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Username: the_axle

Post Number: 20
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 19, 2006 - 11:09 am:   Edit Post

Hi to everybody,
I posted a few weeks ago a thread about some problems with a bridge PU on a series II bass. Well, after an acurate diagnosis procedure here's the result: the bass is a 1978 series I (previous owner was convinced he had a series II for 10 years...) and the bridge PU is definitively dead and has to be changed. After a deep nervous break down, here's the question: can I order a new bridge PU with the same characteristics of a 1978 one or can I find a used one on ebay (for example)??
I'm not hurry but I don't want to let the bass in that way for a long time.

Take care

Intermediate Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 146
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, March 20, 2006 - 1:41 am:   Edit Post

What was your diagnostic procedure?

All that's in the pickup is a coil of wire. If you read resistance with a multimeter in a similar range to the working pickup, then the pickup is not your problem. It's easy for there to be problems with the cable or the connector too which would be less expensive to fix.

Given the facts of your old thread, I would think that it's much more likely that you've had a failure in one of the EQ boards (or again, possibly a bad connection).

If you dare, pull the upper back plate (the one with the trimpot holes). You'll see three connectors on the bottom edge of the board which are your pickups and hum-canceller. Try swapping the outer two connectors. If the problem moves to the other pickup, then your problem isn't the pickup, it's the electronics.

The kind of noise you described in the earlier thread really sounds like a problem with intermittent power to the electronics, a bad jack (if you're using the 1/4") or it could be a component failure on the EQ board.

If the problem is an intermittent connection, then it shouldn't be that expensive to fix. A component might be expensive, an EQ board replacement would be costly.

If you really need to get a new pickup, I'm sure Alembic can do something for you, but I don't even want to think about how expensive that might be. Normally, you'd probably want to replace both pickups and the canceller which are a matched set (gulp).

You ain't gonna find anything that going to help you out on eBay.

Good luck,

David Fung
Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 689
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 10:57 am:   Edit Post

I had a Series pickup (circa 1981) fail a couple of decades ago. Alembic replaced it with one that turned out was out of phase with the other pickup. When I got around to asking about it (some years later) Mica fixed me up with a matched pair. I don't believe Alembic has changed the Series pickup internals since they went with the rectangular shape, although the plastic/epoxy/stuff they are cast in has changed cosmetically. I don't know if you could get them to cast you a new one (or pair) with the old molds or not, but Mica could tell you if you send her an email. I like the older plain rounded look over the new look. The interim look with ALEMBIC recessed/routed into the face of the pickup was nice too.

Username: mica

Post Number: 3186
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 11:20 am:   Edit Post

For switching the pickups, I made this tutorial to help in dealing with the connectors.

On a 1978 the 1/4" jack would be wired in stereo, so with a normal mono guitar cord, you only hear the neck pickup.

Before you place an order for the pickup(s), please describe the troubleshooting procedure you used. We'd hate to have you go through the expense of a new pickup if it wouldn't solve the problem you are experiencing.

$130 for a single SC-1 pickup, but a matched pair is recommended ($250 for 2) for better results. We can cast them in the original mold so they will look like the originals. Ron may want you to measure the humcancelling coil to get a closer match remotely.

You can email me at the helpdesk if you want to make any of these arrangements.
Username: the_axle

Post Number: 21
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post

I've tried the operation described by David, and after switching the pickups connections on the preamp card, the problem moves to the neck pickup. So, the pickups are in good health and the problem is somewhere else... Mica, I'm afraid the 1/4" jack connection was changed in the past for a mono one as I can hear both pickups when connected to the amp with a mono cord. This bass is driving me mad!!!
I received the wiring schematics sended by Mica for series II bass (I thought it was a series II when I asked for the schematics !!) and I hope it will help to find the problem by comparing the real and the theorical connections. Hope I'll find what's wrong!!

Username: mica

Post Number: 3189
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2006 - 12:49 pm:   Edit Post

You can always send your preamp card to us for a repair or exchange for a flat $75 fee plus postage if you find that the rest of the wiring is correct. That is usually the least painful way to get a preamp problem resolved.

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