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EMG DC, CS, P5 comparison soundclips

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by stflbn, Aug 15, 2011.


  1. stflbn

    stflbn

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Nashville
    I have one Rebop with dual EMG DC's in it. I recently acquired a second with EMG Hz's which I'm replacing. So, I decided to try to help a commonly asked question here and provide sound clips of some different EMG 40 soap bar pickups combinations in the same bass, same strings, same settings, same system.

    I currently have here, on in en route: 40 DC's, J's, CS's, P5's and will be working my way through all the 2-pickup combinations of these, and at least solo neck of each.

    - Bass is 2003 Rebop with stock Tonepump preamp (bass in my Avatar)
    - Strings are brand new Ernie Ball Coated Slinkies which are the strings I'll be keeping on the bass for gigging.
    - Tonepump is set relatively flat (recently it has been made known by the designer of the Tonepump that the preamp 'does' cut both bass and treble)
    - I specifically tried to play just on the verge of getting clicking from my attack. So it's not super soft playing, and not aggressive playing. It's right around how I normally play. Fingerstyle plucking is right in between the two pickups on my Rebop. (I even provide a tad of lackluster slap sound at the end of each)
    - EMG pickup heights are set close to the strings as EMG suggests. (3/16" to 1/4")

    (This gets confusing quick as the differences are sometimes subtle... the playing was done primarily for my reference to choose pickups for my second Rebop, and each set of similar setups uses the same general song snippets)


    DC neck and DC bridge

    DC neck and DC bridge - passive tone

    DC neck and P5 bridge

    DC neck and J bridge

    DC neck only



    P5 neck and P5 bridge

    P5 neck and J bridge

    P5 neck and DC bridge - passive

    P5 neck only



    CS neck and CS bridge

    CS neck and P5 bridge

    CS neck and J bridge

    CS neck only



    J neck and J bridge

    J neck and P5 bridge

    J neck only



    So enjoy trying to determine for yourself which is 'better'. I'll reply in a next post with my thoughts for my needs.

    (also cleaning up a bunch of my initial posts)
     
  2. taphappy

    taphappy doot de doo

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Tempe, Arizona
    Nice work, man!

    DC+P5 here. P5 shines on the bridge, and DC has punch. P5 does got a little extra noise on it, but it might have been a bit more sensitive to your monitor.

    Awesome :)
     
  3. stflbn

    stflbn

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Nashville
    My thoughts on the pickups and clips:
    DC's = thick tight and meaty with a very precise crisp high end
    P5 = Less deep girth than the DC's. Good punch. Good clarity, but not as crisp high end.
    CS = More vintage sounding than DC's. Smoother. With less of the very crisp high end.
    J = Definitely more focused. Not as wide and thick. Good high end, but not ultra crisp like the DC's. Sound like Jazz pickups.


    Dual DC's -
    I'm pretty fond of this setup. I knew going in that I liked this and this is my 'control' setup. Punchy, full, and crisp/clear. This tried and true Spector combo will likely stay in one of my Rebops.

    DC/P5 & DC/J combinations : surprised that these sound quite a bit alike. And I like the combo's. One of these could go in my other Rebop.

    CS/P5 & P5/J combination : again, surprised that these sound so much alike. And one of these could end up in the other Rebop.


    Another complicating factor is that the other Rebop will have an EMG BQC 3-band system in it rather than a Tonepump. So... I'll be doing similar recordings with that Rebop once the BQC system is in place. Should be next week.
     
  4. genericusername

    genericusername

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    I like the DC/DC combo. I have it too. But I don't have a low B string :(
     
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  6. taphappy

    taphappy doot de doo

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Tempe, Arizona
    Was initially interested in hearing the P5/P5, which would be cool to hear - but I think the lack of punch in that bridge position would go in the other direction from what you're looking for.
     
  7. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    Nice clips. It's interesting to hear the combinations.

    I'd have to say that my favorite sound with both pickups was P5 at the neck and CS at the bridge. It had a great punch and seemed a bit less "scooped" than the dual-DC or dual-CS sounds.

    I have an extra 40P5, 40J and 40CS that I'm not using at the moment. You can borrow them if you promise to return them when you're done. :)
     
  8. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    I'm afraid that isn't going to reverse the coils at all. Rotating the pickup by 180 degrees is just going to switch the A string from being sensed by one coil to the other. Draw it out and you'll see.
     
  9. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Can the DCs be wired for passive operation? I would like to mod my bass with an active/passive switch as a safeguard against dead batteries but I read somewhere that EMG pickups are "active pickups". If I recall correctly active pickups require a battery to operate.
     
  10. PaulMacCnj

    PaulMacCnj

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Thank you for all those sounds clips. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then those sound clips are worth a million words.

    I like the P5 - Neck, CS - Bridge combination the best. Have you tried a J pup in the soapbar housing? I have a 2003 ReBop4 that is ripe for some active pups. My thinking was to use the 35P4 at the neck and a 35J at the bridge. But your sound clips are making me think about using a 35CS at the bridge.
     
  11. LimaGuy

    LimaGuy The Godfather Returns Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    NY
    Yes a bit confusing but really helpful. Thanks.

    And I just sold my ReBop today, but I did buy a NS-95, which is on its way and it has HZ's which I will probably want to replace.

    I like the DC neck / P5 bridge combination, as you mentioned.

    I always felt the ReBop lacked some mids so I think thats why the P5 sounds best since it is boosting the mids.
     
  12. stflbn

    stflbn

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Nashville
    Ehhh, you're right... I wasn't thinking visually.
    For those wondering, here's how the bars are laid out in the P5, so rotating it just gives you the same end result minus one string being different.
    And actually, the P5 already is built to emulate a reverse P format, which I wasn't remembering.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. stflbn

    stflbn

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Nashville
    All of these pickups are Active only. No power... no sound. There is no passive option for them.
     
  14. stflbn

    stflbn

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Nashville
    Well, you could use a 35TW, and have the option of both a 35CS and a 35J in the bridge. The TW pickups are a CS and J in the same housing and you switch via a push/pull pot that comes with the pickup.
     
  15. madbassplaya

    madbassplaya Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Nice clips!

    Did you buy all of these pickups to try out???
     
  16. stflbn

    stflbn

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Nashville
    :: maybe ::

    :rolleyes:


    Sometimes you have to hear something for yourself, and all the clips I'd been tracking down had been using pick, which I only use about 1% of the time.

    So... future sale or trades will be coming up once I decide on which I'm using.
     
  17. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    EMG Ps are already reversed. The two coils are also wired in parallel, which is why they have less mids than you expected.

    I'm surprised how much all these sound alike. I think you need to raise them closer to the strings to highlight the differences. Also, it sounds like you are using a lot of compression.

    Here's what a DC at the bridge sounds like direct with no EQ or compression:

    EMG DC Bridge

    This was installed in the bass in my avatar. If has a lot more highs and less lows than your clip.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Rockin Mike

    Rockin Mike Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    I see that the numeric part of the model number relates to the length of the pickup, i.e. 35DC is 3.5" long, 40DC is 4.0" long. Is that just a form factor thing or is there also a difference in the wire gauge, number of turns, or anything else?

    Put simply, does a 35DC sound the same as a 40DC?
     
  19. stflbn

    stflbn

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Nashville


    The only compression is via my MXR M87 set at 4:1. Not 'a lot' of compression. I do tend to have a percussive punchy attack myself playing fingerstyle.

    And, the TonePump definitely is adding it's signature into the test... but, I'm not unwiring everything just to provide 'just the pickups'. Sorry. Someone else can collect all the pickups and do that and provide their results if they want something different than what I happen to have in front of me.

    This is a 'hey, I'm doing this 'for me' and you can listen if you want and hopefully it may help you' situation.
     
  20. stflbn

    stflbn

    Joined:
    May 10, 2007
    Location:
    Nashville
    Two posts down from what you quoted you'll see that I mentioned that they're reversed stock, and put a photo of it already.

    And actually, what I said about the P5 was "I was surprised that this had less low end, but the expected increased mids of a P pickup."
     
  21. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Yes, the number is the size of the case.

    The coils are all wound with the same number of turns, but some of the coils are longer, so there is more wire on them. So you see them list a different resonant frequency of each size because of that.

    I've only ever used the 40 size, so I have no direct experience with the tone differences.
     

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