2 X Mid Heavy, Single Coil, 4 string, J, Rail Based, Bridge Pickup That Will Sound Great in Series!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JohnArnson, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    So I currently use the 2 stock J pickups on my 5 string Ibanez GSRM25 Mikro bass wired in series directly to the output jack socket of the bass, and for such cheap pickups they do sound surprisingly great, but as I have to run the bass through a graphic EQ boosting the 280Hz band about 4dB, the 500Hz band about 6dB, the 800Hz band about 6dB, the 1,4 Khz band about 4dB and the 2,3Khz band about 2dB, to get my tone where I want it I thought maybe there would be an alternative that would get me closer to that tone to start with.

    I would describe the tone as very snappy with a good amount of bite and clank, but without for that reason really lacking low end in any possible way (though not exactly a thunderous amount of it either).

    (Also note that it actually doesn't sound quite as the sound test I posted of it yesterday in the Recordings forum anymore, as I have changed the EQ settings since, basically just rolled the 100Hz and 170Hz bands on my graphic EQ back to zero, from being slightly boosted on that recording).

    Now the problem is that both the 2 pickup covers, neck and bridge, of the 5 string Mikro matches the measurements of a regular standard size 4 string J bridge pickup (as far as I can tell from my own measurements and cross checking with the listed pickup dimensions from various manufactures), except for the fact that the string spacing on the Mikro is just 16,5 mm, and that it got 5 strings.

    So my question is, as the headline says, if there are any mid heavy, single coil, 4 string, J, rail based, bridge pickups that possibly could give me the tone I am looking for when wired in series.

    I am open to suggestions, weather it be cheap budget or more regular mid to upper mid priced pickups, but it needs to be pickups that can fit in the existing pickup cavities of my bass, which means standard sized 4 string J bridge pickups, as well as they need to utilize rails instead of pole pieces, due to the 5 strings and tight string spacing, and finally they will have to work well wired in series.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  2. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    I thought it would be optimal of you you actually had a sample of how the tone of my bass is now to be able to suggest pickups that might get me in that ballpark.

    So I recorded a soundtest of my bass, but changed my EQ setting a bit again, as O wasn't totally satisfied with the raw tone of my bass, as I split my signal up in 2 paths, one carrying my bass signal, and one being pitchjed up 1 octave, sort of giving me an effect similar to that of playing an octave bass, as in a bass with pairs of bass and octave strings, only with the advantage of being able to manipulate the 2 signals individually and separately this way.

    The settings on my graphic EQ are as follow:
    100Hz ~ 1dB - 170Hz ~ 1dB - 280Hz ~ 4dB - 500Hz ~ 5dB - 800Hz ~ 6dB - 1,4KHz ~ 4dB - 2,3KHz ~ 2db

    And it sounds like this (a little naked and dry sounding with the bass alone, but later when I include the 1 octave up signal path in the equation you can hear what it is I am going for with my overall tone, this happens at about the 2:45 minute mark. (Flanger on the bass signal and phaser on the 1 octave up signal kicks in at about the 4:53 minute mark)):
    Dropbox - Soundtest - Ibanez 5 string Mikro - 221119.mp3 - Simplify your life
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  3. JohnArnson


    May 28, 2019
    I am considering buying 2 of these dirt cheap pickups:

    Janika Hot Rail:

    They are probably highly unlikely to be any improvements over the stock ones I use now, and I suppose chances are that they are worse, but buying the 2 bridge pickups that I need will cost me what equals about 46$, about 64$ with shipping included, so not a big loss if they turn out to be less useful.

    I couldn't find a whole lot of information about these pickups either, just the measurements, which are standard J pickup sizes, including the length of the rail, in place of pickups poles, which is about a whole cm broader than broadest span across the 5 strings of my bass, so that's that box checked, the resistance which is 6.5 KOhm, and that they are supposed to have high output and be hum cancelling, the two latter facts something that might not make them the ideal and most obvious choice for series wiring.

    But as said it wouldn't be a big loss if they don't work for my application, and my curiosity tempts me to pull the trigger on a pair of bridge Janika Hot Rail pickups.

    I assume they are ceramics, which most cheap pickups tend to be, and which by the way doesn't bother me at all, but I failed in finding any information on the internet about the materials used.

    I would love to hear if anyone has any experience with them, cause there was absolutely nothing in my Goggle search on them that indicated anyone ever made any sort of review of these pickups whatsoever, which I guess perhaps I would be wise to interpret as probably not the best sign.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins Dominated Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    “Mid heavy” and “wired in series” sounds like a recipe for mud. If you take two “mid heavy” pickups, and wire them in series (which boosts the mids and attenuates the highs), you’re going to be putting double emphasis on the mids.

    I would use something more neutral.

    The first option that comes to mind is the J-45. Nice and balanced, with a healthy output, designed for either four or five strings, relatively inexpensive, and an impeccable pedigree. :thumbsup:
    rogypop likes this.