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Any other option?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SuperDuck, Jan 24, 2001.

  1. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Is there more to life than "smooth P-Bass warmth"? Can I go after something other than "that Jazz Bass growl"? What is there besides the "punch of a Music-Man style humbucker?" Must I have the "ultra-modern EMG?" All the pickups I've heard are just variations on these themes.

    Don't get me wrong. I love these tones. There's a reason people make these kinds of pickups, because they are considered "THE sound". I just want to know if there is anything else out there. More unconventional, something that isn't such a mainstay. I've heard good things about piezos (which are everywhere now) and those new-fangled Lightwave, but I was wondering if there was some wacky magnetic (or something else??) pickup out there that sounds more unique.
  2. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    You could go for the, (dare I say it?), "Quack" of the uncolored "Select by EMG" pickups. These are showing up more and more with an onboard pre-amp, but for a totally unique sound, run 'em passive. They work fine. I just can't seem to get a grip on the uncolored sound...

  3. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    I tend to agree that magnetic pickups seem to be variations on a theme. However, there are really wide variations available. If you listen to John Turner, John Pattitucci, James Jamerson, Victor Wooten, and Jaco, you will hear great tones that really sound very little alike. So I'm not going to say it's all been done, but I am going to say that by combining different pickups, different pickup placements, different strings, and even different body, neck and fingerboard woods, there's a tremendous amount of variation available. Then, there's umm... technique. :D This can make a lot more difference in your sound than electronics. After all, Larry Graham is not known for making a new bass or pickup, but rather, a new sound.

    I'm just scratching the surface of what's available right now. As you point out, there's also the Lightwave system, and piezos. These also open up possibilities. You can also use your bass as a MIDI trigger and get limitless sounds that way.

    Not trying to be discouraging ;) , I wish you good luck on your quest. Let us know if you find anything truly different and/or unique.
  4. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
  5. Not all magnetic pickups sound like the above-mentioned, eg; Alembics sound like none of the above.
  6. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Right on, Marty - that really fits in with what I was trying to say. There is a TON of stuff available now, all of which has its own sound and personality. Alembic is the original "different" outfit.
  7. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
  8. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Holy crap, some of those Alembic pickups cost more than the bass I have now! The bass I'm building though is supposed to be the bass of my dreams though, so if they're worth it...

    And, yes, I know that technique does account for (insert number here)% of the tone, I'm just looking to see what I can do with the other %.

    I don't know if I understand the "uncolored" sounds you're talking about, robert. And those Linear pickups look BASASS... the real question is, does anyone know how they sound?

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