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For Us, For Them or For the Tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Alan Ace Cooper, Oct 8, 2013.


  1. Alan Ace Cooper

    Alan Ace Cooper Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2004
    Northern Virginia, USA - 13 mi
    Endorsing artist: Devon Basses, DR Strings, EMG pickups, Bag End Cabs
    I have an ugly delima floating around in my head. It involves my 78 Fender Jazz Bass. The pickups were prior replaced with generic, EMG/Bartolini styled pickups. I love the slightly, synthetic sound of the standard EMG Jazz bass set, but I thought this bass would be more Vintage "Look" Appropriate, with pickups with pole pieces. People would look at it, and have more of a vintage respect, if they saw pole pieces... Right?

    After thinking through the Aero, Fralin, and Duncan, I decided to go with the EMG JVX Set. Created to be a bridge between Vintage and Passive tones. I believe the JVX set does its job. Ahhh.. But the sound guy for my main gig is used to my other EMG Active and Bartolini loaded basses, having more attack, more sting. I know EXACTLY what he's talking about, so I reach down and tweak my EBS Micro Bass to compensate for the passive-ish tone.

    So.. Should I keep in the Passive sounding EMG set, just to appease my visuals and the visuals of those around me?

    Or... Do I appease my "Un-natural" inner self and install the Modern Looking EMG pickups without the pole pieces?

    Anyone else living through this useless madness? :)
     
  2. sloppy_phil

    sloppy_phil

    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    I'd say the sound is the most important thing. If those active EMGs do you right, then put them back in there!

    Only other bass players would even bother to look at what pickups you're using, and what do they know?
     
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Exactly. The ONLY Person in the room who MIGHT know what they are supposed to look like would be another bass player. Nobody else know..... or CARES. So put whatever makes you happy in it and let it eat.
     
  4. Please yourself ! Visually and tone wise.

    Modern Vs Vintage, Active Vs Passive, Poles Vs no Poles.... nobody cares but you. Play what you like and stop worrying what others think.
     
  5. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Go back to what sounds best... the modern EMG's. Forget about what others think, and if you STILL have to have pole pieces visually... buy yourself a silver Sharpie.
     
  6. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    No, no one cares. Your pole pieces? :eyebrow: Give me a break. I've been playing for 24 years, and even I don't care. You expect the audience to care? You like the sound of the EMGs? No brainer: get the EMGs.
     
  7. Alan Ace Cooper

    Alan Ace Cooper Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2004
    Northern Virginia, USA - 13 mi
    Endorsing artist: Devon Basses, DR Strings, EMG pickups, Bag End Cabs
    Ha!! I'm digging the Ogle's idea!

    I like the sound of the currently installed, EMG JVX set, just not sure it's hyper sounding enough. As I have read, I guess the only people I'm thinking about are others like us... :)
     
  8. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    The purist in me would go with vintage Fender pickups with pole pieces.
     
  9. spaz21387

    spaz21387

    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I would go with the sharpie idea! that way you get the tone you want and the vintage look.
     
  10. Malak the Mad

    Malak the Mad Over the River and through the Looking Glass Supporting Member

    That, or to be a little less permanent, some sticker/label dots?
     
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Who do you imagine is looking at your pickups?
     
  12. Alan Ace Cooper

    Alan Ace Cooper Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2004
    Northern Virginia, USA - 13 mi
    Endorsing artist: Devon Basses, DR Strings, EMG pickups, Bag End Cabs
    Who do I think is looking at my pickups?
    Pictures I may post on bass specific websites or bass specific groups on Face Book, bass players in the audience at gigs, bass playing friends. The church I play for seats 3000 per service (4 per weekend), so they're usually a few bass players around and it's also aired for TV and internet broadcast. There are usually close ups taken of hands, basses etc... The thought never crosses my mind for my other basses, just this Fender. A better question to myself would be... Why am I torn over the issue? Simple minded vanity is the only answer I could come up with! LOL!
     
  13. Mark Nye

    Mark Nye

    Sep 18, 2012
    +1. Add to that: If your primary concern is playing for other bass players in the room, quit.
     
  14. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    +1
     
  15. Alan Ace Cooper

    Alan Ace Cooper Supporting Member

    Jan 6, 2004
    Northern Virginia, USA - 13 mi
    Endorsing artist: Devon Basses, DR Strings, EMG pickups, Bag End Cabs
    I may go with a Hybrid set... Leave the warmer sounding EMG JVX at the neck (under the chrome pickup cover) and put the higher output, edgier sounding standard J at the bridge. I will have to have them side by side to check the volume differences. The JVX has a nicer sounding booty... Kinda like Shakira, J-Lo or Beyonce. The standard EMG Jazz is probably more like Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie... Nice, but not as round :)
     
    madjazzbass likes this.
  16. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    Nobody would care, and why do you care if they do? Play whatever you like and what sounds best to you...
     
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    This.

    Put in whatever you like.

     
  18. It's your bass so just decide whether your priority is the sound or the look.Or to put it another way,do you prefer Billie Holliday or Jessica Simpson LOL?
     
  19. sotua

    sotua

    Sep 20, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    Put in the ones that you like. Newsflash: Nobody gives a flying f***k about how your pickups look.
     
  20. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Tone, tone, tone. And did I mention TONE.
     

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