Big Singles are amazing, but not my amazing... Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by TigerInATrance, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. After a long while with my Ibanez SR1206 I've come to the realization that, while the Big Singles are really great at what they do, they just don't do the things I really want them to. They just seem too aggressive and I feel like there's no real tightness to the bottom. I suppose I just like things a whole lot smoother.

    So what's out there that will get me where I want? I was thinking about Barts, but I've always been a little leary of them in a naturally warm bass like the mahogany Ibanez I'm working with.

    All suggestions welcome and thanks for the help!
  2. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    In that form factor the first thing that comes to mind for smoother sounds is Bartolini dual coils.

    Other options would be parallel wound Nordstrand Dual Coils or maybe the Aguilar DCBs.
    Maiden Bass likes this.
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    It's unfair to assume that all Barts are dark-sounding. They make a whole bunch of different pickups with different tonal goals. Consider the Classic Bass dual-coils, or even the Singularity series. +1 to the Aguilar DCB suggestion. Or maybe Q-tuner?
    4StringTheorist and jallenbass like this.
  4. You're right, I'm being way to prejudiced toward Barts and I think that the dual coil or quad coil might just be about what I'm looking for.

    The Aguilars really seemed interesting, but I've since read some reviews that talked about them having a a lot of bite, more research to do on that.

    I've always wanted to try a set of Q-Tuners. I've heard them a few times and liked what I've heard every time...

    So far it seems like I'm looking for a dual coil pickup in some form
  5. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    My Aguilar DCBs have a prominent high-frequency sheen, but I suspect that's got a lot to do with the fact that they're in an all-maple bass with stainless roundwounds and an East two-band pre. They would likely sound different in your mahogany instrument. The truth is that every combination of woods, strings, and pickups is unique, and while the opinions of others can guide you, the only way to truly know is to actually try it...
    Maiden Bass and 5StringPocket like this.
  6. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    I've had the DCBs, some Bart Classic Bass Bright quad coils, and Nordstrand Big Blades (Like the Big Singles but more aggressive?) in my mahogany-bodied rosewood-fingerboarded MTD Kingston.

    The DCBs and a set of bright-tone Classic-Bass-series dual/quad coil Barts both sound like they'd likely be up your alley. Both respond really nicely to a bit of treble cut or treble boost.
    Maiden Bass likes this.
  7. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    If you want to tighten up your lows, try Dunlop super.brights steels or GHS progressives.

    You can eq down your high mids to smooth out that aggressive grind.

    If you want to try all new pickups, nordstrand has a lot of stuff. I would contact them and describe your tone goals.
    4StringTheorist likes this.
  8. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    A lot of good suggestions. I like the Aguilar DCBs in samples I've heard. I think Nordstrand Big Splits might be up your alley. I also have Citrons in that P2 shape, and they are super smooth, almost too smooth in fact, in my chambered mahogany fretless.
  9. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Big singles, big splits, and fat stacks all sound very similar. If you change your big singles for either of those----you will likely end up with the same aggressive behavior.
  10. smeet

    smeet Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I had the same reaction to big singles. But I LOVE Big Splits. They have a punchier, tighter bottom and a sweeter, less aggressive top, with a slight notch around 2k which makes them less abrasive. But they can still rock out. It's like a Big Single and a classic Bartolini soapbar had a baby together. And it's much cuter than either parent. :)
  11. InnerBass

    InnerBass Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2014
    Thumpn' Happily
    Klein Epic '62 J-bass pickups - wow !!
  12. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Clearly ymmv, but I find big singles to be way more aggressive than those others, although fat stacks in single coil mode is very similar.
  13. InnerBass

    InnerBass Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2014
    Thumpn' Happily
    I have to say, this is the best J-Bass I have ever played - and I do LOVE the way the big singles compliment their build. Serious love here.

    IMG_1374 3.jpg

    Still looking for a vP4

    ;) :thumbsup:
  14. If Bartolini is the route you go (which I recommend ), I'd say to go with either the P46CBC's or the 2JSquared quads in the same shape. Might want to think about a preamp too.
  15. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    Have you tried lowering the pickups. I can tame most any pickup just by doing that.
    jlaudin, scubaduba and smperry like this.
  16. jlaudin

    jlaudin Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    This turned out to be excellent advice for me. I had "hot" big singles on a Clement custom, lowering the pickups worked wonders to mellow out the tone.
  17. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    The Big Singles are awesome. I have a jazz V routed for them and they are like a jazz bass pickup on steroids.
  18. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    If you run both pickups wide open all the time, I'd recommend wiring them in series with two volume pots.
    If you're interested I'll point out the drawing for that. Yes, you can have two independent volumes in a series configuration.
    PawleeP, Rilence and 4StringTheorist like this.
  19. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    Central Ohio
    My fav all round Nordstrand pickups so far are the Zen Blades. I also have the Fat Stacks; and I’d agree that they are more aggressive in single coil mode. But, with a Pope preamp, I don’t have any issues with lack of solid bottom. Part of the OP issue could be the preamp.
  20. PawleeP


    Oct 8, 2012
    East Coast
    Rekon you can blend with the 2 volume pots? I read that the Big Singles were pretty hot (output wise) wouldn't running them in [series only provision] take away too much of the upper mids.
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