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Darkstar in an SX...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by djembe, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. djembe


    Dec 24, 2005
    Groves, Tx
    Hi all, this is my first post. I've been lurking around here for awhile. Anyway, my mom bought me an SX SJB-62 in black for x-mas. I'm planning on using it to "cut my teeth" in the art of modding. I need to know if anyone can describe the sound of a Darkstar pickup for me. I want to put it in the neck position. Will it give me a big, fat bassy sound? Also, what kind of pickup should i put in the bridge? I'm thinking either a Dimarzio Model J, an SD 1/4 lber or a Riogrande Muygrande. As for the tone I'm looking for, I want a big fat bottom coupled with the growly, grindy, punchy nasally bridge J tone. Am I on the right path in my thinking?

    Also, I'm thinking I should get stacked volume and tone knobs for each pickup with a switch for series/parallel for the Model J(if I go with the Model J).

    So, what do you guys and gals think of my plan? All suggestions are welcome.
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The pickup alone will cost a lot more tha nthe bass cost you.

    Just something to consider.
  3. If you want that kind of sound at your bridge; the Model J is just perfect for that. I think it is one of the best choices for a bridge pickup, especially with a switch to put it in series or parallel. :smug:
  4. +1, I knew Darkstars werent cheap, but over $150 for one?

    I'd personally go with an all Seymour Duncan or Bartolini set up.
  5. djembe


    Dec 24, 2005
    Groves, Tx
    Yeah, I understand that what I'm planning to put in this bass costs more than the actual bass does stock. I just don't want to rip up some good wood from Warmoth or the like. Besides, most people who have SX's seem very pleased with their instruments.
  6. djembe


    Dec 24, 2005
    Groves, Tx
    hmm, Maybe an SD P/J 1/4 lber setup. I don't know about the Bart's, I'm not aiming for a hifi sound. I want kind of a raw, bottom heavy, growly, nasally tone. So maybe a Dimarzio P/J setup (DP126 or something).

  7. Thats the point of Warmoth!!!

    Even the cheapest Jazz bass body cost more than your whole SX. I'd save the Darkstar thing for a Warmoth or similar parts/ebay bass project. Getting space routed out in your SX would be I'm guessing around $50 and when you look at it, to me it doesnt make sense.

    If you indeed do have a SX SJB-62, then why do you insist on a P/J set up. Your bass has two Jazz pups, why route out for a P pup???

    If you didn't know, Bartolini have a line of pickups called the Classic Bass series, and they are passive. But here are my suggestions...

    Dimarzio Ultra Jazz

    Bartolini Classic Bass Series

    Seymour Duncan Basslines
  8. djembe


    Dec 24, 2005
    Groves, Tx
    The reason i want the p/j setup in a jazz body is b/c I like the way it looks in a j body. I also like the sound. Currently, I can't afford to shell out the ducats for a Warmoth or similar. Also, I don't want to ruin a bass that I shelled something like $600 for the body, neck and finish alone. I can afford to lose $119.95 on the other hand... :D And yes, my sjb-62 should be here around the 28th. I also want to learn how to do my own modifications to my basses. That's why I am willing to go through all the trouble.
  9. djembe


    Dec 24, 2005
    Groves, Tx
    hmpf, I should have waited a few days before ordering. Rondo now has an ash j body with a p/j setup. Oh well.
  10. Yup, I noticed the Ash J as well.

    I'm telling, just go with the J-J set up, its not worth the trouble of routing space out.
  11. NicJimBass

    NicJimBass Flossin'? I thought your name was Munson! Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Lancaster, OH
    64 Audio · DR Strings · Source Audio · Hipshot
    Dude, don't listen to anyone else. An SX is a perfectly good instrument to destroy, especially if you're just learning how to mod. They're cheap, sound good, and besides, you're not modding the pickup, just the cheap bass. Worst case scenario, you're out $100 for the bass, and you can put the Darkstar in another bass. Go for it.
  12. +1
  13. djembe


    Dec 24, 2005
    Groves, Tx
    hehe +1. what do the darkstars sound like?
  14. Your plan sucks.

    Why not compliment such an expensive pickup (which would require routing to be installed) with a setup that is not worth less than the sum of the entire bass guitar?

    The fascination with SX instruments blows my mind. Granted, their about $100, but like the old addage says, you get what you pay for. Having played an SJB-62 recently, I can say that the thing was in dire need of work, notably on the frets.

    Given that... assume that you're going to have to dress the frets, possibly replace the stock tuners, and bridge and again, the cost of the pickup and route job itself.

    The deal suddenly becomes raw.

    As was suggested above... why not save money and go another route?
  15. playmybass


    Mar 28, 2004
    Tucson, Az

    I think you guys are missing the point. He wants to practice doing mods to basses! I dont beleive hes making this bass some kind of super bass that will be his main gigging bass for the rest of his life. I think he wants to learn how to do something like this on a CHEAP bass, so that if he messes up, hes not out a bunch of money. After he becomes good at doing these mods, he can take the darkstar out, and do the mod on an actual nice bass with the confidence that he can complete it correctly without messing up.

    Unless I missed the point... :p
  16. You've got the point down... except I'm still confused as to why you'd start modding with such an expensive pickup... just mod some Squires with no-brand pickups...
  17. djcruse


    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    This is the #1 question asked about Dark Stars and something I hope to help address in the near future as I take over development of the Dark Star website.

    I've played at least two basses with Dark Stars (a Lakland Skyline Hollowbody and a Lakland Decade) and have one on order (a Lakland U.S. Glaub) and can lend a little insight.

    Dark Stars offer tremendous clarity. These aren't mudbuckers - quite the opposite. You'll quickly discover that most other pickups add extra mids. Dark Stars don't. That may disorient you at first, but give it a little time.

    Here's another general rule of thumb: If your bass sounds really good acoustically, it'll probably work well with Dark Stars. However, if your bass sounds like a dull hunk of dead wood acoustically, well, Dark Stars are just going to amplify that. I suppose you could say they're a bit unforgiving in that way.

    Dark Stars are excellent products and I wish you the best with them.
  18. djembe


    Dec 24, 2005
    Groves, Tx
    Finally, it sounds like someone understands what I'm trying to accomplish, developing luthier skills. I'm hoping that the SX I get is going to be a good chunk of wood(as in good acoustic properties). I believe that this is going to be a good possibility. I'm well aware of the fret problems, the flimsy bridge, oddball(non-Fender spec) neck, crappy pots/jack and possibly cheesetastic tuners. I see it as a challenge to turn this bass from a beater to something that's worthy.

    I'm probably going to go with a Dimarzio p/j pup set b/c I'm going for an aggressive kind of kick you in the cojones tone. I think the Darkstar's are going to have to wait I want a more mellow sounding bass!

    OK, now for controls. I'm think individual vol./tone controls for each pup and two on/on switches for series/parallel functions. I'm thinking I'm going to drill a hole in the side for the jack.

    What do you guys think about that control config.?
  19. djembe


    Dec 24, 2005
    Groves, Tx
    Well, for one Squier's are made out of Agathis, which is a soft, crappy tonewood IMO. SX's are made of Alder(possibly a three piece body), the classic Fender tonewood. Secondly, a new Squier Jazz is about $225 whereas a new SJB $120, they are about the same quality, it's simple economics. Thirdly, I don't want to use crappy pickups b/c I'm trying to polish a turd, not trying to rub crap on it!
  20. djcruse


    Jun 3, 2002
    Norwood, MA
    Mellow?! No, man, I wouldn't describe Dark Stars as mellow at all! They're aggressive and hot.