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Electronics recommendation for Warwick SS1

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Hello - I have a Warwick Streamer Stage 1 and am looking to upgrade the electronics. I'm not getting on with the stock MEC pre and pickups as I want a 3 band EQ and I find the treble a little harsh. I know quite a few people swap out their stock Warwick electronics, and was wondering if anyone had a particular recommendation for a SS1 (cherrywood body, maple neck)?

I'm currently thinking about either EMG PJs with a BQC pre, or Seymour Duncan Pro Active PJs with a SD 3 band preamp. Does anyone have experience of these in a Streamer? Or are there other options I should be considering? In terms of sound I'm fairly flexible, but I like a warm tone and would be keen to retain that Warwick growl.

Cheers! 

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I went for Bartolinis and an OBP-3 when I changed the electronics in my Stage 1. Have zero experience of any of the others you mention so not very useful I'm afraid, but it's given me exactly what I was after.


I wasn't happy with the stock setup as I found I was boosting the bass a lot to get the tone I was after; with the OBP-3 I went with the 18V option but find with this combo I'm running it either completely flat, or with the slightest hair of bass boost. The switchable mid freq is great too, and a useful upgrade from the stock 3 band eq, though obviously not as flexible as a semi-parametric mid freq control (is that the right term?) that you get with some other preamps.

Having changed both at the same time I can't tell you whether it's the pups or the preamp that have made the biggest difference I'm afraid, but that combination is doing it for me.

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Thanks @AxelF, that is really helpful! I’ve heard a lot of love for the OBP-3 in Warwicks elsewhere, so perhaps I should expand my search a bit. Main reason I honed in on the EMG/SDs is because Warwick offer them as options, but that’s not to say something else wouldn’t work.

I am very tempted by the Barts, though I have some in another bass (and they’re great) so I just fancy something different. Perhaps I could go with the Aguilar pre and either the EMG/SD pickups. Hmm. 

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I'm in the same boat at the moment with my LX4. Although Warwick are my favourite brand, It it has to be said, the MEC preamp has a horrible treble freqency selection. It's just pure clank and brittleness. But, it's part of what gives Warwicks that signature tone in a live mix. I'd imagine an EMG preamp would make for good bedfellows as MEC p/u's are essentially EMG copies.

Edited by 40hz
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37 minutes ago, 40hz said:

I'm in the same boat at the moment with my LX4. Although Warwick are my favourite brand, It it has to be said, the MEC preamp has a horrible treble freqency selection. It's just pure clank and brittleness. But, it's part of what gives Warwicks that signature tone in a live mix. I'd imagine an EMG preamp would make for good bedfellows as MEC p/u's are essentially EMG copies.

Yeah, I’m guessing the EMGs will be closest to the ‘typical’ Warwick sound so are a very good option. I’m very tempted by the SDs though, I think Dirk Lance and P-Nut had them in their basses? Ah, so many possibilities 😂

Please do keep me posted on what you end up going for and what impact it has on your tone, be great to know how you get on. 

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9 hours ago, 40hz said:

I'm in the same boat at the moment with my LX4. Although Warwick are my favourite brand, It it has to be said, the MEC preamp has a horrible treble freqency selection. It's just pure clank and brittleness. But, it's part of what gives Warwicks that signature tone in a live mix. I'd imagine an EMG preamp would make for good bedfellows as MEC p/u's are essentially EMG copies.

My '97 LX6 had SD Basslines soapbars as MEC didn't make pickups that big at the time. They sounded rather nice,  even with the stock 2 band MEC EQ...

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I don't find the 40hz bass frequency centre on the Aguilar pres to be very musical.  A boost at this frequency is largely just mush, so really it can only be used musically as a cut.  Darkglass have theirs at around 70hz which is much more versatile IMO.  

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I put a Bartolini HR 4.5 AP in my '98 Streamer LX after the stock MEC preamp died. I kept the stock pickups though.

Sometimes Bartolinis can sound really smooth but with the MEC pickups it still has that Warwick sound, only with more tonal flexability.

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54 minutes ago, acidbass said:

I don't find the 40hz bass frequency centre on the Aguilar pres to be very musical.  A boost at this frequency is largely just mush, so really it can only be used musically as a cut.  Darkglass have theirs at around 70hz which is much more versatile IMO.  

I also really like the Audere preamp frequencies!

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Loads of great options, I think this may end up coming down to ease of install if I can’t make my mind up as it’s tricky to find a good luthier at the moment (which may mean EMG 🧐)

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I'll be watching this. I own a lovely Streamer LX5 (with two active MEC J pickups and 2-band EQ) that I've had for some 10 years now, and I love the lows but always felt the highs sound thin and overly agressive and the bass has a huge natural low mid scoop that I can't remedy with the onboard 2-band. It sounded great in my metal band where it had to punch through a very full mix with two 7-string guitars and quite a bit of keys, but it's pretty much useless for anything else. I also just bought a Streamer LX 4-string (with the regular MEC PJ pickups and 2-band) but have yet to find out how it sounds because I'm waiting on a new neck pickup for it that will be delivered to me later this week because the original one didn't work. 

I'm familiar with the OBP-3, I have one in an Ellio Martina Forza (basically a modern active 5-string Jazz) running on 18V. I agree with @acidbass about the bass frequency, it's only useful for cutting. The moment you boost the bass even slightly you're lost in the mix, especially on the low B-string. 

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Just in case anyone is interested - I’ve been doing a bit more research and a luthier has recommended Delanos as an option. Apparently they solve the issue of the excessive brightness and harsh treble sometimes associated with the MECs so I might give them a look. Not sure if anyone has any experience of them?

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