My five-string Zon bass now has three pickups. The two original Bartolini pickups, one at the neck and the second near the bridge, and a Roland GK pickup between the Bartolini bridge pickup and the bridge. The mods by Joe Zon include removing the tone electronics and controls and routing each of the Barolini pickups to a stacked volume control (one control per pickup). The individual volume controls then run directly to a stereo 1/4 inch jack.
It’s a more basic version of Rickenbacker’s Rick-O-Sound. The basic Bartolini’s sound good on their own without tone controls. And with the myriad outboard processors, the need for onboard tone control was no longer necessary. Also, by removing the extra electronics the potential noise paths have been reduced. This is important particularly in the world of live performances where there is usually a large amount of electronic noise sources on stage.
The Roland GK pickup connects to a Roland bass synth via it’s DIN cable.
Although there are now two cords connected to the Zon bass (one stereo 1/4 inch and the Roland DIN) the setup gives me a huge amount of options on effects and amp/speaker combinations.