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Bartolini 9Js for fretless

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mikekim, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. mikekim


    Mar 16, 2005
    Okay, I've done searches and did not find what I was looking for.

    A luthier is making a fretless bass for me. I was wondering which pickups are better for "mwah". Bartolini 9Js? Dimarzio Ultrajazz/Model Js? I have bart soapbars in my pedulla thunderbolt and I really like them but, we're talking about active pickups and preamp here. I think he wanted to run the Barts without a preamp, just passive (correct me if I'm wrong). So what do you think will give the bass more of the "mwah" factor? Passive or active?
    Last question: how do EMG preamps work with Bart 9Js?

    Thanks in advance! :smug:
  2. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Setup and repair/KRUTZ Strings
    The Bart 9CDJB1's are good pups too. Brian at Bestbassgear says they are a bit hotter and cleaner sounding than the 9J. I like 'em.
  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    I don't like the Barts for fretless. I do like them (9J's) through a 3 band pre on a fretted J. My choice for fretless has been Duncan SJB-1's and recently Aero Type 1's. Both are much more 'organic' sounding than the Bart. The Sro's are a bit more aggressive or gindy than the Duncan's. The Duncan's are way more agressive or gindy than the Barts. The Barts are sort of refined and for me that doesn;t translate for fretless...

    My #1 fretted J uses the 9J's and on that bass I won't change a thing. That one has a BA bridge and is strung with half rounds to get a little more ring. My fretless is also a BA bridge and is strung with Chrome flats.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Mwah is in your hands. I agree with the passive idea, but I don't like active in any basses. I have a couple active basses and I always run them flat because active boost sounds false to me. Get whatever pickups you want but make them passive, that's what I say.
  5. mikekim


    Mar 16, 2005
    Thanks for the replies. And especially for the sound clip, caesarbass. Did you use any kind of effects for that?
  6. I went straight into an Avalon U5, and that went into my Mbox. I recorded the bass direct with no effects, then I added effects to the dry bass track. The effects are plug-ins, a chorus and an Amplitube setting.
  7. mikekim


    Mar 16, 2005
    Interesting, I knew it couldn't sound like that without any effects. Nice clip by the way. :bassist:
    Well I really don't know what I should do. Pedulla buzzes have bartolini J pickups and they're known to be one of the best fretlesses out there... I'm looking for the most nasal tone to enhance "mwah", and Dimarzio Model Js seem to be more nasal than Barts.
    Maybe I'm just thinking too much?
  8. Thanks MikeKim-I say try a bunch of basses and diregard the electronics/pups/preamp/etc...go by what you like, not by what anyone else likes or dislikes...that includes me. I think you're right...you're thinking too much!!!!!! Good luck and keep us informed on what you decide on, so we can confuse you more with our opinions, hahaha!!!!
    By the way, I love Barts, and dislike EMG's, just my opinion. :bassist:
  9. mikekim


    Mar 16, 2005
    Haha, ok. I'll post pics of the bass when it's done... that should be in about a week or two. Thanks again for the clip and for replying. Oh and one last question: I read that Barts are rather weak (compared to other pups) without a preamp. How true is this?
  10. It's all BULLS$%T!!!!!..just kidding, maybe their output is lower but I don't know. The bottom line is that Pedulla, Elrick, Tobias, MTD, etc, etc, etc, are using Barts, they can't all be wrong. I have another f-less that has Bart J's and there is no pre, I love the sound of the bass, I've never had isssues with them being not hot enough. Are you getting a pre-amp with your bass? Please post some pics and soundclips ASAP!!!!! My only other suggestion...get a pre, it's going to be easier to install now, it will probably be less expensive, and you'll have the option of passive pups with or without the preamp, have an active/passive switch installed. Alll Bart pre's have a gain/trim pot that will be located in the control cavity, that way you can match the gain between active pre and passive.
  11. By the way....what kind of bass are you getting?????
  12. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    If you are going passive then I strongly suggest the 9CBJD set. I was running a 9J set in my passive fretless J and it never sounded good. The bass is a MIJ Fender body with a Moses unlined neck and Hipshot hardware. The 9Js really do seem to require a good onboard preamp, and I think that a 3 band EQ is mandatory for a fretless.

    But back to the Classic Stacks, I just swapped out the 9Js for a 9CBJD set and the difference is substantial. They have better output and don't have the midrange scoop of the 9Js. The bass is passive V-V-T setup and it does all of the things that you want a J bass to do. I have the same 9CBJD set in my fretted Read J and that is what I based my upgrade on.

    I am pretty sure that the 9Js are meant to match up with the Bart NTMB preamp. I'm sure that combo would sound great.
  13. mikekim


    Mar 16, 2005
    It's a bass based on this bass, one of Carl Thompson's:


    It's pretty much the same but with a smaller horn and a slightly offseted body. I've seen the progress and it's getting BEATIFUL. And it's 32". I don't know what the woods are for the body except the cocobolo cover and back, but the neck is maple and the fingerboard is a THICK 1cm board of ebony. I don't know how that thick f/b will affect the sound, hopefully it will sound like a cello :smug:

    Going back to the original topic... I would love to include a bart or aguilar preamp but where I live (argentina), these things are not available. They only sell cheap korean preamps, Akkord. And I don't know if they're reliable enough. They also have EMg preamps but I've got no idea about them.
    The same goes for the pickups... I found the Bart 9Js just by luck since they don't import them anymore.

    Anyway, I'll look for some more info on preamps these days.... thanks a ton.
  14. Sutton


    Mar 3, 2005
    Plainwell, MI

    Wow that bass is amazing! If it looks anything like that, it should be spectacular
  15. Koeda

    Koeda Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    Thanks for the good words on the classics. Got a set on order for my Fretless J - quick question on the Barts and the V-V-T - did you keep the pots at 250k or did you go with 500k?
  16. Koeda

    Koeda Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2007
    The Bart Classic 9CBJD1's are installed in the Fretless J. Have only one day with them - first impressions I Likey. Haven't given them a full run in the rig yet, mostly just into Sonar to compare with the recorded stockers. Good things:
    1. Classic tone - much to my suprise, they actually retain the tone flavor of the '06 MIA stockers. Wasn't bent on keeping it, but hey if it is still there, that's cool too.
    2. Dead silent - all hum/rf is gone when soloing the bridge pu, mission accomplished.
    3. Balance - never could get the bridge of the stockers up to the level of the neck pu. Adjusted the heights dramatically to compensate, but still neck was stronger. The Barts are balanced very nicely. Neck ~ 5/64's Bridge ~ 4/64's.
    4. Output - have heard that the Barts are lower in output. While there is a slight drop, it is slight. The pull from the mags are quite a bit less -so was able to bring the Barts closer to the strings without sacraficing any loss in sustain.

    Bad things:
    1. Shoulda done the switch sooner.

    Mahalos again for Brian at Bassgear for another set of pickups and advisory help!