Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

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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Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

Postby Paul Gagon » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:13 pm

I actually posted this information in another spot on the forum but I thought I would add it here as well. First off, I love the L-2000 Bass. Its tonal options and features are great. My only real issue has ever been that I like having the option for independent control of the two pickups. I sometimes like the sound of the bridge pickup in full series humbucking mode with either the rear single coil or the front single coil of the neck pickup. Also, getting a bit of inside single coils or outside single coils is pretty cool too. So.....here's what I did.

By the way, I’m naming this modification the L-2000 Plus. Not overly creative but hey, marketing never was my strong point. Basically this modification involves removing the single 4PDT (series/parallel) coil configuration switch (located above the treble control) and replacing it with two DPDT (on/on/on) switches. This allows me to configure each pickup independently as a series humbucking, single coil front, or single coil rear. This makes for some pretty great sounding options. My favorite one so far is both pickups on with the Bridge pickup in series humbucking and the Neck pickup in single coil front. Both pickups on with the inner or outer coils activated sounds really nice too. OK, time for some pictures. To start off, here is a body shot of the L-2000 before modification.

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And now a body shot after the modification of drilling another hole and adding a switch.

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The two smaller switches really do not take up that much additional room inside the cavity over the single larger switch. The switch on the left is in the original hole. I drilled another ¼” hole just to the right of it to install the second switch.

Here’s a control cavity picture before I began the modification. Notice how much wire is in this bad boy. I have done several lead dressings in these cavities to clean things up and have removed as much as 8 feet of excess wire. I mean seriously, check this out.

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After the modifications, and a bit of house cleaning, here’s what the cavity looks like now.

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This is what I like to see. Nice and tidy. Much easier to trouble shoot a problem when you can see all the wires. Speaking of wires, here’s the wiring diagram of the L-2000 Plus. This is a pretty easy modification to do. I should mention that along with the pickup coil configuration modification I also changed the bass roll off capacitor from .0022uf to .0033uf. This was so I could retain a bit more of the lower frequencies when turning the bass control pot down.

Image

Well, there you have it, an easy modification to turn an L-2000 into an L-2000 Plus. Later on I might go into the preamp and do some noodling around but for now I’m just having fun with the pickup coil options.

Paul
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Re: Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:53 pm

I'm curious if the back of the cavity cover is shielded. If it is, how does it connect to ground?

Back when I had an L-2000, I applied copper tape to the back of the cover and used little tabs at the screw locations to tie ground to the cover.

Image

This was after I had a cel phone in my pocket that rang while I was playing. Made quite the racket in the amp.

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Re: Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

Postby Paul Gagon » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:58 pm

Thanks for checking this out Ken. The back plate for the cavity does have a solid piece of aluminum tape on it so I soldered a small wire from the bass pot case and bent it up so it gets connected to the back plate when you screw the plate on. Works really well.

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Re: Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

Postby b17krk » Wed Sep 12, 2018 2:55 am

Wow thank you so much for sharing this Paul, it looks like a fantastic mod. I am so tempted to have a go at doing this now I've seen it in the flesh!

Out of curiosity I have just done a quick online search to see if I can source the correct switches locally (UK) and have found two possible options:

Option 1 :-
https://www.bitsbox.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=116_127&products_id=3293

Option 2 :-
https://www.bitsbox.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=116_127&products_id=881

Can you offer any advice as to which one of these I should choose please?
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Re: Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

Postby Paul Gagon » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:59 pm

b17krk wrote:Wow thank you so much for sharing this Paul, it looks like a fantastic mod. I am so tempted to have a go at doing this now I've seen it in the flesh!

Out of curiosity I have just done a quick online search to see if I can source the correct switches locally (UK) and have found two possible options:

Option 1 :-
https://www.bitsbox.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=116_127&products_id=3293

Option 2 :-
https://www.bitsbox.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=116_127&products_id=881

Can you offer any advice as to which one of these I should choose please?


So glad you dig the mod. As far as the switch goes, you will want to go with option 2. This is because I always use the “Type 2” switch for my coil configuration setups. Not sure why it’s so much more money than type 1. It’s all about what occurs in the center position. Best of luck with the mod. You’re gonna love it.

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Re: Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

Postby b17krk » Thu Sep 13, 2018 5:18 am

Paul Gagon wrote:So glad you dig the mod. As far as the switch goes, you will want to go with option 2. This is because I always use the “Type 2” switch for my coil configuration setups. Not sure why it’s so much more money than type 1. It’s all about what occurs in the center position. Best of luck with the mod. You’re gonna love it.

Paul


Excellent, thanks again Paul.

If I wanted to add the OMG caps to this circuit how would they need to be connected?
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Re: Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

Postby Paul Gagon » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:25 am

b17krk wrote:
If I wanted to add the OMG caps to this circuit how would they need to be connected?

You know, I didn’t really configure this with the OMG cap in mind. Let me think about that a bit.

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Re: Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

Postby Paul Gagon » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:06 pm

Paul Gagon wrote:
b17krk wrote:
If I wanted to add the OMG caps to this circuit how would they need to be connected?

You know, I didn’t really configure this with the OMG cap in mind. Let me think about that a bit.

Paul

Well, I’ve been scratching my head trying to keep what I have here and add the OMG cap and I’m drawing a blank. To do the OMG thing correctly you would want to have both coils on but one of them swamped by the OMG cap. I guess you could add another switch and bring the cap in while in series HB mode but I’m just not feeling that one. How about we open this up to any one out there that has an idea of how they would do this and let’s share some thoughts on the subject. Could be interesting.

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Re: Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

Postby b17krk » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:52 am

Paul Gagon wrote:Well, I’ve been scratching my head trying to keep what I have here and add the OMG cap and I’m drawing a blank. To do the OMG thing correctly you would want to have both coils on but one of them swamped by the OMG cap. I guess you could add another switch and bring the cap in while in series HB mode but I’m just not feeling that one. How about we open this up to any one out there that has an idea of how they would do this and let’s share some thoughts on the subject. Could be interesting.


I wonder if a push/pull type pot would work in this situation? There would be no need to add an extra hole and the caps can be engaged/disengaged by pulling/pushing the pot.

I have no idea how it would be wired of course!
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Re: Making a Tribute L-2000 an L-2000 Plus

Postby b17krk » Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:37 am

The more I think about this mod the more I'm itching to give it a go, however the one thing niggling at the back of my mind is the necessity to add an extra switch. I'm not sure I feel comfortable drilling another hole in my L2K because it just sounds too permanent to me. That said I have been trying to envisage an alternative way of getting similar results, whilst at the same time reserving the ability to return it to it's original configuration should the need arise, and have come up with the following scenarios:

a. One option would be to remove the preamp and convert the bass to passive only. This way I could potentially utilise the Active/Passive switch as a coil selector for one of the pickups.

or...

b. Use a pull/push pot (volume pot) to switch between active and passive (thus losing the treble boost functionality). This way I could potentially utilise the Active/Passive switch as a coil selector for one of the pickups and keep the ability to use the preamp should I ever need to.

What I would really like to know is if any of this is remotely possible - and if so (as I'm a complete beginner when it comes to electronics) could somebody in the know help by providing a diagram of some description just to get me started please?
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