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EMG vs. BARTOLINI on a fender jazz fretless

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by markjazzbassist, May 5, 2005.

Pickups of a Fender MIM Jazz Fretless

Poll closed May 25, 2005.
  1. EMG

    4 vote(s)
  2. Bartolini

    11 vote(s)
  3. Stock Pickups

    2 vote(s)
  4. Other

    2 vote(s)
  1. hey i got a fender MIM jazz fretless with EMG pickups right now. I am not a slapper and feel that the EMG pickups give the bass too much mids and treble. I am wondering if putting in a set of Bartolini pickups will warm up the tone more and make it less harsh.
  2. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I've never thought the EMG's to give too much mids. Too much treble, sure - EMG's can make a naturally bright bass overly bright.
    If you put in Barts, you will definitely notice a difference on the high end. Also, if you get the 9j's you'll get a bit more low mid emphasis - I've never tried them on fretless but I'm sure they'd be great for it.
  3. rickreyn


    Jun 16, 2000
    Lutz, Florida
    EMGs and Barts. In my old age I am now much happier with the Bartolini sound. Less in your face. Everyone says warmer and I agree. Some of the high end Jazzes like the Elricks and Mike Lull's use the Barts. I think you will be pleased with them, especially on a fretless.
  4. i figured the barts would make is sound warmer. Does anyone know the difference between all the models that barts makes? And which one would be the warmest sounding?
  5. I have both. If you were talking fretted, I would say EMG's, but for fretless I think Bartolini is the way to go. I have them on my Pedulla Buzz, and they are great!
  6. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    Bart's are smooth, deep bass, nice mids, tad dark on highs.
    Excellent pickup for a fretless
  7. Gomex


    Jan 7, 2005
    I have EMGs on my bass and I love them, though I like to slap and play fretted. I voted Bartolinis because I think they would work better on a frettless.
  8. guys you have all given me a lot of great input. I think i am definately getting rid of the emg's and putting a set of barts in it. But i don't know which ones.



    help me out guys!!
  9. Belka


    Dec 10, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    What type of jazz bass do you have? I find that ideal pickup selection can depend on the woods. If you have an alder bodied bass with a rosewood board EMGs might be what you need to make it come alive. If on the other hand it's ash bodied with a maple board, barts would proably be best.

    Some might say woods don't play a role, but I've always noticed it. My favourite EMG sound is generally with softer woods; think Wooten with his Fodera Monarchs. My custom bass has a walnut body and ebony board (hard heavy woods), and a set of CX series Bart humbuckers. I find that with combinations like these you can get a wide range of sounds depending on how hard you dig in, etc.

    Also, bear in mind that Bartolini have a wide range of pickups, and while all of them have a kind of signature sound, some will be brighter than others. The custom wound ones you find in MTDs are very bright for example. Likewise, I'm sure you can find darker sounding EMGs

    People often say that if you like Barts, you won't like EMG and vice versa. Personally, I love both. You just have to know how to bring out the best in them.
  10. BassyBill

    BassyBill The smooth moderator... Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    No way do I consider EMGs "too bright" for a fretless. The openness, clarity and "hi-fi" type sound is typically EMG and there are a lot of highs there, but it isn't grating, harsh treble in the way that, say, my Stingray can sound if I'm not very careful with EQ settings. The fretless I have with EMGs I think is a very "warm" sounding bass (PM me your emails for a sound clip if any of you TBers want to check this yourself). I love EMGs on a fretless, and on a fretted Jazz as well, for that matter.

    That said, I'm certainly not a Bart hater. I think good quality pickups are designed to reproduce the sound of a bass with clarity and a wide frequency response and generally do a pretty decent job. The nuances of the way they do this can be fairly subtle and very much case of what happens to sound good to you in a particular bass, with a particular combination of strings/technique/preamp/FX/rig etc etc etc etc etc.....
  11. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    You have email and private message
  12. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota

    I have them and the 5.4 A/P premp in both my basses
  13. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
  14. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    I love EMG's. What others consider "too bright" I think is transparency in interpretting your basses natural sound.

  15. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I love them too, in the right bass. Just as Barts can make a dark sounding bass sound too dark, EMG's can make a bright bass sound too bright. Making blanket pickup recommendations is difficult.

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