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Best Use of $250?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by jaywa, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I have a 1978 Precision Bass and play 55-75 dates a year as a "weekend warrior" in a variety of bands and genres. Nearly all of my gigs are with P.A. support and on over half of those I go ampless (SansAmp Bass Driver to board) with IEMs. Remaining gigs are covered with a 150w 112 combo DI'd to the P.A.

    I have come into a small sum of cash and am wondering which would be the better investment to improve my live sound:

    1) Upgrade my pickups. My P-Bass has an EMG active PJ set dating back to the late 80s. It looks like $250 could fix me up with a nice set of Nordstrom passives with a little left over to go toward installation.

    2) Buy a SansAmp Para Driver to replace my Bass Driver. The BDDI sound is pretty close to what I want but it's not QUITE "there" and from what I've seen the mid-EQ on the Para would get me there.

    My thinking is that the SansAmp would improve my sound on my high-profile gigs (which are with my "main" band), but the pickups would pay off on every gig I play. OTOH if I don't like the sound of the pickups I'm pretty much screwed whereas the Para Driver would be easily returned or re-sold if it doesn't work out.

  2. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Endorsing: Arkham Vacuum Tube Amplification
    I'd do the nordstrands (or any topshelf vintage style pickup plus harness), and keep the EMGs plus pre-amp on the side with the bass.

    tha way you can always go back to the EMGs again, and you did not devalue the bass.
  3. Do you like the sound of your current pickups? If yes, then the Sansamp. If not, then maybe try the pickup replacement.

  4. Be patient enough to buy used and do both!
  5. henry2513

    henry2513 Supporting Member

    May 9, 2011
    Los Angeles, Ca
    Used tone hammer pedal and used nordstrands
  6. With $250, I would probably just buy eight sets of my favorite strings and replace them twice as often as I usually do. Not as much fun as new pickups or pedals, I know, but it's foolproof way to get better sound.
  7. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    You could get any number of awesome pickups and pedals in the classifieds and still have money left over.

    I would argue that the EMG's are already devaluing the bass.
  8. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm cheap. This was my first thought. Or buy one of the two used and put the rest in the bank.

    (Actually, in the interest of full disclosure, my very first thought was that EMGs and a SansAmp probably already sound fine. I would stick the whole $250 in the bank, but that wasn't one of the options.)
  9. bassfran


    Mar 1, 2012
    Endorsing artist: Lakland basses
    I would sell both and use the $ to upgrade to a Radial JDI and a set of Fender p/ups. What/if ever's left goes into the string fund.
  10. DeMayunn


    Dec 12, 2012
    Get a Backup/Beater bass

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