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Warwick preamp distorting when I dig in

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by kimonotron, May 10, 2010.

  1. kimonotron


    Mar 7, 2006
    Got a Warwick Steamer LX with MEC pups and active preamp (one where you can switch between passive and active modes).

    I play in a loud rock band and we recently starting recording at rehearsals, with me DIing to the interface. On playback I noticed some fairly nasty distortion which I hadn't been hearing in the room (this is a loud rock band!)

    Originally I thought it was a battery problem but after replacing the battery, no good. It seems that the distortion only happens when I dig in hard, which is why I hadn't noticed it while practicing at home.

    Does anybody have any suggestions on how to rectify this? Is it likely to be a fault with the preamp? Would it be easier just to replace it?
  2. Bardley


    Nov 16, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    Are you sure you are not just distorting the interface? Can you give more details of your setup?
  3. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    Yeah, is the input gain set too high? I mean I replaced the preamp in my Warwick because the stock one was garbage and I'd suggest the same, but that's besides the point
  4. SurrenderMonkey


    Aug 18, 2006
    probably not a fault per-se, just something the preamp / pickups aren't very good at handling.

    You can try :

    - Trim-pot in the control cavity for the output gain settings.
    - moving the pickups away from the strings, especially the low B, low E side.
    - decreasing the volume (might affect the tone, I dont think the pre has buffered inputs).
    - a 18 volts mod! (not recommended though :)).
  5. kimonotron


    Mar 7, 2006
    thanks a lot for the responses. it's definitely not an issue with the gain on the interface (presonus firestudio) or with any individual preamps on the interface (i tried a few different ones just to be sure).

    SurrenderMonkey - thanks for the tips. i hadn't thought of the pickups but now that I look at it, the bridge pup is quite close to the strings, so lowering that should help. i've heard about these 18V mods. what's the pros and cons?

    jpTron - what other preamp did you put in?
  6. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    18v operation gives the bass more room to breathe, so to speak. If you hit it really hard, it puts out all you give it, not just all it can.
    I beefed up a Warwick I used to have with the 18v conversion and it couldn't have been an easier mod...

    Get 3 battery clips, wire them all together in a triangle, matching red to black wires. Attach batteries to 2 of the clips and the third connects to the existing clip in your bass. BAM! 18v...

    Or, if you are brave, cut the existing clip's black wire, splice it onto a red from another clip, then the black from the new on the old and BAM! 18v.

    May not fix your problem if the pickup is just plain too close, but that mod is easy and the MEC pre can handle it.
  7. jpTron


    Apr 19, 2010
    Aguilar OBP-2. Set up for 18v. Made a world of difference and still using the stock pickups.

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