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Are Villex pups the holy grail?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Human Bass, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    I mean...every test and review i see about them only says great, great things. Even the few ones TBers who tried them, seem to love them.
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    The installs I've heard... no.
  3. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    Somehow is good to know that they arent loved for everyone...i mean, people have different tastes.
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I think they're really great pickups. Are they the holy grail of pickups? No. No such thing exists
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I've heard them in, among other things, a couple of custom basses built here in Maryland. Maybe the pickups weren't the problem but both basses sounded clanky as heck. Aguilar OBP-3 preamp in one, U Retro in the other. Clanky when set flat.
  6. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    .......checks with Leonardo da Vinci

    I'm afraid I can't tell you.
  7. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    No, the holy grail of pickups (or basses or tone) doesn't exist. I have some Villexes and like them, but you might not.
  8. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    I guess i would like them...The more i try active, more i appreciate passive.
  9. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Just remember to take what you read on TB with a grain of salt. If these boards were any indication, we'd all be using Dark Star pickups... no, wait, Avatar Cabs... no, better still - Sadowksys! And so forth.

    If I had a dime for every post that said something along the lines of "OMG that would be awesome with a Dark Star in it!" (regardless if the poster has owned, played, or seen one in real life), I would be a rich man. ;) The same goes with Villex - they, among other things, have become the darling of TB at some point or another.
  10. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    If you're using any of my comments as a reference, I should point out that I greatly prefer active when it's well implemented. I build most of my own electronics too so they're not much like what you can buy off the shelf.
  11. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Agreed 100%, except for the bit about the Sadowsky: I'd never buy one of those.
  12. west*coast*bass

    west*coast*bass Supporting Member

    Dec 6, 2003
    Agoura Hills, CA

    I had them in a bass for about a week and replaced them with Bartolini's. I was not at all impressed with them. Now, this was a few years ago and they may have changed them a bit but from what I remember they left me wanting so much more.
  13. the_home

    the_home Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    I have a set as factory install in a Modulus VJ and really do like them. Most of my other basses are active set ups and, as mentioned above, it's a nice change of pace to play a toneful set of passive pickups.

    I also find playing passive pickups, whether the Villex or those in some of my vintage basses, I do more with my amp for tone shaping. When I play active pickups with good on board preamps I tend to run the amp flat and shape with the on board controls. Playing passive pickups gives me a bit of 'amp appreciation'.
  14. I had two sets of Villex pickups...hated them. I just have never played a bar magnet design that I have liked. As a point of reference, I don't like Barts and prefer pickups like Aero or the Fender CS '60's pickups because, to my ear, they breath more and sound more like the unamplified sound of the instrument.

    FYI - the reason why I had TWO sets...the first set was in a warmoth bass that I hated the tone of and sold it...the buyer would only buy the body with the villex p/u's in it. So then I ordered another warmoth and set of villex. Still didn't like the tone, then i put in a set of duncan's and liked the bass...it was the villex that were the problem for me.
  15. Human Bass

    Human Bass

    Aug 26, 2005
    Glad to see both good and bad "reviews"! keep them coming! :)
  16. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
  17. fullrangebass


    May 7, 2005
    What was it exactly that you hated about the Villex pickups? I agree with you that I don't like Bartolini's too (as well as EMG's). You refer to the Aero's as being more your sound (I have not had a pair of SC yet), IMHO the Aero's are a bit "blunt" sounding and leave much more to be desired.
    The pickups that impose their personality on the bass are the EMG's, IMHO.

    In my experience, the Villex p/up's materialized the acoustic (unamplified) sound of a nice Warrior bass (which twice changing the original Barts with different Barts failed to give that bass the sound it was producing acoustically). That's why I ordered another pair for another bass (more to follow).

    I have tried most of the pickups out there and still looking around (never short sighted) but still I am waiting for a replacement pickup to translate the sound of the bass as smooth and open as the Villex.
  18. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    That's surprising given my experience with Barts and Warriors.

  19. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    in my experience if a Holy Grail exists in the bass world at all it's in the player, not what he's playing.

    Any mix of gear may be useful for a given application but it takes a player that knows what he has and how to apply it.
  20. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA

    Did these basses have the passive mid-cut installed? These pickups sound harsh without it.

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