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what shall I do!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bassman83, Oct 8, 2005.

  1. active pickups

    1 vote(s)
  2. active preamp

    3 vote(s)
  3. both!

    9 vote(s)
  1. Hi,
    I have a warwick streamer standard 5 string, and have been thinking about upgrading it for a little while now. However, I'm unsure whether to put new pickups in, or just keep the current pickups and get an active preamp. At the moment the bass has passive mec's and passive electronics.

    I want the result of the upgrade to be a "tighter" overall sound, especially the b string. I'd also like more output, as at the moment the bass is quite feeble sounding.

    So basically, should I get new pickups, or a preamp, or both?

  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Good passive p-ups or active p-ups and preamp.
    The standard are J-J, right?
    What type of tone are you looking for - by tight you mean clear, punchy?
    There are lots of p-ups to choose from, look at the P-ups shootouts and comparisons somewhere on this page
  3. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I'd probably recommend only to change one thing at a time.
    If you change pickups and preamp at the same time, and you don't like the result it can be difficult to tell which element you don't like.

    That being said, I'd recommend upgrading pickups first and keeping the passive electronics for now at least. If you want to add a preamp at a later date, you know you're building on a solid foundation.

    I didn't vote in the poll since I don't know if active pickups are the best for what you're looking to do - you might be better with passive pickups. Since I don't have a lot of experience with Streamers, I can't comment. In my old Thumb 5, I personally got the best sound with active EMG J pickups
  4. i'm after a modern sounding, clear and punchy tone, but still with plenty of bottom. The stadard pickups are soapbars, and I was thinking about emg 40dc's, or maybe one dc and one cs in the neck position for added warmth.
  5. bump
  6. You won't fit EMG's in a Streamer Standard without pullin out the router. The only replacment pickups in that shape that I know of are Bart's. I love the tone of those pickups. IMO if you want to change something, leave the pickups and get a good active preamp.
  7. what do you mean "pulling out the router?" The current pickups are the same size as emgs, but a different shape. Would this cause big problems?
  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    He means getting out the wood working equipment to expand the pickup routes.
  9. Would this be a difficult job to do? I don't think the holes need expanding that much, I've measured them and they're wider than the dimensions given on EMG's website. Maybe need to increase the depth of the holes?
  10. I do know that there is a direct Seymour Duncan replacement available as I was considering it for my Streamer Standard 4 string. Can't remember the model/serial number, but there has been several threads on the topic , so a "Search" should reveal all.

    Good luck. :)
  11. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Having changed pleny of pups and preamps, I personally would give some thoughts to a Sans di or the like but a Sans sounds like it will fill that bill. The presence control is a nice touch to add clarity and the bottom is as about fat as they come. You can pick one up used for around $100, less than a new set of pups at any rate. You don't have to touch the bass and if you can move it on for minimal loss if it doesn't cut it. But I'd say you stand a better chance from getting a tone out of the Sans (and I've had over 75 sets of pups and a dozen plus preamps - OBP-3, NTMB, EMG, etc.). Nice piece for a rig where bass or/and amp are lacking I've been told. Not a lot of help for a solid rig but still I was impressed regardless and it's a very good shot where there's a missing link. If your rig is lacking I would definetly go for the Sans cause it's highly unlikely pups would compensate for a lacking rig and an onboard preamp even less likely.

    Just got a MXR M80 DI in today and it has a good clean channel but the color and distortion components don't seem so useful at this point. The Sans strikes me as more useful overall at this point.

    The NE-1 paramtric eq is also not a bad choice for a missing link - about half the tag of a Sans or an MXR but not as useful as either I don't think.

    All 3 are essentially outboard preamps (and much more) and you can use them on any bass (or guitar for that matter), not just the one they're in. Also you can A/B them accurately with your stock tone cause they have by-passes. The DI's you can right to a board and skip a rig that sucks.

    But EMG's would probably be a solid shot if you go for pups. They aren't cheap but have good resale cuase you can pick most pup sets up used for what a single EMG soap goes for used.

    Also hi-fi and warmth really don't go together. If CS is ceramic (which seems most EMG's are), ceramic is brightness not warmth. Warmth is pretty much an alnico thing for the most part. Doesn't mean it can't be had but those two combinations are more a long shot. I have got good respectable warmth from an LJ-5 mounted mid position though. The amp/speakers factor in and have some to say about it. The others factors can work together without much problem though.
  12. Coincidentally, a SansAmp BDDI is EXACTLY the solution I eventually went for.

    Did the job for me 100%. ;)
  13. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Yeh, I'm not into stomp box type effects but these things are basically outboard preamps and I pulled all my onboard preamps and ran them as outboards before I jetisoned them altogether but the Sans, MXR, EBI, tube mic pre's caught my attention cause they're more than just pre's - most important, some can be used to drive a power amp and that alone I can use after moving my MB-1 and Pod.

    They're small, make a significant difference in tone on the plus side, modular so easily patched in and out of the signal chain, simple enough to make programming unnecessary, and you don't have to alter any of the rest of your gear. There's no gear out there I know of that is as cheap, compact, efficient, and versatile as a DI. Even if you've got quality tone, these things can enhance it at least for certain applications. If you've got suck tone or if you're just ready for a change, they can save a lot grief.

    I've ran several pup sets through the Sans and it colors tone for a fact but the pups still all sound different through it so it's not like everybody that uses one will sound alike. Sounds different through my combo, power, and tube amps.

    Nothing beats the right set of pups cause that's where the signal chain begins. The right pups in the right bass with the right amp to the right tunes is all you really need. But pups are very dependent on other factors. Pups can be killer in one situation but you can change one variable and suddenly they're less than impressive.
  14. +1 ;)