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Looking for the funk

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by juhani, Apr 24, 2006.


  1. juhani

    juhani

    Apr 23, 2006
    Hi,

    I'm quite new in the bass world so i need some advice as i'm having myself a bass built. And i need some suggestions regarding pickups. I've been reading your old posts about them and learned quite a lot but i still wanted to ask over to clarify some things.

    So i need pickups. Most of the time i play funk. Pretty much all sorts of funk, mixed with jazz, hip hop, reggae, metal, rock etc. So I want pickups that give me the traditional James Brown thing but also more modern stuff like Dirk Lance on SCIENCE by Incubus and that huge slap sound Fieldy's famous for or if you're ever heared "The John Scofield Band" :cool: then that's another bass sound i'm really after.

    Right now i've considered EMG pickups. What do you think if i put 40DC to neck (although some people have told me to put it to bridge position) and 40TW to bridge. Would that combination give me the sonic range i'm looking for? Or have you got any other ideas? The bass itself becomes 5 string, neck-through, will have mahagon sides and wenge neck with ebony fingerboard.

    Thanks in advance,
    j.
     
  2. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    If you are playing funk, and want to use EMG's, I'd put a 40P5 in the neck position. it's a P style on the inside, but wired in parallel. It's one of my favorite slap sounds. Nice and hollow, with warm bottom and crisp top end. Very old school.

    I don't like the DC in the bridge position.. I think it's too harsh sounding. The CS would be better, or as you said the TW, which is a 40-CS and 40-J in the same case. Keep in mind that the DC/CS is a Music Man style humbucker (just not as wide). The 40J is a very punchy pickup, but I wish the levels of all the EMGs were the same.
     
  3. juhani

    juhani

    Apr 23, 2006
    Thanks for the insight indeed. But what exactly do you mean by DC being too harsh? Have you got anything to refer to? Like a recording or sth? Otherwise i like the idea of putting 40P5 in the neck ('cause i really slap a lot ;) ) and 40TW in the bridge position. But would that combination also give me those heavier modern sounds? The EMG itself says that 40CS is the most traditional sounding of the group, and if i put 40P5 in the neck position then i'd already have "the old school thing" i need, so i'd much rather have something more modern in the bridge position... Or would the TW do the heavy job just fine? See i'm a little uncertain here and i haven't got a chance to try them out myself. So :help: still needed!

    I realise that much of the final sound also comes from the preamp i'm going to use but i just want to make sure i have a decent starting point.

    j.
     
  4. juhani

    juhani

    Apr 23, 2006
    Hi again. I searched the forum a bit more and found all my answers i needed :smug: . Sorry to made another thread about those pickups. I think i'll go as DavidRavenMoon suggested: 40P5 in the neck and 40TW in the bridge position for a start. The luthier also liked the idea. Maybe in the future i'll add the 40DC in that MM sweet spot. So thanks DavidRavenMoon and all the others as well for those old posts.
     
  5. Out of curiosity, who is building your bass?

    Another pickup option would be to get some Nordstrand Dual Coils and have a coil tap switch on each pickup. Then you could go from hum to single coil. You could also check out the fat stacks by Nordstrand. I'm not trying to discourage the P/J idea. I happen to love a P/J set up. I just know if I was having one built, I would probably go with a dual coil set up with switches.
     
  6. In reality, you can use just about anything. It's all about your amp. Funks players have being using Ps, Js, EMGs, whatever.

    Rock on
    Eric
     
  7. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    I find it has a LOT of high end... it's not a warm sounding pickup.

    Here's a recording I did with it. This also has some 40-J mixed in. The DC and J pickups were installed side by side in the bridge position. The J is right up against the bridge and the DC is in the next position toward the neck... kind of between a J bridge and MM position.

    http://www.david-schwab.com/music/solo_bass.mp3
     
  8. GSPLBASSDC

    GSPLBASSDC

    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA
    +1.......add strings to that list as well.

    In my opinion, the pickups should only amplify the natural ring tone of the string and not color it. Most good pickups nowadays do this.

    I play funk as well and I've found no greater slap sound than from DR strings (lo-riders or Fat Beams, especially)
     
  9. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    That's my opinion also, but I'm afraid it doesn't work that way!

    EMG's for example have their own sound. Every bass you play with EMG's will get more or less the same tone. I'm not knocking EMG... they make good pickups. But they sound like EMG's. It's not a bad sound, but what if you want neutral sounding pickups that don't color the sound of your bass? What do you get?

    I build my own basses, and after a while I realized I wasn't hearing the sound of the bass... it was the pickups! (and not just EMGs either)

    So now I'm designing and winding my own active pickups that will sound like the bass... Bare Naked Sound! (tm) :)
     
  10. GSPLBASSDC

    GSPLBASSDC

    Jan 25, 2005
    Des Moines, IA

    hmmm...interesting.

    I don't build basses, so I can't dispute your experiences, but I've played some exceptional pickups that I felt had very little color...if any (Bartolini's).

    Let us all know how your project goes (and sounds) ...I, for one, am curious.......
     
  11. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    Barts are wonderful pickups. So are Alembic. :)
     
  12. That's strange, I think popular opinion is that Barts have more coloration than just about any pickup on the market (except maybe Dark Star). The low mid presence of the Barts is always apparent. Not a bad thing, my main bass has a set of Barts and I love them. I just thought I would throw that out there.
     
  13. juhani

    juhani

    Apr 23, 2006
    Guys in Ohio don't know guys in Estonia ;) But it's one guy over here in our art college who's studying furniture design. So he's also into building his own bass guitars and cabs and then he agreed to build me one too, to experiment a bit and so on...


    Yeah.. that's what i was told over here too, that the major part of the bass sound you get comes from the preamp.

    But now i think i'm still gonna stick to EMGs. By the way.. i think i heared someone say that Bartolini only makes passive pickups. Is that true?
     
  14. jointus

    jointus

    Sep 20, 2003
    SATX
    Here are some clips of the TW in single coil and humbucker mode along with the P pickup.
    LINK to EMG clips
     
  15. Kingbassist

    Kingbassist

    Dec 18, 2005
    Guildford
    Thank you jointus for those clips.. I've found this thread an interesting read as I'm presently having a matched pair of 5 strings made.. a fretted and a fretless.. I've opted for an EMG 40P5 at the neck and a 40TW at the bridge with EMGs BTC 2 band circuit.. The basses are both one piece ash bodies with flame maple fronts and I've gone for ebony finger boards on flame maple necks.. I'm having the basses stained black and finished with a mat finish.. The necks will have cream binding and blue side LEDs.. They're almost ready so I'm getting excited!.. I'll let you know how they turn out.
     
  16. juhani

    juhani

    Apr 23, 2006
    Yeah.. do that for sure! Can't wait when mine gets ready either :hyper: . It's the first time someone has ever built me an instrument so you can imagine my excitement as well...

    But, there's one more topic i'd like to cover in this thread. Namely...

    What's the onboard preamplification really for? I mean, i know it allows you to put an active EQ there and tweak your sound onboard but what i'm really thinking is that isn't the idea rather to get the most natural and true sound out of your bass. Especially when you've got really fine preamp with tubes and all that jazz (which i'm also planning to get in the future)... Or let's put it in this way - isn't it kinda pointless to have multiple EQs in your sound system?
     
  17. Kingbassist

    Kingbassist

    Dec 18, 2005
    Guildford
    I know what you mean.. Eq on your bass, eq on your amp, eq everywhere! It can feel like overkill.. I guess for me it's handy as I do a lot of depping in west end theatres and it's useful when sitting in on someone else's chair and using their gear to just make quick adjustments on the bass to give you the sound you're used to.. Especially as you're relying on the cans more than the amp as a general rule and you tend to need to boost the bass a bit.. Although I very rarely adjust the 'middl'e control on my current Sei bass which is why I've opted for the 2 band circuit on the new ones.. I've also gone for the EMG pickups for their powerful output and utter silence under lights..
     

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