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guitar humbucker in a bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by hachi kid, May 12, 2010.


  1. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    hey everyone. I am going to be building a bass in the near future, and I'm curious if this will work. I'm thinking about putting a DiMarzio or Seymour Duncan guitar humbucker in the bridge position. I will have dual outputs via the Yamaha Attitude LTD, so I won't have to worry about the bottom end. a DiMarzio Model One will be in the neck postion for all the bottom end. I'm wondering if anyone has any feedback on the sound or how the pole pieces will match up with bass guitar string spacing.
     
  2. First you should measure the total string spacing at the bridge and see if it will be smaller than the width of the humbucker. If so, then it should probably work just fine.
     
  3. I believe DiMarzio offers a version of the X2N specifically for bass now, though I may be wrong.

    You can use the regular X2N too.

    As long as you make sure the strings are within the sensing area of the pole pieces, pole piece spacing won't matter, but OTOH, you are definitely going to want to go with rail style pole pieces, or covered pole pieces. Nothing looks more hilarious than four bass strings oddly placed over six pole pieces...:hyper:

    You're not interested in the pickup type you planned before anymore??

    OTOH, perhaps a guitar pickup would result in less string pull.
     
  4. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    The bass one is discontinued, I used a 7 string guitar one, with good results.
     
  5. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    I am still interested in the musicman pickup, but I also am curious about an actual guitar pickup. since I'm interested in getting a guitar sound, I figure it'd be best to see how a guitar pickup sounds in a bass. btw, I bought a used Squier P-Bass for $100 at the local GC. I'm gonna do a lot of experimenting to this bass and implement the final conclusions in Rosalinda.
     
  6. Pickups are pickups, a guitar pickup usually won't get more of a guitar sound out of a bass guitar, and vice versa. For the most part, the only difference between guitar and bass pickups are the width and pole spacing (to accommodate the different string numbers/spacing), but functionally they are the same. Some manufacturers use the exact same pickups for bass and guitar, jsut with different covers on them. Burns is a good example; the bass Tri-Sonics and the guitar Tri-Sonics are exactly the same, the bass ones just have chrome covers with 4 black dots on them and the guitar ones have 6 dots. Wasn't the split-P pickup originally made from two mandolin pickups?

    Guitar tone vs. bass tone has a lot more to do with string gauge, note pitch, and (especially) amplification.
     
  7. It doesn't work that way. A guitar pickup does not equal guitar tone. (Unless you want to try piccolo strings or something?:hyper:)
     
  8. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Exactly.

    I hooked up a standard Strat guitar with bass strings, and left the stock guitar pickups in, huge bass sound.
     
  9. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    why are there so many different manufacturers and pickups within each company? I figure a DiMarzio Tone Zone has to sound even a little different than an Delano Musicman/Jazz bass combo pickup...
     
  10. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    The Pusuit of Tone is the goal, it's just that everyone's ideal tone is not always the same thing.

    Thus; we are blessed/confounded with a variety of choices.
     
  11. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    what I was getting at is that if "a pickup is a pickup", then why are there so many different types of pickups and such. all of them have to sound a bit different.
     
  12. Aren't there certain nuances in tone that guitar pickups will do and certain ones that bass will do? Aren't bass pickups generally wound to emphasise the low end put out by the strings, whereas a typical guitar pickup may do that less? Or is there simply no real difference in typical construction of the two beyond making them fit physically for what they're intended for.

    Wanna hear a Strat as a bass though, someone I know (sort of) converted a Strat into a 3 string bass.
     
  13. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    Why a 3 string?

    The neck is wide enough to comfortably fit 4, heck too wide at the nut, IMO.
     
  14. There are MANY different ways to make a pickup, resulting in many different kinds of tones, but the difference between guitar and bass tones has nothing to do with the pickups, it's an issue of the instrument itself.

    We're talking different string pitches, different scales, different string gauges, different amplification/effects, different playing techniques, etc...

    Let me put it this way.
    I know you've been playing through a guitar amp or something, right?

    When you play it clean, with no distortion, does a guitar amp make your bass sound any more like a guitar?
    There are countless guitar amps on the market, with drastically varying tones, but overall, none of them make your bass sound like a guitar, do they? (Again, played clean only. Distortion can make a drum set sound like a guitar. :hyper:)
     
  15. sanfordandsonny

    sanfordandsonny

    Nov 15, 2006
    Maryland
    El Presidente of Sanford and Sonny Audio Weapons (Bluebeard Fuzz)
    Short Version:
    If you are using the Yamaha attitude bass i would recommend putting the guitar pickup where an L-2000 has it's bridge PU.
    Or.. you could put the guitar pickup in place of the P because those positions vibe together.

    LOooooooooooooooooong version:

    If you look at a lot of bass products they are the red headed step child of the guitar industry. You'll have product that is almost or exactly the same they just write BASS on it. Blades or Carvin type 11-12poles should work fine on making the volume of your strings equal
    This may be left field but are you looking at three pickups in the bass if so you may want to build one of these for testing:

    4602016285_ac781acf2e_o.

    I have a Memphis p bass copy with the area from the bridge to the truss routed but the plank pictured above would have been easier to build.
    Using this method I found out that I didn't like the bridge and neck on at the same time in a three pu situation (Bridge=T-40 Center= DiMarzio P Neck=DiMarzio J) and that I needed a different switching system.
    There is a lot of Theory involved in where to place two pickups so each sounds good by itself and with the other pickup but your Truth is in what's coming out of your speakers.
    I also was able to try 70's Thunderbird pu's in several Gibson positions and then move them into a L-2000 type position. i didn't like either (sooo close to a Mike Watt bass) I sold the tbird pickups and i didnt have to route out the Ibanez that I was going to put them in. Sorry so long-winded..but you could swap in different guitar humbuckers hear the difference between "x"guitar pickup vs "x" bass pickup. Also you could find out sooner than later that "x" pickup should be one inch this way or that (or slanted) And it's way cheaper doing it this way than buying sacrificial beater basses to throw into the volcano.
     
  16. hachi kid

    hachi kid

    Jun 2, 2008
    Austin, TX
    that sounds interesting. could you pm me with plans on how to do that? and I was going to do a 3 pickup bass, anyway. mudbucker in the neck, p in the p position, and a humbucker of some sort in the bridge position.

    as far as using a guitar amp for my bass, I find I have better treble and mids response from it than a bass amp. also, I get a little more dirty tone than a bass amp. bass amps tend to me smoother and more sterile to produce clean low end. I'm not looking for that tone, though.
     
  17. sanfordandsonny

    sanfordandsonny

    Nov 15, 2006
    Maryland
    El Presidente of Sanford and Sonny Audio Weapons (Bluebeard Fuzz)
  18. VinKreepo

    VinKreepo

    Nov 13, 2009
    Yes, guitar amps do, especially in solid state. I have a solid state peavey and a hybrid at my college and everyone that listens to either of those and then the ampeg says the ampeg is more "bassy" and the other amps make the bass sound like a guitar
     
  19. On alot of occasions I've heard basses sound good through guitar amps, but guitars have tended to sound like complete arse through a bass amp.
     
  20. VinKreepo

    VinKreepo

    Nov 13, 2009
    In punk rock, I'd rather use the guitar amp, it cuts through the mix better
     

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