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Changing EMG sound

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by j b scott, Jan 17, 2003.

  1. Howdy to all,
    i've got a question here, and suggestions will really make my day

    i have a ESP 5 string bass with two passive EMG 40 HZ pickups, with an active 3 band EQ. I don't want to get rid of this bass, because it dominates in the looks department, but i am desperate to get a thumpier, warmer, more vintage tone, and i was hoping this can be done through adjusting things rather than buying a fender bass or something!

    The sound i get is very metallica if you know what i mean, it doesn't cut through the mix much, lacks punchiness and mid range thump.

    On the EMG site, it says the wiring can be changed to single coil and other settings, will this change the sound for the better?

    Do you think changing the wiring is the answer, or maybe replace one EMG with another kind of pickup, or perhaps its just the strings (which i have changed to nickel coated, but that didn't work)?

    Also if you are feeling really nice, could i get directed to some information regarding the type of tones that different pickups make (and in relation to different strings if possible), eg...EMGs make a modern, bright tone (as i have unfurtunately found out myself!!)...

  2. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    (On the EMG site, it says the wiring can be changed to single coil and other settings, will this change the sound for the better?)

    Try it. Wiring changes can be reversed. I would do this first, it will cost you nothing and if you don't like it you can change it back.

    Strings, you need to experiment, warmer more thumpier, sounds like you might try some flat wounds. Maybe TI jazz flats?

    Personally, I have four basses and each has its own distinctive personality and tone. Good luck in your search for YOUR SOUND.
  3. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I'm not really sure that the EMG-HZ;s are a 4 conducter pickup. I believe that is's a 2 conducter pickup & if it is, you can't run them single coil.

    I remember reading in Bass Player or another magizine about a new EMG bass pickup that was able to do whet you're talking about.I'm looking for it on the EMG site but I ran into this:

    <i>EMG Online was launched on March 1, 1996
    and was last updated on <u>May 05, 2001.</u>
    Since then, you are the visitor.</i>

    Well, from what I remember, it was a pickup in the same caseing as the picup you have bit with the options you wanted.

    here is a rundown of the extended series pickups on the outdated EMG site. :)

    • The P style features two offset coils that give its sound more low end with brilliant highs.
    • The J style is a single coil design that has less low end but an expanded midrange. The J models are designed with an end-to-end magnet structure located underneath the logo end of the pickup.
    • The DC dual coil features side-by-side coils that widen the magnetic aperture delivering a deep, full low end with slightly accentuated midrange.
    • The CS dual coil adds a steel bar positioned above the ceramic magnets. This combo gives full, broad response with added warmth, while retaining a crisp, defined high end.

    I think the cs would best suit your needs.
  4. What EQ is in the bass? Perhaps it has jumpers on it to change the frequency response.

    Also, there is another thread on here about upgrading the EMG-HZ's from 9 volt to 18V, which I just did today on my Spector to add a bit of headroom in the EQ department. Took all of three minutes and $2 to do.

    Here's a link to the webpage explaining the mod:

  5. hands5


    Jan 15, 2003
    good 'ol USA/Tampa fla.
    I dont know what type of preamp that you have in your or if you have 1 at all.I will say this I have just about put the Aguilar op-1 preamp in all 3 of my basses 1 of them being a Fender 77'jazz and the sound is nothing short of spectacular.Tight lows/good low-mids very,very,clean highs
  6. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    sanctum, I'm guessing you did the mod in your Rex? I have a Q5 with the same setup as the rex, how do you go about switching the pre-amp to 18v?

  7. Scroll up, I posted a link to the directions on how to do it.

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