Saturday, 24 November 2012
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I'm looking to upgrade the original FD-3 pickups in my 5 string AB I (made in 2005). From recent posts on the subject, it looks like the FD-3 P-tone is what to get for the neck pickup. Is the P-tone's hotter output too much to balance well with an original FD-3 bridge pickup? Is the Mach II still recommended and available for bridge pickup replacement? Also, is it worthwhile/feasible to put in a volume or tone pot with a push-pull switch to switch the P-tone to series or parallel? Thanks in advance for any advise!
9 years ago
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#25102
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I think the coils in your current pickups are wired parallel. The P-Tone will dominate your bridge pickup unless you lower it further away from the strings. I don't know if the Mach II is still available. The online store currently shows only variations of the P-Tone. http://www.dingwallguitars.com/purchase ... -pre-amps/ As far as I know, the original FD3, the Mach II and the FD3-4L are all the same except for how the coils are connected. The original is parallel, the Mach II is series and the 4L has leads for both coils so you can wire it either way. (The P-Tone can also be wired series or parallel.) I think some people have done series/parallel switches on one of the pots. I haven't tried it. I have a push pull on my 2005 ABII for the preamp. I removed the BluEQube on both of my Afterburners, and put in series/parallel switches on all the pickups (FD3-4Ls). They are useful for selecting a subtle balance between the pickups, like on a typical Fender Jazz bass when you have the bridge pickup up full and the neck at about 8 or 9 or vice versa. When you solo the P-Tone you will definitely want its coils in series. It is a great sound. I had a P-Tone pickup but I went back to a 4L because the P picked up too much RF in my home. It was fine in other locations, though. The 4L is quieter with regard to RF interference and its output seems to be just a strong as the P. A Mach II or a 4L in series in the neck position already has a great P-bass type of tone but the P-Tone is raunchier. Whichever you choose, you will probably need some way to balance the neck with the bridge. Either lowering the neck pickup, putting a series/parallel switch on it or getting a bridge pickup that can be or is already wired in series.
9 years ago
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#25103
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Thanks for the comprehensive run-down, Dingbat. It sounds like I really need to swap out the bridge pickup as well. I'm not sure the neck pickup cavity is deep enough to lower the pickup much. Does anyone else know if the 5-string Mach II or FD3-4L bridge pickups are available?
9 years ago
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#25104
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Nice post Dingbat. I put a P tone in an AB-1 of about the same vintage. Super simple swap, and a huge improvement in the overall sound and output on my bass. The new schematic that will come with your P tone might not jibe with how the selector is wired, at least mine didn't. I ended up moving all the wires to the current drawing, and everything is working as expected now. The Ptone does overshadow the bridge pup, and I run it solo'ed or in my favorite position one click back. I have the Bridge pup up to the suggested height, and the P tone dialed slightly down. But my focus is on the P tone sound and I don't really fret over the bridge pup. The routes are pretty deep, and if it seems bottomed out, you might shorten the rubber tubing that acts like a spring for the pickup height adjustment. Does your AB-1 have the blueqube switch or push pull tone knob? Because that gives a very cool scooped, aggressive sound to the P tone and the blended positions. Installing the P tone is a great place to start. I've been very happy with the results. I've thought about replacing the bridge pickup with the neck pickup I removed, just to see what happens. Anybody tried this yet?
9 years ago
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#25105
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Thanks for the eye-witness account of your P-tone swap and tips for height ajustment, singlemalt. It looks like there are multiple ways to enjoy the Dingwall tone goodness.
9 years ago
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#25106
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Oh, yes! Thanks to Roller The AB-1 is sporting TI jazz flats, with a soft super low action. Not what you'd typically think of with the hi fi reputation of the Dingwalls. Solid thump, and super clear low end.
9 years ago
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#25108
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TI flats are the best!
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