Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassarch, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. bassarch


    Jul 24, 2001
    Has any of you ever changed the pickups of a G&L climax ?if so what were the results?
    I have a used G&L Climax that I bought recently.The tone I get is very powerfull and agressive at the same time.I like the powerfull agressýve tone but I feel that the tone is lacking a lot of warm and smoothness.If I change the pups with some aftermarket ones ( lets say basslines MM )will I have a warmer tone without losing its agression? If so what brand pups do you recommend ?
    Please dont say that a G&L means MFD ( That I should never change it )I am in love with the playability of the bass (of the neck especially );it makes me play more and more in a way ..But the tone is just not %100 for me , very agressive and very very powerfull..Sometimes I feel like I cannot control it ( I never play it in active mode ,it is nuts! )
    If you say no aftermarket pups will do any good to the bass I think I will sell it.
    So Please any G&L experts out there I need your help
  2. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    The G&L Climax uses the same pickups as the L-series. They are G&L's MFD, or Magnetic Field Design bass pickups. There aren't any drop-in replacement pickups that I know of, but you shouldn't have any trouble getting a warm tone out of it, its all about what settings you have. Try just the neck pickup in series in passive. You also might want to make sure that the pickups aren't too close to the strings.
  3. bassarch


    Jul 24, 2001
    But my bass has just one pick up which is a bridge pup..there is no neck pup in my bass.I think you are talking about the L-2000 series ,mine is very like a L-1500 with no neck pickup
  4. that's the idea why they built that kind of axe with the kind of that tone, consider switching to another type of axe the tone your looking for, e.g. fender, etc...
  5. bassarch


    Jul 24, 2001
    yes you are right I know what the idea is but I have seen ( heard ) many other axes with just one bridge pup ( MM first of all comes to my mind ) with a way more warm and smoother tone than my climax...so I thought why cant be mine ?
  6. craigb

    craigb G&L churnmeister Supporting Member

    Like was said previously there won't be a drop-in replacement.

    I don't currently have a single pickup MFD bass like yours but have had 3 in the past and have another on the way now. So unfortunately I'm working from memory. I've also had Stingrays and think that in general the Climax is a more aggressive bass than the Stingray.

    The MFD pickups have lots of highs and lows - Leo designed them that way so that the passive treble and bass cut eq would give sonic flexibility without requiring active. To get the warmest possible sound out of a Climax go passive (I never used active on the Climax basses I had - way too harsh) and series. Try cutting back on the treble to see if you can get the warmth you want and pluck up as close to the neck as you can.

    Unfortunately you may not get the warmth you want. I think a lot of the similar single-pickup basses that get a very warm sound use a different pickup like a Bartolini - I've read that for Musicman replacement pickups Bartolinis are warm and smooth (not aggressive like a standard MM pickup) while the Seymour Duncans are aggressive. So you may not be able to get exactly what you want out of the Climax.

    Personally I wouldn't route the Climax for a replacement pickup - but it's your bass so do what works for you. You might want to check out a Musicman Sterling (if you haven't before) to see if it gives you the same type of playability (it's got a narrow neck and smaller, lighter body). It may also give you the sounds you want without modification (the Sterling controls are similar to the Climax but the pickup and preamp are different) - and drop-in modifications are a snap for it (since replacements are readily available for it).

    You could also check out a G&L L-2000 with #6 or #8 neck (narrow necks like the Climax) or ASAT (standard narrow neck) that has 2 MFD pickups. Moving the pickup forward really warms it up and changes the tonality. Or a G&L SB-2 (with MFD P-style and J-style pickups) that has the narrow neck as well. Any of those definitely gets a warmer sound than the Climax/L-1500 but still has plenty of bite and aggressiveness when needed.

    One other thought that comes to mind is strings. You might want to try a set of flatwounds (if you haven't already) on the bass. They are reputed to take off the "edge" and give a smoother, thumpier sound that might give you what you want out of the Climax.

    One last thought - if you are dead set on routing the bass you might want to try adding a J-style neck pickup that you could blend with the MFD. That configuration seems to be very popular lately (Laklands and more) and a neck pickup would give you a warm tone and blending would give different tonal options.

    Good luck finding your sound.
  7. bassarch


    Jul 24, 2001
    thx guys _especially craig_ really appreaciate your help.
    I have not yet tried the flatwound set on climax as they are very difficult to find here in Istanbul(god knows why)But I will search more to find and if I cant ,maybe to your last comment I would give it a try.I have a single Dimarzio neck jazz pup maybe I should try it on my climax.I have never thought of that idea before so to say but now it sounds quite a good idea.If I do the modification I will inform you about the results.thx again guys
  8. I had an SR5 and sold it for my current custom ordered G&L L1500. The L1500 is more ballsy, without a doubt. Very aggressive, which is what I wanted.

    If you want a Stingray, get a Stingray. The Climax/L1500 is a raw and gnarly type of aggression. IMO, the Stingray has better (quieter) electronics.

    Don't hack the Climax or it will be worthless for resale value.