Best pickups for studio work?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Aram, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    What in your opinion is the best pickup type/configuration/brand for doing studio sessions? Include preamp if you have a preference, or specify that there should be no preamp if you think that is the case. Please note -- these don't have to necessarily be the 'cleanest' sounding pickups, unless you think that's ideal for the studio...I'm really just looking to hear peoples' experience and ideas on this topic.

    Oh, if this topic was covered already, please let me know -- I couldn't find any specific thread in my searching....

  2. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    I've always been told by studio engineers that they generally like passive electronics better in the studio because they're easier to mix. I like passive and active personally, but I don't make records for a living.

    I've had good results with DiMarzio Model Js and Seymour Duncan Antiquities.
  3. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    fenders and bartolinis. They are both warm and growly. Almost wooly. Easy to mix with passive electronics.
  4. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
  5. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    man, no one else has an opinion on this?

    meh, bump anyway ;)
  6. In my little studio experience, I recorded with a Spector(korea made) with EMG-HZ passive humbucker,
    Conklin GT4 with Conklin active pups and preamp and finally with my Geddy Lee JB.
    I first have to say that active pups with preamps is a kind of nightmare for engineers, it is really hard to get a good sound to work with. I really didn't like the conklin preamp. Since the recording I changed the conklin pre. for a Seymour Duncan which is really better ,IMO.
    Anyway the easier to mix was certainly the Geddy Lee with fender vintage jazz. And when I listen to the recordings, the Geddy Lee has also the best tone !
    For the EMG's the sound was good but Fender's was much better, IMO!

    Fender pups are really good pups for studio sessions, at least the JBtype.i don't know PB's
    EMG HZ are also good pups but I prefer the JB sound.
    Conklin Soapbars with conklin preamp are too contoured,IMO to get an easy sound to work with.But I don't say it is not possible I was young and the engineer was too!;)
    Afterwards, other pickups like MM type or PB's may be good also, it depend the sound you want.
    I cannot say there is a better brand because every pickup manufacturer have really good products ,otherwise, they wouldn't exist.
    I guess a Jazz or a PJ pup configuration is really
    versatile and easy to work with.
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I like to record with my Bartolini humbuckers in passive mode. But I think they're on the brink of being too dark (my bass is a bit brighter when played unamplified). I'd like to try more open pickups, like the Le Fay Rough Crystals, which sound very open and balanced, like I imagine the Lane Poors used to sound like.
  8. Have always got good results with the EMG DC40s in my Spector NS5CR.

    Bass always came through nicely, and our sound man was fine with them!
  9. Aram


    Feb 2, 2003
    New York, NY
    Thanks everyone for your responses -- definitely helpful.

    Let me ask another thing, then -- if you were to have a bass built specifically (or at least primarily) for studio work, what would you put in it? Include woods, pickups (if you haven't already), hardware, strings, and whatever else affects tone in your opinion. I am planning my next custom bass (and I have some time before I get it started) and I'd like to do some more brainstorming on this.

    Thanks again!

    EDIT: never mind -- it just occured to me that it should be in the 'Basses' forum, not pickups -- if you have anything to add to pickups please do, and i'll start another thread in basses for this later.
  10. I don't really know what I would put in a "studio" bass.Whatever brand could do the job.
    I just know that Jazzlike pups are great. I would surely put an active preamp WITH a preamp bypass.
    To get active and passive sound. That's what I plan to put on my next bass. If it's for studio works you'd better have a lot of different sounds.
  11. Chockoo

    Chockoo Guest

    Feb 15, 2003
    this is exactly what I try to find out since a few months, but shurely depends on the individual needs and sounds you want to achieve. I had found a luthier here in Germany who built me a perfect P-Bass and within the last weeks I tryout different Pickups to find out whats the best STudio-sound PU of the world. Unfortunately I have to checkout some more PUs before I post what I found out.
    Generally PUs are one small pat of the whole basssound.
    It seems that more important are things like tone of the woods, resonance, Playability, bridgeconstruction and last not least strings. For me the perfect studio bass should should be the best possible compromise of all that things. And yes,...accordings to my recording-experiences
    in the past a passive PU generally is the better PU for doing studio work. No hiss and you usually replace that 300$ mediocre Preamp sitting inside your basses body with
    50.000$ - 200.000$ highend studio gear.
    Easy to believe that external EQ may sound better than that compromise inside your bass...that on the other hand is the best solution on question!

  12. For me the Spector NS5CR bass with the EMG pups is my ideal studio bass. I just love the sound and feel of the bass:)