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Everything posted by iiipopes

  1. Zombie thread alert, but bears reviving. Ibanez now has a 33-inch scale 6-string bass, the BTB846V, B-C, which has good reviews and good sound clips on YouTube: good tone and intonation, only the slightest bit of flab which may be the bass or the strings or the amp/mike/camera setup. The stock B string is a D'Addario XL130. A person might want to consider a taper 135. I tune the B string up to C, so the 130 will be fine and it will not be an issue for me. The companion 5-string bass is the BTB845V bass, which is actually set up for E-C as a "solo" bass, and is an update from the BTB33 from a few years ago. It has essentially the same nut and neck profile as other Ibby basses, like the SR series, although a little wider at the 24th fret. I have a BTB845V coming that I am going to have my luthier re-set-up as a conventional 5-string B-G to go on stage with my 2011 Ibby SRA305, as I don't solo. The bass has a zero fret, so all it will need is to polish the zero fret and cut a conventional nut. Give me a month to update. Thanks.
  2. The current Fender 9050CL 45-60-80-105 light green silk flats are probably my favorite set of flats ever. One set lasted me over two years of constant gigging. Yes, when they are new, they are zingy, gritty, growly, etc. When they settle in after a few months, they bloom. I respectfully think the OP is just experiencing "new string zing." Turn down the tone knob on the instrument a number or two and keep playing.
  3. Yes, zombie thread. And I understand the manufacturing issues of the last two years. So just curious - any further development on the PolyChromes?
  4. I purchased one of these 18mm string spacing bridges for a similar project and have been very pleased. It is very similar to an Ibanez bridge: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Chrome-4-String-Bridge-For-Bass-Guitar-L-Shape-Saddle-Parts-String-Spacing-18mm-/181287137942?hash=item2a358e3296:g:YQcAAOSwbqpTt7SY
  5. EMG active soapbars are a direct drop in; all you need is to find a place to put the battery. Instead of a full-blown EQ setup, I have found it most versatile to have a master volume, active balance, EMG-EXB variable scoop, and an active tone knob. You can get them in a variety of tonalities: [url="http://www.emgpickups.com/bass/extended-series.html"]http://www.emgpickup...ded-series.html[/url] The DC was made to emulate a MusicMan pickup. In the MusicMan position, it does alright. To me, with its upper mid/low treble emphasis, it is hollow in the neck (P-bass) position, and too brittle from being too close to the bridge in the J-bridge position, which are roughly the positions the pickups are in on the Spectre Legend. On my party bass, which has a similar setup, and which I was also going to use on a Legend I used to own briefly (until I got an offer I couldn't refuse), I have a CS in the neck position to get a really round, meaty tone, and a JX in the bridge position to get all the wonderful things that a J-bridge pickup does, in the extended version to get more highs to contrast the regular CS, hooked up to controls as described above. If you do go the J or JX version of the soapbar in the bridge, make sure it is rotated correctly to get the active element in the proper J-bridge position. On my party bass, the routing was too close to the bridge, and I had to flip the pickup around to get the active coil just far enough from the bridge that it more emulated the placement of a J-bridge pickup, and the character of tone came back after being too thin beforehand.
  6. Rickenbacker does offer the HB-1 pickup as an aftermarket item. You need to contact Rosetti, the UK distributor for RIC: http://www.rosetti.co.uk/Browse/Parts/Rickenbacker/Pickups
  7. Tone? Great tone. Definitely usable, if they have been kept sealed and dry so no corrosion set in on the core wire. Even if the wrap is stainless steel, the core wire on bass strings is usually carbon steel to take the tension, and it can rust or corrode over the decades. £250 worth of tone? Unless I had a recording gig that needed exactly that tone and was part of a very lucrative record deal, um, no. £25 to £50, maybe, if I really, really wanted them, and was willing to take the chance on the unseen condition of the core wire.
  8. The reason it does not sound "thick" is because, according to the specs, the body is maple, which naturally has a dip in the frequency response in the upper bass - exactly the opposite of what we perceive as a "thick" tone. That's why maple is used as a top for mahogany body guitars - to give clarity and tame the upper bass/lower mids to those instruments. It is also what the bodies and necks of Rickenbacker instruments are famously made from in order to get their signature tone. It sounds to me like you need a bass with an alder, mahogany, or agathis body. Alder is neutral, mahogany has a mid push, and agathis less so. The body of my Ibanez SRA500 is made from agathis, and it is lightweight and even sounding with the maple neck, and with the active EMG's I put in it, I can get any tone from transparent to as thick as treacle out of it.
  9. I use a Fishman Full Circle with my plywood bass for jazz/dance band gigs, and it is well received. Please PM me for further discussion.
  10. [quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1462395235' post='3042776'] Never measure the scale length from the bridge. The best thing to do is to measure from the fingerboard side of the nut to the 12th fret and double it. [b]This is the scale length[/b]. Then place the bridge in position with one of the saddles wound as far forward as it will go and another wound fully back and measure from the nut to the front of each of these saddles. The shorter measurement should be slightly less than than the scale length calculated earlier. The longer should be at least 1/2 an inch more than the scale length. If the measurements are within the range then all is good with the existing bridge mounting holes. If not then you'll have to reposition. [/quote] This.
  11. Because of the thickness of E strings generally, they can be stiff and inertial in the higher positions compared to the A-D-G strings. I don't think it is a "problem," rather, an inherent aspect of the nature of the string. It could be that particular string has something wrong internally, or has too much damping material in the windings. If the notes that seem to die out on the E string resonate with the proper intonation, articulation, tone and fall-off on other strings in lower positions, then it probably is not the bass. The best way to find out if it is the bass or a string: put a 3/4 T-I Spiro Mittel (T-I part number 3885,5) on the bass and see what happens, since T-I Spiros tend to have a long, long pizz sustain by comparison to almost all other double bass strings, and are known for their pizz character.
  12. iiipopes

    Fender PJs

    The only item about a P/J that I recommend, if going with conventional passive pickups instead of actives, is to use a split-coil humbucker for the J pickup so that it will match the noise reduction of the P pickup; and the only logistical detail I recommend is that the player consider getting an instrument, or if it is being installed aftermarket, to consider using the '70's position (slightly closer to the bridge than the '60's position) for the J-pickup to get a little more contrast in the tone of the two pickups.
  13. [quote name='BigRedX' timestamp='1457968543' post='3003475']It sounds as though for me a "balanced" tension set would all feel to loose.[/quote] Not necessarily. As a matter of fact, the tensions are actually geared with most "balanced" sets to the tension of the G string. For example, scroll down to the bottom of D'Addario's page to see that the string tension on their XL "Balanced" sets in all three "standard" gauges, i.e., 40, 45 and 50, is adjusted a bit on all of the sets a bit to equalize everything, especially to keep the low E from feeling floppy: http://www.daddario.com/balanced_tension.page?sid=ca8402ef-45f4-45f3-9f06-3339d9cf48c0
  14. Yes, occasionally a nut does need compensation for a variety of reasons: 1) misplaced at factory due to tolerances in the gang saw; 2) the play likes higher action or likes to "dig in" more, and nut slot height is one way to prevent fret clack; 2) very light strings that tend to pull irrespective of how the action is set; 3) or a host of other reasons. I have nut shims on my custom half-fanned fret P/J, about which there is a thread somewhere on the forum. I use Stephen Delft - style nut shims to correct the intonation at the nut: http://www.mimf.com/nutcomp/
  15. I like the feel of the "balanced" tension. The reason that bass string sets are usually 45-65-85-105, or 45-65-80-100 instead of this particular set of 45-60-80-107 is that the fingerboard is crowned but most pickups are flat, and the strength of the magnetic field varies as the square of the distance from the magnet. So heavier gauges on the D and A strings are used to get more balanced output string to string, and the E string is made lighter so it is more flexible and retains similar overtone characteristics to the other strings. Of course, if you have a Precision that you can adjust each string's distance from the pickup, or something like a Rickenbacker with the same crown to the pole pieces as the fingerboard radius, then the balanced set should do very well indeed. I've been using custom ordered 45-60-80-105 GHS Precisions on my Rickenbacker 4002 (yes, "2", not "1" or "3") since Progressives were a new string in the late '80's or early '90's to get the "balanced" feel.
  16. Some folks on TalkBass have used the same set for 10 - 20 - 25 years.
  17. I highly recommend not to. If you forget to turn it back on under load, you can cook the amp. I'm with the above - possibly a thermal switch? But you need to know the nominal acceptable operating temperature for it to come on, which the manufacturer may or may not want to disclose.
  18. If the nut slot is of the proper geometry with a good witness point ramping back to the tuner, and if the strings have been installed and seated correctly, occasionally a bass will still have intonation issues with string stretch pulling notes on the first three frets sharp. This happened to me on my custom half-fanned P/J, which there is a thread somewhere. I installed a Stephen Delft style nut shim to intonation the nut as well as the bridge, and it has worked perfectly: [url="http://www.mimf.com/nutcomp/"]http://www.mimf.com/nutcomp/[/url]
  19. My custom half-fanned P/J (G - 33 1/4; E - 34 inch scale) was fretted by Sheldon Dingwall. I have used Fender flats on it to great success, until Fender quit making my favourite set. If you can find long enough flats, the fanned frets are a great foundation, because the longer scale of the lower strings not only helps with tone and sustain, but helps with intonation to help avoid the dreaded thumpy or wobbly E string that many flats players endure. Since the ribbon wrap has more mass, in that there is less space between the windings than with conventional rounds, most flats sets [i]of the same nominal gauges [/i]will have more tension, so a truss rod tweak is in order. But Dingwall basses are made to take it.
  20. In the USA, there are two places that have a wide variety of 12AX7 - ECC83 valves and there are articles about how each of them compare. There are also articles about the gain structure of the various 12A_7 tubes, and how you can change out one of the family to get different gain characteristics. For example, Fender's classic Bassman "tweed" tone uses a 12AY7 instead of a 12AX7. The comment from Ashdown is a conclusion based on two principles: 1) most bass players desire or need the highest clean gain possible to support the band, which is what a 12AX7 - ECC83 is designed to do, and 2) they don't want any warranty claims from using other tubes that get overdriven to failure. http://www.thetubestore.com/Resources/Guitar-Amp-Info/Gain-Factor https://www.tubedepot.com/t/tubes/preamp-tubes/12ax7-ecc83-7025-cv4004
  21. 1) Try to simply turn the pot wiper back and forth through its full range of travel repeatedly and quickly, but not roughly. This usually clears the pops and crackles most basses have. 2) If that doesn't work, then as above, apply the slightest squirt of a commercial de-oxidizing spray into the pot, immediately wipe up any overspray, and repeat #1. 3) Repeat steps #1 and #2 if there are still crackles. 4) At the last resort replace the pots. 5) As far as taking the pot apart and replacing the wafer, it's not cost effective unless that is the only way. I do have an early '70's Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi that one of the controls died. It has a nylon half-shaft pot, so it could not be replaced. It had to be rebuilt using a wafer from another pot. But the wafers have been made the same for decades, so it was a drop in repair by a qualified tech. 6) Cleaning will probably be the best bet. Pots just don't wear out that quickly. Many 50+ year old electric instruments have their original pots and continue to function perfectly.
  22. [quote name='ubit' timestamp='1450526338' post='2933591'] Old flats= dead spots New rounds= musical bliss [/quote] Well, with due respect, not quite. The old flats were a higher tension string. Therefore the truss rod needed to be tighter to maintain optimal relief, and this resulted in more compression to the neck, which changed the resonant frequency to the dead spot. Putting lighter strings on necessitated loosening the truss rod marginally, again, to adjust the neck. This changed the compression and the resonant frequency. In this case, it got it off the G-string 7th fret.
  23. I gig with an Ibanez SRA305 for these exact reasons. The entire Ibanez SR line (save the fanned fret instruments) have essentially the same 45mm nut and 18mm string spacing at the bridge; the only differences are the brands of active pickups and types of onboard e.q. and the exotic wood treatment as you go up the model number ladder. They are well balanced, consistent in manufacturing quality, and good value-for-money.
  24. The capacitor determines, in conjunction with the pickup coil, what the hinge or rolloff frequency will be. Generally, the higher the value of the cap, the lower the rolloff frequency, and vice versa. The volume potentiometer, since the third leg is usually grounded, determines the loading to ground, which can affect the resonant peak of the circuit. Generally, the higher the value of the potentiometer, the higher in frequency and amplitude of the resonant peak frequency of the pickup. But this is usually only subtly audible at best, especially on a bass. Because a typical tone cap circuit brings the capacitor off the wiper lug and grounds without the use of the 3rd lug, using a 500 kohm pot turned down to 250 kohms (with an audio or log taper pot, that means turning the knob down from 10 to about 7 or 8), has an identical effect on the circuit.as using a 250 kohm pot. The difference is only which number on the knob, or degree of rotation of the pot shaft, gives the same tone. Using the 500 kohm tone pot will decrease loading to ground when dimed, and may result in the bass being subtly brighter. I don't think anybody has run frequency analyzer traces on the same instrument with the same pickup but with the different value pots and caps, although a few have run them on just the caps. Since historically dual coil humbuckers have greater inductance than single coil pickups, and/or more intra-coil capacitance as well, it has been traditional to use 500kohm pots in order to raise the resonant frequency as high as possible to get more presence when desired out of a humbucking pickup. The main exception to this is the traditional split Precision pickup - the factory continues to use 250 kohm pots as standard for this pickup. The point being is that you would probably use the same value capacitor irrespective of the volume and tone pots used. Standard is .047 microfarads. .033 will keep more mids in the mix as it is rolled off. .022 is for those who want guitar-like brightness. .068 will be darker, and the darkest commonly used for dub tone, and which was the original value used in the '51 - '56 P-basses, is .1, giving huge thump when rolled off completely. With the tone pot dimed out, the 500 kohm volume pot will give the pickup the slightest bit more presence, but that goes away as soon as you start rolling off the tone knob. So after all is said and done, most folks still come back to the traditional 250 kohm audio taper pots and .047 capacitor for a conventional bass pickup circuit. I do like a little more mids when rolled off, so like the original J-bass stack knob bridge pickup circuit, I use a .033 for my tone control cap. Hope this helps.
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