EMG 40DC vs. 40CS (help)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by takfar, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. takfar


    Dec 21, 2008
    Hello guys... here's my first thread :)

    Well, I've just swapped my old pickups for a pair of EMG 40DC, running on a handmade preamp circuit. Now I did watch a few youtube videos and listened to quite a few sound clips before settling for the 40DC, but nevertheless the end result sounds different from what I had imagined.

    The bridge 40DC, I love it, really: sharp, aggressive, defined, it's the exact tone I wanted to have for some of the songs I play.

    The neck 40DC, however, doesn't sound quite like I need it to. I can't really define what I feel it's missing, but I guess it's warmth... or something (let me be the first to say I'm not very good at this "converting tone to words" thing). My old p-ups were not high-quality and even a bit muddled, but I feel I was able to get a rounder tone for the mellower songs my band occasionally plays.

    So, my question to anyone who has played a similar setup is: would it make a significant difference if I swapped the neck p-up for a 40CS (supposedly warmer)? On the other hand, if I install an actual BQC system (which I intend to, in a few months' time), could I possibly use it to shape the tone so that I could achieve a "rounder" low-end sound without having to change my neck pickup?

    So, ummm. Would someone lend a hand to someone who's a newbie to the bass upgrade world?
  2. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    I have an EMG 40DC/40CS combo in my Rebop and I love it. I have also previously had a Spector with 2 EMG 40DCs so I've had both setups. I feel the same way as you about the 40DC in the bridge position. Lots of attack and growl with clarity.

    The 40CS is much smoother in the neck position than the 40DC. The way I set my bass is either both pickups on for a growly tone with a nice cushy low end, or solo the neck pickup for a smooth tone with the same output, but less attack. I couldn't get that tone with the 40DC in the neck position, but its very easy to get with the 40CS.

    Of course, I also have the BQC system in the Rebop and that helps since I can cut highs and high-mids to help smooth things even more if I need to. But, when the Rebop first got to me the 40CS was in the bridge position and the 40DC was in the neck. I could NOT get a smooth sound from the DC no matter what I did with the EQ. So, I switched the pickups and now its perfect.

    Mind you, the CS will not produce any kind of "vintage" tone whatsoever. Its smooth, but its still very modern sounding. But, I still think you will like the CS much better than the DC. Hope this helps.
  3. takfar


    Dec 21, 2008
    Whoa. Thanks Agent, that's exactly what I needed to hear. I don't really need "vintage" (I intend to build another bass for that, if and when cash allows), just something fuller/rounder, I guess, and the CS sounds like it.

    It's a bit frustrating that I just spent a sizable amount of cash on a pickup I'll need to replace, but it's good to know there's a nice solution to my needs.

    Does anyone know anywhere I can find some nice sound samples of the CS (or better yet, a CS coupled with a DC, or even better a comparison of the two?)
  4. But if you are going to change the preamp to the BQC soon I would wait on replacing the neck 40DC until thats done. If that still doesn't do it for you then get the 40CS so you can actually A/B them with your BQC preamp.
  5. musicman7722

    musicman7722 Supporting Member

    Feb 12, 2007
    Hampton, NH US of A
    bump to read
  6. dean owens

    dean owens

    Sep 23, 2008
    pittsboro, nc
    did you get my pm?
  7. takfar


    Dec 21, 2008
    So, it's been a couple weeks, and I must say I'm more accustomed to the 40DC sound... I'm liking it more and more as I use it. Which is not to say I gave up on installing the BQC and trying out the 40CS, but it should be a couple months before I get there. Will update you guys when I do.

    dean: I've replied to your pm. Sorry for the delay.