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Are MM pickups generally "non-growly"?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by 43apples, May 25, 2005.


  1. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    Hmm, i once read somewhere (i think it was here in Talkbass), that MM pickups are very "ungrowly", as opposed to "growly" like J style pickups? Is this true ;).

    I always thougth of MM's in general as growly sounding pickups, but then again i migth be wrong :rolleyes: .

    -Erlend
     
  2. silky smoove

    silky smoove Supporting Member

    May 19, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    A variable I don't think you're considering is pickup placement. The bridge pickup on a Bongo may be growlier than the pickup on a Stingray since its closer to the bridge. MM's in the typical location (to me) are more about attack and brightness than growl.
     
  3. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    Thanks for the Reply!

    Well, if you placed the MM, a Jazz style, and a P-Bass P.U. in the typical "jazz bass brigde pickup" location, how would you think they would sound compared to each other?

    Thanks again!
     
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    they would sound VERY different. Your typical P is a humbucker in series, your typical MM is a humbucker in parallel and your typical J is single coil.

    Agreed. The parallel humbucker has less mids than a series humbucker.
     
  5. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    Well, call me a noob, but i just want my simple question answered: Is your average MM humbucker growly sounding?

    :smug:
     
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    well, mr smug, what do you class as growly? It's a really generic term on it's own, open to many interpretations.
    If I think about growly in terms of low mid complexity, then I guess I wouldn't describe the standard MM as growly.
     
  7. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    Ok ;). That was the answer i were looking for! :hyper:

    Thanks! :D
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    In reference to the pup itself, I can't say I've found MM pups to be much, if any, less growly than any other pup - and I've had about a dozen different models of them. I can stick them where ever I want and do mount them closer to the bridge cause I like bridge pups. Most are 4 lead pups so you can wire them however you want but I usually wire them in series cause I can usually pull parallel tone from amp channel switching.

    P pups I've got noteceably less growl from overall.

    But growl is a combination of variables that extend beyond the pup. I don't use effects but I'm guessing you could probably make any pup growl as much as you wanted through some effect or combination thereof. Boosting gain alone helps considerably so probably the right overdrive through a tube amp would do that. But I don't know, cause I haven't played bass through a tube.
     
  9. 43apples

    43apples Guest

    Nov 9, 2003
    Thanks for the reply luknfur! :).

    Well, i noticed that my fretless with the MM pickup is alot less growly than my J-bass, both when playing up the neck and on the open strings, so i was just checking if it was the particular pickup, or if it was common belongst MM pickups ;).

    I read the "Dr. Dimiento (you, rigth?) MM pickup project, and i found it very helpful! As far as i understood it, the Bartolini MMC was pretty growly and brigth for beeing a MM. If you don't mind, would you drop me a PM giving more "detalied tonal description" of the pickup, or am i asking too much? I would appreciate your help since i'll be ordering a new MM pickup for my fretless!

    Thanks alot! :)
    -Erlend
     
  10. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Well singles J's in general seems are more inclined toward growl. But J's come in various configurations within the housing and I was thinking of J - shaped in general in the previous posting. It realy depends on the particular pup. But MM pups, in general, tend to sound more alike each other than other pup shapes. The alnicos models especially are very close, probably cause most replacements are designed to copy the original.

    The Barts however I found to sound least like original Rays than other MM replacements. The only Bart MM I have at the moment is a Quad (and it's a later reveiw). The MMC is long gone so all I have to refer to myself is the old reveiw. Unfortunately, the reviews started with the MM pups and the early reviews basically sucked - and the MMC/MME I had early. I've developed a checked list as I progressed so later reviews are much improved. Maybe at some point I'll pick up some of the early pups and run them again.

    There are a however several MMC reviews at harmonycentral, bragnet, and activebass. So those may fill in some gaps. A google search for "Bartolini MMC pickup reveiws" will pull them up.

    I just noticed you said fretless. Don't have or play fretless but to my understandng mwah is basically fretless growl. One of the growl variables in fretted is the setup. Strings lightly grazing the frets (but not to the point of buzzing) markedly enhance growl - especially during slides. The Gary Willis sight has an excellent step by step setup for fretless and I'd look into that for sure. You may just need to hone that.

    Some pups have a growling nature within themselves but the quality and magnitude can be varied considerably by other factors. EQ is also critical cause there's a wide range of frequency response for growl in general but it tends to be much more focused for a given pup within narrow eq setting - which may or may not work well for a given tune.
     
  11. kilgoja

    kilgoja

    May 26, 2005
    Alabama
    i have a mm stingray and it is very growly...more so than my fender jazz bass that i had...and the p-bass pickup is less growly than the jazz