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Combining Off-The-Shelf Bartolini Pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by walkerofbass, Dec 11, 2015.


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  1. walkerofbass

    walkerofbass

    Aug 10, 2009
    San Diego
    Hi all, as the title suggests, I'm contemplating adding another pickup, or two, to the neck position of my fretless Warmoth J Bass. It currently has one Bartolini MusicMan Dual Coil in the "SweetSpot" position. It has a 3-way switch for Bridge/Series/Neck. I have an older Bart preamp, too, so it already has 6(!!!) control routes. The bridge setting by itself is a bit thin. The neck setting is okay, but I usually end up switching to Series after a few minutes. This gets great fat tone & I wouldn't mind hardwiring it that way. For more useful changes in tone, I just pluck from different positions, but it's still not versatile enough. At the very least, I'd like to add a P, or perhaps another MM, to the P-Bass location. Further on down the road, I may also want to add a neck J (CBJD-1 split coil, same model as with their P/J combo) against the end of the fingerboard, like those short-scale Beatle basses. Also thinking of going passive, fyi. I want to use it for funk, jazz, and soul, and hope to get a vast array of tone, from modern/growly/punchy to vintage/muted/"upright (but nothing like a real upright)".

    Long question short: Can I combine these Bartolini pickups off-the-shelf? Or do they need to be specially made for each other?
     
  2. Lonnybass

    Lonnybass

    Jul 19, 2000
    San Diego
    Endorsing Artist: Pedulla Basses
    In a word…yes you can combined them. You mentioned potentially adding a J in the neck position…this is a combination popularized by the original Lakland setup (Bartolini MM+J) and offering a lot of flexibility. I used this exact setup in one of my customer commissions, and it's been one I've been meaning to make for myself ever since hearing it!

    Bart also makes a nice Dual Coil soap bar that is super flexible as well. I've done quite a few instruments with these, wired with a three way switch. One thing you might want to consider if it's possible to modify your wiring to series/single/parallel which provides some cool options there.

    Bartolini has a few pickups that have different voicings so you'll also want to consider what might match your MM best. The "Classic Bass" (CB) series is the most even sounding, and they have a few other models which are wound darker and less trebly.

    Lonnybass
     
    phillybass101 likes this.
  3. walkerofbass

    walkerofbass

    Aug 10, 2009
    San Diego
    Thanks for the info Lonnybass -- Just the answer I was hoping for :)
    I actually don't care for the Jazz pickup in the traditional neck location. I prefer the P bass, and I have a 5 string with Nordstrand Big Splits that are kind of a hybrid P/J with fat inline coils and I Love that. But I do think adding a J as a 3rd pickup as close to the fingerboard as possible would be a nice option. My Beatle bass has a pup there that gives it that fat deep warm sound. But that's a fantasy for now. I want to do mods one at a time, starting with the traditional P bass mod.
     

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