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Warwick pickup/preamp replacement

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by rotorheadcase, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. rotorheadcase


    Apr 20, 2004
    Okay, I need... :help:

    I'm planning on replacing the MEC system in my Streamer with Seymour Duncan pickups and preamp. Has anyone got any experience with the passive 5 string Jazz stacks? I think they're SJB-5...they're around half the price of the active AJB-5 I was looking at and I could run them with a tone-circuits preamp. What sort of a sound difference could I expect changing active pickups to passive but retaining a preamp? The SD tone chart shows a somewhat similar profile to the active Jazz pups but says they are low output. Will this make a big difference?

    Speaking of preamps....if I use the STC-3M for Musicman and wire both pickups together will I really miss the blend feature of the standard STC-3a preamp and more importantly will it work?? :D

    I like the idea of a separate knob for bass mid and treble in the Music Man preamp but the standard STC-3a preamp stacks the bass and treble.

    Thanks for your input...
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    If you have a preamp, you're fine either way. With passive pickups, you have the possibility of preamp bypass in event of preamp/battery failure. It's a question of if you want the active pickup sound and don't care about bypass. I prefer to have bypass myself, but plenty of people have had no problems with their Stingrays (for example) which have no bypass available.

    You can what you're saying with the STC-3M, if you always have your blend in center then I guess you wouldn't miss it. But it would make it a tougher bass to ever sell.

    One very important thing: I went through a similar exercise with my Thumb 5. There is no standard sizing for 5 string jazz pickups.
    The Thumb 5 has two bridge length J pickups (3.75"), the SD 5 string jazz sets are standard jazz size (i.e. 3.75" bridge and 3.62" neck). I think the Streamer has the same issues, measure your existing pickups.
  3. rotorheadcase


    Apr 20, 2004
    Thanks for the speedy reply DMW...

    Just measured the pickups and you're dead right they are both bridge length pickups. I could put a bridge pickup in each position I guess...What road did you end up going with the thumb??

    As far as the preamp goes I always leave the blend in the centre position and mess with the tone through the tone controls but I take your point about the re-sale value.

    Any there are any significant advantages of going with an all active setup or am I unlikely to notice the difference between the active and passive SD stacks being over 40 and tone deaf!! :D
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    There are issues with using two bridge size pickups. In many sets, the bridge pickups are wound more than the neck pickup - this is to prevent the neck pickup from being overpowering. So using a bridge pickup in the neck can cause an imbalance. You can do it, it's just something to bear in mind.

    I ended up with EMG's, the thumb is tonally a different monster from the streamer so what worked on that might not work on the streamer. I tried out Barts, Dimarzios etc - they didn't work for me in the Thumb, but might sound great in the streamer. In other words YMMV.

    As to all active vs (passive + preamp), apart from the things I said already I'd say it's a matter of taste. Assuming that you are considering humbucking passive pups.