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Bass builders that make their own pick ups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MAJOR METAL, Apr 20, 2006.


    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

    I thought it would be interesting to have a thread about which bass builders / companys make their own pick ups in house. From what I understand G&L makes their own pick ups and I have recently heard Lakland has started this as well.
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Carey Nordstrand. The best of them all in my opinion.

  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    DavidRavenMoon winds pups and I assume puts them in some of his basses.

    Never looked into it but from the looks of them, looks like Alembic makes their own.

    John Shur has made some of his own pups.

    Status has made some of their own

    Of courseFender,Gibson,Rickenbacker,Ernie Ball, Ibanez, etc.

    Actually I think there's a bunch but it's not something I've ever paid much attention to.
  4. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    I make my own pickups :D Have a look at my site in the signatures to see my wonderful pickup making adventures :rolleyes: :bag:
  5. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
  6. AxtoOx


    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    F Bass hand makes their pickups.

    BTW, G&L uses Alnico Jazz pickups.
  7. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
  8. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Thanks for the mention luknfur! I was using EMG pickups in my SGD Lutherie basses, but now I'm winding my own active pickups which will fit any bass using the EMG 40 soapbar case. I'm going to do Jazz pickups too.

    I think Ken Smith makes his own pickups (or has them made for him), and yes, Alembic makes their own pickups and electronics. Alembic (and Rick Turner) pretty much invented the active bass. A few others would be Wal, Status, F Bass, Ritter...

    It's really a great way to get just the sound you want. I was looking for a more transparent sounding pickup... that sounded like the bass, and not the pickup, so designing and hand winding my own was the way to go.
  9. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Yeh I knew you did cause we've interacted plenty. Phil I wasn't aware of and I don't recall any direct interaction with him.

    Ken Smith I thought about but I wasn't sure. He's responded to my posts before mentioning changes in his pups (and otherwise) but I've only had a couple of his J's and they were both older pups. Knew he did (does?) the atypical J45 thing (one them I've had) but also knew Bill Lawrence did them (had one) and wasn't sure if maybe Bill wound them for Smith or not. Don't think I had them at the same time to compare them appearance wise. That coincidence plus the only other Smith I had looked exactly like an active EMG J housing - and I've never run across that otherwise.

    The Alembics I assumed just from the looks and their lineage but oddly Rick didn't cross my mind at the time - of course he does his own.
  10. Hemitom


    Oct 12, 2005
    FURY Guitars(Canada)
    Checkout the website for their pickup info.I have them in two of my basses....Fantastic for passive.:cool:
  11. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    Active pickups? Did you design a preamp that fits into the bobbin/pickup enclosure?

    I'd be curious to see that, even more to find out what your pcb or preamp looks like next to one of your pickups.
  12. Rick Turner

    Rick Turner Commercial User

    Jul 14, 2004
    I design and build electric basses and pickups under the Turner, Renaissance, and Electroline brand names.
    Active, schmactive. They're all active if they're electric basses. The only differences are where the first stage of active electronics are placed...in the pickup, a few inches away in a cavity of the body, or at the end of a 20 foot cable in what's generally called either the preamp or the amp.

    I find it most convenient to put that first active stage not in the pickup, where it winds up locked in forever, but rather in a cavity of the instrument after a few inches of high quality cable that doesn't detract significantly from performance. That way if there are upgrades to the preamp design, you can change it. Also, there are certain advantages and familiararities to mixing, switching, or blending magnetic pickups in the passive realm...then preserving that sound and buffering it so it makes it down to the preamp or amp.

    Just my opinion, of course.

    Yeah, I've been making my own bass pickups since 1969.
  13. Some more obscure bass/pickup makers include Morch (from Scandinavia) and MB (from Italy).
  14. 12bass


    Jan 2, 2003
    Victoria, Canada
    Add Dingwall to the list....
  15. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I was going to add Dingwall but then the post up above about Fury reminded me that Dingwall's pickups are made for them by Fury.

    Someone set me straight if I'm wrong....
  16. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Hey Rick... I agree with you totally! What I'm doing is winding low impedance pickups and having an onboard preamp... a la what you did with Alembic. I think for some situations, mainly "after market" replacements, that having the buffer amp built in the pickup is more convenient... but totally limiting as far as interacting with the pickup... I know I don't have to tell you any of this... you invented "active" instruments.

    I'm a big proponent to using a mixer type of stage for pickup blending. I really dislike the sound of two unbuffered pickups loading each other.
  17. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    I'm doing it two ways (maybe). For my own basses the preamp will be in the bass, not the pickup. This is for all the reasons Rick Turner mentioned. The main thing is I'm winding low impedance pickups, and as such they don't have much output plugged into a conventional bass amp, since those are expecting to see a higher output signal. So I have to boost the output up. This also lets me fine tune the tone of the pickup. I can load the pickup with some resistance if I want to flatten the response a bit more, or leave it as it is for a lot of top end.

    I might also make some with the preamp built in. I haven't decided yet.

    I'm still working on preamp designs. Preamps can be quite simple.. you can make a FET buffer amp with a hand full of parts, or make something more elaborate with tone controls, etc.
  18. Sheldon D.

    Sheldon D.

    Oct 3, 2001
    Akami, FD-1's were wound by Fury. FD-2.9's on up are wound in-house.

    David, I noticed the link in your sig to Imani Coppola. She's the coolest. Wish her well.
  19. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Hey Sheldon. Yes, Imani is very cool! I've been a big fan since she first came on the scene back in '97. Last year I heard she needed a web site done through a Yahoo fan listing and offered to do the site. The best part was I got all of her music that was independently released... lots of good stuff! She's a very funny girl.

    BTW, I like your basses. Cool stuff.

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