SB1 MFD in reissue LB100

Seeing as how we are fortunate to count Paul Gagon as a member here, it seemed like a good time to give him a home to stretch out in and relax a little. Maybe exercise the grey matter and present a little history of the guitar and bass (amps too!) from his perspective as one of the eminent designers of our time.

Got questions? Great! Good questions might be, "What kind of windings are on the S500 pickup and why?" Or, "What was the thought process behind the MJ-4?" Troubleshooting questions should remain in the regular forums (he reads those too). Finally, please be mindful of how I feel about tech questions via PM or email.

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SB1 MFD in reissue LB100

Postby pico peachy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:35 am

Hello G&L friends, I am a long time/not so much lately poster on the GbL board but have posted only once here before.

I have had one of the newer LB100s for three years now. (Love it. Longest I have owned a guitar since I can remember) The stock pickup was great but I have been a big fan of the MFDs for years so eventually I bought a SB1 pickup from the G&L online shop and installed it in my LB100. It's been installed a few years now and I don't have any complaints but am wondering if I should added a cap or something to maximize the range or qualities of the MFD. I was reading bass forums and got the impression from someone that maybe I should have added something. My soldering skills are minimal and I have no electronic know how (so the wiring schematics here are only so helpful to me) so I don't want to mess with anything unless someone can convince me that I am missing out on something.

Thanks so much for your time. Paul
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Re: SB1 MFD in reissue LB100

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:45 pm

There's a certain amount to be said for, "If it ain't broke don't fix it."

OTOH, the circuits are a little different. I think if it were my bass, I'd change the treble pot cap from the LB-100 .022µF to the SB-1 .1µF. This will give you a bit more treble cut, which can help to tame some of the MFD's crazy mids. There's a little cap on your volume pot and I'd leave it there because it helps to maintain upper registers at low volume control levels.

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Re: SB1 MFD in reissue LB100

Postby Paul Gagon » Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:00 pm

Hi Pico Peachy,

I'm with Ken on this one. The easiest thing to do would be to replace the .022uf tone cap with a .1uf cap. Also, If you check the wiring diagram for the SB-1 you will also see a 6.8K ohm resistor on the back of the tone pot. This keeps the tone pot from adding the full effect of the tone cap to the pickup. Not totally necessary but something to try and evaluate. Anyway, try the .1uf tone cap mod and let us all know what you think.

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Re: SB1 MFD in reissue LB100

Postby pico peachy » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:46 am

Paul and Ken, thanks so much for the responses. I know that the subject of the SB-1 wiring has been discussed on this and/or other forums in the past but it really helped hearing directly from you. I get what's going on now and will get you an update once I get the caps swapped. by the way, Ken, there isn't any cap on the volume pot. I am confident that I didn't take it out when I put in the MFD pickup. For now, I am going to just add the .1uf cap and and 6.8 resistor. Thanks again.
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Re: SB1 MFD in reissue LB100

Postby pico peachy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:31 am

Paul & Ken, I finally got around to doing this. I replaced the .022uf tone cap with a .1uf cap and added the 6.8K ohm resistor. The major difference for me is the sound with the tone knob rolled all the way off. I had always liked the sound but now it has a little more something - tone, presence, something. I don't know if I think I am hearing things differently because I am aware that I made the changes but at lower volume levels, I have found the tone more "dialed in" as well. Thanks again for your help.
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Re: SB1 MFD in reissue LB100

Postby Ken Baker » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:55 pm

pico peachy wrote:The major difference for me is the sound with the tone knob rolled all the way off. I had always liked the sound but now it has a little more something - tone, presence, something. I don't know if I think I am hearing things differently because I am aware that I made the changes but at lower volume levels, I have found the tone more "dialed in" as well. Thanks again for your help.


What you're hearing is probably an SB-1. I mean, it's got all the guts of an SB-1.

Remember that old Maxell cassette tape ad from years ago?

Image

That's what that pickup can do! :twisted:

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