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NBD Westone Spectrum


jay-syncro
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I recently picked up this Westone Spectrum out of curiosity. Westone seem to have a loyal following with lots of people suggesting they punch way above their weight. To be honest I didn't have massively high expectations, but wow what a bass! The build quality is amazing and it feels really solid, despite only weighing 3.7kg. The tuners look like Gotohs and are really substantial, the painted neck is silky smooth and a joy to play. The two most notable elements for me however are that it sounds amazing acoustically, really resonant and punchy, and secondly is that it almost plays itself. Seriously top notch playability. I always spend ages tweaking the action of a new bass to get it how I like it, but this was totally gig-able straight out of the box! The only two negatives for me are that the standard bridge has really long grub screws on the saddles which I found to be a hindrance as I like to palm mute a fair bit. This was easily rectified by throwing a Wilkinson bridge on, which fitted perfectly. The second, and the reason for this thread, is that when I play over the pickup the sound of my fingers hitting the pickup cover can be heard through my amp. Any ideas how to get around this? I can't imagine there's a drop in replacement as it's a bit of a mad design...
 

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Edited by jay-syncro
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6 hours ago, jay-syncro said:

I recently picked up this Westone Spectrum out of curiosity. Westone seem to have a loyal following with lots of people suggesting they punch way above their weight. To be honest I didn't have massively high expectations as it cost next to nothing, but wow what a bass! The build quality is amazing and it feels really solid, despite only weighing 3.7kg. The tuners look like Gotohs and are really substantial, the painted neck is silky smooth and a joy to play. The two most notable elements for me however are that it sounds amazing acoustically, really resonant and punchy, and secondly is that it almost plays itself. Seriously top notch playability. I always spend ages tweaking the action of a new bass to get it how I like it, but this was totally gig-able straight out of the box! The only two negatives for me are that the standard bridge has really long grub screws on the saddles which I found to be a hindrance as I like to palm mute a fair bit. This was easily rectified by throwing a Wilkinson bridge on, which fitted perfectly. The second, and the reason for this thread, is that the pickup sounds great but it seems to be quite microphonic. When I play over the pickup, the sound of my fingers hitting the pickup cover is really loud through my amp. Any ideas how to get around this? I can't imagine there's a drop in replacement as it's a bit of a mad design...
 

IMG_20200725_092355.jpg

I have the same bass in black

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18 minutes ago, BassApprentice said:

For the finger noise - pop some electrical tape over the pole pieces. Stops the contact and no effect on the output. 

It's funny you mentioned that, I tried it earlier and it didn't make much difference. It's quite odd, it almost seems like the whole bass is "live", if I tap the body anywhere it comes out of the amp. I removed the pickup to see if there's was anything amiss but all the joints seem okay. I was impressed by the countersunk threads in the body for the pickup screws. Nicer than the self tappers you get on a four grand bass from the Custom Shop 😁

 

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Something very similar happened to me years ago with an Aria from the 80s. You could speak into the pick up and it would come through the amp.

Not long after the pick up failed altogether. I know nothing about the inner workings, but had a trusty tech who ordered replacement from Kent Armstrong. I'd say it was better than the original.

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I’ve read wax potting the pickup helps with microphonic shizz.  No idea why, or if it’s true, but maybe someone with some actual knowledge might chime in with more detail.

In anticipation of that, do you have a picture of the back of the pickup?

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8 hours ago, Pea Turgh said:

I’ve read wax potting the pickup helps with microphonic shizz.  No idea why, or if it’s true, but maybe someone with some actual knowledge might chime in with more detail.

In anticipation of that, do you have a picture of the back of the pickup?

Here's the back of the pickup, it isn't potted but then again, most vintage style pickups aren't to my knowledge? Certainly worth some further investigation though 👍🏻

IMG_20200725_123910.jpg

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