Favorite Wood plus favorite Pickup combination?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by lo-freq, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I know the wood thing has been done to death, but...here's the twist, for you guys that have played a lot of different type basses, what's you favorite pickup make and model and what kind of body wood are they set in?

    I'm looking for a tight, punchy, articulate sound all the way down to low 'B' (B strings are the acid test for me) and the tone should be the same across all the strings (five for me).

    Oh, yeah, if it had an onboard preamp, what kind?

    This might should have gone in the pickups section, but I wanted to fish in a bigger pond (Mods, please indulge me!).
  2. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Suzhou, China
    1) Nordstrand bass, maple body, dual coils, and Aguilar OBP-3
    2) Fodera bolt on, alder body, Pope 3 band, and Jazz pickups
    3) Any alder bodied bass w/ a pink ivory fretless board, J pickups and either a Bart or Aguialr 3 band pre with mids around 450.

    Any of those combos would do it!
  3. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I'm particularly interested in the Aaron Armstrong pickups, but I don't know how many out there have used them.

    Also the 'CX' series of Bartolini...


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    I had the Armstrong's in my JP w/J-Retro, very nice & fat.

    I've got the Bart CX's w/Bart Studio pre in my Zon Legacy, again very nice.

    Some people love the Bart or Retro sound, some people hate it.

    What pre's & pup's do you or have you used before? What types do you hate?

    I think the sound of a bass as far as punch etc, goes, it comes down more to the woods & construction than the electronics. You can't add or amplify something that isn't there to start with...

    my $0.02
  5. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I had an old Gibson EB-0 that I thought sucked pretty badly, but that's a rather extreme example (I should have moved the PUP down by the bridge).
    It was pretty much the opposite of a tight low end.

    I had a Fender fretless Jazz that was pretty good.

    My current SR5 sounds kind of weird to me soloed, but rules in a band mix (I use the phantom coil/SC mode most of the time).

    I do think the body, neck, and fingerboard material all have a big effect on the resultant tone of a bass. So far I'm leaning towards curly maple or alder (or possibly a center block of walnut with curly maple wings).
    I like maple necks and wenge fingerboards (Curbow's rockwood looks interesting, but seems to be a bit heavy -- probably make a good fb).

    Most of the Barts I've heard are distinguishable as Barts...but, for instance, Dingwall, Roscoe, and Zon take them into very interesting tonal territories.

    If you soloed the bridge PUP on the JP and also the Zon, how did the 'B' string sound?

    Just a refresher on what I'm looking for.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    It didn't sound bad but if I were using the bridge p/u for a more higher "solo" emphasis or chording, I wouldn't be too concerned about the "B's" tone compared to the rest of the strings. What type of playing are you trying to execute & use this for? Also, what type of rig will you be using?

  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I like to play a little of most everything.
    The band I'm currently in does some Cross Canadian Ragweed, Ian Moore, Delbert McClinton, SRV, Stevie Wonder, Robben Ford -- a little of this and a little of that.

    Current system:
    SR5 -> Dem 201S -> PLX1602 -> Schroeder 410 -- very punchy tone!

    [I'm lusting for a Crown MA or Crest CA series power amp to replace the PLX.]
  8. bassjigga


    Aug 6, 2003
    For me it's gotta be the barts with enhanced low-mids in swamp ash in my Zons (Joe dubs these p/u's "special").
  9. primus_55


    Dec 28, 2004
    Ritter tri tone humbucker and slimbucker. Those pups rule.

    They're found in any body jens will make you! The ones i played in were in mahogany and flamed maple i think.

  10. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    I like the idea of narrow aperture humbucker -- as long as it still will get solid lows.

    The smaller the slice of the string you get the more articulate the tone -- at least that's what I seem to remember reading somewhere.

    I think Aaron Armstrong's design makes a lot of sense to me in this regard.

    I wish I had gotten some of Lane Poor's 1.25" HB's for 5 strings while they were available.
  11. primus_55


    Dec 28, 2004
    Jens's Slimbuckers were has punchy as all hell. They were beautiful.
  12. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    Does he sell pickups seperately?
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nordstrand makes a narrow aperature humbucker. The Valenti that I am trying out has those in it. Pretty versatile pickups, and better highs in humbucker mode than most buckers I have played.

    I am a big fan of whatever Bart Joe Zon uses in the Sonus Custom, along with the swamp ash body wood he uses. I don't care for most USA Barts, I find them too dark. But the ones in my Sonus Custom are killer. Just the right blend of lows, mids, and highs. I am sure that the swamp ash has a fair amount to do with the great tone too. Mine has the ZP2D preamp, Polyfusion IIRC.
  14. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas

    Anyone have any more suggestions?
  15. Sufenta

    Sufenta Trudging The Happy Road of Destiny

    Mar 14, 2002
    The Signpost Up Ahead.
    Lite-weight swamp ash body, Badass II bridge, maple neck w/ "highly figured" bird's eye maple f/b, Lindy Fralin SCJ's, NO pre-amp!!!! HEAVEN :)
  16. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    whatever wood, whatever neck....just give me my EMGs.

    what can i say, i love the bright, tight tone.
  17. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I like swamp ash with a musicman type pickup, preferably musicman brand ;)

    MAJOR METAL HARVESTER OF SORROW Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sadowsky 5 string Swamp Ash / Maple does it for me on the solid bodys , either Hum Cancelling J's or the Sadowsky Soapbars. :bassist:
  19. I like an alder body with Nordy pup's and U-Retro preamp.

    Or.. ash body... Skjold Pup's and Skjold's customized )east) praemp!! (they also sound good in a mahogany body.. :bassist: )
  20. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    A heavy piece of Ash and Bartolini quadcoils have never failed to give me what I want. That would be my hands down favorite.

    Honorable mentions would be the Ash George Furlanetto uses coupled with his pickups/electronics... on one of his F basses and that amazingly light Ash Rob Elrick uses with his Bartolini J package.