"Fender-on-steroids" sound

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by LamarKafka, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. Novak Bisonics/Dark Stars

    1 vote(s)
  2. Delano JMVC

    6 vote(s)
  3. Nordstrand Fat Stacks/Big Splits/Big Singles

    12 vote(s)
  4. Something else (please leave a comment)

    9 vote(s)
  1. LamarKafka


    Oct 25, 2015
    I've been on a search for the ultimate "Fender-on-steroids" tone for a long time (more for theoretical purposes than an actual build or anything) and would like some opinions on different pickups for achieving that. That term means a million things to a million TB members, but I mean a passive split/single coil sound with massive punch and a strong low-mid emphasis that can mimic that punchy Motown fingerstyle sound while also being able to cut through a more contemporary rock mix. I'd prefer to stay away from P pickups, as I find them very inconsistent with the two coils being in different positions.

    I've some up with a few pickups that I think may fit the bill:

    Curtis Novak Bisonic/Darkstar: These seem to be the best choice, but are unpotted (IIRC), obnoxiously large, and apparently have a bit of a mid scoop.

    Delano JMVC: These are the best sounding J pickups I've heard (at least from YouTube demos) and the huge polepieces make them possibly my favourite, but I'm concerned that being J pickups, they may sound too thin in the neck position.

    Nordstrand Fat Stacks/Big Splits/Big Singles: The Big Singles are the only pickups on this list that I've heard in person, and I liked them quite a lot. However, all three sound pretty much like standard J pickups in every demo I've heard, which means I may as well just go with the Delanos.
  2. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    Add Nordstrand Big Blades to your listening hunt on YouTube. ^^
    LamarKafka likes this.
  3. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    I've got a set of these in my MTD Kingston Z5. They do head for the tone you're describing. The Neck pickup is really nicely thick and P-ish.

  4. honeyiscool


    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    DiMarzio Model J?
    TN WOODMAN, gfaulkner, 10cc and 3 others like this.
  5. LamarKafka


    Oct 25, 2015
    So I believe I've narrowed it down to one of the Nordstrand models. Between the Fat Stacks, Big Splits, and Big Blades, which one delivers the biggest Precision-esque tone as opposed to just a darker Jazz Bass sound?
    Carey likes this.
  6. Mickey Mao

    Mickey Mao

    Jun 7, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    You're looking for Precision on steroids? The G&L MFD split coll and humbucker are worth a look.
  7. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    You could consider Barden's J pickups. I used a set in a Fender Jazz V for a few years, and they have more thickness and punch than conventional J-bass pickups, with zero hum. Think of them as one third G&L MFD humbucker mixed with two thirds traditional single coil. IMO they work extremely well in a rock mix.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  8. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    A Jazz bass wired in Series
    TN WOODMAN, Torrente Cro and Geri O like this.
  9. Fender on 'roids: any G&L MFD (magnetic field design) pickup. They're hot, hot pickups designed by Mr Fender himself and can deliver "Fender" tone, no problemmo.
  10. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    g&l mfd or a bacchus jazz with the bass boost
  11. mngnt


    Aug 9, 2015
    Alberta, Canada
    I have the Delanos, and I wouldn't call them thin anywhere.
    bassyogi likes this.
  12. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Yeah, it's called Music Man. ;)
    40Hz and 4StringTheorist like this.
  13. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    My El Toro is a J bass on 'roids. MFDs have the push.
  14. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    Yep. I've got a '79 MM Sabre that's definitely been on the juice!! Maybe a little more dark overall than something like a G&L L-2000 (maybe not?) but there's nothing subtle going on with that bass.

    Solo the bridge pickup, add a touch of low end, and how ya doin'!!

    Both pickups together with some extra highs for slapping? Step a-WAY from the windows!!

    Solo the neck, add nothing, and apologize to the kids in the morning!!
  15. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Lawrence P-46, Lauzon Strat/P, DiMarzio model P and to a lesser/scooped extent Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder.
  16. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    This may be a pointless question, but...

    Which Fender?
  17. Antisyzygy


    Dec 8, 2014
    The pickups from a G&L SB-2 would fit the bill, if you're looking for a PJ setup. They do make single coil MFDs. Though you might have trouble finding one RWRP.

    Otherwise I'd suggest Nordstrand big singles or one of the humbucking versions.

    A wider coil produces a warmer sound.

    Shape of the coil: A coil which is taller and narrower will be clearer, more focused and slightly brighter than another coil which is shorter and wider if they have the same output. This is because the shorter wider pickup is sensing a wider section of the string, which gives it more variance in the signal it's sensing (due to variance in oscillation size/ pattern of the string along the length of string sensed)
  18. Bartolini B-Axis!
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    When the man is right, the man is right. So I'll have to agree. What you're describing is precisely the sound of a MM Stingray.
  20. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jun 20, 2021

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