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Good passive bass pickups?

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

  1. Mago

    Mago Austrian Blech Machine

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    Why not the NJ Beast then?
     
  2. Rogueleader

    Rogueleader Bringer Of Rain

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    Seymour Duncan basslines are quite good. A natural match for Fender style basses. I've used the Quarter Pounder's in a P bass for a while, and they sound great. Very punchy sounding pickups. I believe they make J and PJ sets as well.
     
  3. Headof75

    Headof75 Somewhere in Brum

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    So, the DI box came through. Wavs:
    Fender American Standard Jazz Bass Alder body, maple and rosewood neck, stock p/ups
    Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass Maple body, maple neck, stock p/ups
    Input chain: Bass > Countryman Type 85 > RME Babyface
    No processing
    Both basses set up about the same with a 2.5mm/ 3/32" action and pickups at 2.5mm/ 3/32" on the bass side and 2.1mm/ 5/64" on the treble.
    It would be cool if other people could post some DIs of their basses too and we could pull them together somewhere for reference. I'm in a similar position to you, Ermz, spent quite a lot of time and money not finding what I'm after...
     
  4. Jaymz

    Jaymz Stymphalian Productions

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    ^ Both sound great!

    Not much in them tbh!
     
  5. kaomao

    kaomao Member

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    dude, those sound really really similar
    I think the squier is better, costs a quarter than the usa version and does the same thing lol
     
  6. Headof75

    Headof75 Somewhere in Brum

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    I was surprised by how similar they sounded. Have to say I like the small differences on the side of the Squier too, but the Fender plays better.
     
  7. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Thanks for posting that Headof75. At least it's a good reference for how woods affect the tone of the instrument. I dig that the all-maple Squier sounds more 'hi-fi', but its grit is almost abrasive compared to the more subdued and 'fuller' Fender. It's food for thought when we design our customs. I'm still unsure whether to go an entire maple/pau ferro neck, or use rosewood in order to control the clank a little.
     
  8. tempe

    tempe Captain Midnight

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    TBH I think the thing with those Fender basses is 100% in how you play them. I play a Modulus VJ4 and a Fender Jazz 60th anniversary. The Modulus has a massive bottom end, and the clank is much lower, around 800Hz, this bass is great for live use as it makes me cut through under where the pick attack of the guitars is.

    The fender jazz is from memory an alder body with a maple neck, this thing clanks like a machine but with this lovely 100Hz bump that just gels with the guitars. The thing is, I almost never play with a pick, in my band I play most things slapped (think The Arusha Accord), and since I'm not playing with a pick I'm not getting the harshness in the mid-range.

    A band I recorded a while back had a VM squire played with a pick, it was EXTREMELY clanky, and in a unnatural / metallic way.
     
  9. Headof75

    Headof75 Somewhere in Brum

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    ^^^Picking definitely seems to bring out the flaws in bass tone. On those two basses of mine I prefer the Squier because of the mid-range honkiness that the Fender has under picking. Ironically, of the two the Fender sounds more vintage to me.
     
  10. Jaymz

    Jaymz Stymphalian Productions

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    Ever tried a Poplar bodied bass?
     
  11. Headof75

    Headof75 Somewhere in Brum

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    *UPDATE*
    Modified Squier Vintage Modified Jazz Bass
    Input chain: Bass > Countryman Type 85 > RME Babyface
    No processing
    This is the same bass as above but after a few changes:
    i) Went to a local luthier and had the nut tidied up, frets dressed and a proper set up. Action is about the same as previous, but less neck bow, less rattle and much more playable at a cost of £70.
    ii) Duncan Designed pickups swapped out in favour of Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound set at £105. Still true single coils, not hum-cancelling.
    Results - Now plays better than the American Standard and tone-wise less hi-fi sound than before, but accordingly less harshness in the highs, and great fat dollop of added low-end goodness.
    Outcome - Anyone want to buy a used Fender American Standard Jazz Bass?
     
  12. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Yeah, that bass does nothing for me. Quite glad i sold it back a few days ago. No need for passive bass options anymore, but I'm really thankful to you guys for all the input.

    Currently working very closely with the S7 guys to create the ultimate (or at least my version) recording bass from the bottom up.
     
  13. MarcusGHedwig

    MarcusGHedwig Member

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  14. roy22341

    roy22341 Member

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    Little late to the thread, but I had to literally lower both pickups on my VMJ to the point of bottoming out to get a better tone. I'm just waiting for some parts to come in - I'm swapping out the pots, got a few different capacitors I'm going to try (I'm not sure which comes stock with it, but I've got a few different ones coming in I'm going to try), dropping in a Gotoh 201 bridge, shielding everything and blacking out most of the hardware and some other cosmetic stuff. If anyone is still interested I'll be happy to post some clips of the different capacitors as well as a before and after of everything.
     
  15. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    Well the problem is that the J pickups generally need you to play like a bitch in order to get an output that isn't farting like mad. The stock VMJ ones in particular are fart-city. Even lowered as far as the guitar allows wasn't enough for it to handle proper bass playing. Across the board everyone preferred the tone of the BTB705DX (which I find mediocre at best) so it just felt like a self-defeating endeavor trying to get anything usable from it. Hope you have more luck...

    @Marcus: Have yet to finalize them, but you'll likely see me posting about it when it gets closer to reality!
     
  16. roy22341

    roy22341 Member

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    I'm fairly confident I can get something useful out of it, but then again I have a feeling I'm using it for completely different purposes than you are. I'm setting up mainly as my jazz/funk bass. The only real issue I have with it right now as far as the "farts" go is when I'm thumping on the low E. Part of this is probably my technique, I tend to get my right hand right in front of the neck pickup for slapping. I'm going to see if I can find a way to drill out the holes a bit more on the neck pickup when I take it out to re-wire and do the shielding (it feels like the screws themselves are bottoming out, but that the pickup cavity itself is deep enough to go down a few 1/8ths or an inch more).

    How hard do you play though? And what kind of strings did you have on it? Seems like you really must have been laying into it.
     
  17. MarcusGHedwig

    MarcusGHedwig Member

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    Cool Ermz, I'm looking forward to seeing what you end up settling on - and FWIW, I have no farting problems with my EMG PJ set (raised quite high, the J bridge pup especially)
     
  18. plague_rider

    plague_rider Coffee

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    Ah well I'm too late, but I've still got the EMG-HZ pickups from my 5 String LTD just sat gathering dust if they could have been any help...

    Replaced em with 40DCs...

    Gald to hear you've resolved the issue...
     

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