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Bass newbie needs help... Pickup suggestion?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AllHailDIO, May 23, 2017.

  1. AllHailDIO


    Jul 8, 2015

    I normally play guitar but recently got promoted at work and also received a hefty tax return, so I decided to buy a bass. I snatched a Gibson Tobias Growler 5 (which apparently has some hate). I like the playability & features but tonally, not exactly what I want.

    I don't know ANYTHING about bass tone. What I want though is something modern. Main inspirations are Dir en Grey (newer prog metal stuff) and Tool but I don't necessarily want to copy them. To break it down: punchy thunderous lows, growly low-mids, and sizzly highs. I record thru an active DI; doesn't seem to be a problem w/ my active preamp. No pedals or dirt plugins.

    Currently, the Growler has a Bartolini MM which is versatile but doesn't NAIL the tone that I would be using 90% of the time (see above). It does have a nice low-mid growl but the highs are too warm and the lows are more round than punchy.

    I've changed the strings to Pro Steels and swapped the brass bridge to an aluminum bridge. It helped add some low end tightness & punch but still not as aggressive as I would like.

    Does anyone have suggestions on pickup replacement? Hopefully that will do the trick and I don't need to sell/trade my bass guitar. If you think I do though, please entertain me with bass guitar suggestions. Just curious.
  2. bearfoot


    Jan 27, 2005
    schenectady, ny
    For bass swap I would say audition a P/J. Also an EB3 if you really want "thunderous".

    But you can probably EQ the general tone with your active pre. "punch" is in the mids.
    And of course in modern tone the compressor is a major actor.
  3. AllHailDIO


    Jul 8, 2015
    I'll try a P/J. Over the years of messing with friends gear, I know Ps are fat and Js have a nice scooped punchy tone with both pickups dimed. I bet a P/J would be killer but opted for a bass w/ a MM pickup. I will reconsider though if a pickup replacement is not going to provide my desired tone.

    I don't see many EB3 in stores honestly but also IME with guitars, I don't think I want a short-scale bass; I want a tight percussive bass tone.

    I was thinking of a Warwick or MM but again, I'm not sure. Thought I ask before I trek out many miles to the closest music store

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