Bartolini dual-coil windings: C, K, or CX?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Peter McFerrin, Mar 28, 2002.

  1. I have an FBB custom neck-through five-string with a maple/bubinga neck and bubinga fingerboard, walnut back, and bubinga top. It's a very bass- and low-mid-heavy instrument when played acoustically, although the upper harmonics (3.5kHz and up) have a lot of presence as well. The pickups are Bartolini M55C dual-coil soapbars and the preamp is a Bartolini NTBT.

    When played fingerstyle through both my small (Eden CXM-110) and big (Aguilar GS-410) rigs, there's a certain clarity lacking in the sound. The tone is big and fat and warm and punchy and can bulldoze its way through heavy guitar (I've tried it out in some jams, it does do the trick) but the note definition isn't quite there with either cab because there's just so much low midrange present, even with the pickups on center detent and 250Hz scooped out on my WT-300. (Pickstyle, no such problems arise.) I would play around with the EQ even more, but I'm a believer in EQing to the room and not to the bass.

    I use stainless steel Fodera strings, which are actually pretty bright, so I don't think a string change would do the job. I'm thinking that the problem is the pickups; the M55Cs have the "deeper" winding and I'm thinking this may be too dark of a sound for a bass like this.

    Do the members of TB have any experience with the "brighter" K winding or the new-ish "brightest" CX winding? I still like the warm Bartolini sound, but I think that these might have the extra little bit of clarity I'm looking for.

    Or, should I try a different brand? I've played some nice basses with EMG-DCs and liked the sound--full bottom but with lots of clarity--but they were alder-bodied bolt-ons (G&L and Modulus), so I'm not sure if the sound would work with my instrument. I've never heard Duncans in the flesh before, and Lane Poors are pretty much impossible to come by.

    Any suggestions?

    (Crossposted to Pickups.)
  2. I might eventually put deep-wound Bart soaps on my bass, but it is an alder-bodied bolt-on. It probably sounds much brighter than your bass does based on the combination of body woods (walnut body, bubinga stringers and fingerboard) that you have on yours. On my Peavey Microbass, I play with the amps settings at 4,6,2 (B,M,T) when the coils are split and like the way it sounds. I am not a treble fan. You probably don't have to cut the amount of treble that I do in order to get the tone you want.

    My guess would be to go with the K winding. Since you have stainless strings, if you get the CX, (since you already do like a bass and low-mid heavy tone), you might get too much treble. But I would not be able to tell you as a good an answer as the more experienced users in TB would.
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Just so no one thinks that the original builder of this bass is not sleeping on the job, I have recommended that we try rewiring the existing pickups from series to parallel. Bartolini's documentation describes the series wiring as "most output, best midrange" and parallel as "less output, 50% more treble response with less midrange".
  4. rapido


    Aug 9, 2005
    I read allover the net that DR are the best strings on this planet.
    I play slap. Are they best possible strings for slap? I have to know cause i wanted to buy 10 packs from USA.
    1. What is better DR Sunbams or DR Lo-riders???
    I know that Sunbams are Nickel Plated Round Core and Lo-riders are Stainless Steel Hex Core strings. On DR page ( they say that Lo-riders are for slap, pop and tapping. But many people here on Talkbass said that Sunbeams are the best. So I am confused then.
    2. What is better for slap steel or nickel?
    3. What gauges are better for slap 50-110 or 45-105?
  5. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU

    1. Don't post irrevelant things in threads
    2. Don't resurrect threads to post irrevelant things in them
    3. There's a subforum dedicated entirely for strings - and this is not it