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Setting dual pickups, action, etc. - ?


Deep Creek

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I have searched for this and could not really find what I am looking for (maybe because it is a series of stupid questions :freak: )

 

I have recently purchased an Ibanez SR305DX. I am running through and Ampeg B2. Besides getting used to the added string, I am making myself insane trying to get the right tone using the dual pickup levels. Add to this the Phat knob and the amp settings and I am tinkering way too much. I previously had a Fender Squier II (you know - the "its my first bass - bass") that I got in about '89. 2 knobs - level and tone. (Easy even for the college kid I was at the time)

 

I need some advice on how to adjust these 2 pickup controls to get the right tone. I am really ignorant about it. For example: If I adjust them during a gig, am I affecting my overall volume or should I leave them alone and if so where? Should I have them both up halfway or full on both? And should I leave Phat knob off until I set the pick up tone? etc, etc. And beyond the controls, how can I tell if I like the action or not? I believe I am correct in assuming "high" action refers to strings higher off the neck. I know it sounds like a stupid fest (written concurrence is not needed as it will be assumed) but I have just recently joined a band and need to focus my time on learning and playing well the 30 or 40 tunes we have. Anyone go through a set up on this bass? :confused:

Deep Creek

Knoxville

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As fas pickup levels go...it is fairly simple. The pickup closer to the neck is going to be warmer and take in more lows. The pickup towards the bridge is going to be brighter and trebly. So if you want a scalloped sound with a lot of highs and lows boost them both. If you like a dub soound cut back on the bridge pickup and boost the neck pickup. If you want Jaco cut back on the neck pickup and boost the bridge. As far as action goes...it varies for everyone. I like low action for speed and comfort, but with higher action you can really dig in. Experiment and see what you like. If you are setting action yourself you might want read up on setting intonation as well.

 

As for most things I am not the definitive authority. So, keep an ear for other things.

We must accept the consequences of being ourselves-Sojourn of Arjuna

 

Music at www.moporoco.com/nick

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Phooey! I am having a heck of a time making this SR305 sound like I want it. I am close to pulling the old Squier 2 back out but its got electrical problems out the wazoo I think. I have tried so many combinations and tried SplitNicks suggestion but still pulling my hair out!!

 

Truth people - did I make a bad investment? Who has one of these SR305s out there? They had two 5 strings at Guitar Center for under $1000 when I went, this one and a Yamaha and I needed one fast as I had just made the new band, needed some deep stuff for 2 or 3 tunes, and (stupid, maybe) - wanted to make an investment as a good faith gesture and also hoped to improve my somewhat amateur sound. I found the neck on the Yamaha to be too wide for me coming from the 4. So I got the Ibanez. Good name, good bass, right? uhhh....?? Got it for $310 which I still think was a good deal but so far, I am struggling with getting a good sound. I might lower the action too, way too much finger popping noises going on here. Playing through an Ampeg B2 - What to do?

 

Deep creek is drowning, DROWNING I TELL YA!! :mad:

Deep Creek

Knoxville

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Hello Deep Creek, First of all take a deep breath and relax. Remember.. a Jedi is calm, at peace.passive. :D Now, you havent told us some things which would be helpful for us to know such as; what style of music are you playing? Do you play pick or finger style? Are you wanting to get one type tone or do you intend to change tones throughout the set to match the songs?

I do not own an Ibanez but I have played a few and have found them to be pretty well made so be of good cheer! I dont believe you made a bad purchase. According to the Ibanez website your bass has active electronics. So first of all change out the battery to a new one. Furthermore it is important that the instrument is set up correctly. If you do not know how to do this take it to a competent repairman/ luthier (ask around). He will be able to adjust the neck, pickups and bridge so that you have an even response from the pickups and correct intonation. I would also recommend that you have him put a new set of quality strings on at this time. Most basses come with poor quality strings, just remember different types of strings will have an effect on your tone.

Now that you are sure that your bass is properly set up, plug into your amplifier. Set your amp's tone controls to be as flat as possible. Turn all the controls on the bass off. Next, turn up the volume to one pickup only, then experiment with all the available tone shaping options on the bass, not the amplifier. Once you get a tone you like turn the volume all the way down on that pickup and bring the volume up for the other one and repeat the process.Then turn up both pickups and even out the tone. Only after you are familiar with the natural tones of your bass can you make worthwhile adjustments to your amplifier.

Another thing, your bass should have come with an owners manual. Read it thoroughly. I realize that these manuals are sometimes rather vague but you can also find information on the companys website. If you didnt get a manual when you bought it you may be able to download one from them.

Well, I hope that I have been of some help to you. I know that there are many folks more knowledgeable than me here and I am sure that they will be able to help also. Youve come to the right place!

Good luck, hang in there!

 

Regards, Basshappi

 

(Wow! This was my most long- winded post yet! Ill try not to make this a habit folks, promise )

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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