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Zon Improvement

Discussion in 'Maddrakkett's Caffe' started by DiMarco, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Yep. At it again... The original pre in my old Legacy. I don't have a clue why it even has a battery since it doesn't seem to do anything but cut high frequencies.

    Replacing it with a Bartolini pre that cuts and boosts at 30hz and 6khz. Also adding a 3way on/on/on switch to use the humbucking pickup in series/single/parallel mode.

    The switch arrives tomorrow.

    20190614_171434.jpg
     
  2. Nachobassman

    Nachobassman Bass, Tapas, and Rn´R!

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    Is that the original shielding work? Looks nice
     
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  3. Hardy

    Hardy Good Vibe Sponsor

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    On/on/on? This makes sure it IS on! :D
     
  4. Hardy

    Hardy Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Looks like quality work!
     
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  5. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Got all the components in. Throwing it together tomorrow.
    This is the wiring scheme. Where red (hot) gets connected to the pre thru the volume pot and gnd gets connected to erm well gnd.

    Bartolini_wiring_DPTT.jpg


    Smart people thought this up. Me I just copy it.

    The single pickup Zon Legacy will be having three pickup modes and active bass + treb EQ. In theory this SHOULD be an improvement and make it more versatile.
    But time will tell if I am being smart or stupid here... Stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  6. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Stuck everything together. No sound comes out.
    Turns out the pickup is different from the standard 4 strand Bartolini ones and I now have to find out how the fck this thing can be wired.

    20190616_131114.jpg

    The white bridges two connectors, the black is gnd. Red and green must be the two separate coils. I think it can not be wired in single coil or parallel mode. Bah.

    But then WHY does it even have 4 strands?

    Mildly annoyed here.
     
  7. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Just found out. This is an active pickup.
    WHAT? Did Bartolini ever build active pickups? Apparently so.

    ActiveBart.JPG

    Back to the drawing board... Or to replacing the pickup altogether.

    So this is what I gathered about this active humbucker:

    WHITE is preamp input
    GREEN is preamp output
    RED is +9 volts
    BLACK is gnd (in my case it is not hooked up to pin 3 but to gnd!)

    I do not know how to wire this in conjunction with my Bartolini active preamp just yet.
    Also, this renders the three way on/on/on switch completely useless so that is now officially a "producer switch".

    The brain is working hard on this. Stay tuned...
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  8. Nachobassman

    Nachobassman Bass, Tapas, and Rn´R!

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    Interesting stuff, Marco. Keep on posting.

    TBH I know too little about electronics to help you. :)
     
  9. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Thank you Nacho.

    This story is getting more interesting by the minute.
    Here's some wiring schemes where the white wire is not bridging posts 4 and 5 (preamilifier input and the treble coil output)...
    I think this is mainly used for integrating a boost circuit through the black wire, which in my case is not connected to post 3 but gnd.

    activebart_strat.JPG Itgetsworse.JPG

    I already found out the wiring posts on the E90 and E-88-D pickups are identical.

    What I need to find out now though is if I can simply hook it up without blowing my new HR 2.2 AP/918 bass pre.
    Nothing on the internet tells me if that pre can handle any active pickups.

    Also, not being able to switch coil modes kinda spoils my idea of having a wide array of tones from this bass.
    Should I simply throw in a passive pickup instead? Nah that would be boring. Let's try to make this work.

    I quote myself:

    WHITE is preamp input
    GREEN is preamp output
    RED is +9 volts
    BLACK is gnd (in my case it is not hooked up to pin 3 but to gnd!)


    So I am hooking up BLACK to gnd directly and WHITE to the preamp.
    Red will get +9v only after testing what hooking up just black and white accomplishes.
     
  10. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    OK. Hooking up just the black and white, without applying 9v to the pickup WORKS LIKE A CHARM.
    Now let's pursue this further. I want my coilmode switching now that the pickup works perfectly in passive mode!

    On the pickup I am going to ignore pins 1, 2 and 3 since those are the ones for active crap we do not need.
    Also, pin 4 (the current white wire output) is not needed anymore after this:

    I will turn this active humbucker into a standard four strand pickup.
    To do this I will:
    1. Remove the bridge 4+5 and 6+7 on the pickup (5 becomes treble coil output, 7 becomes bass coil output
    2. Wire the rest of the pins as follows:
      Pin 5 treble hot -> BLACK
      Pin 6 treble gnd -> GREEN
      Pin 7 bass hot -> RED
      Pin 8 bass gnd -> WHITE

      Fingers crossed!
    After rewiring the now passive pickup, I will once again hook up the 3way on/on/on switch.
     
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  11. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Of course, the wires are too short for rewiring. Sigh.

    20190616_161709.jpg
     
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  12. Hoggles

    Hoggles Supporting Member Good Vibe Sponsor

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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    I must confess I can't follow you. I find it very peculiar that the pickup is active even though it can operate without +9v connected.
     
  14. DiMarco

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    The active part seems to be designed to allow an extra boost circuit to be implemented.
    On a bass guitar, a boost circuit is kinda obsolete you just want active EQ if anything.

    On a guitar however, this circuit would allow you to add extra volume and dirt to your solos without needing any boost pedal.

    Since I am going to use the separate coils in different modes, active boosting would require extra wires from and to my switch.
    And because the pickup sounds fine when used passive, I decided to keep things simple and skip the active part.
     
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  15. DiMarco

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    OK I got everything working, but the single coil and parallel modes are much lower volume then the series humbucking mode is.
    This pickup was clearly not designed with these possibilities in mind. However it does sound very strong and articulate now in HB mode so all in all it still is an upgrade. The bass sounds a lot more powerful then it did without an active EQ preamp.

    So far so good, but I am still thinking of replacing the pickup, or adding another two :)
     
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  16. jester

    jester ocdemon Moderator

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    Not sure how much experience you have with series/parallel/single setups but this is almost always the case concerning output. Also, I find sometimes the series humbucking mode can still have a bit of noise, but the increased output usually makes up for it.

    The pickup position is such that installing two Js would indeed be very interesting. I'm thinking of doing the same with my Streamer Pro-M although the humbucker is closer to the bridge making installation of a bridge J barely possible, and even then it will be a bit fugly.
     
  17. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    The Hyperjazz has it and sounds fine in any mode.
    I guess Vincent pickups are better then Bartolini.
     
  18. Henrythe8

    Henrythe8 Dolphin Hoarder

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    Methinks you should give the pickup some +9v, and I'm pretty sure you'll have a more "equal" sound between the serial and Parralel.
    I also guess that Zon doesn't use Off The Shelf Barts, but custom made. By the look of the pickup, I'm also wondering if it's not a Quad Coil.
    I have to say how much I admire your compulsivity tenacity. :)
     
  19. DiMarco

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    Well it sounded pretty much the same passive but now I have an active pre instead of an active pup.
    I will probably add one or more extra pickups in time, the bass is excellent for modding. Maybe I will throw three P90 shaped singles in there and add a pickguard.
     
  20. DiMarco

    DiMarco nutcase Good Vibe Sponsor

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    Today I opened up the bass again since going through the Bartolini wiring documentation made me realize I had my two signal wires (black and red) mixed up. I switched the red and black wire positions on the pickup poles and now my three way DPTT on-on-on switch does its job perfectly.

    Pins are now as follows:
    • Pin 5 treble hot -> RED
    • Pin 6 treble gnd -> GREEN
    • Pin 7 bass hot -> BLACK
    • Pin 8 bass gnd -> WHITE
    In bottom position the pickup coils are wired in series like it always was before - a standard humbucker configuration.
    In middle position I am only using the neck coil.
    In top position the two coils are wired parallel. This is also named humbucker but has slightly lower and more clean sounding output.

    The pickup being in the position it is - the sweet spot - makes the differences between the coil modes less evident then they are on my Hyperjazz where the humbucker is very close to the bridge so each of the two coils have a more drastically different response.

    In humbucking the bass sounds growly and fat, in single coil it loses a tiny bit of growl and gains some treble and articulation. In parallel humbucking mode it sounds like single coil mode but without the added treble. Again, the differences are not huuuge because of the pickup placement. I still have to check at rehearsal room / stage volume just how big or small these differences are.

    Anyway, The bass is working perfectly now - plays like an absolute dream and feels very much like a 1989 Dolphin Pro1 with its flat and wide neck shape. Tone wise I can describe it as extremely articulate, glueing the mix together like a Precision bass does but with all the pro's of an active bass and having a much nicer treble response which enables it to sport Marcus Miller like slap tone.

    The guys at the jamsession were blown away by how well this bass plays and sounds so I let all the bass dudes have a go at playing it. None of them had ever heard of the brand Zon.
     
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