emg vs. barts

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by catrunes, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. i have a fender aerodyne jazz bass and i have been wanting to switch out the stock pickups for either barts or emgs.has anybody compared the emg pj set to bartolini pj set?
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I have to say that I don't think it makes a bit of difference. I hear people saying how Barts are warmer than EMG's and EMG's are brighter than Barts, but I can't hear it.
  3. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I like Barts a lot, EMG's not so much.
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    JimmyM has his opinion, as do I

    First of all I'd recommend that you buy a bass that you like the way it sounds as is. Changing pickups can be expensive with no guarantee of 'success'

    Having said all that...

    Active EMG P/J pickups DO have a boosted high end compared to stock Bart P/J pickups, I have tried both these combinations. It all depends on what sound you're going for. I prefer to have a set of pickups start in the tonal ballpark where I'm looking for, it's easier to work with this rather than trying to 'fix' a set with EQ.
  5. I have an old Aria Pro that I put Barts in, due to a noisy stock preamp...but they were not as bright as the stockers....

    ....So then I spent more money, and put in EMGs, and I heard what the bass originally sounded like again, except they were even clearer...

    I found EMGs to be more high fidelity....I'm not talking about mid-scoop either....more like your bass' sound unplugged, while the Barts excelled at warming up a cold, sterile amp

    ..But the tone was only closer to what I was looking for, as my bass was made of Swamp Ash, with a Rosewood fretboard, and not exactly as cutting as the cleaver-like attack of a Maple-bodied Rick, which was what I was really looking for.......just didn't know it at the time....

    My advice would be.....yes, you can drastically change the sound of your bass with electronics, but first listen to it unplugged to see if it has the tone you are looking for in the first place....and find out if there is a bass better suited to your needs before you spend your valuable money...

    I was happy with my Aria for quite a while, but wish I had found out about the RIck sound sooner, as I would have saved an ***load of money....Warmoth has an excellent description of body woods on their website, and can help steer you in the right direction......Hope that helps....
  6. bannedwit


    May 9, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Lots of pickup manufacturers provide tone charts which go through all their models and where the specific pickups rank in tonal characteristics. If you want more high end sounds, go for the pickup that shows that. I have seen these charts made with graphs mostly...

    Even though it is great to buy a bass that you like sound and all that so nothing needs to be changed, but a lot times, people are just starting out or can't afford high end basses and have to make do with what they got... Maybe even make a project bass or modify an existing one. Finally, they may get enough cash to not buy a better bass, but add decent pickups to enhance the sound.
    I've noticed that many, if not all, low end basses cheapen the cost by cheaper wood and much cheaper electronics. So better electronics may make the bass a keeper for a while longer so they can save up for a goodie!

    I got reminded by reading the above post again, definately hear the basses acoustic properties and determine from there what needs to be amplified or even what may by cutting through too much. If you have weak acoustic mids and highs, then get pickups to counter-act that and emphasize what your missing.

  7. You must have an active bass. Barts are definately darker passively.
  8. this was my experience as well. Pickups arent going to completely change the way the bass sounds, they will only color it. I have no personal experience with barts on my bass, but i agree with what FaithNoMan said about EMGs. I changed my stock pups and electronics out for EMGs all the way through, and the tone wasnt all that much different, but it was definitely clearer and the EMGs are MUCH more sensitive to technique changes than my stockys were. Also, the EMG's have a nice bite to them when playing hard. Id say theyre a tad more agressive than barts in my listening experience.

    The BEST your bass can sound IMO is how it sounds acoustically. Once you get to that point, its all in your hands and technique.