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Delano PMVC FE/M2 Review!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jmattbassplaya, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Hey guys,

    I recently picked up this precision pickup and I have decided to do a review of it for anyone else who might be looking to upgrade their P pup :) I'll divide this review into two parts - the first one covering why I wanted to upgrade and what my tonal goals were, and the second covering the installation and my reaction to the pup

    === Part 1 ===

    To start, I have owned a 2010 MIA Fender Precision for a little over a year now, and while I have always loved the feel of the bass, the tone had left much to be desired. Some issues I was having with the stock pickup was that it:
    - sounded dull and lacked punch
    - it's low end wasn't as deep or as full as I'd like it
    - and it didn't grind at all when played with a pick

    These were personal issues I had with the pup and I won't try to argue that this is the case with all MIA Fenders, but rather that these are just issues I've had with my own. I should also stress that I don't dislike the stock pup; I just wished it offered more.

    I spent a few months researching different precision pups and found myself fairly overwhelmed given the numerous options that our currently available. I did a little soul searching and decided that the pickup I was going to purchase had to:
    - be punchy
    - had to have a very sizable bump in the low mids
    - had to be fairly transparent
    - and had to be capable of grindy tones when the tone was turned up

    I eventually heard the name Delano dropped in a conversation about precision pups, so I decided to do a little research into their line. This is how I stumbled upon the FE/M2 pup. In their description Delano mentioned that the pickup was designed to mimic the attitude, attack, punch, and grind of a EBMM StingRay. Seeing as my second bass is a StingRay this sounded perfect for me.

    Unfortunately, there are only two carriers of Delano pups in the US, and this pup seems to be fairly rare and not normally kept in high supplies. I was actually on a wait list for 3 months before a new shipment finally arrived, but let me tell you that it was worth it!

    === Part 2 ===

    The installation of this pickup was surprisingly VERY easy. I had never done any sort of work like this before, and it ended up taking me no more than an hour's worth of work to get the job done. All I needed was a pair of wire cutters, a soldering gun, some steel wool, some very fine grit sand papers, and a screwdriver. The pups also came with some handy schematics which are very clear and easy to understand.

    After the installation job was complete, I quickly went into my practice space and fired up my amp. All I could say was, "WOW!" :hyper::hyper::hyper:

    I immediately noticed three things:
    1. My output had seemingly gone up quite a bit
    2. My bass was much punchier than it had been
    3. My tone was seemingly much more clear and transparent... and this was all apparent with dead strings!

    I quickly threw a new set of Dunlop Nickles on the bass (the only set I had available) and began to take notes. The most notable thing I wrote down was that my bass was much more transparent sounding, and by that I mean it felt like a blanket had been lifted off my speakers and I could finally hear what my bass really sounded like. Each note felt as if it stood on its on and that there was no 'blur' between them, so to speak. In addition, my notes just sounded clean and clear - almost piano like.

    The next thing I noticed what how much more sensitive these pickups were. Subtle changes in touch were much more obvious both in terms of volume and tone. It was easier to get notes to stand out or fall back into the bass line when needed.

    Another thing I noted was the added punch I got. If Precision basses are already known to have a low mid bump then these pickups take it to the next level! My bass was really bumping for the first time ever since I bought the bass, and when I later tried the bass on a gig it was as if my bass went from supporting the band to driving it!

    The last thing worth mentioning was the added grind I was finally able to get out of my bass. When I cranked the tone knob up I was first surprised to notice that my bass still maintained its low end. With the stock pup I'd just get a thin, unpleasing, bright tone, but with the Delanos I'm getting a full, crisp tone that reminds me a lot of old punk songs.

    === Conclusion ===

    Overall, I have to say that I'm VERY pleased with the Delanos! Their price is fair, their installation is easy, and they've given me the sound I've been looking for with no hassle! If you're looking to get a more aggressive, punchy, modern tone that is similar to that of an EBMM StingRay in your Precision then this is a pickup definitely worth checking out!
  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Yeah, great choice. Delano pickups are the real deal, all right...

    I've got a set of Delano JMVC 5 FE - the five-string, Jazz-style, hum-canceling "cousin" of the PMVC FE/M2 - in my Carvin SB5000, and I could not be more knocked out! To call them merely "punchy" or "powerful" would be an understatement. They're just about the ultimate in souped-up, "smack you in da face", modern, active Jazz tone - and a slapper's dream come true.

    I have no doubt that your Precision-style PMVC FE/M2 is every bit as good in its own right. Those huge pole pieces are just the coolest... :cool:

  3. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    They really are the real deal. I'm actually surprised how little this brand seems to be talked about on the forums considering how lovely they are. Their sound and quality are top notch. If I ever buy another Modulus Flea/Funk bass I'll be tempted to pick up one of Delanos humbuckers!
  4. JMac- Wiskerface Designs

    JMac- Wiskerface Designs Terror headcase dude

    Jul 8, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Excellent review! Spot on with what I remember the one I had sounding like. Very nice pickup, and I wish I would've kept the set I had.
  5. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    Just curious, why did you need the steel wool and sandpaper? Is the Delano larger than the stock pickup?
  6. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Nope, they're the same size as the stock pup (or at least VERY close). In my limited experiences with soldering I've always found it helpful to do a very light sanding to whatever surface I was going to solder to, as it makes things stick easier. I'm not sure if this is commonly practiced, but I've heard others suggest this and it has worked well in my experiences.
  7. chris lykins

    chris lykins Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2004
    phoenix az
    I have some AL/M2's coming in so Ill add to this post if you like once they're in. I love the Delanos in my Marleaux!
  8. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Excellent choice. These are indeed amazing pickups. I had one for a time but had to sell it due to string spacing issues.
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I predict that will change - as they become better known...and as Delano gets better distribution into North America... :meh:

    In the meantime, there has got to be a number of European TalkBass members who can comment, where Delano is better known, and presumably more widely used... :meh:

  10. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Please do!

    Their distribution really is pretty horrible right now. As I said, only two companies that I'm aware of sell them in the US at the moment, and one of those companies doesn't really even seem to sell them as much as they just seem use them in their custom builds. The other company (which is where I bought my set from) took about 3 months to get my order in :meh:
  11. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    Great review, do you have any sound clips? That would be perfect.
  12. sprocket123


    Feb 15, 2012
    Delanos are also available @ Bestbassgear in the States .

    Delano Bass Pickups

    Never made business with them , but they might hsve the stuff you re looking for
  13. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    I don't, unfortunately. I am planning on getting some recording gear in the next month, so if I think about it I will definitely upload a few clips!

    That's where I bought mine from.
  14. Black Bart

    Black Bart Guest

    Sep 11, 2010
    Funny, I just put a set (PMVC 4 FE/M2) on my 2010 MIA P as well. You should try them paired with a John East P-Retro.

    This was the latest bass I have used Delanos on, the first being my 2011 MIA Deluxe Jazz (JMVC 4 FE/M2) then 2010 Modulus FU4 (MC 4 HE/S) which I added a push/pull volume pot to wire the pickup in series and parallel.

    I am now toying with the idea of installing a set in a Lakland 44-02 :)

    Like you mentioned, I love how this brand of pickup seems to be quite transparent and allows the bass to come through.
  15. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    Does your P have the John East pre in it? I've actually been looking at buying it to expand the tonal options of my precision :)

    Here's a link to the pre if anyone is interested. It looks awesome!

  16. Black Bart

    Black Bart Guest

    Sep 11, 2010
    Yes it does. That was the first upgrade I did to it before trying any other pickups. These two in combo have given me the P tone that I have been searching for. Nice low end, plenty of growl and transparent clarity.

    Even though I live in the states, I ordered direct from John East as BBB didn't have the model I wanted at the time (Black Knobs). Really nice chap (John) and even included a personal thank you note in the box.

    Here's a pic of the two together:
  17. Turxile


    May 1, 2011
    I'm very tempted. Now I need to go and try to find some clips on YouTube...
  18. Tom Cileski

    Tom Cileski Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2012
    I found a couple youtube clips of the JMVC 4 FE/M2 split-coil humbucker jazz set. The output sounds very high with great response in all frequencies. I can't think of anything to compare them to....they sound totally wild.
    Lateralus4602 likes this.
  19. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    If you find any please post them here! I tried to find some when I first heard of Delanos but was unable to find anything.

    I'm going on break this coming week. I'll see if my buddy will let me use his recording equipment when I'm in town :)
  20. sprocket123


    Feb 15, 2012
    that bass looks mean