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Skinnyman

Artec SE2 Onboard EQ

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I just bought a Bass Collection SB310 and, although I love the guitar, I was a bit less impressed with the level of hiss and noise coming from the 30-odd year old electrics. Plus, as has been mentioned on here before, the jazz pickup was a bit on the quiet side.

So I bought an Artec SE2 EQ off eBay which arrived this morning and I've just spent a happy hour or two fitting it.

In case anyone is impatient to find out the answer, I'll just say right up front that I'm really impressed with this. For £21 it's incredible value.

Here's the full story....


First thing to mention is that the thing comes loosely wrapped in bubble wrap with no instructions, wiring diagram or anything. But if you take a minute or two to study everything, you'll see that the connections are printed on the boards. There are wiring diagrams on the Artec website so it's not really an issue. The various pots are all connected to each other by molex connectors so the only thing that needs to be soldered is the input from the pups, the connections to the output jack and the battery clip.

It's not the hardest wiring job in the world if you're reasonably competent with a soldering iron. As always, three hands helps and the SB310 has loads of room inside the cavity so for me it was a nice easy job. Other basses may not be quite as forgiving....

I get very OCD about keeping wires tidy, making sure everything is shielded and properly grounded etc so whether it's my spectacular workmanship or the quality of the Artec but the upshot is that when reassembled I found the hiss had gone, the J pickup is on a par with the P pickup and the overall sound quality is really impressive.

The bass and treble cuts/boosts are subtle but effective. There's not a huge dynamic range on either the bass or treble pot but there's plenty for me.

Ok, this will never compete with a East, EMG, etc - but then, I don't think it needs to. It's a £21 replacement for a set of ageing electrics that I've put into a great little bass that's never going to be worth a fortune but warrants an upgrade.

At twice the price this would be excellent. At this price, it's a steal.

Edited by Skinnyman

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I fitted one of these to a passve warwick I used to have. Superb for the price.

We do need pics of the wiring !

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Revitalised my old Washburn XS-4 with one of these. Rather good for £20 odd quid from Thomann

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AxeRUs sell them as well and they tend to come in a proper Artec Blister Pack with instructions. I have used both SE2 and SE3 and been impressed with both. Funnily enough I put and SE2 in my first Bass Collection very soon after getting it. Absolutely transformed it.
Not sure if your problem with the original Bass Collection pre-amp was the same as mine, (Blend Control useless), but when I bought my 2nd Bass Collection and had the same problem, I thought it was a bit weird. Discovered the blend control is not where you expect, (behind the volume), it is BELOW the Vol, where the Treble control normally resides. The control behind the Volume is the Bass.
Easily sussed with mine as the pots were labelled inside.

Edited by BassBunny

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Last year I bought a new Atlas Shark Bass from the Northern Guitar Show at Aintree, that was hand made in Thailand. It came with the Artec SE3 electronics and like you say it sounds ok.

Jazzyvee

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[quote name='cachao' timestamp='1410720929' post='2552341']
Would this work with some active MECs from a Rockbass?
[/quote]

No. Preamps for active pickups require completely different potentiometer values than those for passive pickups. This preamp is designed for passive pickups.

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The pick ups in my bass do seem to be quite low volume, would it be worth throwing one of these in there to boost the volume up a bit?

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Nice write-up. I have the SE3P-A in one of my basses (the 3P-A is a three-band with sweepable mid, with bass/treb and mid/freq on concentric pots) and it's just as good as you describe yours to be. As you say, the dynamic cut-boost range isn't massive, but why would anyone need it to be? The frequencies that are there are musical and useable. I like it a lot, but I'm not sure if Artec are making it any more.

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