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Is this a good idea (changing pickups)?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Matt Till, Oct 10, 2003.


  1. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Hey, if you look at my profile (which hasn't been updated in a while, a little has changed) I own a Yamaha RXB260. Cheap-O bass, but it plays great. I've played some more expensive basses, and it's playabilty fails in comparison. BUT the tone is another story. My D and G string can really get lost in a mix. My low-end sounds "fine" (the tone still kinda sucks) but the D and G lose volume.

    My question, if I like the way it plays, would I love the way it sounds if I bought better pickups? I have adjusted the bottom P to bring it closer to the D and G, but it only helped a small amount. For those of you who don't know, the bass has just one set of Split-P pickups.
     
  2. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    In addition: 2 + 2 = 4




    But anyway, I always assumed my amp was subpar, which I wouldn't expect from something called a Fender Bassman... but then I heard some old blues guy with this great looking (Fender?) bass play through my amp at some jam session thing, and wow... my amp can sound really nice. :eek:


    Just not with my bass...
     
  3. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    Go for it. I like active pups, or you could get an onboard preamp and keep your original pups. EMGs are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and you can run them at 18v for more headroom. I like mine a lot.
     
  4. How's the bass sounding acoustically? If the poor tone isn't inherent in the design of the bass itself (i.e. bad construction), a new pickup will definitely help.

    Then again, you have lots of different options, even if you have only one pickup. For example, going from passive to active electronics would make a huge difference. Personally, I can't stand passive basses anymore, although I used to swear by them (only the fool never changes his mind :)).

    Another option would be to add a second pickup (like a J in the bridge position). It would give you more tonal options. Good luck!
     
  5. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Well, this is my first bass, so I plan on keeping it for sentimental values if not playing it for a while. Are Aeros active, Smash? Because from what I have heard of active pickups, they are what I'm looking for.
     
  6. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Oh, and for everyones information, I know very little about pickups. :oops:
     
  7. adam on bass

    adam on bass Supporting Member

    Feb 4, 2002
    New Braunfels, Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Spector, GK, EMG and D'Addario
    Aguilar makes a killer outboard preamp and it would be an invetment in your future. It would probably cost you the same as going to new pickups. DB924 is the model. MusiciansFiend (not a typo) $179. Good luck.
     
  8. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    (Time to reveal how stupid I really am:) Outboard Preamps... what do they really do? I mean, how does this fix the D and G problem?


    Once again, pardon my ignorance.
     
  9. I have a Yamaha RBX270F - it's like a 260 but with a J p/up added at the bridge, and it's fretless.

    the standard P/ups are okay.

    one thing to note is that there's a dead area around the C# to D# range of the G string- deadspots with short sustain (much the same as on a Fender MIM J), so I don't think you'll get a full sound out of that region no matter what P/ups or onboard EQ you fit.
     
  10. jondog

    jondog

    Mar 14, 2002
    NYC metro area
    You could lower the E A side so that all of your strings have equally weak tone. :D

    Smash is right, a preamp won't help if you're convinced the problem is the pickup itself.
     
  11. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Actually, equally weakening might be a good idea. I dunno. This has pissed me off for a long time.


    I attached me playing a D on the E string, then that same octave of D on the G string just to give you an example, unedited. Is this bass doomed to uneven volume/tone?
     
  12. I put Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound (passive) pickups in my RBX264. They didn't make a huge difference to the tone but I was playing through a keyboard amp at the time. My tone improved much more when I started using a Gallien Krueger amp plus 2x10 cab. I never tried the old pickups with the GK amp so the Seymour Duncans might help if you have a decent bass amp already.

    I also changed the bridge to a Gotoh 201. That made very little difference to the sound too - but I prefer the color of it! The most useful change I've made (apart from getting the better amp) was to add lots of shielding.