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EMGs in a Warwick?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Rusty the Scoob, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. I've got a 1995 Fortress One Masterman 5-string that I've never really liked the sound of - it needs more bottom and just never made me say "wow" like my other basses. It's a bolt-on, with a sort of double-j MEC pickup.

    I'm thinking of putting an EMG in its place and routing it for another EMG neck pickup. My ultimate goals is for it to sound like Phil Lesh's Modulus Q6 from the 90s. What do you think?
  2. bassman74

    bassman74 Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    You should take a look at the delano pickups...

    they have a double jazz pup

    they have the emg clarity but they sounds better and warmer IMHO

    take care
  3. gillento


    Oct 15, 2005
    Luxembourg, Europe
    Nordstrand pickups
    The early 4 string Warwicks all had EMG JJ or PJ PUs.
    So that maight definitely be an option.

    But I don't now anything about EMG sopabars or humbuckers in Warwicks....
  4. sound like you want a spector !
  5. What I want is a Q5 with EMGs and a walnut top.

    What I can afford are the Warwick that I already have and a set of EMGs. :)

    I'll look into the Delanos, too... heard good things about them.
  6. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    I know the sound you are talking about (I was listening to Dick's Picks Vol 17,...with headphones just last night). It's hard to describe it but it's a great sound. I think it would take a lot more than just the bass and it's pups to achieve it. Sorry to be the naysayer.
  7. bassophil


    Jan 17, 2009
    I'm sure your idea of routing another pick up in the neck position will give the missing bottom. I never heard complaints about MEC's missing low end, so I'm not sure if swapping pick ups will give you what your looking for but concerning that a routing will cost quite something in addition to pick up itself, testing different pick ups is easier to try out first.
  8. I have an SWR Redhead, so I think I might get pretty close...

    And my dad can do the routing easily, it'll just cost shipping.
  9. Demonator


    Jun 14, 2009
    L.J. Kentucky
    Dean Street Team
    This is a pretty good idea, in my opinion anyway.
  10. Keith Guitars

    Keith Guitars Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 25, 2004
    Woodstock, NY
    Builder: Martin Keith Guitars, Veillette Guitars
    EMGs, to my ear, have a very distinct sound, and they can often maintain that sound quite well even in different instruments.

    If you're trying to cop an EMG tone, then using that pickup will be the best approach.

    Put in a single pickup first IMO and see what it does, before you
    route holes into your bass. If the Warwick ends up being just the wrong bass for your sound, you don't want to mess up resale
    by routing in extra pickups.

    I think a Warwick could be made to sound somewhat like a Modulus - I own both, and they're not totally different ballparks.

  11. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    +1 on the routing messing up the resale. this is a 95 so i assume it has the all wenge neck?
  12. Yep, all Wenge. Bolt-on, though, with a maple body. I've never really understood the design... they gave it a pickup in the MM spot but made the spacing way too narrow to slap.

    If the resale on this is not bad I'd definitely consider selling it outright with the stock electronics in place. I can stick EMGs into just about anything.
  13. Another alternative...

    I play an early '90s Modulus and a Warwick Thumb fretless and l have played in my fair share of Dead cover bands.

    The biggest thing I changed that got me close to Phil's tone is using his exact strings. Try getting a pair of Ken Smith Slickwounds. That will help achieve the Rubber band thump of Phil. I am not sure if he was using the that exact set in the 90s, but that is what he uses now. With those strings I can call up a Live Dead sound all the way up to his modern sound and then switch over to a bunch of other great tones that aren't really Dead influneced. Keep in mind some of his sound comes from his pick hitting these thick strings.

    But you still may need to do some work. Some warwicks have bridges that might not fit the Slickwounds. My 2006 Thumb's bridge will not fit the B string of the Slickwounds. Newer Warwick bridges can handle it. The Thumb bridge was designed for tapered strings. Warwick gave me 3 choices... get a new bridge, file my existing bridge or cremp my strings to fit the bridge. I haven't done anything about it because I got the thumb for it's growl. I am still enjoy the stock sound.

    I would be careful with routing a nice warwick. If you really want a modulus, use the Warwick to help get you the modulus. Gig with the warwick or sell it for the modulus. I got mine on the used market for an amazingly low price. The right bass will find you, but I agree that warwicks don't naturallly have the characteristics of Phil's tone. I am most familiar with Thumbs, not there other basses. I have to EQ my Thumb a lot to get the fuller notes that i am used to hearing.
  14. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I got about 900 for something like that on ebay. I guess 825 after all the fees.
  15. That's not bad at all! I paid $1,000 for it back in 1997 or so. Then I can always stick EMGs into whatever cheap 5er I feel like it until a good Modulus comes along.

    Thanks for the info on the Slickwounds, CB! I'm using D'Addaro Chrome flats right now and getting a pretty good 70's sound out of my custom/Warmoth bass with Barts and an ACG preamp, and it also does a pretty good 80's Bart/Modulus, but really not a good 90's yet. I'll give those a shot.


    Dec 27, 2007
    The sound you want, comes from a bass that´s totally different from the one you have, IMHO changing the pups will only improve the sound of your current bass, and that´s OK, but it won´t get you near your tonal goal.
  17. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    FYI, I've seen a basstar go for about 900

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