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built a bass - now which pups - 2 humbuckers or 4 jazz pups?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mike_odonovan, Mar 9, 2003.

  1. i have built a bass over what seems like a decade :meh:. . it is a 35" scale 5 string with an ash body the neck is maple with 2 strips of ebony and an ebony board. looks great :cool: . just about done. now the crucial bit. pickups!!
    want something versatile to use in show bands/cruise ship bands as well as funky rock/ bands. i already own a fretless jazz and fretted P bass so i was thinking about something really versatile like either 2 humbuckers or 2 lots of jazz pups side by side. would have series/parallel/single coil switches for both and maybe later/soon add an active preamp. considering it is a 5 string and all and i only kind of get one shot at this (routing and all), should i get some custom made side by side jazzers (ala RBV) or normal humbuckers (ala G&L).
    i love a jazz bass but have also played some L2000 i really liked but thought could be simpler or more to my liking switch wise. can't find an RBV in my neck of the woods so no comparison there.
    anyway the bass will still be a bit different from either of these i think from my wood choices and the "35 inch scale.
    so how to decide
    really need your help on this one guys
  2. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I think either one could work fairly well- 2 Jazz ( i know you said 4) and 2 Humbuckers are by far my favorite pickup combos-either one will give a fairly wide range of sounds, but I think the jazz setup might cut through with more midrange ( i think). At any rate, every bass I have owned has dual humbuckers and my favorite basses in stores always have the dual humbucker, setup..I just really dig the tone-versatile and smooth. In the end I think your really gonna get a "wahtever you think sounds best" type response from everyone.
  3. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    What about Rio Grande pickups?

    How about the Powerbucker for J-Bass 5s?

  4. these rio grandes look interesting. doesn't say the string spacing though. might call em in the morning.
  5. one question i didn't ask is is there an advantage in terms of the 5th string in having single magnets rather than the one each side like the jazz. read lots of threads questioning the whole RBV research into warble or some such voodoo that scares me.
  6. Sofa King

    Sofa King

    Aug 20, 2000
    Rowlett, TX
    I would assume they're standard fender jazz 5 spacing. Of course that could be wrong ;)
  7. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    i am currently building
    a fretless 5. I decided to go with Aero pickups. Very nice. Give them your spacing and they build them for you.
  8. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I have been told that having uneven magnet length can cause more noise in the signal. It was in reference to split coil Bartolini pickups for a 5 string. The 5 string versions were noticeably noisier(ie I noticed it on one of my basses) than either the 4 or 6 string versions.


  9. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    To get full humcancelling effect, the two coils must have same enclosed area (assuming that they also have the same # of turns of wire). The size, number, or field strength of the magnets should not enter into it - these affect how the string movement is picked up, but not how the RF noise is picked up.

    I'm surprised that the bartolinis had that effect- I was under the impression that they take care of this by having equally-sized coils.

    The only exception to this reasoning that I can think of is the possibility that the 3 vs. 2 pole pieces causes an imbalance on the permettivity of free space in the two coils, and that this might also change the RF pickup characteristics? If this were true, I think the second coil could be made to match by inserting a properly-size, unmagnetized steel slug.

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