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"Double Bass" pups for Electric?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ElBajista, Dec 13, 2005.

  1. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    Since I can't afford either a double bass or lessons, I've decided to make an electric bass that will be my "diet double bass."

    I have a plan to put a fretless Ebony neck on a P bass, as a P bass seems to be the best option for that deep, woody sound.

    Are there any pickups for electric bass specifically designed to emulate double bass? if not, would a P bass pup with the tone rolled off work? has anyone done this?

  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Doesn't come close. However, dead flatwounds, high action and your tone knob rolled off will sound fine in a band mix.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    There is only one way to make your bass sound like a double bass...play like a double bassist would. Tim's suggestions of old flatwounds, high action, and rolling off the bass knob are also good, but if you don't play like a double bassist, it's all for nothing.
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    There was some pretty heavy discussion on this in basses a while back, I would dig it up for if I could remember the title. There were some good comments in there. I'll try to find if I get bored tomorrow.
  5. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    When it comes to strings, I was thinking about those rotosounds Trubass black nylon strings.

    I'll do a search in there, thanks

    So I'm guessing that there aren't pickups designed to emulate double bass?
  6. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
  7. I'm headed down the same road. I have a 5-year old set of TI Flats that are incredibly "woody" sounding on my MIM-P equipped with DiMarzio DP146 Will Power Middle pickup.

    I made a recording of the TI Flats when new, and a second recording 5 years later. There is a noticeable difference, very ka-chunk.

    I plan on swapping my J-fretless neck over to the P, and making the P into my upright clone. I have need for a fretted J (with DiMarzio Model J installed), so it's all good.
  8. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    That's basically what I want to do. that Will Power pickup might be something for me to look into. From my research around here, most people say that you need Piezo pups in order to properly emulate a double bass. I'm assuming you get a good upright tone out of the WP?
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    The thing that makes an upright sound like an upright is NOT a pickup, it's string length and the properties of a large wooden box. The only people who think doing stuff to a BG makes it sound like an upright are BG players.
  10. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    All true. But you can get <em>some</em> of the upright sound- at least the old recorded sound- by playing like Jamerson did: Old flatwounds, and mute them.

    I also find that my fretless Precision A/E, with flats and careful mixing of the magnetic and piezo pickups, can approximate a recorded DB sound. Obviously it doesn't have the resonance and woodiness of my real DB.