Guitar pups in a Bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by capncal, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. capncal


    Apr 14, 2009
    So I won an online contest from a local guitar shop and won a sweet set of handwound humbuckers! I'll try to attach a pic.

    Will these work in a bass? Would I be able to keep one bass humbucker and use one guitar pup?

    My current plan is to either find an cheap Les Paul copy guitar, or Les Paul bass and try and put these new pups in. Just not sure if they'll work in a bass or not.
  2. vaesto


    Jun 21, 2010

    If you solve the following problems then try them out:
    1. 4 strings over 6 magnets. How would even string-to-string signal level be achieved?
    2. first-to-last string spacing is wider then a pickup itself
    3. no compatible hole in a body to fit the humbucker.
    4. different parameters of guitar and bass pups eg. resonant frequency, impedance etc.

    In my early days of playing bass I've had HB pup on a bass. It was PIA in all aspects: muddy output with no real bass.

  3. reep


    Sep 24, 2006
    Duncan B.C.Canada
    A few years back, I bought a Squier Bronco bass. It played reasonably well, but the pickup seemed wishy-washy. I removed it and discovered that it was basically a six-pole ceramic Strat pickup under a solid cover. I replaced it with a Jazz bass pickup I had sitting around. It was, if anything, less satisfactory.....Less bassy and lower in output. I didn't have any other bass pickups at the moment, so I added a Diesel Strat guitar humbucker. Instantly, the bass came alive.....better output, more bass, just a better over-all sound.


    I haven't had to try anything like that since, but I'd have no compunctions about doing it again if the need arose. I suspect guitar pickups in basses aren't as uncommon as you might expect. A while back, when shopping for a pickup for a bass I was going to build, I became interested in a Gretsch bass pickup advertised on eBay. The top appeared to be a bass pickup, but the underside view showed six screws, which makes me think it was just a Filtertron with a different cover. I might still have bought it, but it was priced substantially higher than a standard Filtertron guitar pickup.
  4. I`ve got a dual rail strat pickup(single coil size), on a bass right now just to try it. Works surprisingly well.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    They will work fine..once you sell them and use that money to buy some bass pickups :)
  6. ^Though this is probably the ideal solution.
  7. vdub75


    Feb 15, 2013
    rickenbacker used guitar pickups on their earlier basses
  8. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    I've got a Dimarzio X2N7 in a bass right now. That's a 7-string guitar humbucker, for those not familiar with it. It sounds really good. I would definitely do it again (maybe even 2 of them).
  9. Hapa


    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
  10. IntrepidCellist


    Sep 10, 2009
    No reason it won't work just fine.
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    All Rickenbacker pickups are guitar pickups.
  12. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004

    +1 if you are talking about the ones that do not have 4 pole pieces and the spacing for bass. The toasters were/are the same as used in guitar and bass.
  13. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    Musicmaster basses use Strat P/Us if I'm not mistaken.
  14. sirplabassalot


    Dec 31, 2012
    Why not wait to buy a squier IV (a guitar in the same tuning and register of a bass) and route one of the pick ups in, I'm sure a music store would do that under 80 quid. You will pretty much have a beast for around 450 bucks
  15. maxschrek

    maxschrek Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Chattanooga, TN.

    True story

    Guitar pickups work fine for bass. Little if no difference. I've used Dimarzio X2Ns and X2N7s many times to great effect.
  16. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    Yup...done this too. Sounded great. I've used "hot" Strat pickups too with good results. OTOH, I've used expensive, well loved around here, bass pickups that I felt...sounded horrible and lifeless.

    But, it may be easier to sell those guitar pickups and get something that will be a drop in replacement.
  17. I am pretty sure Calvin used guitar humbuckers with a slightly different wind up until mid to late Eighties, they sounded good
  18. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    The only difference between the guitar high gain and the bass high gain is the number of poles ... well also the base plate is slightly different. But the guts are the same.
  19. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    The bass player from Avenged Sevenfold has a bass with a guitar pup in it along with a bass pup. Maybe you can search online and find out how that was accomplished..
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    In the 50's Fender guitar and bass pickups were pretty much the same. Then Fender went with the double pole pickups for bass.

    A true bass pickup will cover a wider string area and may use different wire than a guitar pickup. And it mat have bigger poles, or double pole to cover the fatter strings that vibrate in a wider area.