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F-Bass / MTD bass sound opinions from experienced players appreciated

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by AusBass1, May 30, 2016.

  1. AusBass1


    Feb 27, 2012
    Hi everyone!

    I have a gorgeous F-bass BN6 that I adore..just an amazing bass, and very versatile. (Northern Ash body/3piece Maple neck)

    I really like a little extra bite and mid in my basses, the preamp on the Fbass is renowned for being clear, clean, and true to the tone the wood is producing. Having said that, I decided, heaven forbid, to outfit the bass soon with a full EMG-X pickup/preamp conversion. Although the sound is gorgeous as is, the last bass I fitted emg's to, just came to life, and I felt its true mids were brought out of it. So this is my main motivation for the conversion... and I know those mids are there, I just feel the preamp is mellowing it out, and also it's a little thin for my liking from the back pickup. Whew... Stay with me, this is longer than expected ;)

    Having said that, I also had my eye on an MTD bass. Another builder I love. They have a lot of the bark and bite that I like.

    So here is where I am asking opinions of people who own both, or have owned them...

    In a nutshell, I'm very confident that my F-bass will be perfect with the pickups I selected. However, has anyone else done a preamp swap out on an Fbass? Any MTD owners out there that can give an opinion about how the two stack up when it comes to mids/punch? I know the BN series is a little warmer and mellower than MTD.. I understand how woods affect tone of course, but I think sometimes we underestimate how much pickups can do to the sounds ;) In some cases, I hear two different basses, by two different builders.. EXACT same wood combinations, yet one has a preamp/pickup set that just gives it that extra mid bite.

    Exactly this happened with my Sadowsky.. the original preamp was nice and mellow sounding.. since I put in the EMG, it just came to life, and growls like any other bass I've had.

    Sorry if the actual question is vague, I'd just like to open a specific discussion to this, would love to get your thoughts and opinions.

    I'm an experienced player working here in Australia, and I'm fussy with my tone, and always open to learning more and getting others opinions.

    Many thanks in advance!

  2. swedbass


    Mar 8, 2007
    Los Angeles CA
    Endorsing Artist: F Bass, TecAmp
    I had a BN6 that I replaced the buffer preamp with a Bartolini, then an Aguilar and finally a Nordstrand preamp. Since I usually ran the EQ flat the differences were subtle, with the Aguilar sounding more 'vintage' and the Nordstrands more 'clear' and transparent.

    I also have had a Bartolini pickup and Aguilars in my current BN6, but went back to the stock hum cancelling/single cool pickups. The bartolini (bridge) was pretty nice, but a little to polite for my taste. The Aguilars were too bright. There wasn't anything wrong with he F's but I was looking for a hum cancelling alternative.

    I think if you are making such drastic changes as replacing the stock F Bass pickups with something so different as EMG's you are probably looking for a different instrument.

    I agree that the MTD's with EMG's have a different kind of midrange bark and bite. But I think what you are hearing is more of the preamp and pickups.

    In my experience most people that hire me prefer a 'Fender' sound, and my F Basses always deliver. The EMG's may deliver a sound you desire, but may not be what your clients need...

    Good luck!

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