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EMG vs Bartolini

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by elisha8, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. elisha8


    May 15, 2009
    I have a Euro Spector 5 with EMG DC 40's I think, maybe 35's. What would be the change in sound to go to Bartolinis? I am looking for a little more growl. Maybe someone can suggest what they would do. Thanks
    Just wondering what an upgrade would be
  2. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    The Euro 5's are equipped with the 40DC. The M4 is said to be the "Drop in" replacement for the 40DC, any others would need modifying to fit. IMO the Barts are a bit darker sounding, due to more mids, than the EMG's. The Barts, which I prefer for fretless more than fretted. That's just my .02
  3. elisha8


    May 15, 2009
    So, you are saying that the DC's are good for this bass. And are M4's the Bartolini's?
  4. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Again, IMO separates first statement. Yes the M4's are Bartolini's.
    One persons tone is another persons chance to tell you what's wrong with it ;)

    You really need to consider your uses of this bass, what genre's you've got going on, etc, to determine further, plus what you think yours should sound like. Sometimes, the best fix for "growl" is actually not the pickups (in some cases, to the extremes of growl, you're searching for). Take into consideration: Playing style (Do you play "light", do you dig in and play "aggressive"?), strings, pre, amplification, effects, etc.
  5. BigOldHarry


    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Agree with above...

    I've had several basses with either barts or EMGs. EMGs are not bad p'ups at all - in fact, they have tons or response, so "Growl" shouldn't be a problem.

    The big difference is overall tone: EMGs are very very responsive and hi-fi. Barts are warmer, less well defined with a bit more bottom end. I prefer Barts, but that has more to do with the music I like than anything else.
  6. Thundar

    Thundar Living in sin at the Holiday Inn Supporting Member

    If your Spector aint got enuf growl with the EMG's, I don't think Barts will fix that...IMO
    Spector+EMG = Grrrrrowl
    However you might try the EMG 40P5 in the neck to get more of the classic P pickups sound found in Spectors with P/J setups...I did this and love the sound.
  7. prokfrog


    Mar 16, 2007
    new jersey
    Give SGD a look. They have a drop-in for that shape. The sound clips I've heard seem to cover just about any tone you might be after..
  8. Eight_Stringer


    Feb 22, 2009
    This is a timely discussion about EMG's and growl. Just picked up a fretless Yamaha with EMG PJ's active. This bass has the growl i love so.... going to be needing to setup 3-5 basses with this growl so are the EMG active PJ's the best for this type of sound. Have the capacity to design my own pre amps so are there passive EMG in the PJ style that will also have this aggressive sound? BTW`i play very physical on the bass. The fretless has the big advantage that i do not get the metal string to fret clanking, hope i make sense.
  9. Couldn't have said it better. Spectors with EMG active pickups growl like hungry carnivores. However, if you aren't getting that growl there are some things you should consider before getting rid of the bass or swapping out pickups.

    Firstly, is the bass well setup and without string buzz? Strings hitting the fret while vibrating limit how efficiently the string vibrates and in turn limits the full sound that you can get from the bass.

    Secondly, what type of strings are you using? I use Ken Smith Burners with taper wound B, E, and A strings and they are monsters. Ken Smith himself says that the Burner series give the mids more presence which is what basically makes the "growl". And of course if your strings are dead you won't get much growl at all unless you're using Ken Smiths, they growl no matter what, lol.

    Finally, consider how you have you on and off-board preamps set and where you play on the bass itself. I find that I get the best results with the bride pickup maxed, neck pick up at 2~3, bass at 3~5, and treble at 2~3. And on my amp I have the bass at 2 o'clock, low and high mids around 3 o'clock, treble at 10 o'clock everything else set flat or at zero. Play over the bridge pickup for the best effect and if you want to tone it down a tad move to the neck pickup.
  10. Sorry, EMG doesn't make a passive PJ set. There is the EMG Select Series which are passive and are made in Korea but by most accounts they don't come close to the sound of true EMGs.
  11. Very true.
  12. NewLaw83


    Jun 26, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I love my EMG's PJ pickups. It gives me a really nice tight low end compared to the stock pickups that were replaced.
  13. I've got EMG 40 J's and have no problem getting growl, especially when I solo the neck pup. Maybe a different preamp would help you. I've got an Aguilar OBP-3 and it does a great job with the EMG's.
  14. mjl422


    Jul 3, 2002
    What type of preamp does the bass have in it? Is it 2 or 3 band?
  15. Oh so true.
  16. Eight_Stringer


    Feb 22, 2009
    Kwesi, thank you for the helpful information, obliged. Seems odd the wound part of the PJ's is not available in othr EMG product models. Being a bit lazy and will check that out. Active EMG PJ's are fine as is of course. Just would like to use the wound part as a basis for active tone control experiments as the PJ's are a known component, saving the open ended part of design work. Regards.
  17. bass4worship

    bass4worship Ready For Freddy, let rock Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Sebring, Florida
    Been using Bartolini for many years and I use them to get a warmer tone out of my Basses. IMO the Bart's are not really a pickup to use if you want a growl type of tone. I fine them to be abit lower in tone than other pups..
  18. evilgus

    evilgus Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    I had a Euro 5LX for a while (ok, a few weeks!) and really couldn't get a sound out of it I was comfortable with. It certainly had deep bass and plenty of biting top-end for hard rock, but not much mids and wasn't very warm sounding. Upgrading the Tone Pump circuit to a Seymour Duncan active 3-band didn't make a lot of difference, so I'd say that's the basic pickup sound.

    IMHO, there's plenty of Bartolini models that would give a more even-response sound and probably more mids to get more growl.