Do pickups just get old?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by gapupten, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    :confused: I am trying to determine if it would be any advantage to replace some old bartolini pickups in my bass. Or alternatively, remove the pickups that work and put them in a bass wth a better body and neck.
    The pickups currently work ok.
    Somewhere I have been told that pickups either work or they do not. In other words, they do not deterioriate over time.
    I am trying to determine if this is true. I'm not talking about broken wires or loose connections just old age.

    Any help understanding this basic issue would be apprieciated. I tried a couple of searches and didn't find anything. Maybe its too general a question.
  2. My '65 P has all the salt I've sweated into it since '72 without a cleaning (a bunch) and still sounds fantastic.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Many would say they get better with age, but that may be voodoo. I like the old ones anyway.
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Like everything else, pups age but Bart proper is not that old a company to begin with, epoxy potted, have lead posts that protrude through the backing plate and are otherwise well designed and manufactured. I don't recall ever hearing of a Bart gone bad. They're basically bullet proof pups.

    At any rate, apparently you're desatisfied with the tone of the bass. The vast majority of tone is in the pickups so even if you stick those pups in another bass their going to sound similar with basically the same characteristics. If you like the tone and don't like the bass, then the bass goes. Sort of magical combinations arise between a given bass and set of pups but apparently not happening there.
  5. gapupten


    Dec 29, 2004
    Yeah my bass is a 1988 Pedulla II that I have having a hard time getting the neck to work right. (Another whole story).
    The PUPs are a P J Barts and are the only thing that works right. I was thinking about removing the Barts and putting them in an SX bass, but didn't want to go through the process if they were on their last legs.
    Any thoughts?
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    I had an MVP once. Nice bass. I doubt the Barts are on their last legs. They won't sound exactly the same in the SX but you might like them more actually.

    If you haven't taken the Ped into a luthier to see what can be done, I'd do it. May be something nominal. If nothing else, it would give you a more accurate idea of the actual value of the bass - going rate minus repairs.
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I hear they're like women. After a certain age they start growing hair in wierd places...
  8. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU

    Anyway, p-ups demagnetisee very slowly. You'll be dead and forgotten by the time the p-ups loose a quarter of their magnetism... unless they are subjected to heat beyond their Curie-point - but since that's a couple of thousand degrees, you bass would burn first ;)