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Good passive bass pickups?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Ermz, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Hey guys,

    I just got my Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass (shite, that's a mouthful) back from the tech, after being initially unimpressed with the tone. He re-potted it with military spec pots, copper shielded the inside, installed a bone nut & set it up. Unfortunately, I'm still quite unhappy with the tone.

    It has this extremely ugly excursion in the mids, which something that I've heard in every fender bass, ever, and I absolutely hate it. It also has virtually no low-end. A bassist friend of mine says both 'qualities' can be attributed to the single coil pickups. In this case they're Duncan Designed, so I imagine they suck, even by single coil standards.

    I need suggestions for some stacked humbuckers that provide punchy, clear, hi-fi low-end, and snarly, masculine grit. So far from the basses I've used, I've enjoyed the grit from EMG DC 40s... so I want something aggressive like that, but in passive form, as I'm not keen to start routing into the body of the bass and installing active electronics.

    This will be my last attempt before I sell the bass, and move back into a price range that has less hideous overall build quality.

    Thanks!
     
  2. DeclanWhite

    DeclanWhite Senior Member

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    sucks to hear you arent impressed. as for pickup suggestions, i have no idea haha
     
  3. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    maybe you need to look in another pricerange to get the kind of quality you expect...from what I remember the BTB also wasn't exactly costy.
     
  4. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    I've got no issue with the build quality of the BTB. It was just the mixture of wood/hardware that didn't seem to work.

    I always expected the Squier to be a real nasty piece of craftsmanship - but I had hoped it would at least offset that by sounding usable. So either I make it sound usable or it needs to go.

    Any suggestions for good passive stacked humbuckers appreciated!
     
  5. Contra Studio

    Contra Studio Member

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    Why not order the American passive set that all fender USA come stock with, better getting a music man :D. My next bass
     
  6. BLUElightCory

    BLUElightCory Member

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    Does it sound good unplugged? If not, sell it and keep looking.

    I'm a HUGE Fender bass fan, but you have to hunt for the great ones.

    As far as pickups, I'd recommend checking out Lindy Fralin pickups. If you're looking for more output/bass and more "scoop" to the tone, consider overwound pickups, which will reduced mids/highs but boost lows and output.
     
  7. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    The first thing I remarked on when I played it unplugged was how bad it sounded acoustically. I just assumed that was a natural property of an all-maple bass. Think it may have been a dud?
     
  8. BLUElightCory

    BLUElightCory Member

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    As Triumph would say, "You're going to AMPLIFY this crap?!?!?!"

    Yeah, it's a dud.
     
  9. Jaymz

    Jaymz Stymphalian Productions

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    Bah that's a shame, I kept hearing that bass with the stock pups was badass! =(

    Just get a Dean Sledge and be done with it! :rofl:
     
  10. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    +1 to what Cory said. If it doesn't exhibit alot of the qualities you want acoustically you'll fight it the whole way.
     
  11. Fifth_Horseman

    Fifth_Horseman Watch out, it's sharp!

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    Shit in = shit out.
    Even the best pickups in the world will only show off those problems even more. Usually the more expensive pickups are more transparent as well... not worth it.
     
  12. RaDiKaL

    RaDiKaL Member

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    Dimarzio Model Js are pretty beefy and humbucking.
     
  13. FearComplexMusic

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    Got one of these a while back and I have to agree the tone is underwhelming to say the least. No balls or anything exciting in the top end, just dull flat mids.
     
  14. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Good to get some affirmation. Honestly, it sounds about as cheap as it feels. It's not something I'd want to commit to a record.

    Thanks for the advice. I might just forego new pickups and sell it outright.
     
  15. DigitalMetal

    DigitalMetal Building a Mini SSL

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    Have you tried out a bass that has the drop in J set of EMG's installed ? they might fit the bill surely?
    I have an ESP P Bass with the P Set installed and it sounds pretty darn good to me.
    i also have a Viper and a Surveyor 5 with EMG humbuckers and its not a night and day tone difference between the singles and humbuckers just subtle , the biggest tone shapers IMO are the EMG preamp/EQ sections especially the one that comes in the Surveyor.
     
  16. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    so far in my experience the basses which I liked more were the more expensive ones unfo...more drastic than with guitars!
    speaking mostly on tone and playability. build quality should be mandatory anyway with the higher price ranges.

    that said, I also don't think that another PU would help if the bass doesn't sound too good acoustically.
     
  17. The-Zeronaut

    The-Zeronaut Mixing..Y U SO DIFFICULT?

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    I just purchased the squier jazz bass vintage modified and i think it sounds pretty damn good :S
    i also have an aria pro from the early 90´s and a esp ltd b4-e ns with emg35dc
    and the fender sounds 10 times better
     
  18. bassguy

    bassguy Member

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    I was nearly going to buy one of these, now I'm not so sure. Doesn't help that I can't find any physical shops that have them though so I can play one
     
  19. 53Crëw

    53Crëw Member

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    That may be your problem right there. While not a Fender, I had an Ibanez bass that was all maple. It had a honky strong mid tone and lacked bottom end, even with Model P and Model J pickups in it.

    I replaced it with an Alder Jazz bass and discovered more extended low end and upper mids without the honky mid-mids the maple bodied Ibanez had.

    I really think pickups are just the icing on the cake. I feel the majority of the tone (maybe 70%?) is from the wood and construction method and the pickups just color the natural tone of the wood for the remaining (30%). At least with passives. Your mileage may vary....
     
  20. TofNazareth

    TofNazareth TofNazareth

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    Dump that thing, I have a MIM J bass that just spits gold. I had stock PU's and it sounded great. A guy came in with a bass that had the Duncan AAJ-1 in his American J bass and it sounded so solid a got a set, honestly I miss my passives.
     

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