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Warwick Streamer Stage II - Replacement pickups / pre?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Lokire, Dec 29, 2005.


  1. I'm sure this has been done to death, but I didn't see any threads specifically relating the the Streamer Stage II

    So, I've got a 2001 Warwick Streamer Stage II and I've been thinking of possibly modding it with different pickups/pre in the future.

    My only complaint is that tonally, it sounds a little thin - especially on the D and G strings. I usually run it with the bass boost up a bit, but that can make it sound a little too boomy. Probably has to do with the older MEC pickups and preamp. I'd like it to sound a little more beefy.

    So I know that the general replacement around here is Duncan Basslines. I'm also a huge fan of Dirk Lance's tone and I know that he has Duncan's in his Streamer. Does anyone know which model specifically he uses though? In all the pictures I see, his pickups don't have exposed pole-pieces, but all the Duncan's I've seen do.

    I know Bartolini is another popular choice. Would it be best to match the pickups with the same brand pre or could they be mixed with better results maybe?

    Anyone have good results with another brand? Lindy Fralin's pickups are pretty highly regarded - any thoughts on those? What about Nordstrands? Benavente? Aguilar Pre?

    Also - If I were to only swap either the pickups or the pre right now, which do you think would make the biggest difference? Not sure I can quite afford both right now...
     
  2. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    Hi there,
    many....many years ago I used to own a W.S. II, old MEC pre and EMG pups... didn't like too much.
    I installed a set of Bartolini J (at the time J94?) and ...me happy :bassist:
    Warm, punchy and clean.
    Bartolini are not too expensive, try a set (ebay?) if you don't like them you can always sell them and get something else. (Nordstrand NJ4SE or SV, i.e.).
    Personally, I always preferred Bartolini on Warwick.

    Have fun and happy new year.

    Mo'
     
    aguacollas likes this.
  3. Thanks. I was looking at Barts on ebay and they do seem to be the cheaper of the bunch. Did you leave the MEC pre in there?
     
  4. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    yep,
    personally, the old pre with V/Bal/Trbl/Bs were not so bad.
    they used to have a gain control to match the output in the cavity. I don't know how they compare to the new one, tho.
    I got that bass brand new, if I recall correctly, in '86/'87, something like that!
    I sold it because I needed a 5er, but I still regret it. The only complain was the weight!

    Personally I would say try the Barts. It's the less expensive way, then you'll see.
    Good luck

    Mo'
     
  5. I've got a SSII 5er with Duncan Basslines AJB-5 pu's and STC-3 pre. This is the same set-up that P-Nut from 311 uses (used to use :rolleyes: )

    It sounds pretty good, but I was thinking of trying out the aguilar obd3 in mine. There are so many combos that will produce tons of different sounds. Unfortunatly you just have to try some out. The biggest problem I find is that words like "big, thick, punchy, warm, smooth" and the likes are all interpreted way differently by different people.
     
  6. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Lokire, I'd suggest trying some of the Bartolini classic bass pickups (the CB series). They're great. Talk to my friend Brian about pickups at www.bestbassgear.com. He's good to talk to about pickups.
     
  7. Le Basseur

    Le Basseur

    Mar 26, 2002
    Croatia
    IME,the MEC Pus are not bad at all...it's the MEC preamp that sucks royally! :meh:
    Try first some other preamp that suits your EQ taste/budget with the existing MEC PUs....you might be surprised,as I was several times when I made this upgrade to a wide range of Warwicks (Streamer Stage II included).
    After that,if still want something else,go for Bartolini or Seymour Duncan.Avoid EMG.
    HTH!
    Regards,
     
  8. wyrtti

    wyrtti Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2000
    Helsinki, Finland
    Hi,

    I too have a Streamer Stage II 5-string (1992) and have been thinking of upgrading the electronics, mainly due to hiss when recording. I have to turn down the treble some ways from the middle notch and that is not a good thing. The hiss is there also with the tone controls bypassed, so it must be the MEC preamp (or even the pickups?).

    I've been trying to find info on what might be good replacements, but have run into a lot of questions and maybes.

    The Basslines pickups (AJB and SJB) seem to say that the bridge-pickups, which would fit, are mid-scooped. I feel that this would affect the wonderful midrange growl that the Warwick has. Many people also complain that Bartolinis sound somewhat muffled on Warwicks because they lack the highs of other brands. So that seems to leave Alembic (a bit too pricey) and EMG as easily available (for me) brands of pickups. Opinions on the EMG's are very split, some like them, some don't.

    I'm considering leavin in the MEC-pickups and replacing all the electronics. Does anyone have any good ideas on a whole set of electronics? I think the EMG material says that their preamp sections only work with EMG pickups, is that true? This seems to be a somewhat frustrating operation as a whole... :)

    (I apologize if I seem to be trying to take over the original thread with my questions, but I thought they would fit nicely into this thread, as it pertains to replacements for the Streamer Stage II.)

    Cheers!
     
  9. Aj*

    Aj*

    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Well all the classic ideas for preamps seem to have come up alread so I'll throw in something different, how about a Noll preamp? http://www.noll-electronic.de/sites_e/bassel.html

    They do two, three and four band and even have a fully parametric 3 band eq. Talk about versatility! Never had a chance to try one but they have a very good reputation, Ritter, LeFay and Mayones are amongst Noll's customers (three very highly rated European luthiers).

    Pup wise, I tried an old thumb with Barts in it and it was very, very nice indeed, really growled. It was an '87, maybe the age of it had something to do with it too but the Barts seemed to be a very good match. I'd be interested to see what Nordstrands would be like in a Warwick, to my knowledge nobody has tried that yet.
     
  10. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    That's why Bartolini came out with the Classic Bass series (CB). They don't have the usual muted highs that are associated with Bart pickups but they retain the midrange growl that the Barts are known for.
     
  11. wyrtti

    wyrtti Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2000
    Helsinki, Finland
    Very interesting. Sounds like my thing. Thank you for the info! Now, to find a Bartolini dealer hereabouts...
     
  12. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    www.bestbassgear.com

    Brian ships all over the world.
     
  13. That is interesting. Right now I'm leaning towards the CB Barts, and those Noll preamps look very interesting.

    The problem/question that I have now is about the preamp knob layout. Because the Warwick has a fairly uncommon knob setup with a Stacked pot for volume/blend as well as being a push pull for active passive. And then there's 3 other knobs for Bass - Mid - Treble. This one looks like a pretty killer setup though:

    [​IMG]

    I noticed that there are model numbers on each picture of the different wiring setups (B2043 for that one)...Do the Noll preamps come already wired in the arrangement that you specify? That would be a big plus for me.
     
  14. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA

    Whoa... :eek: That's a lot of stacked knobs....
     
  15. Yeah, no kidding. It's also about 200 euro :bawl:

    http://www.bassline-bass.de/noll/Noll_Preisliste.htm

    There's the pricelist from one of their dealers. I may just go for their 3-band w/para mids.

    [​IMG]

    I'll probably swap the pickups first, since that's an easier switch. I'm still wondering if the Noll preamps come with the pots already wired though?

    Will the Bartolini CB pickups work with active/passive electronics?
     
  16. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA

    I think that the 3 band Noll with the para mids would be plenty versatile.

    Send me an email and I'll email back to you a recent recording where I was using a bass with the Bart CB dual coils run in passive. They sounded HUGE! emjazz@hotmail.com
     
  17. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    You know, for the price of the Noll pre's you may want to look into having Mike Pope make you a preamp.
     
  18. Oooh. I didn't even think of that. I know it's an individual thing but is that where his prices are, about?

    my e-mail is gbagley@gmail.com - I'd love to hear some soundclips :)
     
  19. Aj*

    Aj*

    Jun 14, 2005
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Nolls come prewired with pots afaik, I'm dying for a bass with an excuse to fit one to, I was thinking 3 Band Parametric Noll Preamp, Nordstrand pups, ETS Transmission Bridge with Piezeos, Noll Piezeo buffer and eq and 13 pin midi converter. How sweet would that be!

    Yeah the Noll prices are steep but there's nothing else quite like them on the market, I want to get a 3 band para to toy around with. Thing is, if I fitted that and some Nordstrands to my current bass I get the feeling the electronics would cost more than the bass did to start with lol!

    What I would really love is a gutted old Streamer S1 that I could lovingly restore and fit a wild electronics package to.
     
  20. :eek: - That would be crazy sweet :D


    Ok, I sold my old Short Scale bass so I have some more money to work with now. I'm still not sure if I should replace the pickups or the preamp first :meh: . Maybe the pickups because they would be a little cheaper.

    For pickups, I think I'm leaning towards the Bart CBs right now.

    For the preamp, The Nolls attract me because it looks like they come prewired with the pots, and I'd really rather not have to wire a preamp myself :p . So here are my options for a Noll preamp (along with approximate prices which I converted to US $)

    $181
    [​IMG]

    $190
    [​IMG]

    $145
    [​IMG]

    I'd like spend under $200 for the pre, so these are what I'm left with.

    Any more thoughts? :)