Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Help choosing Pups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by The_D, Mar 9, 2005.


  1. The_D

    The_D Well, thats like your opinion. Man...

    Mar 20, 2004
    Fife, Scotland
    I have decided to defret my Westone Thunder and while I'm at it I think I will replace the pups. The only problem is that I cant decide which ones to go for :eyebrow: So many pups out there!!!!!!!!!

    Ok I have searched the forum for a couple of days on and off and cant find anyone really talking about P-bass pickups for a fretless bass.

    Good going from SMASH who went through all those bad boys for our knowlege but there were no fretless active guitars mentioned. Is there any major difference for a good fretless sound?

    It has 4 p-pickups all active so it doesnt look like this is going to be cheap. Would I be better off just rewiring the old ones I'm pretty sure they are all original so I would consider this but I do like the look of soap bar pickups..... AARRGGHHH I'm so confused right now!

    I will be leaving the work untill the summer as the only place I can carry out all this work is in our temperary studio which freezes over night!!! I would like to get all the parts before then so I can just get stuck in as soon as the weather gets better. Please help me make my mind up I trust all your input. :help:
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    I would seriously reconsider defretting the bass. There's basically no tolerance on a fretless when it comes to setup. The neck needs to be good. If you can't get the neck virtually flat, or even with a little backbow to be safte, it probably won't cut it. At any rate, you won't know exactly what you've got till you defret. A refret would cost more than the bass is worth if it doesn't turn out. There are plenty of inexpensive fretless basses you can pickup and know what you have before hand - including tone wise which may save you a pup purchase. You can buy a lot of pups trying to find a set that works for you. At any rate, the setup is more important on a fretless than pups - you can always change pups.

    If you do defret, I would wait till the defret is a success before replacing the pups. For starters, it may not be a success and there's a chance you might like the existing pups you have cause it's not going to sound the same as it did.
     
  3. The_D

    The_D Well, thats like your opinion. Man...

    Mar 20, 2004
    Fife, Scotland
    Thanks mate, I have thought about this for a while and the frets have worn down so bad it needs either refretted or defretted. Like you said refretting will cost more than the bass is worth so there isnt much point in going that way. I could at least try the defret and if it doesnt work then I have not really lost anything as it is pretty much unplayable in its current state.

    I will however wait untill the process is done and that way I wont waste money on pups that I might not need in the end.

    I could cut my losses and buy a new one but I love the feel of the bass and I really love the woods and overall look of it so if I can get any more use out of it I would rather try than poof out completely.

    I have a spare bass so I am not going to break down if it doesnt work but at least I can say I tried.

    Thanks again for your advice I appreciate it. :p
     
  4. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    I assume a luthier has told you it needs a refret? Even when frets looks nasty and make all kinds of rackett, a fret dress will usually get the job done - and a fret dress is fairly inexpensive. I'd even go to a couple more luthiers for second opinions before defretting. It's not that it can't be done successfully as plenty of players have done it. But it may mean the difference between keeping a bass you like and junking it.
     
  5. The_D

    The_D Well, thats like your opinion. Man...

    Mar 20, 2004
    Fife, Scotland
    I hadnt heard anything about a fret dress :eyebrow: (I take it they just skim the frets down so they are all even?)
    What exactly is a luthier? I have heard them mentioned before but just assumed it was some guy called luthier! Is it a guy who does work reconditioning guitars? If so I couldnt tell you if there is anyone around my area that does that sort of thing. I will look into it though. There is a guy at our local Sound Control that does work on electrics but Im not sure if he does work on wood or frets (and he is a bit of a rip off merchant).

    I will try anything before butchering my bass but I didnt think there were much options.

    Even more thanks mate. I like having a choice. Might still go ahead with the defret but will try having the frets dressed first. :hyper:

    P.S. I have been a visitor at talkbass for a year now and still cant believe how helpful you all are :hyper:
     
  6. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    A luthier is basically an individual that makes musical instruments from scratch. A tech typically just does electronics, setups, simple modifications.

    A fret dress involves filing the frets so they're even. The phone book should have listings under musical instrument repair and perhaps luthiers. I would be selective. Any professional local players will know of reputeable luthiers. I would probably avoid a luthier that doesn't build and work on electric basses. Local musician's union and music instructors (including schools) would also likely know of luthiers in the area. For that matter, Hambone (in the TB luthier's forum) would probably do it reasonably if you shipped the neck to him - he's just south of Atlanta.

    If it's done right, you'll be amazed at the difference in play.

    I assume you're in Australia? Dharmabass is an Aussie, email him for a reference.
     
  7. The_D

    The_D Well, thats like your opinion. Man...

    Mar 20, 2004
    Fife, Scotland
    Thanks I didnt know there was a name for that.
    I'm actually from Fife in Scotland and the bass is one piece so dont think sending it to America is a good idea!
    I looked online and found a few Luthiers in scotland so I will phone and get a price.
    Thanks for all your help :D