The Washburn Guitars Forum

Washburn Basses => Discuss Basses and Bass Playing => Topic started by: aphs on February 08, 2004, 05:34:56 PM

Title: Washburn RB4500 pickup trouble
Post by: aphs on February 08, 2004, 05:34:56 PM

I've been playing my Washburn for 3 years and I am now starting to be less satisfied with it.

First and foremost, the output is weak. Even an old cheap passive bass I borrowed from a friend has a much stronger signal and more importantly a better TONE. The RB4500 pickups seem to produce a tone that's a bit like a synthesizer in comparison with most other basses I know.

The second problem is major imbalance. The volume of the tone I get from the G and D strings is a lot quieter than the BEA strings.

I've tried raising and tilting the pickups slightly. That has largely corrected the imbalance problem but the output is still weak compared to the cheap passive bass. And it still sounds a bit lifeless in the tone to.

Does it ship with bad pickups, is it time to install EMGs?
Title: Washburn RB4500 pickup trouble
Post by: Russell Sova on February 10, 2004, 06:01:10 AM
I'm surprised you waited this long. Did it just start doing it? You know, everything mechanical can break down. I'd find an authorized dealer and take it there. Did it always have this tone or did it degrade? Did you like the tone when you bought it? Perhaps it was a lemon or something broke down, it'll be much less expensive to fix than to spring for a new bass. Ans any other bass may not have the same ease of play as a Washburn. I've been playing basses since the 1960's and I'll vouch for the feel of a Washburn. Also, I never buy active instruments due to the problem you've just encountered. The T24 is a passive bass. I have a freind who spent a lot of money on a Warwick and he had similar problems as you with the output of his active bass.
Title: Washburn RB4500 pickup trouble
Post by: aphs on February 10, 2004, 10:53:27 AM
No, it hasn't done it only recently, it's been like that for quite some time. My inexperience plus the fact that I was only using a practice amplifier for most of the time was causing me to think it was my playing wasn't good enough yet rather than the bass itself.

Then when I started to record myself (listen up beginners, you've got to record yourselves!!) I discovered that the D and G simply were less audible even though I plucked the strings with the same force or even more strongly. Then I started to suspect that something was wrong with it.

Also, it took me some time and listening to the basses of other people to start picking up on the fact that the tone was a bit soulless.

Now I've got a smoking gun because I went to the dealer and picked up a new instrument of the same model and it sounded just like mine did before I changed the pickups.

I agree, I like the action and the neck and the way it looks. Sometimes because the strings are close together popping is tricky but I'm getting there. Still, I don't like the tone, it's not rich and fat, its diet bass. Is it possible to change to passive pickups?

Title: Washburn RB4500 pickup trouble
Post by: Russell Sova on February 11, 2004, 08:16:55 PM
You can put any pickups on it you want, a luthier would be able to do the job, but, it sounds like you're able to do yourself. That's good because you'll save a bunch doing it yourself. Just remember to disconnect the active stuff, but you probably already know that.
Title: Washburn RB4500 pickup trouble
Post by: aphs on February 16, 2004, 12:10:52 PM
OK, seems that passive pickups is the way to go. What manufacturers make good bass pickups?

My bass has got 24 frets.

Title: Washburn RB4500 pickup trouble
Post by: kobstar on March 14, 2006, 01:32:24 PM
Are you shure that the problem is only in pickups?
Maybe the wood is toneless?
This guitar is very heavy and sounds so flat!
Im gonna change pickups,can you give some advice for that!
Maybe active seymour duncan for musicman,or for j-bass?
Or maybe EMG's?
Should i change whole electronics in bass?