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Basswood body and pickup upgrade

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JamesMichael, May 24, 2012.


  1. JamesMichael

    JamesMichael

    May 24, 2012
    Milpitas
    I have a Dean Zone Xm bass with a single soap bar pick up. It was my first bass but I've outgrown it and want something that offers better tone. Unfortunatly, I can't afford a new bass anytime soon, so I think its time to upgrade my electronics. If I replace the soapbar with split jazz pickups, I should get a better tone. Only I've heard people says its not worth changing the pickups on a bass with a basswood body because of something about the wood not resonating or something. I personally think that's BS, but I don't want to drop $150 on new pickups only to find that the tone has remained the same. So what do you guys think?
     
  2. CnB77

    CnB77

    Jan 7, 2011
    NJ
    I wouldn't bother rerouting it for J pickups. You could likely slap in an EMG soapbar and make it sound pretty nice
     
  3. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    i had good luck with running the dean razor i had into a blue tube 903 pedal
     
  4. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I have a basswood Ibanez 5 string. I've had a number of different pickups in it, and it sounded very different with each set of pickups. So don't worry about the basswood. It has a nice warm tone similar to swamp ash.
     
  5. The wood is fine. Any wood will resonate. I would try one of Bartolini's quad coils. That would allow you to have some wiring options via toggle switches. That way you could get a single coil jazz bass sound, a fat humbucker bassy old school tone, a music man scooped type of sound, and I think there is even a way to arrange the internal coil orientation to make it like a precision pickup.
     
  6. The wood is fine. Any wood will resonate. I would try one of Bartolini's quad coils. That would allow you to have some wiring options via toggle switches. That way you could get a single coil jazz bass sound, a fat humbucker bassy old school tone, a music man scooped type of sound, and I think there is even a way to arrange the internal coil orientation to make it like a precision pickup.
     
  7. Toptube

    Toptube Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2009
    The Music Man Bongo is basswood. You'll be fine! Pickups are a big part of tone. Maybe get some dual coil/dual blade pickups so that you can cop a single coil/j-bass sound, but also have several other options to switch to!
     
  8. 77 StingRayBass

    77 StingRayBass

    Sep 15, 2011
    I Love this Squire VM "basswood" bodied Bass so much, I threw in a Audere JV3 and will be installing a Babicz bridge tomorrow!
     

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  9. Tim Brosnan

    Tim Brosnan

    Jul 30, 2005
    I remember the clip you sent me of that bass-the one with you playing Gentle Giant (sounded REALLY good BTW)

    Is it better to avoid a high output pickup in a lighter wood body? I think it was on the Warmoth site about different woods; some, while being light thus helping with a bad back, can sound muddy with hot/humbucking pickups? Does that sound right?
     
  10. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    Basswood is a good choice for those who like crunchy voice moreso then smooth imo. Emg active soapbar or basslines soapbars with or without active 2-3 band eq would be nice upgrade imo. If you like how the bass plays, looks, and feels then upgrading is good. Otherwise that money is better spent toward new bass.
     
  11. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Inactive Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Thanks!

    Yeah, I'd say so. My pickups have a good output, but aren't overwound.
     
  12. Jerry Ziarko

    Jerry Ziarko Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Rochester, NY
    I upgraded a Squier Deluxe 5 (basswood body) with a Sadowsky pre, as well as Sadowsky hum cancelling JJ's. I'll put this plainly. I have owned more boutique basses than I care to remember, plus many production basses including 60's and 70's Fenders. I will stack that Squier's tone against any of them. Head to head, it even sounds better than most. Maybe I got lucky, but my Squire is a flat out tone monster.
     
  13. RedLeg

    RedLeg Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2009
    Kaiserslautern, Germany
    Nov Shmoz Ka Pop?
    my 85 ibby is loaded with tyler henderson vintage pickups and has a basswood/birch body. It out fender's most fenders! try some different pickups. try looking in the used market. be patient. the right pickup will come to you.
     
  14. Andy_D

    Andy_D

    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    I have a Dean Q4 Bartolini that I picked up on the cheap when Amazon was blowing them out. The bass itself is beautifully made and has a really nice fast neck with low action and no buzzing. It has Bartolini Pickups in pickups in it. Other talkbassers who bought them have changed the preamps and said that it really brought that bass to life. I'm thinking of putting a bass mods preamp in mine. It has what looks like an Artec pre in it right now. I'm hoping the Bass Mods will wake it up. I'm not happy with the mids it puts out right now. Even with a preamp swap I'll still only be into it for ~ $200.
     

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