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Berlin on Dark and Bright

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by lowb, May 23, 2002.

  1. lowb


    Jul 27, 2000
    London, UK
    Hi guys

    I was reading the latest copy of "Bass Player Magazine" (not "Bass Player") and the article about Jeff Berlin, talking about his custom Dean. He has the bridge pickup very near the bridge, and he was going on about swapping over the "dark" pickup with the "bright" pickup......?!?!?

    Well i was under the impression that the pickup is "dark" or "bright" because of where it is situated on the bass, however i got the impression from him that you can get "dark" or "bright" sounding pickups?!?!

    is this just because they're either split or single coil or what?


  2. hujo


    Apr 18, 2001
    Stockholm, Sweden
    IIRC, Bartolini, offers all their pickups either in a Dark, or Bright configuration.
  3. chucko58


    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    I know many J-bass style bridge pickups have more turns (more inductance) than the neck pickups. This gives the bridge more output, and a "darker" sound.
  4. I like the path chucko is on. It's at least as much art as it is science.

    - Alnico alloy magnets, which can have a variety of compostions, yield different sounds.

    - Poles are wrapped with wire of varying gauges. Thinner wire gauges usually mean more turns around the bobbin that anchors the pole pieces. The result, most often, is higher output with a dirtier or more "muffled" sound.

    - Thicker wire typically means less windings, ergo, less output, but a brighter sounding pickup.

    - Distance between pickups and the position of the pole + string length affects tone.

    These and other factors are what put the "art" into the equation. I don't understand it, technically. But, I know what I like and just go for that.
  5. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Materials the bass is made out of also effects the sound like that. Ebony fretboards are real "dark" sounding as opposed to a maple freboard which is very "bright" sounding.

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