Bass pickup help

Wana_make_a_guitar

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2,793
Soon enough this year i'll be building 2 neck through basses. 1 For me and the other for my sister. I have NO idea about bass pickups, I don't know what are good and what aren't. All I know is that I want MY pickups to be very 'rumble own the house', loud, clear and to be able to keep up with the high gain guitar and also to be able to mellow up a bit and start to be funky when need it. I have been looking at Seymour Duncan MM style 5 string pups and some of the tone circuits. 

My sister is undecided about what she wants her pickups to sound like though, but it's pretty much the opposite to me. Search Ben Folds Five - "The Last Polka" in youtube. Thats the sort of thing she wants her bass to sound like. I was looking at J bass style pickups for her.

If you guys could help me find what i'm looking for i'd appreciate that lots.

 

greywolf

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1,085
There are a number of good pickups available , depends on which routing you want ,

I have Dimarzio stacked Jazz and they are great , also have Bartolini M34CBC soapbars which I really like , they are running with a 2 band Bart preamp that has bass/treble with 16db of boost /cut as well as a -1 -+ 9db gain pot for the pre-amp. With the 4 conudctor wiring and 2 DPDT on-on-on mini switches I can get parallel HB for the clean stong stuff , Series HB for the Heavy stuff and outer singles for that vintage Jazz stuff.

For what you want I'd also consider the  Delano  MC 5 HY  http://www.bestbassgear.com/delano-5-string-pickups.htm
Their Sonar pre amps are quite good.

Duncans are solid as well.  you may want to check out : http://www.talkbass.com/reviews/showcat.php/cat/16 for a large number of reviews
 

Wana_make_a_guitar

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2,793
greywolf said:
For what you want I'd also consider the  Delano  MC 5 HY  http://www.bestbassgear.com/delano-5-string-pickups.htm
Their Sonar pre amps are quite good.
They look a bit complicated, and very pricey.  Will the switches and pots and such come with it?
 

greywolf

Senior member
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1,085
Delano's are expensive , not many folks use them here , but I've heard nothing but outstanding reports on them. no the switches don't come with it .

The gold mini switches for my Barts were $11 each . Each pickup has parallel/series and outer single coil options.. for me 9 different tones + the pre-amp is plenty.

other alterntives for MM 5 string : Bartolini MM5CBC ($105 )  , Nordstrand MM5.4 ( $140) both quad coil so you can have a wide variety of tone options.
 

Wyliee

Senior member
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1,931
I had Delano soapbars on a previous bass and they are excellent pickups.  For my current Gecko build, Delano and Nordstrand were the two front runners.  I decided on Nordstrand Fat Stacks.

Fortunately, there are somewhat common pickup dimensions, so if you don't like a set of pickups, you may be able to find other brands that fit the same rout.
 

Mapleg4

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490
Wana's_makin'_a_guitar said:
Soon enough this year i'll be building 2 neck through basses. 1 For me and the other for my sister. I have NO idea about bass pickups, I don't know what are good and what aren't. All I know is that I want MY pickups to be very 'rumble own the house', loud, clear and to be able to keep up with the high gain guitar and also to be able to mellow up a bit and start to be funky when need it. I have been looking at Seymour Duncan MM style 5 string pups and some of the tone circuits. 

My sister is undecided about what she wants her pickups to sound like though, but it's pretty much the opposite to me. Search Ben Folds Five - "The Last Polka" in youtube. Thats the sort of thing she wants her bass to sound like. I was looking at J bass style pickups for her.

If you guys could help me find what i'm looking for i'd appreciate that lots.

You could try Emg pickups. Humbuckers for you, p/j or j pickups for her. I use 2 35 DC picups and a BTC Control Eq on my G4 and I get a great sound for Metal.
 

NonsenseTele

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8,256
Beeing a hell to have an answer about custom bass pickups in rickenbacker shape for the builders (not even dreaming in send a mail to rick)... :sad1:
 

Wana_make_a_guitar

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2,793
greywolf said:
Delano's are expensive , not many folks use them here , but I've heard nothing but outstanding reports on them. no the switches don't come with it .

The gold mini switches for my Barts were $11 each . Each pickup has parallel/series and outer single coil options.. for me 9 different tones + the pre-amp is plenty.

other alterntives for MM 5 string : Bartolini MM5CBC ($105 )  , Nordstrand MM5.4 ( $140) both quad coil so you can have a wide variety of tone options.
The three I'm trying to separate not is the Bart MM5CBC, Also the EMG-MMTW and the Nordstrand MM5.4. They all sound like great pickups for me. For my sister, maybe EMG J or JV set. 


Man, There Are Too Many Pickups!
 

greywolf

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1,085
Read Harmony Central / Talk bass and any other reviews you can find . Better still , listen to the pickups in person.
Bart's are used by many high end makers so you should be able to hear them at a music store
 

SkuttleFunk

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1,156
I'd recommend a set of Nordies, but you're on a budget. Build you bass with whatever pickups you can afford and then start saving up for a set of Nordies as a future upgrade.

all the best,

R
 

Wana_make_a_guitar

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2,793
I've decided on mine. But I still dunno about my sisters. She's paying so the budget may be about $150-ish no more.

Here's another sound that my sister wants to achieve with her pickups:
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=PsCV61zsdtA

She wants something easy to use, like 1 vol 1 tone, but something that spread to a whole range of tones. Maybe if the pickup isn't to expensive we'll put an Seymour D EQ circuit in there.
 

Wana_make_a_guitar

Senior member
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2,793
RIghto, did a bit of diggin; on what the bassist in the video uses and we need a cross between the pickup in this:
http://www.epiphone.com/default.asp?ProductID=116&CollectionID=12
And this:
http://www.fender.com/products//search.php?partno=0992046000
 

stubhead

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4,669
Really, plain old DiMarzios, Duncans, Lawrences, Fenders, are just fine. when you say:

All I know is that I want MY pickups to be very 'rumble own the house', loud, clear and to be able to keep up with the high gain guitar and also to be able to mellow up a bit and start to be funky when need it.

- what you need is all the amp you can get. Pickups have nothing to do with keeping up with the guitar, you want 500 watts, an 8X10 cabinet and a sub-woofer...  :party07:
Spending $350 on a boutique preamplifier & pickups to play through a 25 watt Peavey is off-kilter, dude. Ant zen, "being funky" has to do with chops, not equipment.
 

Patrick from Davis

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2,197
While I agree that the tone ultimately comes from your fingers, the equipment can have a large effect on the overall sound.  Nordys are great pick ups.  I like them a lot.  Make sure you know what overall type you want first.  P bass sound, Jazz sound, MM sound...  Figure out what was used in the basses on your favorite songs.  That is sometimes a trick, but you learn a lot.  Then the active preamps in basses make them a lot more versatile.  It is a whole different beast than guitars.  The basic functions change from preamp to preamp, but common features are the mid boost to cut through and a mix knob if you have more than one pickup.  Volume and tone are pretty standard.  There is usually a push pull knob on the volume to turn the active preamp circuit on and off.  Out of personal experience, I use the preamp to set the sound of my gear for the room.  The amp is pretty much where I like it sonically, but I can futz with the bass preamp until it sounds good, then immediately change it when everyone else starts making a ruckus.  If you can stretch out the budget over the build, the active preamp is something I'd suggest.
Patrick

 

Wana_make_a_guitar

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Messages
2,793
stubhead said:
Really, plain old DiMarzios, Duncans, Lawrences, Fenders, are just fine. when you say:

All I know is that I want MY pickups to be very 'rumble own the house', loud, clear and to be able to keep up with the high gain guitar and also to be able to mellow up a bit and start to be funky when need it.

- what you need is all the amp you can get. Pickups have nothing to do with keeping up with the guitar, you want 500 watts, an 8X10 cabinet and a sub-woofer...  :party07:
Spending $350 on a boutique preamplifier & pickups to play through a 25 watt Peavey is off-kilter, dude. Ant zen, "being funky" has to do with chops, not equipment.
My sister is going to buy a bass, maybe a Fender rumble. Or I can use my neighbors, which is also a fender rumble. 
 

Patrick from Davis

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2,197
My friend has a Fender Rumble, nice little amp.  It will not be loud enough for a stand alone live rig.  But, when you take the direct out from it and use it as basically a monitor, the direct out to the PA sounds great, and the amp will be plenty for monitoring your sound.  It is a bit odd to think about, but from a practical standpoint it works well.  It sounds really good, at least to me, as well.
Patrick

 

Wana_make_a_guitar

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2,793
Patrick from Davis said:
My friend has a Fender Rumble, nice little amp.  It will not be loud enough for a stand alone live rig.  But, when you take the direct out from it and use it as basically a monitor, the direct out to the PA sounds great, and the amp will be plenty for monitoring your sound.  It is a bit odd to think about, but from a practical standpoint it works well.  It sounds really good, at least to me, as well.
Patrick
Well, my neighbors have the 100 watt 1x15 rumble and it's pretty darn loud. Also we have the rumble 100 at school.
 
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