Why is my fender with barts, sooooo quiet??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ledyard, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Ok, recently I bought a Jazz bass from a fellow TB'r. Warmoth jazz body and old MIJ fender neck.Dual EBMM style bartolini pups and active/passive bart pre amp(dont know the model). First off I LOVE THIS BASS!! The tone is just awsome. But the output seems just way to low. I raised the pups which helped a little. I replaced the battery in the pre. But when I plug it in I have to turn my SVT II up to 5!!!! To get it to match the output of my other basses.
    I want to run this bass passive. It just sounds so much more "classic" tone wise. Active gives it a bit more volume but robs the tone quality a little IMO.
    Its got no poop?? I like this bass enough to gut it and get new pups and or pre if need be. Either some kind of duncan or EBMM stock pups. I dunno what else is available thats really good in the EBMM pup shape. As I said I want to run this bass passive.
    Tubes in my amp are fine. Theres no rig issues.
    Anyone have any thoughts?
  2. I know you want to run passive, but if that doesn't fly make it an 18v preamp
  3. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    You know....i had considered that ;). Allbeit I dont know how to do that. I have no problem tackling it with proper instruction though.

    On the passive side though.....i dont get why its not louder? I have never had a passive bass this quiet.
    When I had my EBMM ....(in comparison pick up wise) there were no volume issues ever.
  4. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass

    Sep 9, 2006
    Tijuana Mex.
    Most bartolini pups are not loud, they are designed to work with a preamp.
    If your bass has a bartolini preamp those have a gain trimpot inside the cavity, look for it and turn it up.
    If you want louder pickups, then the Seymour Duncan are louder.
  5. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Duncans were my first thought. MM style obviously with no pre amp. Just 250k pots.
  6. JMBassist


    Jun 17, 2010
    is the pre also Bartolini?

    i have a bass with a similar configuration with a ntmb_918 pre, and it works much better and louder with two 9V batteries (18V).
  7. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    I have to look. the previous owner didnt know.
  8. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    One of my main dislikes about Barts. Theyre output is too low for me. Theyed sound so much better to me if output level was closer to dimarzios and seymors imo.
  9. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Passive Barts are pretty polite.

    But a kicking preamp in there. They like Aguilar OBP3's.
  10. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    ofcourse if i turn the pre bass and treb up consierably it gains alot of volume but its just obnoxious tone wise.
  11. Red Planet

    Red Planet Inactive

    May 29, 2005
    I'm cranky in my old age.
    Have you turned the trim pot inside up yet?
  12. bass4worship

    bass4worship Ready For Freddy, let rock Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Sebring, Florida
    Use only Bart's in my other basses and they are lows by design, this help them to get a warmer tone. If you need higher output you'll have to change the pickups.
  13. ledyard


    Jan 31, 2010
    Upstate NY
    no. i havnt had a chance to even get it out of the case the last few days. I am going to try it though.
  14. t0t0m


    Dec 8, 2008
    technically barts pickups are designed to work with an active preamp, and from my experience barts pickups work best with barts active preamp and vice versa.
  15. funk_in4

    funk_in4 Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2007
    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Endorsing Artist: D'Addario strings
    Different Bartolini preamps have different features. One thing referred to in earlier posts is a gain trim pot inside the cavity of some basses. This is actually an extra feature that is not present in all Bart preamps. However, due to the fact that most Bart pups have what we perceive to be low output, that module SHOULD be in all Bart kits IMO. However, if you like the tone of the bass, one solution is to wire in an EMG PA2 preamp booster. It is a preamp designed to provide only gain- it does NOT change your tone- and can boost your signal from 0-20 db, adjusted on a trim pot on the small circuit board. It uses a minuscule amount of current so it won't change your battery life, but it will dramatically impact how your amp sees your signal. Another use for this great little rig is as follows- I have a 40J and a 40DC in a 5 string...the DC dwarfs the J for output, so I installed a PA2 in line with the J and adjusted the gain to match the DC...and voila- matched outputs. It is a simple install but if you're unsure, just spend a small amount of scratch and have it done by someone who is familiar with such things. There are other boost modules to be had, but the PA2 is the most readily available, and EMG quality is legendary. Relative to your desire to use the bass in passive mode, although the PA2 is technically "active", since it only provides gain it would be the perfect kicker that your passive tone requires.
    As well, adding batteries to increase your voltage does not boost your output- it increases your headroom, which is not the same thing at all..
    Feel free to PM if you desire any other elaboration...good luck with it all!
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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