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Bass Pickups


ColBry
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Firstly I m building a 4 string through neck bass and am stuck on pickup selection.

I wish to have a neck and bridge pickup and I want good quality too.

As way of info:

Woods, Materials

Neck: Sycamore 5 way alternate laminations with cherry marker veneer between sycamore leaves.

BodyCheeks: Ash faced with 6mm bookmatched walnut both sides.

Bridge: Homemade fully adjustable brass with heavy brass backing plate in hope of good sustain.

Zero fret in front of homemade brass nut.

Fingerboard: Ebony

Scale length: 32.5 inches.

My normal inclination is to play very near the neck pickup, mainly because it is comfortable and I

like the full sound. I want to use EMG active set-up but there is so much info on their site, I am

totally confused.

I am not a lover of too many controls but what I would like is the follwing:

Volume controls on both pickups to be able to blend them

Overall volume control

Overall tone control

Possibly some mid range shaping, lift or cut.

The overall basic sound I am seeking is full and smooth. Not interested in slapping or cutting

high end. Powerful yes but aggresive no. Smooth and rolling sums it up with good clarity.

Can anybody recommend EMG, and if you do recommend, what pickups and control systems

would you recommend. I know this is a big request but any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers to all bassists

Colin Bryant

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Ahhh.... another bassist. I have built/played several and none still have EMG in them. Don't get me wrong, they are good pickups, but I like my bass to sound like it has... testicular fortitude. I've had very good luck BION with Wilkenson and Music Man pickups. The EMGs (active) seem to not provide enough low end, especially on a 5 string. The 40HZ is a slightly different story, but still a little high for me. Regardless, this is also controlled by using different pots/caps. Typically the rule of thumb is that to cut highs, use a lower number on the pots - actives being the exception. So a bass will usually have pots that are either 50, 100 or 250 (hardly ever 500 unless you're really looking to clip your amp on slapping). I'll typically setup a bass with 250k pots and .022u caps. This (depending on wood, pickups and amplifier) tends to produce a warm deep bass sound while maintaining clarity. This again is just my opinion. I play everything from classic rock to metal and hell of a lot of blues. Here is a sample of a bass I did for a challenge on this site about could a plywood guitar sound good. Not the best recording, but accentuates how electronics can make a serious difference.

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I use an EMG p/j setup. I have 2 volumes (one for each pickup), one tone(over both pickups). I have an alder body with a maple neck and ebony fingerboard. The bridge is a stock ibanez bridge, and the bass is a four string. With the proper amp, i can get pleanty of lows out of it, and now that i've gotten the tone knob fixed, i can get pleanty of highs out of it if i want. "clipping my amp during slapping" is absolutely no problem. If you listen to Grip Inc.'s Vindicate, that's a pretty close likeness to the sound that I get. It may not be the rounded killing low that you're looking for, but that's what I get out of it. I'm going for more clarity, low end and fullness in my next bass, and its a 5 string fretless (all my basses are fretless, and i get a flatter sound by using pinstriping over the ebony, which also protects the ebony from my pressurewounds), and i'll be using the EMG40DC and 40CS. The Mahogany and birdseye maple should (keyword "should") give me the sound i want.

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