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Upgrading Pickups and Electronics on a cheap bass?

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Hello there guys, I wanna ask you all a couple very important questions because I need help. So I’ve got an discontinued very cheap 2007 British made Vintage V800BK Bass that I bought 15 years ago, the neck is Maple with rosewood fingerboard and the body is made of several laminated wood pieces of Eastern Poplar. It has a PJ pickup configuration with reversed P-Bass pickup, so the only thing I wanna do is to upgrade and change the pickups and the electronics, because the original ones they completely suck sound awful and have a very low output, and I wanna buy two Seymour Duncan QP- SPB-3 P bass neck DC: 12,5 Kohm and SJB-3B singlecoil bridge DC: 14,61 Kohm. I read about these SD pickups that they are HOT, so my question is will these passive pickups will work and solve the low output signal problem on my cheap bass on both modes Passive and Active(with preamp module that have a trimpot for adjusting the gain when I switch them on active mode)? If they doesn’t which one you’ll recommend? Thank you. 🙂

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Is this roughly what you got:

https://www.musikhaus-korn.de/de/vintage-v800bk-black/pd/111405

First thing I would recommend (I know it's obvious) is to check the pickup height, preamp battery level, and how dead the strings are. If all are good you may wish to switch out one or both pickups, and/or the preamp. I'd definitely want to try the pickups wired directly to the output before changing anything, see if there's an issue with the preamp (even in passive mode) that's "suck"-ing the tone away. Could be you like the stock pickups & pre better than most others if you got it working properly. Or it may suck and you will end up dumping it lol.

 

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The above is good advice, but if you do end up deciding you want new pickups then maybe look at the Entwistle PBXN and JBXN. I've always said the PBXN is very much like the SPB3 but with slightly more mids, and although I haven't tried the Seymour Duncan 1/4 Pound J, the Entwistle J has that same vibe going on as the P. 

Absolutely go with the 1/4 Pound range of that's what you want as they're great, but the Entwistle Neo's are just as great at a fraction of the price. 

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Posted (edited)

P/J pickups and a preamp will cost you quite a bit - £200-£300. Is the instrument worth it? Remember you won't get much of the money back when/if you come to sell it. "Upgraded" instruments rarely fetch good money. Would it be better to put the money towards a new bass?

Edited by Dan Dare

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9 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

P/J pickups and a preamp will cost you quite a bit - £200-£300. Is the instrument worth it? Remember you won't get much of the money back when/if you come to sell it. "Upgraded" instruments rarely fetch good money. Would it be better to put the money towards a new bass?

Excellent point. Especially if the bass has bad dead spots or serious trouble (shifting neck, bridge, or other trouble that might be a pain or expensive to make right).

 

11 hours ago, Maude said:

The above is good advice, but if you do end up deciding you want new pickups then maybe look at the Entwistle PBXN and JBXN. I've always said the PBXN is very much like the SPB3 but with slightly more mids, and although I haven't tried the Seymour Duncan 1/4 Pound J, the Entwistle J has that same vibe going on as the P. 

Absolutely go with the 1/4 Pound range of that's what you want as they're great, but the Entwistle Neo's are just as great at a fraction of the price. 

Good suggestion. Entwistle are massive tone for a modest price, always worth considering for bass or guitar.

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On the upgraded topic, just take the upgrade bits out and return it to stock if you sell the bass. The removed bits could then be moved on to another bass or sold separately which will get a lot more money back than leaving them in.

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The large polepieces that work well on the Duncan Strat and Tele pickups have never really done it for me on the Precision Bass. They're louder than stock pickups but you lose the unmistakable character of a normal output P-Bass pickup like the SPB-1. The same applies to the Duncan Hot P-Bass pickup, incidentally, which sacrifices too much top end and tends to be muddy and characterless.

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34 minutes ago, stevie said:

The large polepieces that work well on the Duncan Strat and Tele pickups have never really done it for me on the Precision Bass. They're louder than stock pickups but you lose the unmistakable character of a normal output P-Bass pickup like the SPB-1. The same applies to the Duncan Hot P-Bass pickup, incidentally, which sacrifices too much top end and tends to be muddy and characterless.

This is because spb1 and spb2 SD pickups are sterile sounding, no character at all. I wouldn't say they're muddy, they are vintage voiced i.e not designed to have top end, so nothing sacrificed - this is how vintage voiced pickups are.

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Although I'm not keen on their hotter P-Bass pickups, I really rate the Duncan SPB-1, which is an accurate replica of a vintage P-Bass pickup and IMO has plenty of top end.

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EMG Geezer pickups do it for me. I’ve fitted them to my Squier Jaguar SS and they sound superb. It’s all passive and you get the electronics with it.

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