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Cheap Bass add EMG pick-ip is silly?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Pak, Nov 24, 2004.


  1. Pak

    Pak

    Nov 14, 2004
    Cheap Bass add EMG pick-up is silly?
    my bass made in Korea and not the top model,
    song not good not bad...if i change the Pick-up,
    its good??
    can give me some opinion?
    or
    dont change the pick-up...buy a good bass>?
    thanks~
     
  2. csholtmeier

    csholtmeier

    Feb 8, 2004
    omaha, ne
    Actually, changing out the pickup (or pickups) is arguably the best modification you can make to an instrument. I used to own an MIM P-Bass that I dropped a Bart 8S into. After the pickup replacement it sounded like a million bucks.

    I remember reading an interview with Carl Thompson wherein he was discussing Les Claypool's main "Rainbow" bass. After stating that he built it out of wood scraps off of the floor, he was asked if he knew how that would affect tone. He simply stated that the pickups are where the tone comes from, not the wood.
     
  3. Pak

    Pak

    Nov 14, 2004
  4. csholtmeier

    csholtmeier

    Feb 8, 2004
    omaha, ne
    What are the measurements of the pickups? (length x width)
     
  5. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    I have put emg pickups in a squier bass, and I have had absolutely wonderful results with it. It is a relatively inexpensive upgrade, and can give you much more use out of an inexpensive bass.
     
  6. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    I just put EMG's in my old Japan Copy Jazz and it made a huge difference.
     
  7. _Unregistered_

    _Unregistered_

    Nov 3, 2004
    Believe it or not, I rarely even plug in an instrument when I'm initially shopping for a guitar or bass. I usually just flick at it with my finger while it's still on the wall at the music store. If it goes "dunt" I keep walking, if it goes "dang" I might pull it down, and investigate further. I rarely care about the electronics; they can always be replaced.

    How does this relate to your pickup question? Simple: If your instrument sounds good acoustically, better pickups could just make it sound awesomely great. I don't care if it was made in Korea, or in your garage. If it sounds dull and lifeless, better pickups may make it sound a crack better, but it will never sound all that great. You can't polish a turd.

    Compare your instrument (unplugged) with another that you consider to be a good sounding one. If it compares favorably, better pickups could just be what makes your instrument great.

    The Koreans are actually making some good guitars and basses nowadays, but the electronics are often their weakest point (the pots are almost always utter garbage, crunchy even brand new). I played a new Tune 6'er (made in Korea) at Sam Ash the other day, and I was positively floored.
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    The primary thing I look for in a bass is feel: weight, balance, comfort, and how it plays (a poor player can be corrected 95% of the time with proper setup). I'd say if you're satisfied with that aspect of the bass, I'd keep it. If not, I'd get another bass.

    The acoustic (unplugged) tone of the bass has a significant impact on amplified sound and it will show through virtually any pickups you put in the bass but practically any bass will sound good with the right pickup. Pickups are the easiest, most significant, and least expensive means to change the sound of the bass itself (at least given most string sets will need replacement periodically).

    I like active EMG pickups and they sound consistently more like the same pickup no matter what bass you stick them in - more so than any other pickups I've used (more than 50 sets from different manufacturers). If you buy them at a reasonable cost used, you should be able to sell them for about the same amount if you want to sell them for whatever reason.
     
  9. Pak

    Pak

    Nov 14, 2004
    Oh~M.Gilberto
    your experience let me know a good to learn, your suggestion and your case so agree~ :)

    although, i was understand that sound is not good at Fender Warick MusicMan etc...and i know that is birth korea.
    i like my bass and (he)follow to me many many times,
    so, i want to change the pick-up hope it can work better~ :hyper:
    HaHa~i think i am silly~but its true~

    however, i want to change Pick-up now, who can tell me how to do? give money to the music-shop help me to change or change to myself ???

    btw, which brand of pick-up is good?
    can tell me any more?
    Thank you~
     
  10. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    Since your bass has active electronics, you need to be careful with your pickup selections.

    If you install EMGs you'll need to change the volume and blend pots at least (EMG pickups have very low output impedance (since the pickups themselves are active) and need 25K ohm controls rather than 250K ohm or 500K ohm)).

    You may want to get an EMG system which comes with the preamp and tone control circuits too.

    If you chose Bartollini (sp?) pickups, you could probably use your existing preamp, which may or may not be a good thing. I guess EMG-Hz pickups are passive and probably come in the size that you need.

    Have you tried simply changing strings? New strings will make your instrument sound so much better...
     
  11. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Not so. Low output Z pickups work perfectly well into a high Z load.
     
  12. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Pak,

    If you can get the pickups cheap, and they fit your bass without modifications such as routing, then buy them and give them a try. You can always on-sell them later and try other pickups or restore you bass to stock. This is a good move especially if you like the feel of your bass. Pickups such as EMGs and other known brands are always in demand and can usually be sold easily for little loss.
     
  13. Pak

    Pak

    Nov 14, 2004
    thanks Dharmabass, i am fine to choice the pickups,
    although its expensive but it can change be better...
    I will do that~
    but i am sorry my electronics was so poor~~~ :eyebrow:
    i am afraid i cant change to myself.

    And i know only EMG's Pickup is easy to install, so i choice EMG's. :p
    I dont know which oickup can match my Ibanez bass.
    because my bass have a EQ tone~
     
  14. Pak

    Pak

    Nov 14, 2004
    or....it would be better to delete the EQ button?
    just using the volume only~ :p Its crazy...haha
     
  15. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Don't most EMG's come with a simple passive wiring loom anyway? If I've remembered correctly and they do, simply remove everything that's in the bass now, carefully labelling any wires you need to cut or undo. Better still, take photo's. Then install the EMGs and wiring and set the pick up heights. Shouldn't need any soldering and only a set of pliers and a small spanner to tighten the pots. Easy to DIY.
     
  16. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    The standard EMG harness/loom (?) to my knowledge is three 25K audio pots with a capacitor on the tone = vol/vol/tone. You'd still have to solder/connect the pup leads. The Ibanez/tube style jacks usually connot be replaced with the EMG/Fender type drop in jack and the tube style have to be desoldered and soldered - they cannot be dropped in wired up.

    My first transplant was EMG PJ's with a BTC preamp - which is very simple and I still managed to screw it up a few times before getting it right.

    If you want to learn and don't mind some frustration, it would be about as simple a transplant as you could get. If you just change to EMG pups you may run into some problems with the existing electronics that could be more than you're capable of resolving at this time without a lot of frustration (especially given the apparent language barrier).

    If you really just want to play and have no interest in learning about what's in the control bay (and have the money), I'd take it to shop and have them do it.
     
  17. WCunha

    WCunha

    Nov 15, 2004
    I have an ESP B205 that came standard with the passive EMG-HZ and an EMG 3 band eq. I replaced them with EMG 40TWs. Big improvement and they work with the 3 band eq as well.

    Be careful. Before you buy EMG soapbar pickups get the dimensions of your current pickups and compare them to the dimensions of the EMG pickups. The EMG soapbars that you want are the 35 series. The 35 series pickups are 3.5" x 1.5".

    Wade
     
  18. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Wade, I'd be interested in your opinions of the TW pups. Few have them and I'm really curious about the tone and flexibility offered.
     
  19. WCunha

    WCunha

    Nov 15, 2004
    Well I haven't had active humbucking EMGs before just P style.

    They are very flexible. As you know it is a humbucker and a single coil in one pickup. When used in the humbucking mode very full sound. The lows are punchy and the highs are crisp. In single coil mode it becomes a EMG J p/u. Even the output is lower in that mode. Which is kind of a pain because I have to re-adjust the input gain on my preamp. But it definitely sounds like a J p/u.

    The best part about it is you can have a J in the neck position and a have a humbucker in the bridge postion or vice versa or both Js or both humbucking. If you like EMG pickup you will not be disappointed.

    I hope this helps. I'm not vey good at describing tones. This all runs through an SWR GP, Peavey DPC1400X, & two Acme Low B2s.

    Wade
     
  20. A9X

    A9X

    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Thanks Wade. I was more interested in checking that there was a lot of flexibility in tone, rather than a description of actual sound (very hard to explain and interpret in words) so you've been a help. Might be worth taking the gamble on one, as the custom I'm having built uses -40 sized holes.