Wishbass issues - My approach

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ofajen, Jul 9, 2014.


  1. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    I bought my Wishbass number 1050 new, from Wishnevsky. It's a Fantasy, made of Bubinga. Here is a not so great picture:
    2ACBAC53-2874-4B06-981E-36A9D4554FC1_zpscjdegehq.jpg

    It is my first and only fretless, which presents it's own challenges, but I had issues I didn't anticipate. Mostly it was the noisy, tone with no apparent bass. Of course the key factors were the hum from the single coil and the effect of the pickup being only one inch from the bridge.

    Recently I was without my fretted bass (a 1976 Ripper) for over a week and decided to experiment with the Wishbass. First thing I did was buy a cheap Carvin H50S pickup. Actually, the EMG it came with had slightly better tone but the Carvin is quiet, which is key.

    Also found an article showing the effect of pickup position. Being close to the bridge isn't fatal, it just means the low end rolloff starts higher and is bigger at the low end. I resurrected my Craig Anderton Super Tone Control and was able to dial in a significant bass boost over the range where it is less on my bass. Suddenly I was able to get lots of good useful tones, ranging from acoustic-ish to standard jazz bass to bass heavy. Cool!

    However, the absence of hum let me hear the other issue: buzz due to lack of string grounding. I pondered for a while and came up with a low tech fix: I took a bit of copper wire, wrapped it around each string just behind the plastic Corian bridge and then tucked the end under the (grounded) aluminum cover plate. Not pretty, but not really noticeable and problem solved!

    Now I'm really getting sounds I like and I've always loved the feel of this bass. Now I'm to the point that I more often want to play the Wishbass than the fretted Ripper, which has been my main bass since in got it back in about 1984.

    Anyway, that's how I've tackled these issues. I'd be delighted to see any other, more elegant approaches to these issues, particularly the string grounding.

    Otto
     
    maestrovert likes this.
  2. that article you mentioned about pickup position sounds like a good read. I'd like to check that out. glad you're enjoying the wishbass now!
     
  3. M0ses

    M0ses

    Sep 11, 2009
    Los Angeles
    No pics no mods man :p
     
  4. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    http://www.till.com/articles/PickupResponse/

    Otto
     
    maestrovert likes this.
  5. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Here is a more recent shot from close up.

    1FB01FBF-57E0-4A51-A562-659308244D5C_zps6lvjhbef.jpg


    The wire looks goofy up close but isn't really that visible. Here you can see that the wire doesn't stand out relative to the entire body:

    9DA03EAE-CE81-4EEB-8D3A-03A4957AD50E_zpsfpmd4hyq.jpg

    The Carvin pickup doesn't look much different from the EMG one. I struggled to solder the new pickup leads to the original mini-size volume pot so I replaced it with a full-size 500K audio taper pot I had in a spare parts bin. The typical butterscotch speed knob he uses didn't fit well on the shaft of the full-size pot, so I'm using a knob taken from my old Traynor bass amp. I thought it was a good match for the aluminum cover plate.

    Otto
     
    maestrovert likes this.
  6. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    You are welcome. I found that article helpful. It helped me see that a fixed amount of low end boost that rolls off at the higher first peak of the Wishbass would get me close to the tone of a normal pickup location. My Super Tone Control is well suited to just that task. Built 30 years ago from a $25 PAiA kit.

    Otto
     
  7. Lackey

    Lackey

    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Didn't see this coming if I'm honest. My signature says it all, from good old xush, hehe
     
  8. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I really like the feel of this bass. It balances really well when I'm standing and really fits well when I'm playing seated. I actually like the thick neck profile. It's a through-neck bass and the strings run through the body and over that solid bridge, so it's really got solid support for the strings.

    True, he uses solid Corian bridges, so you have to sand them down to lower the strings. He's not a fan of adjustable bridges on fretless basses. I've considered possibly trying an adjustable bridge, like the one for the '51 Tele bass, but haven't done it yet. It would allow me to easily adjust string height and ground the strings with just a short wire to the bridge.

    Otto
     
    maestrovert likes this.
  9. Lackey

    Lackey

    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Gotcha. Not trying to be disparaging, just haven't really seen people like Wishs enough to put some effort in to make them better. Glad you enjoy it, that's all that matters with any instrument!
     
  10. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    You need to check out the Wishbass club on TalkBass.
     
    maestrovert likes this.
  11. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
    maestrovert likes this.
  12. You can see and hear the results of effort put into Wisbasses here: http://www.wishbassclips.com/Home.html
     
  13. ofajen

    ofajen

    Apr 12, 2007
    92.4W 38.9N
    I mentioned that I rebuilt one of my PAiA Super Tone Controls back into a project box and have been using it to eq the Wishbass. The tone control is particularly handy, because the filter frequency can be tuned over the entire audio band and the separate low-pass, band-pass and high-pass channels have their own mixer inputs than can range from "fully off" to "a lot". It's handy be be able to provide a bass boost of any amount below the frequency I need, rather than being limited to a fixed band.

    Here is the front of the tone control. L to R are LP, BP and HP levels, filter frequency and resonance.

    [ 26BDF199-2133-467F-BA73-D473726E7C32_zpszf8sgbjx.jpg

    Here is the rear, with switches for effect bypass and greater filter resonance, input jack, two output jacks and TRS jack for bipolar power input.

    2E79EE73-520E-4F0C-A353-227782490A8E_zpsceevlil9.jpg

    Over the weekend, I rebuilt one of the companion PAiA Compressor/Limiters. It's based on a CLM6000 opto-isolator. I put it in another small box I had laying about. It is simple, with fast attack and slow decay. It just has two controls, one for output level and the other to control the amount of compression. Mostly, I turn the compression control all the way off (no signal at all going to the part that compresses), so it is running purely as a preamp to help the tone control operate at a decent line level where it is as quiet as can be.

    A4D66A39-6011-46DA-9CE4-5F9D5D7E5A70_zpslxtostkz.jpg

    I also built up a +/-9V battery supply into another small box. The power supply has a switch that allows me to shut off the power and disconnect the batteries when not it use. I prefer a separate switch to switched input jacks, because that way I don't have to unplug anything.

    Anyway, they look rather humble, but they are superb electronics.

    I'm going to use them for a while as is before I decide if I want to reformat these things into a single box.

    Otto
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2014
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 26, 2021

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