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DCB's vs BigRigs

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by J.Wolf, Dec 10, 2018.


  1. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I'm in the process of swapping some Aguilar DCB's out for a set of Nordstrand BigRigs in my Erizias 6 string. It came with Lauzon dual coils which were REALLY nice, but a little too soft/pretty/elegant sounding and hard to get definition in busier mixes. So I put a set of DCB's in there hoping to give the bass a little more thrust and thickness in the low mids and mids. And that it did, but at the expense of some dynamics and nuance. the DCB's in this bass sounded a little compressed and dull and lacking character in the top end. So on the suggestion of some people I trust, I'm trying out a set of Big Rigs, which I have high hopes for. Each pup will have a 3 way series/parallel/single coil switch.

    I'll post back with impressions when I get the bass back and see how it fits. In the meantime, I'd be curious to hear anyones feedback about their experience with DCB's or with Big Rigs. Just for fun.

    I found there wasn't really any good demo videos of the big rigs out there that really did them justice, so I'm flying pretty blind, or at least, running on the suggestions of some people whose ears I trust greatly.
     
  2. You didn't think the vids Carey did himself did them justice? They are definitely some of the clearest passive soapbar humbuckers out there based on his vids. Usually with soapbar (dual coil) humbuckers you gain the more sophisticated treble, but at the expense of pronounced low mid-range and the loss of clarity down low like a jazz pickup has. Carey seems to have solved that with the offset pole pieces. They are clear but not harsh based on his vids(s).
     
  3. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    We'll see when I get the pickups in if Carey's videos did them justice. I think Carey is a great player, but has a distinctly different touch/feel than I do, so theres nothing objectively wrong with his videos, its just hard to calibrate what theyre going to sound like with a player with a different touch.

    Mostly the comment was driven by the fact that most of the BigRig videos I've seen have portrayed them pretty differently from one another. Its hard to get a read on how they actually sound based on the range of videos out there.
     
  4. That's a fair point. To me when I watch pickup videos all that really matters to me is the mid voicing of the pickup. If the mids aren't what/where your ear likes them, it'll be a constant battle to get it to sound right. If it's in the right ballpark/tone pallet then everything else can be tweaked to taste.
     
    4StringTheorist and J.Wolf like this.
  5. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    thats not a bad way to approach it. Mids seem to convey better than highs or lows with crappy iphone audio/low sample rate.

    We'll see!
     
  6. Mids are what the human ear hears the best. If the mid voicing of a pickup is not pleasing to your ear, you'll be hard pressed to re-voice the pickup via fx and the more you process it, the less dynamic range you'll have. It's just like 60's vs 70’s wound j pickups. Some like the wooly, wooden sound of the 60's wind and some like the slaptastic sound of the 70's wind. Trying to get either of them to sound like the other is an unnecessarily hard way of doing things lol.
     
    J.Wolf likes this.
  7. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I don't know if I can contribute much in describing the sound, aside from saying you'll probably be happy with where the Bigrigs get you in at least one of the configurations. Single coil on them is like a meatier single coil J or like a much clearer Big Single to me. Parallel is how I run mine most of the time.

    I went from custom Roscoe Bartolini pickups to DCBs to Bigrigs in my bass and like the Bigrigs the most. I am however super tempted to try out the Zen Blades now, though I fear they may not have the attack I like.
     
    J.Wolf likes this.
  8. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I really like what I'm hearing so far. The neck pickup is really great sounding, very clear deep P tone, and the switching options are pretty great. The bridge pickup is a little confusing at first, it doesnt really sound like a bridge pickup, more like a second neck pickup (despite solidly being in bridge p/u position) Its just as meaty and full, perhaps fuller even, which is disorienting at first. I'm used to switching between the neck and bridge for thinner or thicker tones, and this will be an interesting adjustment. Ultimately, I'll be really curious to try it out on a couple gigs the next few nights. I threw my back out yesterday at the same time my 3 year old got pretty sick, so there hasn't been much time for sonic explorations at home lately. haha.
     
    mikezimmerman likes this.
  9. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    I'm really curious to hear what you think as you spend some more time with these. I'm working on plans for a semi hollow 6, the DCBs are one of the builder's go-to pickups, but I don't have and experience with them. I also really Carey's pickups, so I'm really interested in the Big Rigs or the Zen Blades as possible alternatives...

    I'm looking for something articulate, and fairly full in the bridge position with a passive setup, so the Big Rigs are sounding like they'd be a great fit if Carey can make them with wider string spacing (20mm).
     
  10. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    So far the neck pick-up in series and parallel is glorious. Big, round, bold, fat and clear. Elegant upper mid profile. The bridge pickup leaves a little to be desired. Not that it’s thin, but the voicing doesn’t deliver the burp and grunt that I/we typically look for in a bridge pickup. Carey said that people are starting to use a big rig with a big split in the bridge as a nice complement so I have that tees up to
    See if the overall system works better with that config.
     
  11. DaveAceofBass

    DaveAceofBass Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2004
    Charlotte, NC
    What did you end up doing? I have a Big Split neck and Dual Coil (Series Wind) bridge in my Sadowsky
     
  12. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    The big rig has been really satisfying in the neck position, either in series or parallel depending on the application. I put some low tension flats on my Six and it has been just heavenly. The big split in the bridge position is pretty darn good as the bridge position pick up, and it blends well with the big rig. I’m not sure if the dual coil would be better or worse in the bridge position, but the set up is working for me for now
     
    4StringTheorist likes this.
  13. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    Maryland
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    I got a chance to hear a Big Rig in @Fuzzbass ’s Benevente 51 P5 a few weeks back and loved it! It was wired in series so I rewired it in parallel (didn’t hear it in series mode) and loved what I heard. Plenty of P vibe with a bit more refinement, clarity, and punch down low. Planning to do a single pickup five string build around it this year!
     
  14. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I'm starting to really think about a 5 string P bass with a Big Rig instead of a P pickup, with S/P switching and a jazz taper neck. That would be fantastic.
     
    JGR and 4StringTheorist like this.
  15. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    @J.Wolf I've got a bass with a set of Big Splits. You've seriously got me pondering trying a Big Rig for the neck pickup just for funsies. *chuckling*
     
    5StringPocket and J.Wolf like this.
  16. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I say go for it. Unless you're looking for that classic aggressive scooped jazz bass sound you get with both pickups full on (which I dont think this combo will nail, compared to the pair of big splits), the big rig in the neck position gives what seems like a lot more range and versatility to the whole bass, as well as the glorious tone of the big rig solo'd.
     
    4StringTheorist likes this.
  17. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    @J.Wolf So if the BigRig + BigSplit isn't quite a scoopy jazz bass when you have both pickups dimed, what would you characterize that combination as? Nailing a J tone isn't really an issue for me, but it'd be nice if a both-pickups sound can do the slap thing well.
     
  18. J.Wolf

    J.Wolf Gear Reviewer - Bass Musician Magazine Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I believe it’s a modified 51 p design, so it may have more of a PJ slap tone with both pickups dimed than a “jazz bass” slap tone. It has plenty of top end available if you boost the treble though.
     
    4StringTheorist likes this.

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