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bobpalt

How can I increase the output on an SWB-1 (active)?

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I have just bought a lovely blue Chowny SW-1 bass with the active tone system, but find that the output is quite low and as a result the tone at my normal amp levels is "polite" rather than full of umph! I have tried lifting the pickups to the point where they are nearly touching the strings but this has only given a marginal increase and the EMG system doesn't have an output control as such. Would I be best changing the pickups for something hotter and if so, what would be best, or do I need to upgrade the whole system? Could the volume pot be in any way to blame or is it just a characteristic of the bass? I would add that I own 2 other SWB-1 basses, an active fretted and a passive fretless and whilst not fire breathing monsters (like the Warwick Corvette short scale and a Fender Mustang I now gig with) they don't seem to be as restrained. I know I can turn the volume up on the amp but this gives me less headroom to play with! Thanks, Bob.

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Boost pedal would be my choice too, saves modding the bass and would make it easier to equalise the volume compared to your other basses. The TC Spark Mini looks like a good contender.

Look inside the cavity though to see if there is a trimpot, some active circuits have a gain control you can adjust with a screwdriver.

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[quote name='dannybuoy' timestamp='1506079537' post='3376293']
Boost pedal would be my choice too, saves modding the bass and would make it easier to equalise the volume compared to your other basses. The TC Spark Mini looks like a good contender.

Look inside the cavity though to see if there is a trimpot, some active circuits have a gain control you can adjust with a screwdriver.
[/quote]

This.

Many preamps have a trim pot in the circuit that you can adjust. If not and output is an issue... a boost pedal or an EQ pedal would do. EHX did a small cheap bosst pedal I think.

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No sorry, they are original models. I have bought a boost pedal which has transformed the new bass though! It's much heavier than the originals as well, which isn't necessarily a bad thing tone wise.

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If you want another solution rather thanthe boost pedal, find out what operational amplifier the active circuit uses (assuming op amp based rather than discrete transistors). Unless the op amp is something very exotic the probability is that it will run at 18V, thus increasing the 'hotness'. The more complex solution (change one resistor) is also possible once the circuit used is understood.

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Ok. The original SWB-1s that Scott was making had hotter pickups. We sacrificed a bit of that for better articulation.

Your boost pedal sounds like it's doing the trick though. :)

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