or even danelectro style lipstick pickups?


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  2. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
  3. SamanthaCay


    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    If it where me I'd be asking myself what strings I'd be using and what style/s of playing I'd be implementing on said bass first, and from there I'd start thinking about electronics.

    Would you perhaps be able to give us a little more insight in that regard so that we may be able to come up with some ideas that will hopefully suit your taste a bit better?

    Edit: that's a pretty snazzy looking p btw.
  4. thedevilisbad


    Dec 14, 2010
    Jackson, MI
    I'm really just looking for an all around sound. I owned a mexican made jazz bass with stock pickups and I was perfectly happy with it. I don't usually play with a pick, and I don't usually use distortion from a pedal. I think this has pretty normal gauge d'addario bass strings on it, but maybe I'll switch over to short scale style strings.

    Another question is if I buy a rail style pickup (or lipstick) made for guitar what output should I get, a higher one or a lower one?
  5. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    Kent Armstrong does (or at least did) a lipstick pickup for bass. It might be a bit wide in context on that bass as it might have narrower string spacing (a quick measurement will tell you that). I don't know what it is internally to know if there is any issue with poles.

    There are rail-type pickups in a Telecaster bass/1951 Precision style which might be a good look given that it's that style of bass.
  6. thedevilisbad


    Dec 14, 2010
    Jackson, MI
    After drinking a few beers the other night I decided to purchase a pair of 250k pots, a tone cap, and this cool GFS Lipstick pickup (6k). It looks great and sounds pretty good too! bass.
  7. Pot values and capacitance depend on personal preference. Some like brighter 500k pots, while others like warmer 250k pots. 250k is standard of P basses. 0.047uf is the standard capacitance for tone controls in high impedance applications, but some prefer higher or lower values, depending on where they want the frequency cutoff. A common choice is 0.1uF, for a lower frequency cutoff.
  8. Isotonic

    Isotonic Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    Round Rock TX
    Nice bass! What kind of music will you be playing?