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Dark Stars with graphite neck

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MPU, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    I'm making myself a headless bass with Moses neck and alder/zebrawood body. I'm toying with an idea of having just one Dark Star on it. I've used Dark Stars before but not with graphite neck. Has anyone used this combo? How did it sound?
  2. I love the sound of Darkstars and love the smooth and even sound from the graphite neck on my Peavey G-V so I thought that the ideal bass would have a graphite neck and Darkstars. I bought a Peavey G bass to try out the combo. The G bass has the wonderful graphite sound as is. Darkstars sound wonderful in most basses. But, the two sounds seem to clash. As best I could determine, the long lasting sustain from the graphite neck and the internal feedback sustain in the Darkstar didn't work together well. Sadly, the sound was not at all what I was hoping for.
  3. bassman10096


    Jul 30, 2004
    Hey Marko: It's good to hear from you. Apart from John's experience, I have two additional points of reference: First, I recall Mgod or somebody posting on the old Dudepit DS forum about a graphite necked Pbass with a DS. The review was brief, but good. I think it focused on the tone being "gigantic". The other is my own experience in building a mahogany bodied, bolt on with two DSs and a Modulus Genesis neck. The bass also had an Aguilar OBP-3 preamp. The sound of the bass was fantastic - articulate, utterly smooth, except if you dialed in a growl. If not for the fact that that bass was long scale, and that I've switched completely to shorties, I'd be playing it as my main bass. The difference between the Genesis neck (graphite load bearing with wood casing) and the full-on graphite sound is real. I found the Genesis warmer, but still capable of the kind of crystal clear, huge harmonic performance of graphite - just a little less dramatically so.

    Hope that's helpful. All other things equal, I certainly would give careful consideration to John's experience, though. Intuitively, I think I can believe two very dramatic factors won't always complement each other in an instrument.
  4. Do you have any other info on that P bass? I may have just had the wrong body wood/fretboard wood/graphite type combination with the G bass. The Dark Star sound with the even balance between the strings that graphite provides would seem to me to be the perfect bass. It may be worthwhile to do some experimenting with different body woods, etc.
  5. Fred Hammon

    Fred Hammon Dark Star pickups

    May 13, 2005
    I can't tell from your photo which way you have the pole pieces oriented. Pickup location (pole piece location) can be very important. Many people have the notion that placing the pole pieces under a harmonic node - which actually sees the least string vibration - is the way to go.
    It might give you a pleasing sound but if its sustain and fullness you're after, I would move it off the node spot to a more dynamic location.
    The "swimming pool" route that I recommended allows you to flip the pickup around without having to drill new mounting screw holes.

    Having said this, keep in mind that whenever you fret the strings those node spots shift. There's a certain amount of voodoo to this art and sometimes it's hit or miss. Generally speaking, Leo Fender got pretty right.
  6. toobalicious


    May 6, 2008
    triad, nc
    the "put 'em under a node" idea is great, except that for it to be effective, you wouldnt be able to fret notes.

    then again, placement has a very real (and sometimes dramatic) effect on tone. you could always try and cop the "gibson grabber" sort of deal.... near-infinite possibilities.
  7. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    It's "sounds" like you are flush with cash!
  8. MPU


    Sep 21, 2004
    Valkeala Finland
    Exactly. Fred's pickups have always been worth the money and I see no reason why graphite neck wouldn't be worth it too. And $/€-ratio doesn't bother either:)

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