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does the jazz growl come from the bass or the pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bino, Oct 12, 2004.


  1. bino

    bino

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    I have a p/j bass that really has no growl when soloing the j pickup. It's an older mim Fender and I'm wondering if a pickup change would give up the goods. Also, it's my first active bass. Do preamp's kill the growl?
     
  2. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Growl is affected by technique, pickups, eq, strings, wood, and bass construction. Any of the above can kill growl.

    Start with your technique, pluck the strings over or near the bridge pickup. Adjust your eq, growl is mostly in the mid frequencies, but the low frequencies help the sound as well. Boost your mids till you get growl and then boost your lows to color the growl. If you haven't changed your strings in a while, now may be the time to do it. Choose strings noted for their more aggressive sound.
     
  3. etherbass

    etherbass

    May 24, 2004
    i wouldnt just solo the bridge pickup... the sound may be a little thin...use some of both... have some good low end too... i play in between the two pickups on my jazz and it growls hard. stainless steel strings really punch too.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher

    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Bit of both, but I'd say the pickup and its placement are the more important factors.
     
  5. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    I've played various pups holding all other factors constant and some growl, some don't, and variations in between. That's with TI flats. No doubt rounds or various strings would accent the growl. I've also played the same pups in basses with different acoustic properties and brighter basses yield more growl, but you'll get some growl on the treble strings regardless if the pup has growl - as far as the acoustics of the bass. Technque is definetly a factor. Pulling up on a string with a more aggressive attack may yield some growl where a typical rest stroke would produce nothing.

    I wouldn't say the typical onboard preamp would kill growl (although often it has for me) but it's been my experience that running direct out the jacks definetly yields more growl than you'd get through the same setyp using a preamp. Preamps are good for onboard control of boost and cut, maybe some tone shaping depending, and quieting noise - but they also typcially filter a lot of the color from a set of pups.

    I'm talking about passive pups. Typically actives don't have much color anyway. Although I didn mount an EMG J in mid position and it actually produced a nice vintage tone of all things. I'd have to got back and read the review to see if the preamps knocked it out cause I don't remember off hand. Skip the preamp and wire the bridge pup direct to the jack and you'll know if yours is knocking out growl.
     
  6. bino

    bino

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Thanks for the informative posts. I monkeyed around with different amp and preamp settings as well as different right hand technique and was able to get a bit more growl. I'm also just fooling around at bedroom volumes and I suspect I'll hear a lot more dynamics when I crank it up. Plus, I learned that even though the strings are roundwound they're about 10 years old. This bass thumps harder than my P with TI flats.
     
  7. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Yea, slap on a new set of strings. If you are after growl, then you need strings in good condition.