Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

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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Re: Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

Postby TDR1138 » Fri Aug 31, 2018 9:21 am

Paul Gagon wrote:My door is always open. You are more than welcome to swing on by anytime and check the bass out.
Everyone here on this forum has been so wonderful and helpful to me. I really enjoy digging into projects and experimenting around with musical gear. It’s nice to have a place to use as a sounding board. At some point
I would love to build a short scale G&L bass with a similar setup to this project here. So many projects, so little time.


I am in Orange County. I may just take you up on that sometime. :D
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Re: Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

Postby Paul Gagon » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:16 pm

TDR1138 wrote:
Paul Gagon wrote:My door is always open. You are more than welcome to swing on by anytime and check the bass out.
Everyone here on this forum has been so wonderful and helpful to me. I really enjoy digging into projects and experimenting around with musical gear. It’s nice to have a place to use as a sounding board. At some point
I would love to build a short scale G&L bass with a similar setup to this project here. So many projects, so little time.


I am in Orange County. I may just take you up on that sometime. :D

Sure! Anytime.
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Re: Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

Postby VincentYGB » Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:33 pm

I recently picked up a sweet L-1500 to add in a neck pup and wanted the bass/treble cut. I was contemplating an SB split P but after hearing how much mid the humbucker has in that spot I'm leaning towards an SB single coil or Nordstrand Big Single. The impedance match would be closer too. Having the Split P in there would give a two basses in one sound using each pup alone but I don't think if they were blended it's sound like midrange muck.
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Re: Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

Postby Paul Gagon » Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:44 pm

VincentYGB wrote:I recently picked up a sweet L-1500 to add in a neck pup and wanted the bass/treble cut. I was contemplating an SB split P but after hearing how much mid the humbucker has in that spot I'm leaning towards an SB single coil or Nordstrand Big Single. The impedance match would be closer too. Having the Split P in there would give a two basses in one sound using each pup alone but I don't think if they were blended it's sound like midrange muck.

I think adding a neck pickup is an excellent idea. Your challenge will be where to place it. I like having the neck pickup up pretty close to the neck, like an inch or two away from the neck pocket.

Make sure you take some pictures of your process and share it with all of us.
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Re: Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

Postby VincentYGB » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:58 pm

It's going in the P sweet spot. I'm going to have my luthier do the cut out since it's metallic paint with no pickguard to hide my poor wood skills.
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Re: Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

Postby Paul Gagon » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:10 pm

VincentYGB wrote:It's going in the P sweet spot. I'm going to have my luthier do the cut out since it's metallic paint with no pickguard to hide my poor wood skills.

Very cool. Can’t wait to see how it looks when you’re done.
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Re: Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

Postby Ken Baker » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:28 pm

Well, I done played the beast today and it is an impressive piece of work. Lots of interesting tones in there. Soloing the neck pickup, I was expecting a lot of plain old boomy thump but it just didn't happen. It has a slightly modified Tri-Tone circuit (a stock Kiloton has only a treble cut "tone" control) that seems to work nicely with the pickups. Switching between the two different single coil modes on the soapbar presents more difference in tone than one might expect. Both nice & clean and one (can't recall which) gives a kind of burpy Jaco tone. The dual blade humbucker in the neck is perfectly placed under an octave harmonic, produces a really clean fundamental, and is a good counterpoint to the big L Series pickup.

All-in-all, a bass that has a great deal of potential.

So yeah. Megaton.

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Re: Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

Postby Paul Gagon » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:49 pm

Ken Baker wrote:Well, I done played the beast today and it is an impressive piece of work. Lots of interesting tones in there. Soloing the neck pickup, I was expecting a lot of plain old boomy thump but it just didn't happen. It has a slightly modified Tri-Tone circuit (a stock Kiloton has only a treble cut "tone" control) that seems to work nicely with the pickups. Switching between the two different single coil modes on the soapbar presents more difference in tone than one might expect. Both nice & clean and one (can't recall which) gives a kind of burpy Jaco tone. The dual blade humbucker in the neck is perfectly placed under an octave harmonic, produces a really clean fundamental, and is a good counterpoint to the big L Series pickup.

All-in-all, a bass that has a great deal of potential.

So yeah. Megaton.

Ken...

Thanks for stopping by today Ken. It’s always great to hang out and talk gear and stuff. I appreciate you taking time to give the bass a nice work out. This was such a fun project. I think I now have my “Go To” Bass. I’m still going back and forth about putting in a buffer/preamp. Maybe I’ll do a buffer/preamp pedal. Hummmm what to do what to do.

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Re: Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

Postby Ken Baker » Thu Sep 06, 2018 7:25 am

One more thing:

If Paul ever says that he doesn't have any bass chops, don't believe a word of it. The guy can play VERY well. :mrgreen:

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Re: Turning a Kiloton Bass into a Megaton

Postby jcburn » Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:15 pm

Time for a clip Paul!
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