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atsampson

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  1. It's nice to see Thomann test their instruments thoroughly for neck dive...
  2. Electrolube EML contact cleaner/lubricant is usually easier to find in the UK than Deoxit (e.g. from CPC), so that's also worth a look. Most traditional-style pots have a wide slot in the casing above the solder terminals which you can easily get a straw into to spray a little bit of cleaner onto the track.
  3. Zooming in, it looks like there's some corrosion on both terminals of the battery connector (and those connectors are pretty flimsy at the best of times). Give it a clean with a stiff brush, and if you've got a multimeter, check that the 9V is actually making it to the preamp board...
  4. TJ1, is your budget above just for the bass itself? You may want to redirect some of it into a decent amp or amp simulator - plenty of choice both new and second hand, depending on how you want to use it and what kinds of sounds you're after - and you'll also want to think about cables, effects, a decent strap, a case, a stand... Once you've bought your nice bass, I would also recommend looking out for a cheap-and-nasty second bass that you can practice doing maintenance and setups on - if you're working on a bass you don't care about, it's much less intimidating to try out different types of strings, string and pickup heights, neck adjustments etc., all of which can make a big difference to how the bass feels to play.
  5. atsampson

    Vantage Dual P

    Lovely! So if the first one you bought was the wrong colour... which one is the right colour?
  6. My order arrived today - next business day, well packed. I've fitted a set of Energy 45-100 stainless steel strings to my Greco GOBII, replacing an old set of Galli stainless strings. Measuring from the inner side of the ball end, the Energys have tapers between 92-93cm and total length 119cm, which is spot on for a top-loaded P/J-style bass (but may be marginal for through-body). No silks. The key for the ball colours is under the flap on the box, but it's obvious which string is which anyway. The Energys are a bit brighter than the old Gallis but not spectacularly so, and with the tone rolled off a bit I'm very happy with the sound; plenty of mids and not excessively new-string-zingy. In terms of feel they're much smoother and more flexible than the Gallis. Comparing to Ernie Ball Super Slinkys on another bass, the Energys are about equally smooth and a little less flexible on the E/A, which is fine by me. So thumbs up so far! If you did a 5-string set with tapers > 96cm then I'd buy another couple...
  7. The pickups are active - they contain a magnetic pickup feeding into a preamp powered by the red wire. The output from the pickups is fed through an active EQ circuit on the PCB in the cavity, which is what the pull-up knob turns on and off. However, if you don't provide power to the pickups, you still get some signal out of them because of how the preamp circuit's designed. I don't know if there's a schematic for the MEC pickups around anywhere, but here's a schematic for an EMG active pickup that shows how this might happen - if you don't provide power to the pickup shown there, it won't have any gain (the output signal can't be any bigger than the original magnetic pickup can provide) but the signal will still leak through the op amp's feedback resistor R2 and make it to the output. This is one of the standard kinds of simple amplifier circuit that's used all over the place in audio equipment where you need a bit of gain, and the MEC pickups probably use a similar arrangement.
  8. Bought a book from Martyn - arrived in beautiful condition and carefully wrapped. Thanks very much!
  9. In the interests of Science, I've just tried removing the battery from my '93 Thumb, which has the same active pickups (although it's been fitted with the later preamp board). In passive mode, the pickups do still produce a usable signal with no voltage on the red wire, they've just got much less gain than usual.
  10. That's a diode - something like a 1N4148. It's feeding the op-amp's Vcc pin, presumably so that connecting the battery the wrong way round won't damage the op-amp. In that application any little silicon diode will do fine. Edit: Have you tried reflowing the solder joints on the board? Some of them look dodgy...
  11. That's a really nice-looking instrument (to my eyes, anyway!). Definitely list it on here... The nut looks interesting - compensated for the G string?
  12. Mexican Tele with a Wilkinson classic-style bridge fitted, and a Martin 00-15M.
  13. We had a couple request "The Wedding Song" as their first dance, which is definitely in this category (in this case they wanted the Matthew Mole song, not Peter Paul and Mary or any of the seemingly dozens of others). @Stylon Pilson - "Brenda Stubbert's" is on Ashley McIsaac's album "Hi How Are You", and "Ashley McIsaac's" is on Brenda Stubbert's album "In Jig Time".
  14. Nice. I do like these kinds of designs - sort of elegantly brutal!
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