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5 string pickups on a budget

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MasterOvReality, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. MasterOvReality


    Jul 13, 2012
    I've recently picked up a couple of 5 string basses: a Samick (Artist series, PJ configuration and active preamp), and a DeArmond Pilot 5 (most likely Fender era, dual J pickups, active preamp w/3 band EQ).

    For varying reasons, I'm looking to change out the stock pickups in both, but being that they're pretty cheap basses I don't want to spend a fortune doing so. To give an idea of what I'm after, the Samick I was looking to get a reasonable versatile set of pickups that would be usable for most styles, whereas for the DeArmond I'm really just looking to get a good punchy tone suitable modern rock/metal.

    So with that in mind what are some decent pickups I could get on a budget? Ideally I'd prefer to spend under $100 all up for each bass. Would a set of Wilkinsons or something do the job or would it make a huge difference going up to some Seymours or similar? I'd prefer not to have to change the preamps too if that helps.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    IME, a budget of less than $100 per set of pickups is unrealistic - unless you buy 'em used. Good luck with that. A budget of $200 per set, however, is very realistic and very doable. :meh:

    For the Samick, you might want to consider a P/J set of Bill Lawrence/Wilde bass pickups (P46 + J45), which will fit most four-string and five-string bass guitars configured for a P and a J. They offer just about the best all-around performance for the lowest price you can imagine. Phenomenal bang for the buck @ $124.00.

    As for the DeArmond, the cheapest, good J/J set that I know is the DiMarzio UltraJazz 5, although you certainly have many other options as well. Those are $120.00.

    Performance for price, you won't do much - or any - better than these. Happy Hunting... :ninja:

  3. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Those basses have cheap pickups in them already. More cheap pickups will pretty much give you what you have already.

    Look for something used.
  4. MasterOvReality


    Jul 13, 2012
    Thanks for the advice guys.

    $100 for the pickups for each bass isn't a set budget. I was just more interested to see if it was possible to get a good quality set of pickups for a 5 string in that lower price point, similar to the GFS pickups for guitar. If there's nothing like that out there I can certainly go a bit higher with the budget.

    As for the recommendations, I had been looking at the UltraJazz 5 as an option for the DeArmond. I've been tossing up between a set of those or the Seymour Duncan SJ5-3S pickups. I'll have to look into them a bit more. Never heard of the Bill Lawrence pickups before, but from checking their website, those sound like they'd be great for what I'm looking for in the Samick.

    Just one thing I'd be interested to know. From what I know of the UltraJazz pickups they should work alright with the existing preamp in the DeArmond. Should those Bill Lawrence pickups work alright with the Samick's preamp?
  5. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    I would say that Dimarzio or Duncan should have you covered in the $100 ballpark with some variety to choose from and quality to go with it.

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