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Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Ellery, Dec 25, 2016.

  1. Ellery


    Mar 25, 2015
    My main stage bass, a neck-thru MIK Schecter Stiletto Studio 5, came stock with a pair of soapbar EMG HZ pickups and an active 3-band onboard preamp. (I believe the EMG's are ceramic/steel blade magnet humbuckers).
    Although this setup has served me well, I am ready for an upgrade. I believe this maple and mahogany neck thru bass has plenty of potential waiting to be released by some premium electronics. I've been reading up on Seymour Duncan NYC's, Nordstrand Fat Stack or Big Singles, Bartolinis, and more. I want to find something a step above what I have, a passive high-output pup with deep tone and clarity at low notes. The musical style can get fast and aggressive (no slapping). I downtune every string a minor 3rd, and when I venture below the 5th fret on the B string it's a mud run. A neck pup with the attributes of a P-style split coil would be nice. If anyone with experience in this matter could shed some light I'd appreciate it. And if anyone finds my approach backwards and thinks I should be replacing the active electronics first, I'm all ears. Thanks!

    Attached Files:

  2. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    If you're downtuning that much, my advice is to get some thicker strings - that'll cure your mud more than changing electronics.
    Obese Chess, IronSpatula and Ellery like this.
  3. Ellery


    Mar 25, 2015
    Thank you but I already did that. Pickups is next. Funny, about time someone answered me, and still not a pickup suggestion. That's ok, I'm looKing at EMG40P5, which is essentially the guts of a P style split coil stuffed in a soapbar shell.
  4. EMG is a rather hifi sounding pup, could serve you well. Delano might also be a good choice. Definitely consider string gauge and type. With notes this low, amp and speakers are also crucial. IMHO the emg hz are not that bad, especially if wired parallel.
    Ellery likes this.
  5. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Random thought....why is 'pupgrade' not the standard term for pickup upgrade round here???
  6. gfen


    Aug 21, 2014
    lehigh valley
    stayed at a holiday inn, once...
    This is how traditions are born, sir. Make it so!
    Reedt2000, Ellery and mmbongo like this.
  7. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    EMG CS-X at the bridge, EMG P5 at the neck.
    Ellery likes this.
  8. Ellery


    Mar 25, 2015
    Thank You that looks interesting.
    ctmullins likes this.
  9. Spblat


    Apr 25, 2016
    @Ellery what did you do and how to you like it? I just picked up a Studio 5 and I'm digging it but already thinking about tinkering with it. I wonder if leaving the EMG Hz pups in for now and experimenting with preamps is a good first step. I really like lo-mid and hi-mid idea in the tone capsule and I suspect it's not necessary to start with new pickups right away. (I play covers in a bar band.)
    Ellery likes this.
  10. Ellery


    Mar 25, 2015
    I replaced the HZ's with active EMG40P5 pups... equivalent to having Pbass split coils at both positions. Definitely a sound upgrade, nice rich fat tone. I am going to put in a preamp, taking advantage of those 3 tone knobs. I got my hands on a 3 band Aguilar OBP3. Need a push/ pull pot to avoid drilling a hole, still searching for one for a good price. But yeah definitely no regrets on the "pupgrade"!
    ctmullins and Spblat like this.
  11. Spblat


    Apr 25, 2016
    Outstanding. I'm really perplexed about whether to do pups or preamp first, largely because I kinda want to be one of the Darkglass cool kids. Do you think there's an advantage to putting a 40P instead of a 40J at the bridge?

    ETA: there seems to be consensus that 40P at both positions is indeed a good idea. EMG 40J Neck, 40P5 Bridge
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  12. Spblat


    Apr 25, 2016

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