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Bartolini- Why do you love or hate them?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by rogerbmiller, Dec 24, 2016.

  1. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    So we all know a lot of people love Barts. But there are also some real haters out there.

    If you love Barts, why?

    If you hate Barts, why?

    I will go first.

    I love the warm and creamy sound they have in a controlled environment. But I decided I hate them because my Modulus just got utterly buried in the room with other musicians every time I took it out. Just got washed out.

    I had twin Js and an NTB preamp with mid switch. I tries adjusting trim pots all day long. Eventually, @rojo412 convinced me to rip out the preamp and put in a @John East U retro. He set it all up for me with PTC and P/S switch. The bass sounds amazing now. Thanks Rojo!

    I am gonna go full hog at some point and yank out the Bart pickups in favor of something fuller sounding. Thinking Delano or Nordstrand.

    Anyway, I would love see what others have to say about Barts!

    What are your experiences with them?
    Ballin'bass and rojo412 like this.
  2. FingerDub

    FingerDub Inactive

    Jan 8, 2016
    I love em. They have a farty, burpy, tone you can't find anywhere else. I realize clean, and "transparent" is very popular these days, but they have real character and great punch, that works for most styles IMO. Every bridge J pup then I have tried other than the Bartolini's sounded thin. I could solo the Bridge pickup all day where with other pickups leave a lot to be desired.
    Brad Johnson, MichaelT and Afc70 like this.
  3. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    Most times that I've heard a fretless bass tone that has wowed me, it's turned out to be Barts. Not every time, but most by a wide margin.

    For fretted I'm much more enamored with the clear n' snappy Nordstrand thing, but fretless is just a magic thing with Barts. It charms my ear.
  4. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I like them because... I like them.

    What more needs to be said?
  5. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    Nothing. But I am curious as to why so I asked. I always learn something from these types of discussions.
    Jazzcaster89 and faceless_master like this.
  6. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    Any time, @rogerbmiller! It's always my pleasure to make things better.

    You personally know my stance, but in essence, Barts don't work with my ears. In my life, the amount of cool basses I've played that were equipped with them that I actually liked the initial tone and response: Two.
    One was my MIJ 70s Jazz which had some that are no longer made. They actually had clarity and oomph.
    The other was a 90s Les Paul flat topped bass. Sounded great, but to be fair, I was young and didn't know spit from spinola.

    Every other bass I've had which came equipped with them either didn't impress me enough to keep it, or was drastically improved by their absence when I upgraded. I no longer GAS for premium instruments that only come with Barts because I don't see the point in buying a bass that expensive, only to be required to switch the pickups immediately. I find their output to be low, the preamps don't shape tone in the way I prefer, and they voice of both is just not what I like.

    Do they work for some people? No doubt! I'm just not one of those people.
  7. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    Now that is interesting and piques my curiousity. I love fretless and long ago considered myself primarily a fretless player. I personally feel fretless vs fretted all else equal has a much larger and more present tone in the mix as compared to fretted, all else equal. So now that you mention it, I wonder if my Bart setup on a fretless would have been vastly different in terms of staying present in the live environment.
  8. staccatogrowl

    staccatogrowl Savoring this spinning, shimmery aquasphere Supporting Member

    Jul 14, 2006
    There are many variations of pickups in the Bart theme, over a period of many decades. There are many variations in the basses that Barts are installed in, as well as the amps/cabs used to amplify them. All of these variations make blanket summary judgements of all the Barts in the world, good or bad, of little value.

    Like 'em? Keep. Don't like? Get something else. One size never fits all.
  9. rogerbmiller

    rogerbmiller Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    I have come to the same conclusion with other basses I have owned that were equipped with Barts. But your point is very well taken. So in essence I agree.

    That said can you share any details from your experience as to which types of Barts from which eras interact well or not so well with different kinds of basses?

    This post is for me to learn more about them because as I said in my OP, I love their sound in a controlled environment. I just can't seem to get them to work well with a band, which is when I would most like them to be heard!
  10. I like them because they sound good to me. More hi fi than some of the other pickups I've owned.
    rogerbmiller likes this.
  11. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    I hate them. I had them in three basses:

    Modulus Flea 4
    Lakland Skyline 5502
    Modulus Q5

    Each one got completely buried in a mix. The sound was always dull and boomy/muddy.
  12. FingerDub

    FingerDub Inactive

    Jan 8, 2016
    Interesting that they come in so many nice basses like the ones you had, but none of them worked for you.
    rogerbmiller likes this.
  13. Rocking Bart classic bass soapbars with extended high end and bartolini ntmb 3 band with dedicated pickup volume on a warwick custom shop 6 string thumb absolutely love the burpy aggressive tone as it is a poly'd fretless with rounds. I have played every config warwick has to offer through their custom shop on all their models I like the Barts and Duncan's the most on their fretlesses. Sounds amazing through a fender bassman 300 pro. in an extreme metal context it is very aggressive and can be hard to keep under control as it pokes out through the heavy huge guitar quite easily. Not sure in other basses was thinking of sticking it in my fretless ibanez 6
    rogerbmiller likes this.
  14. Trabeen

    Trabeen Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Farts and burps, groovy.
  15. Mertle72


    Dec 20, 2013
    Op, I think you nailed it in your opening statement. I love Bart's but the proper preamp or Eq is a must. Me experience is that with an active system I loved em, passive not so much, they were very flat.
    rogerbmiller and Mystic Michael like this.
  16. ThuzzleFump

    ThuzzleFump All your bass...

    Nov 15, 2015
    (Insert GAS joke here)
    rogerbmiller likes this.
  17. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    always liked and still use bart pups ... never liked their preamps . ?!

    i'm all passive now ... barts & nords ... a few different external preamps
    rogerbmiller likes this.
  18. I have a set in my stock Ibanez SR 505. Yes I know some don't consider these true Barts, but they follow a lot of the same characteristics as other Barts, so it is what it is. I run the bass with the treble off, mid almost maxed, mid selector switch down, and bass centered. I get a nice tight punchy rounded sound like this, and ran through my GK cabs, it comes close to the sound heard on incognito albums, without the touch of growl. A full burp, if you will.

    If I run this through my ampeg system, same settings, it's a big bucket of wallowing mud. I can run a p bass through this and it's magic, but that Ibanez with the Barts absolutely do not work with that cab (410 heritage hlf) in the least.

    I favor Nordstrom or emg pickups normally, but with the right cab, presenting the mids in the right way, really lets them shine, and I do get a great sound.

    I could see where they would work in s fretless very well based on their voicing.

    So I like them based on my very limited experience with them.

    But I'd like to change them out eventually if trading pre amps in the bass doesn't get me where I want to be. So I like them, but definitely not in love with them.
    rogerbmiller likes this.
  19. Bass'd on a true story

    Bass'd on a true story

    Jun 28, 2015
    Barts seem to be the industry standard for ugly boutique bedroom basses. Everytime I hear them I get intense flashbacks of all the Youtube videos I've seen demoing overpriced basses I don't want.

    I hope that offends someone.
  20. Hahaha


    Sep 26, 2003
    Olympia, WA USA
    With that description you'll make a lot of us GAS for them. :smug:

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