Berry Oakley's pickup config

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by TyKao, Nov 2, 2003.

  1. TyKao


    Jun 29, 2003
    I just saw pictures of Berry Oakley's Fender Jazz bass. It has an EB-0/Guild Starfire pickup at the neck position:


    and has the two jazz pickups near the bridge kind of like this:


    I like Berry Oakley's sound, so I'm intrigued by this combination. Nice and thick. I was wondering what the disadvantages of having the jazz pickups closer to each other than normal was. Also, how does slap sound on a bass with an old-style humbucker like that?
  2. jim primate

    jim primate bass guitarist.

    fender made a re-issue of this bass i do believe. probably hard as hell to find though.
  3. The Guild humbucker provides thump and nothing else. I don't think I'd bother trying to slap and use that pickup...the J's maybe, but not the 'bucker.
  4. DW


    Jun 22, 2000
    You obviously haven't actually listened to the Guild pickup. It was a single coil made for Guild by Hagstrom, and it sounds nothing like you describe. Fred Hammon at is getting ready to put out a reissue of this pickup.
  5. TyKao


    Jun 29, 2003
    Well, if the humbucker does sound like that, how about slapping with one of the J's and the humbucker in combination?
  6. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Much of Berry's tone that you like so much is a product of very dead flatwound strings, played with a pick. A bass even remotely close to having a good slap tone isn't going to get you Berry tone.
  7. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    I think he's talking about the big EB-0 humbucker on the second pic in the neck pos. Those have the thumpy reputation.
  8. TyKao


    Jun 29, 2003
    Sorry about the confusion.

    I didn't realize that the Guild pickup was a single coil. I had read on other sites that it was a humbucker. I figured it probably had a similar sound to the EB-0 pickup. Also, what's the unique character of the Guild pickup?

    In a slightly related matter, I've heard that the EB-0 pickups are thumpy, but I figured that also having the 2 J's near the bridge would give some more dimension and range to the sound coming out of the bass. Does anyone here know what the sound would be like if you had 2 J's and a Gibson humbucker all on full?
  9. DW


    Jun 22, 2000
    Well, unless you wire the Js in series they'll be overwhelmed by the output of the EB-0 pickup. Mine is hotter than most actives at full boost. It has a huge pipe-organ fundamental and some lower mids and not much going on above about 800hz. And that's exactly what Gibson was after, way back when.

    It has some low-mid punch but it's not really thumpy in the sense of P-bass thump.
  10. Sorry, it was difficult to make out the pickup in the picture of Berry, the one in the lower picture is definitely a humbucker. As I recall, the single coil Guild PU had a chrome surround and the pole pieces sat in black plastic. Guild did change to humbuckers sometime about 1970 (I'm going from memory rather than a reference book). I didn't intend to pass along bad information. Regardless, if you're looking for great slap tone you ain't gonna find it in a Berry Oakley replica, that's for sure.