Suggestions for a neck pickup to compliment MM in bass

neuftone

Senior member
Messages
110
I'm looking to build a 4-stringer soon, and my past experiences building basses with the Duncan Alnico Musicman pickup has cemented that as what I want for the bridge pickup.  But I'm trying to think of a good neck pickup.  I want it to be noiseless, first off.  The body will likely be walnut (rw top) with a wenge/rw neck.

My going assumption is to do a noiseless J pickup, but I'm not sure which one, and whether that is the best fit for me.  My main bass is a Rickenbacker and I go for bright, middy tones...while this bass will sound significantly more modern, I want it to still have some "character".  I vetoed another MM in the neck since I never much loved the sound of that in my previous builds that used two Duncan MMs. 

So, I could do a Bill Lawrence J45, a Dimarzio (Model J, Ultra Jazz, "Area J"), a Duncan Stack, or if I went completely crazy, a split P pickup.  I know there are a lot of great pickups out there in addition, but I'd like to keep the cost down if possible...$80 or less for the neck pickup.

Anyone have any good selections for a humcancelling pickup with character and good highs that might remind me a bit of a Rickenbacker sound?
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
my first thoughts would be a NJ4SE/MM4.2 Nordy configuration. I have this in my Midnight Wine J4 and love it. Totally modern and aggressive when you want it to be

or maybe a Nordy split-coil version of their SCPB (i.e. '51P styled) pickup just to extend the diversity of this configuration?

all the best,

R
 

iamtak

Active member
Messages
32
Im curious to hear the responses. Im building an MM + P bass now. What are you putting in the MM route? Anyone have P-bass pickup suggestions?
 

neuftone

Senior member
Messages
110
Well, while the Nordstrand pickups are cool as all get out, I don't think I can stretch the budget enough.

Right now the leading contender is the Bill Lawrence J45 in the neck, and the Seymour Duncan SMB4A in the bridge.  I've built a couple basses with the 5string alnico MM from SD before and that one was already a given, I really like the sound of that pickup.

My plan is to include the bass version of Bill Lawrence's Q-filter, an inductor based circuit that can dial away the inductance of the pickup (or something equivalent to that) giving a thinner sound with more brightness.  I think that should help get close to the vintagey Rick sounds possibly, or close enough for me to work with!
 
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