Bill Lawrence/Wilde Jazz

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fruitlabor, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    I have a set of Bill Lawrence/Wilde pickups that I am planning to install in a 5 string with an Audere preamp. Does anyone have experience with these pickups? What’s the tone of these. Will it give the basic single coil tone? What should I expect? Not much on the internet.
  2. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    Haven't tried this particular set yet, but from my experience with other sets they are more lively and less gritty or or harsh.
  3. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    When you say lively, less gritty? Can you expand please
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
  5. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
  6. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    Lively as in not dark, they respond to nuances in your plucking technique. Not gritty as in the treble stays relatively smooth when you dig in.
    Someone made a shootout including the J bridge pickup
    The P is different obviously but they're tuned similarly so it could give you a general idea.
    fruitlabor likes this.
  7. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    This is helpful. Thank you. Would love to hear from someone who is using them if possible.
    markanini likes this.
  8. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    I heard some last week. A bass player acquaintance of mine brought his squier Franken P to an open mic I was hosting. He had Wilde pickup and it was the best sounding P bass I’ve ever heard
    60bass likes this.
  9. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    These are going to be very HiFi sounding without the preamp, they are very clear, articulate and responsive, almost like you have a preamp. With the preamp, it will be massive sounding.
    fruitlabor likes this.
  10. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    I have a 4-string JB with Wilde pickups and a 4-band Audere preamp. I think it sounds pretty amazing. Clear and very responsive to your playing technique. And the Audere allows for very precise tone sculpting. If you want a modern sounding noise-free JB, this is definitely one way to get it without breaking the bank.

    Only drawback with the Audere (for some people - I never saw it as an issue) is there’s no passive mode available (nor is there an easy way to mod an Audere equipped bass to have one) because it’s an active mixer design. That said, battery life is very good so I never found it something I had to worry about.

    I’m happy with mine. YMMV.

    Luck! :thumbsup:
    fruitlabor and jastacey like this.
  11. Larry Mal

    Larry Mal

    Nov 1, 2011
    I bought a set of their J-45 pickups for my G&L JB over winter, sadly haven't been able to spend a lot of time with the guitar since then. While I can't give a very deep review, I can say that I don't regret the purchase.

    A late era Bill Lawrence pickup is going to offer a good amount of high end, that was his thing. You'll get a pickup with a good amount of dynamic range and performance, a fair amount of power, and high end that will be more than you are used to and something that will either blow you away or something you'll have to ameliorate somewhere in the signal chain.
  12. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    To me, in general Wilde is all about
    • Powerful but neutral output (not colored)
    • High-frequency detail and clarity
    • Touch sensitivity
    Their pickups will allow the inherent tone of the instrument (woods, strings, construction) to shine through.
  13. Sponson Thrisby

    Sponson Thrisby

    Feb 15, 2019
    I don't have experience with Bill's bass pickups, but I do have 3 sets of his guitar pickups.
    Like ctmullins said, they've been described as "transparent", in that they won't colour the sound themselves, but let the character of the instrument show through. I've found then to be very clear and articulate. I love them.
    IMO, Wilde-Lawrence (the shop run by his wife and daughter) are great pickups, and their prices can't be beat. Yeah, I sound like a bad commercial, but I've been very impressed by them. And Becky has always answered my questions, and turnaround time has been good (3 weeks from order to arrival).
    I'd expect their bass pickups to be just as good.

    P.S. Bill was a freaking genius for pickup design.
    Pauly 4001, 60bass and erratick like this.
  14. jastacey


    Feb 8, 2009
    I have dome that exact same thing to one of my basses ( Fender Deluxe Precision ), installed the P-46 and the Audere Classic preamp, I liked the result, the pickups are very transparent, pretty neutral sounding, but the preamp has, and will give you a wide rand of tones, the pickups respond very well to many sifferan string combinations ( metsl makeup/ composition ), the bass that I did this to currently has TI strings, the only thing you'll want to do, is get more copper sheilding foil, as the amount, that came with the Audere preamp, was not enough, to do my bass, and solder all the pieces together, other than that I'm happy with the setup, why I did what I did, the preamp, that came with the Deluxe Precision, was noisey ( the floor noise was really a constant hiis & the split pickup, just stopped working, rather than fiddle with it, I just replaced them
  15. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    I can relate, there's a lot to like about them. I could think of one segment that might not like them, some pickups have a certain grit out of the box. Wilde pickups don't do that. Any other conceivable tone can dialed in by amp controls.

    But you should use a dirt pedal if you are going for that gritty tone. Makes more sense than buying a one trick pony pickup in my mind.
    Sponson Thrisby likes this.
  16. jschulman


    Aug 21, 2018
    Queens, NY
    Last year I switched out the stock pups on my early 90s MIM J-Bass for Wilde J-45s and the difference is massive. More clarity, better transient response, tighter bottom end....everything I wanted. It's a 4 string so I can't speak to the low B, but this bass is now my go-to for recording. Can't recommend them enough.
    deepestend likes this.
  17. erratick


    Mar 2, 2014
    I have P-J and J-J basses with Wilde pickups from Bill Lawrence's wife. I get more compliments on those basses sound than the others.

    I think they're very underrated. I've tried DiMarzio area Js, EMGs, and a fair number of Fender J pickups and I prefer the Wilde pickups.

    How do they sound? Like a very clear, articulate jazz bass pickup. They hum cancel, so they are very quiet and I get a better usable range of tones. Because they are hum canceling you can adjust the volume on both pickups with out as much noise and the tone knob affects them well. I really like a little more neck pickup sometimes and they make it so you can run a little more neck for smooth/boom or a more bridge for more bite/bell tones. Pickup height matters, but pole alignment less so.

    In contrast, on my jazz bass with the original 70s pickups- I tend to run flat out volumes and only move the tone knob.

    I haven't converted all my basses because of cost- although the Wilde stuff is reasonable, and a couple basses I've kept original. But if it is a P, J, or P-J (especially P-J) I like the Wilde pickups for bass.
    Sponson Thrisby likes this.
  18. deepestend

    deepestend Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 21, 2003
    Brooklyn via Austin and NOLA
    Guitar/Bass Builder and Social Media at Sadowsky
    This is about right. I have had a few pairs and really like them. Super clean sounding. Somewhere between single coil and humbucker tones (not really gritty but not totally fat). They are hi-fi sounding, but don't let that scare you off. It's a good thing here. I always felt like they gave me a really clean palette to build off of.
  19. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    I’m using Bartolini at the moment. Thank you for all the input
    ctmullins likes this.
  20. I have one of his P bass pickups. Sounds great. No complaints. Great service.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 16, 2021

Share This Page