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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive: 2007 » Archive through September 24, 2007 » 9-volt to 18-volt conversion? « Previous Next »

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Intermediate Member
Username: worldfamousandy

Post Number: 111
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, September 17, 2007 - 9:32 am:   Edit Post

I recently picked up an '89 Elan, which had the frets removed. It is a beautiful bass, and It sounds great.

I have been playing a '76 Series 1 fretted bass for almost 20 years now, and I am definitely used to that big sound. I like the tonal characteristics of the Elan, but I feel like it could be a little bigger.

Questions: Can the Elan be modified to take another battery? Would this modification address my concerns?

Andy Calder
Senior Member
Username: bsee

Post Number: 1787
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, September 17, 2007 - 10:06 am:   Edit Post

I am not sure, but I asked about having my SC built 18 volt when I ordered it. I forget the details, but the basic answer was no. I don't know if that was based upon the particular component tolerances, the belief that it wouldn't improve anything, or something else entirely.

Intermediate Member
Username: bkbass

Post Number: 150
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, September 17, 2007 - 10:09 am:   Edit Post

I personally prefer 18 volts to 9 volts. The sound is bigger as you say, more finger on string sound.I like it on the other electronic packages as well as the series. Have you adjusted the internal level control? MAX that out first.Then try a lithium battery.A foot pedal may be the next move. Go down to Radio Shack and buy a package of battery harness. You should be able to jury rig a series circuit with two batteries and two harness and snap on a third harness to the existing harness in the bass. Remember your reversing the flow when mating up the existing harness with the jury rigged assembly. This should be able to give you 18 volts for information purposes before you start carving up that beautiful bass.You'll have to let it hang so you'll want to provide some sort of stress relief for the existing harness. Hope this helps.
Username: mica

Post Number: 4814
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Monday, September 17, 2007 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post

Changing an Elan to 18 volt won't make it sound like a Series I. These are two completely different beasts.

The Elan probably has a Maple body, which accounts for a good deal of the difference in tone. Listen to the basses acoustically, and you'll likely hear a large difference.

Additionally, the single coil pickups on the Series I and the Series I electronics contribute largely to its tone.
Intermediate Member
Username: worldfamousandy

Post Number: 112
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, September 17, 2007 - 9:46 pm:   Edit Post

I have adjusted the internal level controls. I realize that the Elan isn't going to sound like the Series 1, but I need some kind of boost. Maybe a stomp box compressor (my EBS sounds good), or an SF2?

Andy Calder
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 1349
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 4:33 am:   Edit Post

Andy. i can recommend the Aphex Bass Exciter for good stompbox based compression / boost.

Senior Member
Username: 2400wattman

Post Number: 457
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2007 - 7:16 am:   Edit Post

Andy, you might want to check out the MK.4.23 boost pedal made by Creation Audio Labs. This si a clean transparent boost that works excellent for bass. I use one on my jazz bass in this way-
j-bass+boost pedal to input 1 on F1X
S2 to input 2 on F1X
Before I got the pedal I could'nt leave my S2 plugged in for it would dumb down(squash the level) my j-bass. Instead of having the preamp modified this was the cheaper route and it works great. It definitely brought my jazz back to life with no coloration or compression, just boosted it until it matched the level of my S2. you may not run my kind of set up but the pedal is worth looking into. You can check it out at www.creationaudiolabs.com

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