First Post - Wiring Question

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by CEM, Nov 6, 2001.

  1. CEM

    CEM Guest

    Nov 3, 2001
    Cincinnati, OH

    I am making a custom bass and I cant decide
    a. What style of pup
    b. How to wire it
    I either want to get a MM style pup an wire every possible combo - Series/Parallel, Single Coil etc...or 2 soapbar humbuckers in some config (2 coil split switches?)
    My problem is that I dont know all the possible combos, I want to keep my wiring from getting terribly complicated, and I want usable sounds.
    Currently I play rock, pop, or jazz but would like to do studio work and have a versitile bass...
    I apologize if the answers are posted elsewhere - any info will be very valuable.

  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    There's actually a whole lot more to it than you describe. You can have active pickups with active preamps, passive pickups with passive tone controls, active pickups with passive controls, passive pickups with active controls, and more. Some preamps can be switched on and off. Humbucking pickups can have different voicings. Pickups from different manufacturers will sound different.

    Just having a lot of versatility won't necessarily give you the sound you're after. I'm currently diggin' the P-J sound, so I have a bass with that setup, and it sounds just right to me. A bass with two humbuckers wouldn't sound the same, no matter how many switches and knobs were on it.

    Figure out what sound you like and get pickups that will support that sound. If you like the Stingray sound, you'll need a pickup that's very similar to a Stingray's pickup. You can still add a series/parallel switch, a neck pickup, or whatever, but if you want the Stingray sound, you'll need a setup that's a lot like a Stingray.

    Likewise, if you want a P-bass sound available, you'll really need a P-style pickup in the right spot, among other things.

    EMG has some wiring diagrams on their website at , and Seymour Duncan has some, too at . Those might be a good place to start.
  3. CEM

    CEM Guest

    Nov 3, 2001
    Cincinnati, OH
    Thanks for the reply...I forgot to mention that I want passive pickups (probably Bartolini) and passive controls - I'll leave all the other tone shaping to outboard gear.:)