Bartolini or Delano?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cjp3044, Feb 15, 2013.


  1. cjp3044

    cjp3044

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
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    Clovis, CA
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    Part time guitar and amp tech at the Tone Shop
    I've got an inexpensive 5 string that plays great, but I knew going into it that I would be replacing the pickups and possibly/probably adding a preamp. Want to start with pickups first, play it passive for a while, then decide if I will put an active pre in it (when and if I get the PRE - it will in all likelihood be an Audere).

    The bass is set up with jazz style pickups and came set as vol/blend/tone - the passive blend just killed the output from the pickups, so the pots have already been replaced with CTS and re-configured to standard jazz setup (V/V/T).

    What I am looking for is your opinion - not "what's best" or anything like that, just what you like and why you like it. I am really looking at Bartolini 59CBJD S1/L1 deep pair or Delano JC 5 HE -- I'm not really looking for the "classic" jazz sound, but more modern and defined deep sound.

    I already have or have had various Seymour Duncan pickups, DiMarzio and EMG, which are all fine and dandy, but I want something different for this bass.

    What is your experience and what do like or not like about them?
  2. Belka

    Belka

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Location:
    Kiev, Ukraine
    Well, you said you were looking for a modern and defined 'deep' sound, and for that I'd say Bartolini all the way. That's what Bartolinis do best. Never tried any Delanos unfortunately. I'm sure they're good pickups though. I've never bought all the 'Bartolinis sound dark and muted' crap, although I will admit that they're not as bright and spanky sounding as Nordstrands and EMGs and some of the other new kids on the block. But they sit in the mix so well.
  3. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    New York, NY
    No personal experience with Bartolini pickups here (just with the NTMB onboard preamp), but I'm sky high on Delano pickups. I own a set of Delano JMVC 5 FE humcancelling "super Jazz" pickups for my Carvin SB5000, and just love 'em! Very powerful, very punchy, very "in yo' face!". :cool:

    I'm guessing that the JC 5 HE are going to be a little lower-output (what else wouldn't be?), and probably more refined-sounding than the JMVC 5 FE, but that's just from the description @ Delano.de. All I can tell you for sure is that Delano makes a GREAT product! :cool:

    MM
  4. cjp3044

    cjp3044

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    See, I think DiMarzios sound dark and muted, and I've never had Barts, but when I've heard them (usually soapbar style), they've sounded very modern, almost clinical (which may be too modern), but the deep set Js intrigue me. In your opinion, based on my description of what I'm after, would the deep set or bright set be closer?

    Oh, and thanks for the response, BTW.



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  5. cjp3044

    cjp3044

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    Thanks for the info!

    So I take it your Delano's are pretty hot? I've had Basslines Quarter Pounders and those were too hot for me - I was looking for a good hard rock sound when I tried those, but I felt they would have better suited to thrash or punk. Yeah, I think the refined sound is more what I'm after. Do you have a preferred dealer for Delano pickups (as in who has the best prices/service)?

  6. Lon86

    Lon86

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    Jan 21, 2008
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    Venice, CA
    Duncan 1/4 pounders...
  7. cjp3044

    cjp3044

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    Thanks for the input, however as I said in my post above, I've already tried QPs on another bass and they weren't my thing, I really dig the tone of some players that use them (ala Frank Bello), but I'm really going for a more modern tone on this bass.
  8. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    Apr 1, 2004
    Location:
    New York, NY
    Yeah, my JMVC 5 FE pickups are hot all right. Hot enough for hard rock, thrash or punk - if I seriously played any of those styles. But I got them for an instrument that I've configured specifically for "contemporary urban" styles, i.e. pop, funk, modern R&B, smooth jazz, etc. And they work just splendidly for those styles. So clear, so punchy. Just delicious.

    They also work just great with the Audere jazz plate onboard preamp that I've had installed, and which I've set at unity gain - since the Delanos are so hot, they don't need a bit of signal boost. The preamp is just to lower the output impedance, and to give me access to all those wonderful tone-shaping options that the Audere provides.

    I'm really not much of a slapper. But if there's any instrument that would inspire me to work on my slapping chops, the SB5000 with my Delano JMVC 5 FE is it. It's a slapping machine! :bassist:

    I've been buying a lot of my aftermarket electronics components from BestBassGear.com - located in Concord NC, not far from Charlotte. The prices are pretty consistent with industry norms, from what I've seen. The service is usually pretty decent. And the selection has, in recent years, become really quite good.

    MM
  9. bongostealth

    bongostealth Supporting Member

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    Jun 3, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Delano all the way!!! It's my favorite pickup. No matter the configuration you need, Delano just decimates all. I've tried the Bartolinis.... meh. The only down-side is the price. That's where you really have to make a serious judgment call and determine whether it's worth the money to drop that kind of pickup in an inexpensive bass.
  10. csk32below

    csk32below

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Bartolini. They have fantastic tone shaping. I can go from a midrange classic punk sound to an earth-shaking bass.
  11. Immigrant

    Immigrant

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    Jul 2, 2010
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    West of Stumptown, USA
    I had Bartolinis in an Ibanez SR-535. I replaced the Barts that come stock with better Barts (the same ones that came in Prestiges at the time) and it was better, but not much.

    I have Delano Js in my favorite bass, teamed with an Audere Z-Mode preamp. It came with an Audere V/V/T active/passive with Z-Mode and I replaced it with a 4 band EQ with 2 volumes.

    I don't find the pickups or the pre to be overly "hot", but there is one position on the Z-Mode switch that melts your intestines. It's pretty hot. In the other two modes, the pre isn't much louder than a passive bass but the flexibility of the EQ is AMAZING.

    I'm pretty sure any future mods I do on any basses will consist of Audere preamps and Delanos.
  12. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    That would be the Audere "Low Z" mode - super-low impedance that produces an extra-clean tone, and a powerful signal with enhanced low end that just oozes forth effortlessly. Use that, with a set of hi-fi pickups wired in parallel, and the low EQ bumped up a bit with some volume, and it's the virtual equivalent of playing a cathedral pipe organ through a high-powered, folded-horn sound system! :eek:

    MM
  13. JoeWPgh

    JoeWPgh

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2012
    I've tried a few Barts. To my ear they sound positively lucious when the bass is solo'd, but lack edge in the mix of a group. I have no experience with the Delanos
  14. tubehead2

    tubehead2

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2013
    Deep and Defined ??? I donot think Bartolini is your choice. Bartolini is deep but not defined. Especially if you want to play passive, bartolini has quite low output to play passive (not all but mostly, you got to check).

    I just have Delano JC5HE in my Warwick a few day, it sounds great, full, tight, clear, smooth, even tone from 1-5 stings and yep defined deep clear low B.

    Delano deep bass is difference from Bartolini's. I feel deeper bass with clear and define not like Bartolini that is huge but muddy.

    However, if you want it passive with modern tone, AERO type 1 is a very very good pickup to go too. Check it out. ^^
  15. staccatogrowl

    staccatogrowl

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    The classic and prevalent Bart sound is found in their Original Series: Greater lows and low mids, with subdued upper mids and highs. These are the Barts that most have heard, and many complain about (and many love). So in this example, the recognizable and "classic sound" is found in their Original Series.

    To complicate the matter, Bart now offers the Classic Series. These pickups have more balanced overall tone. The lows and low mids seem less, because the upper mids and highs are enhanced.

    The pickups that you are ordering are from the Classic Series, both with deep voicing. You will receive pickups that have well balanced lows, mids, and highs. Many people equate modern tone with upper mids and highs. These pickups have them.

    A little nuance you might consider if you are buying your listed set, is to get the

    deep voiced model 59CBJD1-L1 for the bridge, and the

    bright voiced model 59CBJD3-S3 for the neck.​
    This is opposite what you might think to do, but is exactly what some modern sounding basses have as their configuration.

    Best!
  16. cjp3044

    cjp3044

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    Thanks for the clarification on the original vs classic Barts, I had no idea that was the case. It's funny, the possible nuance you suggested is exactly something that I considered - deep at the bridge and bright at the neck - the reason is that even on my other J style basses I tend to roll towards the neck when playing with a group to get a more bassey tone than what the bridge pickup tends to offer, but doing that sometimes loses some other freqs that I would like to see more prevalent. Using this combination would make me think that would be compensated for to a certain degree.

    I had all but made up my mind on Delano's until I read this post. Now I'm scratching my head again...

  17. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties Supporting Member

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    If I had to guess, I'd say that either make would get you to where you want to go - if you choose the right model(s) and the configuration for you.

    Both Bartolinis & Delanos are a class act. So either way, you'll at least be starting from a foundation of quality... :cool:

    MM
  18. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya

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    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Just south of Atlanta!
    I've owned several basses with Bart's and have disliked the tone of each one. Some people claim they aren't dark, muddy, or muted to their ears (which may be the case), but to my ears that's exactly what they are. I put a Delano pup in my P and have had fantastic results with it. It's a very clean, clear, balanced, and punchy pickup. I can't recommend them enough if that's the thing you're going for.
  19. cjp3044

    cjp3044

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    Lots of great information, I appreciate it. I don't mind putting a bit of cash into this project. Even though it's a cheap Chinese made bass, the basics are all there, Alder body, 3 piece maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, 35 scale, and it looks cool and plays great (after I leveled the frets and rounded the fret edges and gave it a proper setup) - the hardware mostly is kinda junky as to be expected, the bridge actually isn't bad at all, it's got some heft to it and it is highly adjustable, but the pots that came with it, the pickups, the tuners...

    So what I'm saying is I wouldn't object to Delano's based on price and the fact that the Barts would be about $100 cheaper doesn't really make much of a difference to me as long as I am satisfied with the tone - if I were to put Delanos and an Audere pre, plus new gotoh tuners, I would still only have about $650 total into this bass :bassist:

    Based on what I've read, I actually think I may be satisfied with either, especially with the pre, but maybe more satisfied with the Delanos staying passive. I wish I could A/B them, but that's not likely to happen. Either way I go, it's somewhat taking a chance, but great information from people like you guys makes it easier to take an educated chance.

    I'll probably make up my mind before the end of weekend and post had I ended up doing. Thanks again
  20. Belka

    Belka

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    Location:
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    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=90wkSGiBKtk&feature=relmfu

    Dark, muddy, and muted?:rolleyes:

    Bear in mind that according to well known Brubaker afficiondo Brad, Malcolm keeps his tone controls flat. I'd hate to hear that thing with the treble boosted.

    I will say that in my opinion Bartolinis are fairly neutral sounding. They do have a noticeable low mid presence but they tend to let the acoustic sound of the bass shine through. If your bass sounds dark and and muddy unplugged, the Barts won't help it at all. If your bass is bright and spanky sounding, the Barts will bring out its true character.

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