Best P'up configuration for Fretless (Warmoth build) ??
I'm building a Warmoth Deluxe J 5 string fretless.
I'm at loss wether to stick to a normal J configuration, a 70s J configuration, or use Soapbars, or to put a MM at the bridge because I love MM Fretlessess (Pino!).
I'd also probably use a Glockenklang or Audeze 3 band Eq.
I'm thinking a J at neck and a MM at bridge should be optimum, what do you think?
Or maybe Soapbars (humbuckers) are better for hifi mwaaaah sound?
Ideally I'd like to get a rich sounding long sustaining "bloom" and mwahh.
Thanks for suggestions!
A common soapbar shape allows the greatest range of possibilities.
If you stick a twinjazz @ bridge you can have the front coil in sixties position while the center of the whole pickup is at seventies position. Add a push/pull switching pot for switching on the front coil only or both coils in series and you're done.
But I'm no expert of course.
Keep in mind that regular J pickups are slightly different sizes for bridge and neck.
Aha. Agreed that 2 soap bars give greatest flexibility? Why is that? I'm assuming it's two humbuckers we are talking about.
Yes I know that is why I always said "2 humbuckers" after my soap bar definition!
So, do 2 humbuckers give better versatility on a fretless ? If so, why? No risk of too chunky a sound?
For mwah, it's hard to beat the active EMG J set.
By the way, a big part of Pino's tone on his fretless Ray (around the time of No Parlez by Paul Young) was down to the Status graphite neck, imo.
EMG's "40" shape can be had as a single coil, split "P" style humbucker, or a dual coil.
Nordstrand has single coil, stacked dual coil, and split dual coil configurations available all in the same size housing.
Now, I would say you are correct that 2 splittable dual coil humbuckers probably give you the most versatility, but they might not give you the "purest" single coil tone - even when the second coil of a pickup isn't used, it's still exerting some magnetic pull on the string, so if you've got super keen hearing you may prefer the tone of a true single coil pickup. Also, the coils of a splittable humbucker are often wound a little different from a true single coil, as you have to compromise a little bit for a pickup that's intended to work in single coil, parallel humbucking, and series humbucking modes. If you wind to have great sound as a single coil, one or both of the humbucking modes won't sound so good; wind to sound great as a parallel humbucker and series and single mode won't sound so good, etc.
So you just decide what you want -
If you want a 100% totally killer single coil sound, there's pickups that do that.
If you want the killer single coil sound, but you're recording and the engineer says "absolutely no hum allowed", there's split-coil humbuckers that get you 95% of the pure single coil sound with no hum.
If you want a 100% totally killer dual coil sound, there's pickups that do that.
If you want a versatile bass that'll get you a lot of very good usable tones that are 95% as good as any of the "pure" tones listed above, that's doable too.
There is no wrong answer, just depends on your needs and wants.. If you can afford to have a few basses, you can have one awesome P bass, one awesome J bass, one awsome modern bass, one versatile gigging bass, etc.
What are the good "killer dual coil sound" pickups then?
On a fretless then what might be a good choice pickup? I assume, transparent pups?
I've got Tom Clement building me a 5 string (very well priced) and I'm using an EMG single soapbar around the sweet spot. Blend knobs suck, and never really use the neck pickup out of my current fretless basses.
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