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Thread: Slappin' together da IB-5 mon!

  1. #61
    Member michnet76's Avatar
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    Well I lodged my tax return earlier this week and the estimated return was a bit more than I was expecting so I went ahead and ordered a set of SD SSB-5s pups! I cheaped out on the postage though (hey it was free vs $38 for expedited!!) so will probably take 3-4 weeks to get here from the US. The new pots & caps rocked up yesterday but I think I'll wait until I have the new pups and install it all at the same time.

    I also finally got around to doing a more thorough setup the other night. Now that the neck has had a chance to settle for a few weeks under tension it seems the warp issue has improved. Those following this thread may recall the issue I had; with the neck off of the body and the truss rod adjusted so the bass side was dead flat the treble side had some forward-bow and vice-versa, adjust the treble side dead flat and the bass side had some back-bow. When I first assembled it and did the initial setup the warp was quite noticeable - I set the relief on of the B string (.3mm) and the G string was nearly a 1mm! Checking the relief now the difference is only around .1mm between the B and G strings and with the neck angle altered now I have plenty of clearance on the G string saddle to adjust the string height. The other benefit I've noticed of changing the neck angle is that the strings sit higher off the body which, combined with the neck recess/reduction I did gives a bit more room to get the fingers under the strings for popping. I quite like slap style (I suck at it but I'm practicing!) so these mods have made it a bit more practical to do on this bass.

    Overall I'm quite happy with how it's turning out - seems to play well now. No noticeable fret buzz with string heights set to 2.4mm on the bass side going down to 2mm on the treble side. If I get over excited though I still get that clacky string/fret noise and some fret buzz. I still need to develop my fretting and plucking technique. I've found this 5 stringer is less forgiving than my Yamaha 4 string - there's the wider neck, narrower string spacing and an extra string to keep muted but it also picks up every little bit of handling noise which makes my playing sound extra sloppy! I do have tapewounds on the Yamaha at the moment though and have found that they reduce quite a lot of handling noise but I don't recall the Yamaha giving me as much handling noise as the IB-5 does now back when I had roundwounds on it. At least with tapewounds it's not metal on metal contact between the strings and frets and being smooth there's no string talk to worry about. I may consider putting tapewounds on the IB-5 down the track. I'm also hoping better quality pups will help, I've used cheap chinese pups in guitars in the past and was never happy with the characteristics and sound they produced.

  2. #62
    Member michnet76's Avatar
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    The SD SSB-5s rocked up yesterday



    The box was just sitting in a bubble wrap lined envelope so it's pretty beat up and cracked in a few areas but the pups seem okay. Side note: Really wish sellers would put more thought and care into packaging. Usually if I send anything it's wrapped in with half a roll of bubble wrap and double boxed! Never want to be accused on damaged goods on arrival due to poor packaging!

    Anyway, last night I was eager to start installing it all, stripped the OEM pups and electronics out. Unwrapped the new pots only to find the shafts are too short. Not a problem I thought, I can just dremel a bit more wood out to make them fit. Then I noticed the wiring diagram for the SD pups recommend 250k pots and .05 (.047 would have to do) cap. The pots that came with the kit are 500K and .067 caps so that is what I ordered from Evatco the other week as my original intention was just to replace those for now and use the OEM pups that came with the kit.

    Ah well, another lesson learnt - I should have researched what pots and caps SD recommended for their pups when I first ordered them so I could have it all organised and ready to go when the new pups arrived! So I ordered some 250k pots and .047 caps last night and will have to put off the installation to next week.

    I debated whether to just use the 500k pots and 0.67 caps and see what I get but from my understanding of pot resistance effects - the higher the resistance value the more treble gets through the signal - the general rule as I understand it is to use 500K on humbuckers as they're generally darker in tone, and 250k on singles to tame the brightness. The TE Elf is a mid focused amp so I would be better off with the 250k's I think.

  3. #63
    GAStronomist wazkelly's Avatar
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    Are the SD's 2 wire or 4 wire? If 4 wire that would suggest HB and 2 wire single coil, ie J Bass sounding? If 2 wire, yes the 250k pots would be best.
    On the upgrades i used in tge EX5 they are HB and used push pull pots to coil tap and that gave it so many more sounds to use.

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  4. #64
    Member michnet76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wazkelly View Post
    Are the SD's 2 wire or 4 wire? If 4 wire that would suggest HB and 2 wire single coil, ie J Bass sounding? If 2 wire, yes the 250k pots would be best.
    On the upgrades i used in tge EX5 they are HB and used push pull pots to coil tap and that gave it so many more sounds to use.

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
    Yeah two wires only, reading through the sales pitch they say they're single coils.

  5. #65
    Member michnet76's Avatar
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    Greetings all... Last night I finally got around to installing the new SD pups along with some shiny new 250K Bourns pots and rather large 47uf Sprague cap and Switchcraft barrel jack. I wired it up as SD recommended: 2V 1T. I just put an old pot in the 4th hole to fill it for now.

    I only plugged it in for a few minutes just to test it out as I was running out of time but it all seems to be working at advertised. The signal output is a lot hotter than the original setup so primary goal achieved! It's also much more quiet - as I had to have the gain and volume cranked with the OEM pups it also boosted all the noise along with it. Handling noise seems to be about the same though - the SD's seem to be just as sensitive to the OEM pups when it comes to how you pluck the strings, and pull off the string after fretting etc. I think this is more my poor technique though which I have to work on. The Yammy has the tapewounds which helps mute quite a lot of that handling noise.

    Tonight if I get some time I will fine tune the pup heights and give it a good playing - might even try my hand at recording something as a demo!

    I've also just bought a new bridge as well off of a UK seller on fleaBay, I've gone with a generic brand 17mm spacing bridge. The original is 18mm and whilst I like the extra spacing, after looking at many pics of other IB-5's on this forum it seems the earlier kits came with a narrower bridge - they also have a lip on the side of the bridge plate which mine doesn't have. I think with 18mm spacing the strings are a little too close to the edge of the fret board now that I've played it quite a bit. It's a top loading bridge as well which is a nice bonus.

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