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Active Electronics Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitars' started by Prometheus, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Prometheus

    Prometheus

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    Hi everyone, first post here. :)

    I got a Rockbass back in November (not sure what kind), and am considering putting an active EQ in it to get some extra clarity and definition. I don't know much about what's available or what's good, though, and was wondering if there were any suggestions.

    It has two soapbar style pickups which are passive, and three knobs. Two seem to control volume from the pickups and I'm not terribly certain of what the other one does.

    Anything I should look for?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Martin Such

    Martin Such

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    you've got a Streamer Standard, a 2 pickup version (there is also a version with one pickup). According to some owners, these pickups tend to sound a little muddy, as well as the body wood, which is carolena. Some people make upgrades to this bass. One possibility is to swap the pickups for ones with hotter output and more definition, and that's what I would do. There's not too many options, as only some model of Bartolinis fits into these routing. But, from what I've heard, it cures some of this bass' sound imperfections.
     
  3. Prometheus

    Prometheus

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    Muddy is the word that's been applied to it.

    Would you recommend pickups first, with an EQ as a later improvement?

    I'm not too certain of what's available or the impacts they'd have, but I am looking for something that suits the styles I play a little more. I tend to play rock/metal, and quickly, and I've found clarity and volume on the high end to be the main issues.

    Any specific suggestions as to pickups, and active or passive?
     
  4. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum Prometheus!
    Your bass is made to be on the fat side - as opposed to the clarity and definition you are looking for.
    This is coming mainly from the Carolena wood used.
    The pickups are fat style too, so changing them can make the bass clearer, but ... you know... it will still be the same bass.
    Imagine the pickups like a microphone. You can sing through a SM 58, and then you can buy a very expensive condenser mic. It will sound better, cleare? yes... It will be a different voice? No!

    That being said, I wouldn't change anything on that bass. It is a nice bass, but it is made to have a different sound... If you don't like it, you better sell it and buy a different bass...
     
  5. Prometheus

    Prometheus

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    Thank you for the welcome. :)

    I enjoy the warmth it has as well, and find it exceptionally suited to chords and acoustic style playing. However, I'm looking to enhance the playing I do that isn't under the previous categories, without destroying my ability to do both.

    A little less mud and more variety in bright to warm would be nice. I've heard Bartolini makes some pretty good pickups and onboard electronics, anything else I should consider?
     
  6. golem

    golem Philosopher King

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    Playing with a pick ?




     
  7. pista

    pista

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    Maybe you can use an EQ pedal (BOSS GE-7 orsomething like that) for boosting the highs. I heard a bassist who did it with a RB streamer (the same that you have).
     
  8. Prometheus

    Prometheus

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    I play with my fingers, so I know the attack's a little softer that way, I just never really liked picks. But, like I said, I do enjoy a variety of styles.

    I've got a distortion pedal with a bit of an EQ that helps a little bit, but I suspect that the mud can't be lightened at all without pickups.
     
  9. Martin Such

    Martin Such

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    It can. Keep the strings fresh, make sure your left hand technique is good and precise, get some sort of graphic EQ and cut the frequencies between 150 and 350 Hz (not everyone will agree). But ultimately, Florin is right. This bass was designed and made to be deep, warm and dark. If you want different sound, get a different bass. Staying within the RockBass range, a Corvette Basic or a Streamer LX would probably be better for what you expect.
     
  10. golem

    golem Philosopher King

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    You can try a really massive
    brass bridge. That flimsy zinc
    Gotoh is letting the wood eat
    up the vibes. Something like
    a monster HipShot may help,
    in that your strings would be
    anchored to lotsa hard metal
    with less influence from soft
    wood. Right now, your vibes
    pass thru that stiff but LOW
    MASS bridge to soft wood. A
    massive bridge wood reduce
    the voice of the wood and
    increase the voice of metal.
    Talking about close to $100
    for a big brass bridge. Don't
    get aluminum [less mass].

    If you do wood and metal
    shop work, you can just rout
    out a rectangle 3mm deep
    under the current bridge and
    put a 3mm brass or stainless
    steel plate under your bridge
    thaz there right now [which
    is prolly bent, like all every
    other Std I've known or had].

    Mainly, you want your strings
    talking to lotsa metal instead
    of that mushy carolena wood,
    so introducing a tone block is
    easier with metal plate than
    replacing a whole section of
    carolena with rock maple !




     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 21, 2009
  11. Prometheus

    Prometheus

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    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far.

    I have another question: Is dark something that also comes with muddy, or are the two separable? Is it possible to make my bass keep its darker tones while also sharpening up the sound?
     
  12. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    A thumb bass is dark without being muddy at all. Usually hard woods are tight sounding, while soft woods can be muddy.
    You can do some tricks though:
    Use more the bridge pickup
    Low Cut - below 80 hz, total clean below 30- 40 Hz.
    Boost 250 Hz and/ or 400 Hz. 400 is nice. You want low mids in your sound, not lows.
    Pick the strings closer to the bridge.
     
  13. Ronald Torrito

    Ronald Torrito

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    Perhaps it's rash to have a newbie give you advice but, have you tried roundwound strings? Some are even brighter than others from what I've heard.
     
  14. pista

    pista

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    If you link an EQ pedal BEFORE the distortion pedal, the sound will not messed up. I always cut the lows and boost the highs when playing on a distorted sound. But don't forget: the EQ must be before the distortion step.
     
  15. james brunnning

    james brunnning

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    A badassII bridge is cool and it covers all the old mounting holes.I put one on my fretless german made std.And I rewired the pups for highest output, and the bass sound great.
     
  16. Grgzilla

    Grgzilla

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    There was a guy here with a Streamer std once & he fitted some Barts to it.They were the only pups that would drop straight in.iirc he liked the increase in output & boost in clarity.
    fwiw.
     
  17. Prometheus

    Prometheus

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    Well, I've ordered some bartolinis and a preamp to match, so we'll see how that goes. I'll definitely give the bridge a try if I need some extra tweaking.

    I believe roundwounds are the 'default' string, though I could be wrong. Thanks for all the suggestions, guys. :D
     
  18. Florin

    Florin Warwick Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah, rounds are the default strings :)
     
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