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V. Wooten's EMG pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by lovethegrowl, Jan 6, 2014.


  1. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    Forgive my ignorance, but I hear all the time that single coils with alnicos V magnets are way superior to ceramic magnets. Certainly bass players like their MIM Jazz bass' ceramic pups replaced with MIA alnicos.

    So, why does Fodera, a high end boutique bass maker put ceramic pups on it's bass? Don't alnicos give an better extended range to low b also?
     
  2. Just Thumpin'

    Just Thumpin' Gold Supporting Member

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    We actually offer both kinds of PUPs. It all depends on what tone the player we are working with is looking for. IMHO one is not inherently superior to another. It's all a question of what sound you like. Vic has loved the tone he gets from EMG's since 1983...they work for him.

    I hope that makes sense.

    Kindest regards,

    Jason


     
  3. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie Supporting Member

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    Victor currently uses alnico loaded emg pickups by the way.
     
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Previously bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    That's really all personal opinion and preference. I love my basses that have ceramic pickups in them.
     
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  6. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    Oh.........never mind!
     
  7. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    OK. I love the sound of my Squier DAJV bass, even w/ those ceramic pups. (Fender standards). However, one problem is that my b string (a .135 DR round core) is weak below D-even after EQing @ 32 HZ. I know it's partly the "nature of the 'Hibeam' beast" to give out lots of piano like overtones (which I love) but will an alnicos increase my chances of actually getting that low B up to par? Extending the range a bit.

    I ask because I do have a pair of Carvin J-99a's that I will take out of my Ibanez (will put the DX6 humbuckers back in). I can move the Carvins into the Squier, but for me it's a messy job, could screw things up. I am afraid that the Carvins might not "growl" as the ceramic Fender standards. I just want a little insight before proceeding.
     
  8. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    Also. Using that same Fatbeam on the Ibanez SR406 (using the Carvin pups) it is pretty deep. However, you don't hear many overtones. I never could get much of a growl even by turning the mids & hi's of the active electronics all the way up. The Ibanez is notorious for having dull, lifeless sounding active EQing.
     
  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo

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    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    You'll get a much better answer to this question if you start a new thread (with a descriptive title like "suggestions for a weak-sounding B string on my Squier DAJV") and mention your style of music, amp, cabinets, effects, compressor settings, etc.

    Bass tone has many variables (the most important being the player, of course). It would be silly for example to think you can use the same EQ settings as Victor and your Squier would sound identical to his Fodera.

    Best advice I can give is to talk with experienced sound engineers at your gigs/recording sessions, especially at venues/studios where you have historically loved your tone. I assume you are cutting the 32hz frequency? (I don't know many engineers that typically boost that frequency on the bass guitar.) The advice I get, time and time again, from people whose opinion/ears I trust, ***for my gear, playing style, and musical preferences*** (very important disclaimer) is to improve my B string tone by cutting the low-bass frequencies, using a good compressor, and turning up the amp (and/or getting a bigger amp if necessary).

    Also did take your bass to a pro for a good setup recently? "Growl" is a very subjective term, that I find is extremely dependent on the action/setup of the instrument. With the crazy changes in weather/temperature this time of year, you need to keep on top of those truss rod changes.

    Finally we can't talk about the bass alone in isolation, we need to consider how the entire band is mixed. For example if play with a downtuned guitarist who doesn't know how to EQ, that could explain your weak-sounding B string right there. Really there are so many variables, it helps to be as specific as possible when asking tone-related questions. ;)
     
  10. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    Actually I boost 32 hz, low b's fundamental is 30, though the first harmonic @ 60 hz predominates. Big improvement but not enough. My EQ is an MXR. After +8 db, you don't get more improvement below d, say at +12. (Now I am using my home audio subwoofer (full range -3 db @ 33hz). My bass cab is normally a Goliath III that gets 40 hz @ -3db. Got to go to Bag End to improve that.

    Set up is OK. But soon the bass will be converted to a six string using a Kahler tremolo bridge. I fling to get that Marcus Miller growl, you need bright round wounds (such as DRs) & active electronics. The built in Squier electronics aren't Bartolinis or Aguilars, but do the job. (I am not striving to be a Marcus Miller clone.) My concern is that the Carvins may be too smooth after installing them, besides not extending the range there semitones.
     
  11. Mushroo

    Mushroo

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    I think you and I have drastically different concepts how to EQ a bass---any advice I could give you would probably make you sound less true to yourself if you followed it. ;)
     
  12. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    My androids' predictive text/ spell checker is giving my words a life of their own. I meant that "I FIND (not fling) the way to get a growl is a result of strings, active electronics, & single coil pickups (though double coils can give you a growl too.)

    Last sentence I wrote that I want to extend the range 3 semitones, yet keep the characteristic piano tone timbre of the .135 Hibeam. If I had to choose between the piano tone & range extension, I will pick the piano tone.

    I even get a thunderous sounding low b on my Ibanez using a .118 gauge Thomastic Infield string, all factors being the same.

    Guess it boils down to one question: "Do ceramic pups tend to be characteristically weak in the low end, compared to their alnicos counterparts".
     
  13. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Casting out the nines Supporting Member

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    This seems like an odd question to me. As far as I know Wooten doesn't own a Fodera with a low B. The only five string Fodera I've seen him play is strung up as a piccolo bass.

    Also, the EMGs on his bass aren't single coils, both the P and J pickups are split coil blade designs.

    Am I missing something? Why were you referencing Vic with a question about B string performance and single coils?

    The type of magnet used (ceramic, alnico, samarium cobalt, neodymium) is just part of the formula along with the wire type, the number of windings, the choice of rails or pole pieces, etc etc. And that's without getting into the idea of single coils, split coils, dual coils, sidewinders etc. So you can't simply make an assumption about the performance of a pickup based solely on whether it is ceramic or alnico. For instance, Bartolinis have never been accused of being weak in the low end and they use ceramic magnets.

    But a good bass pickup (of any type of design) should not be weak in the low end no matter what magnet type it uses.
     
  14. lovethegrowl

    lovethegrowl

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    I see. I am new to the concept of ceramic magnets. All I know is that Fender MIM owners frequently bash the standard pickups (after replacing them with MIAs) saying that they are weak at the fundamental and lean.

    I find that to be the case with my Squier, though there are two contributing factors: a) My active EQ can't be bi-passed, so ultimately the pickups can't be evaluated. The active electronics might be the real weak link. b) the Hibeams have a definitely weak low b, inherently so at the fundamental & first harmonic. (I suspect that not everyone replying to my thread has put Hibeams on their bass. They are a bright round core slap string designed to snap, pop & growl.

    I will put the Carvins in tomorrow or the next day. I suspect it will provide me a solution or considerable insight.

    Victor Wooten does have 4 & 6 string basses. I pretty sure the 6 string isn't a stiletto or baritone bass
     
  15. Dave W

    Dave W Previously bassgod0dmw Supporting Member

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    I wouldn't agree with that at all. I've had Hi Beams on pretty much all of my basses at one point or another and they all had a fantastic low B.

    The bass itself has more of a contributing factor to a weak low B IMO. String choice can make it better to some degree, but if it's not there in the first place you can't force it with strings.

    As mentioned already, they way you are EQing may not be doing you any favors. Boosting at 32Hz may just be creating mud. I would cut that or leave it flat.
     
  16. Just Thumpin'

    Just Thumpin' Gold Supporting Member

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    The last time his bass was in the shop this was not the case. He had a ceramic P and an alnico J PUP in it...

    That said, on the majority of his instruments he still has the ceramic EMG's -- at least to my knowledge.

    J

     
  17. Just Thumpin'

    Just Thumpin' Gold Supporting Member

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    He owns at least two 5-string Foderas. One Blue / Teal NYC and a Yin Yang Deluxe...

    The Yin Yang uses NYC's and the NYC uses more "traditional" pickups...

    Regards,

    J

     
  18. Just Thumpin'

    Just Thumpin' Gold Supporting Member

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    Here at Fodera we see no difference in the "quality" of the B-string's response based purely on the pickups that we use. Meaning that we are getting very good B-string tones out of instruments with Duncans, EMG's, Aguilar's, Nordstrand's...some have ceramic magnets and others alnico.

    Excellent performance on a B has a huge amount to do with strings, proper set-up and instrument design. The pickups are there to relay what is inherently already in the instrument. So, if the B-string is the problem, I would not look to pickups as the solution. Of course, this is just the way we see things here at Fodera and there are those that would not agree.

    Kindest regards,

    Jason

     
  19. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie Supporting Member

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    He did some videos on EMG's YouTube channel where he was using the EMG PAX / JVX set. I think this was done last year. Both pickups are alnico which you can tell by the EMG logo color too. He might be using both, just in different bass guitars?
     
  20. tylerwylie

    tylerwylie Supporting Member

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    Amen to that. To the OP: Try Fodera's tapered B strings too. Best sounding .120 and .125 I've heard.
     
  21. Just Thumpin'

    Just Thumpin' Gold Supporting Member

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    Or he may have changed the pickups in the bass since then. I will definitely take a look when I see him at NAMM in a couple of weeks.

    Kindest regards,

    J

     

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