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Kugelspot

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PostSubject: Hohner Headless mods   Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:30 pm

Ok, so I have a Hohner B2A Headless. For a $400 Steinberger copy, it's not half bad. Only problem is, one time the strap came of and it hit the floor and the treble part of the concentric 2 band EQ broke off. I want to make it useful again. I could just replace the knob, but I always hated the fact that it was 2 bands and boost only. So here's what I'm going to do:

1. Gut the electronics. Replace broken eq pot with a normal passive tone knob
2. Replace the pickups with X2Ns. The stock pickups (EMG selects) are weak-sounding and kinda pathetic when it's in passive mode. Luckily, the stock pickups have the same dimensions as a guitar humbucker, so I won't even have to do any routing
3. Replace the active/passive switch with one of these:
http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Electronics,_pickups/Components:_Black_Ice_overdrive.html

I was a little skeptical of these at first, until I found some sound clips:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=398042&content=music&songcount=30&offset=0&currentPage=2[url][/url][url][/url]

4. Best of all: I'm going to see if Ed Roman will make me a Transtrem. I don't think he makes them normally, so it will have to be custom built, so it won't come cheap, especially because I'm getting it from him. Still, I think it will probably be worth it. Even if he charges $500 or $600, it will still be much cheaper than buying a base with an original one (which can cost as much as $6000).
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Darkstrike



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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:56 pm

That is a crazy awesome plan! Shocked affraid Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:08 pm

Cool plan, but I'd like to clear a couple things up in my mind.

To my knowledge, if you have two high output pickups (and the X2N is a very high output pickup) wired together to one output, the sound can get incredibly muddy. That's why pickups are designed so that (in guitars) the neck pickup has lower output than the bridge pickup. On bass with a P/J set, the jazz pickup has lower output than the P pickup. Again, I'm not certain, but I think that if you wired two such pickups together, it would sound like mud. You could wire it so that each pickup has its own output, with the black iced tone pot on one for your extra dirty channel...

What does each knob do? Is it set up vol/vol/2 band (which you're replacing with a tone knob with the black ice)?

The black ice thing is a cool idea and the X2N is already a pickup that can push an amp a lot harder than you'd expect. That could be a pretty insane combination!

Another thing--the X2N has a 4-conductor lead. This allows you to wire it to switches to coil tap and switch from series to parallel. I'm assuming you're going to use that feature and just wire it to volume/tone pots?
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:46 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
What does each knob do? Is it set up vol/vol/2 band (which you're replacing with a tone knob with the black ice)?

There are 3 knobs. 2 Volume and one concentric (stacked) tone knob, with the bass on the bottom and treble on top (though I guess now its just vol/vo/bass because the treble part broke off). I'm keeping both volume knobs, but replacing the broken eq knob with a normal master tone knob. In addition to that, there's a mini-toggle switch to switch between the Active and Passive modes. I'm replacing that with black ice thing so, that the switch turns the distortion on or off. The downside is I won't be able to control the amount of distortion, so it will be full blast or nothing, but at least I can have some control over the tone.

Chowderboots wrote:
To my knowledge, if you have two high output pickups (and the X2N is a very high output pickup) wired together to one output, the sound can get incredibly muddy. That's why pickups are designed so that (in guitars) the neck pickup has lower output than the bridge pickup. On bass with a P/J set, the jazz pickup has lower output than the P pickup. Again, I'm not certain, but I think that if you wired two such pickups together, it would sound like mud. You could wire it so that each pickup has its own output, with the black iced tone pot on one for your extra dirty channel...

Actually, the neck pickup is lower output because a pickup in the neck position will have more bass than one in the bridge position, and therefore a higher perceived volume, so if the pickups had the same output, the neck pickup will overpower the bridge pickup if they are at the same level. Actually, you are probably right about it being muddy. It's not so much that they will automatically be muddy, per se. But the neck pickup will be extremely muddy, and probably drown out the bridge pickup anyway. 2 outputs would be a good way to solve this, but then I'd have to drill etc for the new one. Plus, I'd rather have the black ice thing work on both pickups.

Something that might work is to get 2 X2Ns and take some of the winding of one and make that the neck pickup
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Sun Apr 05, 2009 9:33 pm

I know that a DiMarzio Model P has higher output than a Model J and the Model One has higher output still. You could definitely be right--I by no means claim to know what I'm talking about--but from what I have read, high output pickups paired together (for a reason I don't know) can sound bad. All I'm suggesting is that you research before you get too far into planning and buying, because I want this to work as much as you do, man! What a Face

Can you post a picture of your bass? I can't quite imagine exactly how it's laid out at the moment.

It says on StewMac that the Black Ice is to be used in lieu of a capacitor on a potentiometer. How would that work with a DPDT switch?
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:18 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
Can you post a picture of your bass? I can't quite imagine exactly how it's laid out at the moment.

It's late and I'm feeling too tired/lazy to take a picture of my bass. So here's one from google:




Chowderboots wrote:
It says on StewMac that the Black Ice is to be used in lieu of a capacitor on a potentiometer. How would that work with a DPDT switch?

Couldn't you wire it so that the signal either runs through the capacitor or bypasses it completely?
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:42 pm

I'm sure you could, but that's beyond my knowledge. Anyone?

Are you planning on leaving the concentric potentiometers in place or substituting them with something else? That mini switch by the volume pot, that's active/passive, correct? What's that round thing in between the bridge pickup, the bridge, and the two volume pots?

I can't blame you for wanting to get rid of those concentric pots, if you are. They don't get along well with me, either.
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:32 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
Are you planning on leaving the concentric potentiometers in place or substituting them with something else? That mini switch by the volume pot, that's active/passive, correct? What's that round thing in between the bridge pickup, the bridge, and the two volume pots?

1. That's what I'm taking out, along with the rest of the active electronics, and replacing with passive tone pot.
2. Yes
3. That's a light to tell whether you're in active or passive mode

Chowderboots wrote:
I can't blame you for wanting to get rid of those concentric pots, if you are. They don't get along well with me, either.

I don't really mind concentric pots, if they're well made. They're a good way to save space. The ones on my Spector are great. They stay in place pretty well, feel very solid etc. The ones on my Hohner are a different story. First of all, I hate boost only electronics. But also, when you try to move one pot, the other one inevitably moves with it unless you hold it in place. That, and the treble part of it is snapped off
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Sun Apr 05, 2009 11:35 pm

That's exactly what I don't like about them. Of course, I didn't fiddle with them much on my BTB, just ripped the electronics out ASAP. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:38 am

There isn't any real problem using two pickups like this Martin.

Just don't wire both into series, that will be overkill.

As for Black Ice, I'd replace the tone with it, but I don't much use tone pots.
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:24 am

Darkstrike wrote:
As for Black Ice, I'd replace the tone with it, but I don't much use tone pots.

Actually, what I really should do is replace it with another concentric pot, and have both, and then use the mini toggle switch to turn the distortion on or off. Anyone know how I'd wire that?
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:36 pm

Darkstrike wrote:
There isn't any real problem using two pickups like this Martin.

Just don't wire both into series, that will be overkill.
'

Maybe that's what I had heard, then. Never mind What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:29 pm

Darkstrike wrote:
Just don't wire both into series, that will be overkill.

OK, I'll keep that in mind. I'm thinking of wire the pickups in parallel, with the bridge PU in series and the Neck PU in parallel, to cut down on some of the muddiness and hopefully make the outputs slightly more equal as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Mon Apr 06, 2009 10:48 pm

I've heard that you can buy some Schottky(?) diodes from mouser.com and solder two together in parallel to do the same thing as the black ice, but a lot cheaper. I'll let you know once I try it for myself to see if it works well.
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:14 am

Kugelspot wrote:
Darkstrike wrote:
Just don't wire both into series, that will be overkill.

OK, I'll keep that in mind. I'm thinking of wire the pickups in parallel, with the bridge PU in series and the Neck PU in parallel, to cut down on some of the muddiness and hopefully make the outputs slightly more equal as well.

Sorry, I wasn't clear here, its fine for each pickup to be seperatly wired into series, what I mean is, don't wire both pickups as one big humbucker in series, like people often do with Jazz pickups, like the Fender S-1 switch. This would put all four coils one after another in series, and would probably do damage to your amp.

So X2N(series) + X2N(series) is fine,

but X2N-X2N(series) is gonna be muddy as all get out.
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:12 am

I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I sold my Steinberger with a Trans Trem. Is there a support group? Crying or Very sad
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:48 am

Mo Beach wrote:
I'm still coming to terms with the fact that I sold my Steinberger with a Trans Trem. Is there a support group? Crying or Very sad


pale
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:22 am

Ok, seriously, WTF?!?!? I emailed Ed Roman about making a Transtrem, and he's charging $10,000! I could almost buy two transtrem Steinbergers with that much money. Greedy overpriced bastard ! Mad Anyone know who else might be able to make me one?
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:36 am

Kugelspot wrote:
Ok, seriously, WTF?!?!? I emailed Ed Roman about making a Transtrem, and he's charging $10,000! I could almost buy two transtrem Steinbergers with that much money. Greedy overpriced bastard ! Mad Anyone know who else might be able to make me one?

You could buy a Ritter with a trem for that.......................
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:11 am

You can try this company http://www.hazlabs.com/

Only 200 or less of the original bass TT's were ever made, that's why I'm sick to my stomache that I sold mine. If I knew back then that they were so scarce I would have never sold it.

Here it is! or should I say... was.

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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:31 pm

I think that's a killer photo, man! What kinda pickups were in there?
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:34 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
I think that's a killer photo, man! What kinda pickups were in there?

In mine? Active EMG's

That's my old band Red Hush, I think we were playing Yankee Rose in that photo.
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:52 pm

Ah nice, man!
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:03 pm

Yvarg wrote:
I've heard that you can buy some Schottky(?) diodes from mouser.com and solder two together in parallel to do the same thing as the black ice, but a lot cheaper.

Really? What kind of diode?

Mo Beach wrote:
You can try this company http://www.hazlabs.com/

I thought they only made electronics
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:16 pm

Ten grand for a bass TransTrem??? Mad

Maybe it's because they don't make them on a regular basis anymore, and they might have to do some of the tooling on-the-fly.

And like Mo said, you could get a few Ritter's for that price!

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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:46 pm

I think that price is a little ridiculous. I understand that's probably a very difficult and time-consuming thing to machine, but still...
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:23 am

Kugelspot wrote:

Really? What kind of diode?

I'm not altogether sure. I've read about a lot of different ones that people on various guitar forums have used with varying results (can I be more vague? XD). You could search the Project Guitar forums or ask the people there and I'm sure you would get some answers. I would link you to a site that has instructions for what they call the "strawberry ice" mod that involves this concept, but the site is down. Otherwise, I had a small variety of diodes coming in the mail from Mouser that I'm going to experiment with next week; I'll be sure to let you know the results (with audio clips, if anything cool happens).
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:16 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
I think that price is a little ridiculous. I understand that's probably a very difficult and time-consuming thing to machine, but still...

For 10 Grand I can build a guided missile.
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:58 pm

Yvarg wrote:
Kugelspot wrote:

Really? What kind of diode?

I'm not altogether sure. I've read about a lot of different ones that people on various guitar forums have used with varying results (can I be more vague? XD). You could search the Project Guitar forums or ask the people there and I'm sure you would get some answers. I would link you to a site that has instructions for what they call the "strawberry ice" mod that involves this concept, but the site is down. Otherwise, I had a small variety of diodes coming in the mail from Mouser that I'm going to experiment with next week; I'll be sure to let you know the results (with audio clips, if anything cool happens).

Looking forward to hearing about it, dude! What a Face
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:54 pm

^ Ya, I am too!

EricHaven wrote:
Ten grand for a bass TransTrem??? Mad

Maybe it's because they don't make them on a regular basis anymore, and they might have to do some of the tooling on-the-fly.

No, it's because Ed Roman is a greedy a****** douche who loves way overcharging people Evil or Very Mad
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Thu Apr 09, 2009 6:23 pm

Well looking at his site makes me want a Rickenbacker soooo bad Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Hohner Headless mods   Tue May 05, 2009 7:40 pm

Hey Yvarg, you tried that black ice mod yet?
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