A quartet of M2000 questions

We are fortunate to count Paul Gagon as a member here, so it seemed natural 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 are the EQ mappings for the M Series preamps?" 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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A quartet of M2000 questions

Postby jglunt2112 » Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:53 pm

I once briefly owned an M2000 and am thinking about another one, but first, I have some questions:
1. Are the humbuckers in the M2000 wired parallel by default?
2. If so, is it possible to wire in a toggle that, like the one in the L series, that will switch them from parallel to series?
3. Or...is it possible to wire in two toggles--one for each pickup--that will individually switch them from parallel to series?
4. Or...is it possible to wire in two 3-position toggles--one for each pickup--that will individually switch them from parallel to single coil to series, like the one in the Kiloton?
Jim
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Re: A quartet of M2000 questions

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:00 pm

jglunt2112 wrote:1. Are the humbuckers in the M2000 wired parallel by default?


Nope. The coils are de-tuned a bit (fewer turns) and wired in series.

2. If so, is it possible to wire in a toggle that, like the one in the L series, that will switch them from parallel to series?
3. Or...is it possible to wire in two toggles--one for each pickup--that will individually switch them from parallel to series?
4. Or...is it possible to wire in two 3-position toggles--one for each pickup--that will individually switch them from parallel to single coil to series, like the one in the Kiloton?


It's possible if you're very careful. Desolder the existing shorted leads, extend them and bring out to the cavity individually. Care must be taken to not break coil wires.

When Paul was doing the dev work on the pickups and preamp, he found that the bass just sounded better in series and he could control preamp clipping by just keeping the pickups output in check. In the M Series they were trying to eliminate the toggles in favor of the controls; basically taking an L-2000 that some viewed as overly complicated and modernizing it a bit with the fully active preamp. So if you were to split out the coils, you'd probably find a notable reduction in oomph when in parallel mode.

The M Series electronics are kind of a package deal, all designed to work optimally as designed. This is different than the L Series where we'd put a third party preamp in and keep it turned down a bit just to not clip anything.

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Re: A quartet of M2000 questions

Postby jglunt2112 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 9:46 am

Wow, lots to digest there. All of that explains why I'm just a player and not a player/designer/builder. I had asked those questions because when I briefly owned a Tribute M2000 a few years back, I couldn't get the punch out of it that I got out of my Tribute L2500 so I turned around and sold it. To me, it sounded like it was in parallel, and I prefer the punch of series on the L2500. But it sounds like it just wasn't designed to drive like that, so no need for delicate changes, though a single coil option is tempting. Thank you very much for you explanations...Jim
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Re: A quartet of M2000 questions

Postby Ken Baker » Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:33 am

I recall chatting with Paul some years ago with my L-2500 on his bench. He was showing me a tool that he uses to simulate a string vibrating over a pickup. The tool holds a given "string excursion" very steady - constant waveform amplitude. It was amazing how little it took to make a waveform that would clip a downstream preamp. That's the degree of huge that those L Series soapbars have.

The L Series preamp doesn't add a bunch of gain by itself. Neither does the M Series preamp when the EQ is set flat. But boost those controls and you're boosting the gain. It might not be quite as huge sounding in series mode as the L Series, but it still gets the job done. It might be worth taking a look at.

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Re: A quartet of M2000 questions

Postby jglunt2112 » Wed Dec 30, 2020 4:02 pm

I will take a look. If I go ahead with such a purchase, it would have to be a used Tribute since they don't seem to offer the M2000 new in a Tribute version any longer. I expected the M2000 I bought to be like an L2000 with better control, but it isn't, and two years later I've finally figured that out. I sold it way to quickly, and the guy who bought it says he'll never part with it. Frankly, I'd love to have a Fullerton M2000, but that could only happen if my stimulus check came in at the $2,000 level, not the $600 level. And since they still seem to be arguing about that, who knows what will happen? It might also happen if my Tribute L2500 sells. I love that bass, but I''ve really never been able to get comfortable with a 5-string unless I'm strictly playing bass and not singing, which is pretty darned rare for me. If I could sell it and combine that money with a $600 stimulus, I could probably add a little to that and get a new Fullerton, or at least I could afford a used Fullerton. Of course, I still have to pay G&L for the new neck on my SB2 once Memo is done with that. The more I type, the deeper in debt I go, so I'll shut up now. Thanks for your help, Ken...Jim
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Re: A quartet of M2000 questions

Postby Ken Baker » Wed Dec 30, 2020 6:06 pm

jglunt2112 wrote:The more I type, the deeper in debt I go, so I'll shut up now. Thanks for your help, Ken...Jim


The story of my life, Jim!

OTOH my wife cut me loose to grab Paul's tube amp, so I've got that going for me.

I have it on good authority the Tribute M Series will most likely be back, but have no ETA.

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