1. John H.
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  3. Saturday, 08 March 2008
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The Mach II went in several months ago in the bridge position. I've liked the bump in the mids and the generally thicker sound that the internal series linking of the split coils adds. When Sheldon and Jeff and the gang at DW decided to make a switchable (parallel/series) pup, I knew I'd have to give it a try. The tone I had been getting with the pups in parallel with two FD-3s and even with the Mach II/FD-3 combo wasn't cutting through as I would have liked in the rather hefty guitar environment I've been playing in lately. (The pups in series, however, have been fantastic no matter what the combo.) Last night I played with the pups in parallel but both internally in series and got just what I wanted. This setting is subtly more open on the high end than the two pups in series with each other.

The bass now has a MachII/MachII or a MachII/FD-3 setup with the twist of one knob. When soloing the neck pup, the extra bump in the mids gives it some muscle that didn't exist previously.

Here are some pictures of my install. Sheldon, Jeff and I decided to use an additional rotary switch to go to and from parallel/series linking in the neck pup, so I added a hole (I used a drill press and a brad point bit). I have also wired the two pups with D-sub connectors on the ends so I can switch out a pup quickly, without additional soldering, when I want to play around with the tone a bit (I've got some FD-1s I still haven't tried but will soon).

The new pup adds "organic" but subtle tonal options that have given the ABII a whole new dimension. As different combos of pickups and internal linking are selected, the tone and vol. change. The new Zs and Primas will have an series/parallel selector for the pups as standard.

Thanks to Jeff for helping me with the details and readying the switch for it's current purpose.
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Here are a couple more shots. The one of the bass is with the new pups installled while the shot of the pickup (the FD-3 that was replaced) shows the D-sub pins.
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Funkshwey Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Man that's tight John. Great job.

So do regular FD3's only come with 2 leads from the pu?
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[quote="Funkshwey":3ejriy2d]So do regular FD3's only come with 2 leads from the pu?[/quote:3ejriy2d]

Yes, that's right. FD-3, FD-1 and Mach II: two leads plus a shield. FD-3 4L (the switchable FD-3/Mach II): 4 leads plus a shield.

Thanks for the cudos. I'm loving the additional tones/flexibility!
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Funkshwey Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Would you say your your FD3 4L's in series are a MachII?
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[quote="Funkshwey":3stvo5fi]Would you say your your FD3 4L's in series are a MachII?[/quote:3stvo5fi]

If I understand your question correctly, yes, that's exactly what a Mach II is: an FD-3 that has the two coils of the pup internally wired in series. The FD-3 (and FD-1) is internally wired in parallel. The FD-3 4L gives the option of having both wiring configurations and resulting variety in tone and gain.
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[quote="John H.":1ht3y41v][quote="Funkshwey":1ht3y41v]Would you say your your FD3 4L's in series are a MachII?[/quote:1ht3y41v]

If I understand your question correctly, yes, that's exactly what a Mach II is: an FD-3 that has the two coils of the pup internally wired in series. The FD-3 (and FD-1) is internally wired in parallel. The FD-3 4L gives the option of having both wiring configurations and resulting variety in tone and gain.[/quote:1ht3y41v]

I just saw my wallet run and hide. :lol:
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[quote="Funkshwey":3pa3vly1]
I just saw my wallet run and hide. :lol:[/quote:3pa3vly1]

Wallets throughout Dingwall Land are doing that. :D
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So John you prefer the MachII/MachII setting in parallel? I'm wondering if I could get away w/modding to 2 MachII PU's w/out the extra switch, or maybe using the switch in place of the BluEqube switch.

I brought the 2 MachII's bridge and neck up to Sheldon and he didn't seem to think it was neccessary.

When I sub on bass at my churches (I usually play drums) I have some pretty big shoes to fill tonewise. One guy has a MM Anni H/S and it has low mid bite growl. We all run through a simple Whirlwind DI, very revealing.

Another guy subbed last night for us and he was using a Peavey w/2 HB soap bars and it had some nice bite but it was more in the upper mids, almost annoying, but I think everyone has some hearing loss so they like it. I wear earplugs. :wink:

At another church I sub for a guy who uses a Fender active Jazz and he's not scared of the bass boost. Lately when I play there w/my my fretless ABII-5 exclusively now I set the gain with the series setting w/bass boosted. This ensures I won't clip mid service. Then I switch to either neck or bridge soloed and boost the bass to match the original volume. The drummer was giving me a huge thumbs up. Bridge position bass boosted it's a mwah factory. Bridge position requires more bass boost to match volumewise.

I think I'd like to hear a little more low mid growl in my DW's. Don't get me wrong, they sound killer. 8)
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It's all good.

I think my setting preferences will change with location, amps, time, etc. I do very much like the parallel Mach IIs just as I do a setting or two w/ the MachII/FD-3.

I could try to describe the different tonal characteristics of the different combos, but that would probably be a waste of time and energy for everyone as I'm not very good at that kind of thing. The best would be some sound clips. Does anyone know of a relatively simple way to do that with a PC. I've not done any home recording for quite some time.
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[quote="John H.":25spcnkh]The best would be some sound clips. Does anyone know of a relatively simple way to do that with a PC. I've not done any home recording for quite some time.[/quote:25spcnkh]

All you need is a an A/D converter (if your computer has firewire ports, get one with firewire not USB2.0 output). Software you can find freeware (for simple recording).

TalkBass is helpful sometimes: [url:25spcnkh]http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=108890[/url:25spcnkh]
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If a mach 2 is an FD-3 wired in Series, is there any way that I could convert my FD-3 in the bridge position to series??

Thanks!
mitch

ps. I know nothing about wiring!!
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[quote="nm83396":1c1btykp]If a mach 2 is an FD-3 wired in Series, is there any way that I could convert my FD-3 in the bridge position to series??[/quote:1c1btykp]

Hi Mitch,

Although theoretically possible, I think it's a highly unlikely that the wiring could be changed internally as the pups are encased in resin.

John
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nm83396 Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Thanks John. Your last name wouldn't be Hall, would it???

mitch
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[quote="nm83396":tj32kgjf]Your last name wouldn't be Hall, would it???mitch[/quote:tj32kgjf]

No, it's Hiss. Hall would have been an improvement and saved alot of teasing in my grade school days. :D

Brim,

Thanks for the tip on recording. I've got a PC w/ USB 2.0, so guess I'm stuck with that. I'll see if I can get around to doing some clips for general reference before too long.

John
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Funkshwey Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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John that would be great if you could post some clips.
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Evolver Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Please excuse my ignorance, but if someone said an ABII (a newer vintage but I'm not sure exactly how new) had stock FD pickups, what pick-ups/configuration are being referenced? :?
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BurningSkies Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
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Most likely regular FD-3's unless its really recent (within the recent past few months I believe).

You could run the SN past Sheldon or post it here. Many of us have a good idea of where it would lie.
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Thanks Burningskies... Are the 'FD-3 Mach II' the most recent version?
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Yes, they were 'released' this past fall IIRC.
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