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Anyone tried the Bartolini 90P46CBCs?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Frank Martin, Apr 24, 2005.


  1. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    That is, 6 string P4-shape dual coils.

    Has anyone tried them?
    The only info I could find on the entire net is the Bart homepage...
    They are supposed to be in the "Classic Bass Series" - like here, the example 4:
    http://www.bartolini.net/NonFenderNames5.htm

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Somebody here within the last week had a question about a Bart P quad - think bart P quad was in the title so it shouldn't be hard to search. Don't know if it was 4 string or extended. DavidWilson and I both responded to it if that helps any.
     
  3. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Thanks luknfur, but I am looking for a P4-shape for a 6-string, and all the threads the searches brought up were about J- and P-style p-ups.

    Anyway, what I really want to ask is:
    Do you think these p-ups would get a punchy, agressive, growly and clear, but not harsh sound in a bass with bubinga and swamp ash body and wenge neck, or should I go for something else? P46CX ("brighter")? Or maybe a custom Villex dual-coil 6? (Though I'd like to keep the electronics side of this project - 2 dual-coils with passive electronics - under $400...)

    Bart site says the following about these:
    P46CBC dual coil - powerful lows and low-mids - bright treble
    plus what is at the CB Series page.
     
  4. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Bart tone can vary considerably but in general they're aren't particularly bright, but the few quads I've had have been brighter than their norm. Never heard a harsh Bart. Barts are inherently soft in tone. The Bart quads I've had were clear but some Barts aren't. I'd have to go back and read my own reviews in J and MM experiments on the punch, growl, and aggressiveness (but soft does not fit with aggressive). Barts generally have some mix of punch and growl. From what I've gathered the particular woods don't matter so much as the acoustic properties put out by whatever wood the bass is made from (those properties can be pretty much the same for totally different woods).

    One of the problems with extended range bass pickups is there's virtually no reviews to even get you in a ballpark for something different.

    You may have better luck with bass reviews that have the kind of pups your looking for.
     
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Thanks again!

    The more I research it, the more it seems that the Bart tone is not what I'm looking for...
    I don't like the EMG's brittle high-end and nasal upper mids, either...
    I don't think I have too many options left :eek:

    Maybe Villex...
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    DavidWilson's had some villex stuff and someone else recently is going to give them a whirl. If I run acrossed it again I'll make note. Think Dharmabass maybe. Anyway, there are some scattered reveiws on the net. I haven't messed with them cause they have that required mid control and I don't use pots.

    Hard to go wrong with Barts but, like EMG's, some players just don't like them. In my experience, Lane Poors are about the closest thing to a Bart. Barts are different.
     
  7. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Yes, I searched a bit.
    DavidWilson even did some recordings with the different p-ups. Also Nonsqtr tried them, and 2-3 more members.

    So you say I should think more about these Barts?
    What I'm looking for is growl and punch, but with a bit more brightness/clarity and low-end extension than the MECs in my Corvette. Do you think these CB Series would cut it? The bass will have this tone acoustically, too (half bubinga, half ash body, wenge neck and morado or ebony board), I just want the p-up to get as true to the natural tone as possible.
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    No, not discouraging the Barts, they just tend to be like active EMG's in the sense players tend to like them or they don't. Barts can sound totally different, some don't even sound like Barts, but Barts are much more consistent in their signature qualities than other pup manufacturers I've had - except EMG.

    For example, the only Bart CB's I've had (that I'm aware of), are the 9CBJD's - which were more mid top end heavy than typical Bart J's - and even they weren't harsh; and the M34C soaps. The M34's were so dark they were unuseable. I tried several things with no change and finally got a switching/cap combo that did the trick and it actually worked quite well - then. It wouldn't work for me now cause I don't use onboard controls anymore. At least that's my recollection. The M34's I'm sure about. The J's I may have confused with another set. I'd have to go back and read my own review. The point still stands regardless - Barts can sound totally different from each other.

    Barts in general tend to be punchy cause punch usually accompanies sensitivity and clarity - and Barts tend to be both. Punch can have a lot to do with technique as well.

    Growl is part pups, part strings, part setup, and part technique - but pups will definetly vary in that respect and so will different models of Barts. Growl is predominately a midrange thing.

    Like I said, I'm not into the wood theory. From what I've experienced, tone is in the neck and the body could be made out of 2x4's (as were the old Dan Electro's) and it probably wouldn't make any signficant difference in tone most of the time. Regardless, you're stuck with whatever your bass is. If it's acoustically dark, medium, or bright, you can adjust pups to personal preference in accord cause the pickups will reflect the tone of the bass - ie. the same pups will sound darker in a darker bass and brigher in a brighter one. Nothing complex. I've heard talk of pickups sounding like the bass unplugged but I've never experienced anything like that approaching 75 sets of pups in 5 basses with grossly different acoustic properties. At any rate, I thnk if most players stuck their bass to a microphone they'd be looking for a cord and amp in short order.

    I really have no familiarity with the Corvette, but I'm guessing you have very few options with pups. Personally, I'd grab whatever I could get my hands on at the most reasonable price and try it and see and go from there. There's really no other way to know. In my experience, reviews are of more use in weeding out the wrong pups than selecting the right pups. And sound clips are good for little more than some idea for soloing at best. Excluding the bass itself, there are so many variables involved in getting a tone that it's impossible to know till you do.
     
  9. gyancey

    gyancey

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I've used the P4 CB dual coils on a five string. They sounded great - the single coil mode with both pickups on sounded like a J-bass. The CB series are WAY better than the other Barts in my opinion. Less compressed sounding, more natural with more high and low end.
     
  10. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Thanks again Luknfur!
    It's really nice of you to take so much time to help me! :)

    The bass they will be going into is just in the planning phase now: I've drawn the plans, figured out which parts to get and where, except for p-ups, electronics and maybe fingerboard. So it's still flexible now (p-up size, placement, brand, active or passive, etc).
    From the components (bubinga top, ash back, b/o wenge-bubinga neck), it looks like (and that is why I chose these woods) it will be more of a low-mid growl and punch-oriented bass with some treble brightness and definition.

    Of the bunch, the dual-coil Bart P46 CBC seems to have the most reasonable price: $100 (or at other parts of the site it says $120) each, plus shipping and customs and taxes - should work out to around $250-275
     
  11. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Less compressed sounding, more natural with more high and low end, you say? Sounds even better now :)
    Thanks!
     
  12. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    I have custom made Villex pickups in my Linc Luthier bass. The covers were made of wood from Linc. Villex installed the electronics and epoxied the back. I also have Barts in two Modulus basses. The Villex pickups are far better than the Barts, and the Barts don't sound good passive like the Villex's do. I vote for Villex. If he doesn't have the size you need, consider having a luthier build shells for him to make the windings into. Villex is a very small company and only has so many stock sizes and shapes, unlike Bart who makes their own ABS covers. I love the wooden pickups I got from Linc. Villex has done that for other builders too--Adler and Ken Lawrence to name a couple. They have more naturals highs, and fuller low end. And of course, there's that mid control...... Trust what Villex says, he knows what he's doing and how to make a great pickup. Try not to be bull headed and think you know what you want. You won't get help from Bartolini. Villex will give you what you want.
     
  13. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    I don't think it's being bull-headed to come here to ask if a p-up would get the tone I want or not. ;)
    However, it's easier and cheaper to get the Barts. Also, I can get them DC, to have series/parallel/single-coil switching, unlike Villex, as he says he doesn't like DCs and coil switching.
    Anyway, I'm still thinking about it. The Villex p-ups sound interesting


    BTW/PS: If it's not too indiscrete, could you please PM me how much you paid for yours, to give me a ballpark figure? Thanks
     
  14. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Frank,
    I apologize to call you bull-headed. That came out wrong and was not what I meant. When I started on the Villex thing, I was insisting that I wanted a P-style neck and a humbucking bridge like a MM or a DC, both soapbar. Villex educated me and now I can hear what he's talking about. He said that you lose frequency response with DCs because with DCs, you have two coils with different "opinions" about what the sound is. With split coils (what I have and what he prefers) there is a fuller frequency response, more highs and lows. Now I've begun to actually hear that, I hear that with some humbuckers that you don't get the highs or lows as with single coils or split coils. Of course, I thought, that I wouldn't have as much output as DCs. But then I realized there is some magic in Villex's design which gives it a much hotter output, and it sounds very full. Also, even with his J designs, the pickups are much quieter than other brands. I also know that if there is anything you dislike he'd take care of it in a heartbeat. With Bartolini, you can't call and talk to the factory. They are too busy with mass production for companies like Ibanez, etc. Tom Wagner is the guy you have to go through (unless you knew Bill from a long time ago), and he really can't give straight opinions about what the differences of the pickups are, and doesn't know much about the active circuits, but he does try. With Villex it's different, he knows what he thinks will sound best, and he listens to what the customer wants and splits the difference. I didn't mean to insult you, I really apologize. All I meant was that sometimes we think we know what we want, but in this case the pickup maker himself knows best, so trust his judgment, and you'll come away very, very happy, and save some frustration. Villex marches to the beat of a different drummer, but I assure you, he's a mad scientist of pickups and knows what he's doing. Good luck in your decision, I hope your bass turns out great. One last thing--I always thought the Barts have a muted high end when passive, they are much better active. Villex pickups are great either way. I hope it works out great for you. Take care!!!
     
  15. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Last thing, if switching is a must, you could add on those Villex boosters which are available in 2 or 3 way. That could make a more drastic sound change than your series/parallel switching--and so will his mid control. Good luck!!!
     
  16. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    In 50+ pups sets I've had, in my experience a dual coil otherwise wound like two singles will not have the same characteristics as a single nor do hum canceling singles have the charactistics of the standard singles or singles ran independently - each is noticeably brighter and clearer than the previous.

    The only exception to date is the SD classic stacks which have a quality vintage Fender tone - distinctly more accurate than SD Antiquity II's and Frailins through my rigging.
     
  17. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Not sure what FWIW stands for. I'm not sure what you mean, but to clarify, the split coils definitely don't sound the same as single coils, and stacked single coils sound a bit different too. That's why Ps and Js sound so different. I don't think Villex Js are stacked, but there must be something that's making them dead quiet--probably the thing that's also allowing him to have a mid control. Could it be some sort of dummy coil that is using inductance to mess with the magnetic fields allowing control of mid frequencies? I'm not quite sure. I just know that William said he thinks that split coil humbuckers have a fuller range of frequencies than do DCs. I seem to hear that same thing now when I listen really closely.... DCs lack highs and don't seem to have as true of a fundamental--that's what I hear, but I think you'd have to see it on some kind of frequency analyzing computer of some sort to really understand. I don't know about all this stuff, but I know what I hear, and I just play....
     
  18. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
     
  19. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Dave, no need to apologize, I didn't take it as a bad insult - see the ;) smily.
    I'm fully aware of what you were saying.
    However, the effect of the s/p/sc switch is not only an increase of output.
    Series, you have higher output voltage, but the inductance adds up from the winding of both coils in series and this alters the sound: it has more lows and low-mids and less highs.
    Parallel, you have the same output voltage, just higher current; being parallel, the wire inductance does not add up; this way, you have more highs.
    And there's also SC.
    So you have a great range of versatility at the flick of a switch. :smug:

    There was a thread, or maybe even more early on about how he does that hum-cancelling and mid control. There is another coil in his p-ups. i have some ideas how his 'mid boost' design works, but I'm not sure if it is what I think.

    BTW/2: I hope you noticed the 'small print' PS in my previous post. ;) I'm just curious about a ballpark figure of his custom work. I only found the pricing of his J and P p-ups on the net. Thanks
     
  20. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    Frank, I'm not really at liberty to discuss Villex's prices, that's up to him. However, I don't think that the custom pickups are much more than any of his other pickups. In my case, Linc Luthier made the actual shells for the pickups and sent them to him, and Villex put the electronics in and epoxied. If you check my Linc Luthier thread there is a link to my pictures that have a closeup of the pickups. Adler also makes the shells (I think) for Villex, and I think Ken Lawrence has done so as well. Currently Spector is checking into his stuff, and I think he did something Hanewinkel too. You might try emailing him at tovillex@aol.com. Good luck.