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Thread: Musicman Sabre 79 bass pickups and switching

  1. #1

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    Musicman Sabre 79 bass pickups and switching

    Hi there,

    I just got me a Musicman Sabre bass from 1979, and was wondering whether someone had any idea about the pickups and their switching :

    1. Are the 2 pickups (slightly smaller in size compared to Stingray) wired in parallel or in series ? There are only 2 wires (black & white) coming from the pickups...

    2. What does the phase switch do exactly ? From what I read, it is supposed to put the 2 pickups out of phase. But what I hear on my bass is a different sound when any of the 2 pickups is soloed or both together :
    - soloed bridge or neck pickup : the tone with the phase switch on is very interesting, sounding sort of fretless or upright like, with less bass but still usable by slight (quarter of a turn) bass knob boost.
    - both bridge & neck pickups : the tone with the phase switch on is really thin and not very usable, even with bass knob boost to the max.
    So, since the tone with phase switch on is different in the 3 pickups positions I am really wondering what does this switch do ...any ideas of phase switch modifications ?
    Here's what I could see on my 79 Sabre, suspecting the modification is beyond the switching system, perhaps in the preamp ?
    Musicman Sabre 79 bass pickups and switching-capture-jpg


  2. #2

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    The above may help.

    The Sabre pickups are slightly smaller than the Sting Ray. As far as I'm aware, the coils are wired in parallel.

  3. #3

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    I am currently looking for a replacement preamp board for my 1979 sabre bass. it currently has the replacement board but with out the bright switch function . I saw on a older thread from 2003 that derick at musicman don't know if he is still there stated that they had around 100 or so. ? is the bright switch even worth it I have heard that it is barely noticeable. I did not know if it would effect the resale value. any help would be appreciated.

  4. #4

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    From my understanding, the bright switch doesn't make much of a noticeable difference.

    I don't think EB has an exact replacement for the earlier Sabres like your 1979 with the toggle switches. The "M0 5400" 2EQ EB replacement (which I presume you have) would be the only replacement albeit without provision for the bright switch.

    It would be just about be impossible to find an original 1979 Sabre preamp in working order.

    I think I have a circuit diagram somewhere if you want to build one but, IMO, a home-built preamp would add no value to your Bass.

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