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bartolini with fretless, good choice?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dana, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. dana


    Dec 13, 2003
    im new to this site so maybe you guys can give me some good opinions.i have a 4 string fretless that i made out of cherry and koa .when i made it i put a real cheap pickup in it cause it was the only thing lying around at the time.it sounds ok but its not the sound im looking for.so i ordered a single bartolini jazz pickup for it.i havent had any experience with the bartolinis so i was wondering if this will give me a good sound for fretless.one thing im worried about is it wont sound bright enough.ive heard the barts are not very bright compared to emg's (wich i have in my schecter 5 string)
  2. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    The Bartolini sound tends to be warm but well defined. They do offer different windings to get brighter pickups, but those are generally custom orders. As for whether or not they will work for fretless, yes they should sound nice. I don't know if the sound will match what you are looking for but you will get a very pleasant sound from your bass.

    If you are looking for a brighter and more edgy tone, I would look at Seymour Duncan pickups.
  3. I put a P-bass Bartolini (can't remeber the model number, whatever Allparts sells) in a fretless bass i built. The sound it really earthy with flatwounds, it's great direct. But last night in rehearsal I didn't think the fretless was cutting through very well and I wasn't getting even response, boomy in the bottom weak up top. It could have been a thousand things I know, but I couldn't help but wonder if it was the pickup.
  4. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I've got a pair of J bass Barts in my fretless that I love. With flats, they're real dark... full ranged but dark. Mine are the "P in a J case" type with the #1 winding.
  5. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    You're right, it could've been a bunch of other things.

    Pickups typically don't fluctuate in sound reproduction. If your response is not normally uneven, most likely it had nothing to do with the pickups.

    I've never had a problem with any of my current basses cutting through.

    I have several fretlesses with different Bart pickups and preamps. Double and single soapbars (dual and quadcoils), double J, MM configs (with coil taps). I've also heard most other pickups on fretlesses. I'd take Barts any day, they seem to transmit the sound of the bass I'm playing very well, especially fretless. I mainly use nickel rounds (DR Sunbeams, Ken Smith Burners) and have LaBella Black tapewounds on one bass.

    They are not, however, magic. You have to start with a decent acoustic sound IME. My fretlesses all sound great unplugged.
  6. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i've got barts in my fretless and i love them.
  7. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    I've got the old Bart w4j's in my fretless and love them. The 9js also sound quite good. Then again, I like Wal, Ken Smith and EMG's on a fretless, too. I think alot depends on the sound you want and also other aspects of your bass.
    for instance, I think coating the fretboard with polyurethane makes a big difference, particularly at the high end. Also, strings can make a huge difference: I prefer ken smith taper cores for a very growly tone.

    Anyway, I think barts are great for fretless, but I also think they do better with a pre-amp.

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