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Bass pickups
Old 5th August 2012
  #1
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
Bass pickups

Hey dudes,

I have just started medling with design of basses and whatnot, and will be getting my own custom made in the not too distant future, few months or so.

Pickups have always been something that I havent paid much attention too, and I was just wondering if someone could give me a lowdown on whats out there. I play a warm but punchy metal tone.
Old 5th August 2012
  #2
Gear Guru
 
matt thomas's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizamluke ➡️
Hey dudes,

I have just started medling with design of basses and whatnot, and will be getting my own custom made in the not too distant future, few months or so.

Pickups have always been something that I havent paid much attention too, and I was just wondering if someone could give me a lowdown on whats out there. I play a warm but punchy metal tone.
What do you mean by "warm" and "punchy"?

To me, a warm bass tone will not have much highs. Which is the opposite of most metal tones. Is this really what you want?

A punchy tone will depend mostly on playing style, but good use of compression can make punch too, neither of these are based on pick ups.

Reading between the lines, I would check out Norstrands.

matt
Old 5th August 2012
  #3
Deleted 1846071
Guest
Pickups and even basic electronics like pots and wiring harnesses can make a huge impact on the tone of your bass. There are also appreciable sonic differences between humbuckers, split coil, and single coil PUs. And I don't care how great or expressive a player you are - if you're playing a First Act bass through an 8" Crate combo amp, your tone is going to suck!

When I think of warm and punchy (as opposed to metallic and clanky), for metal, I think Jazz bass and Rickenbacker. Maybe some Gibson. Seymour Duncan makes good PUs, so does Fender, and there are lots of boutique makers like Lindy Fralin. You can also get second-hand pickups from old Gibsons, Ricks, Peaveys, etc. Check the forums and classifieds at talkbass.com, you'll get lots of help there.

Dark Star PUs are very popular right now, though I've never used them. Check here:

Goliath by Mars Volta / Dark Star Pickups Jazz Bass / - YouTube
Old 6th August 2012
  #4
Here for the gear
 
JRigby's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Matt makes a good point. You'll need to be a bit clearer than "warm" and "punchy." They come off as having two very different tonal distinctions. And a lot of what defines the "punchiness" in your tone comes from how you're playing the instrument. But with electronics in mind, I'm pretty sure I have a good idea of what you might be aiming for (considering a good metal tone) because I've played bass on a number of metal projects in the past.

I play on a Lakland Skyline 55-02 bass (outstanding!!!) with their older implementation of the Bartolini preamp system and pickups. Don't get me wrong, I freaking love the barts for their "warm" character. However, the newer models of that same bass use Lakland's fairly recently designed preamp system and pickups. And in terms of punchiness, nothing I've experimented with in my 10 years of playing has come close to what Lakland created. They call it the LH3 preamp and pickup system.

Also, Seymour Duncan Blackouts are worth checking out (I've heard good things).
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