Looking to add a mudbucker to a P or J bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nachothrash, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. nachothrash


    Mar 16, 2014
    I've been a pick player for years now, but I've been taking lessons and improving my fingerstyle playing for about a year now.
    I'm feeling confident enough to start using my fingers while playing with my metal band, but I can't quite get the tone I'm looking for
    Cliff Burton's tone on Ride The Lightning sounds great to me and fits my style

    And I've always dug the bass sound from an old local band

    You can hear it pretty clearly at 1:27

    The closest I've ever been to either of those tones, was playing my Squier Jazz bass entirely on the bridge position, and rolling back the tone knob to almost 10%
    Here's a sample of me playing over one of Abaxial's tunes:

    Still, I feel like something is missing
    So I contacted Abaxial's bassist via Facebook, and asked what gear he used to record that album. Turns out he replaced the neck pickup of an Epiphone Rockbass (pretty much a Jazz Bass) with a DiMarzio DP120 (DiMarzio's equivalent of an EB Pickup, a mudbucker)
    Makes sense, since that's basically the same pickup setup as Burton's Rickenbacker: A jazz at the bridge, a mudbucker at the neck

    So I'm tempted to do the very same thing
    I've been gasing for a Squier Vintage Modified Precision Jazz for a while now, since I've always loved the sound of a classical precision pickup, and I don't own any 4 strings basses
    Thing is, if I buy that bass, I won't be willing to sacrifice the precision pickup, since that's the reason I want it in the first place.
    I'm wondering if I can get that bass, and put a DiMarzio DP120 as close to the neck as possible, as in a Gibson EB, and still get the tone I'm looking for
    Sure, it would look ugly as hell, but it would be a really versatile bass. What worries me is if the extra distance between the Jazz pickup and the mudbucker is going to ruin the tone I'm looking for when I mix them together
    The alternative is to just buy a jazz bass, and replace the neck pickup with the DP120. But then I'll end up buying two basses, cause I won't give up on the Squier VM PJ :D

    So, what do you guys think?
    Could my 3 pickups frankenstein Squier idea work, or is buying 2 separate basses a safer bet?
    Please let me know if there are any problems with what I'm trying to do. My knowledge of electronics is non-existent, but I've read that mudbuckers are kind of problematic (something about phasing perhaps? I'm not sure)
    Needless to say, I'll take whatever bass I choose to a tech to do the pickup swap hahaha
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
  2. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    The Dimarzio Model One pickup isn't quite the same as a mudbucker. It was devised as a replacement to the real Gibson pickup, so isn't as brutally overwound as the Gibson. It is still a plenty dark, hot pickup. You might run into impedance issues along the way, attempting to blend it in with Jazz bass pickups. At the same time you might get some interesting results.

    A mudbucker upgrade is a one-shot deal. You have to dig a deep, fairly square-shaped route for the pickup. Once it is there it will always be there! Consider the DP145 'Will Power' pickup. It is basically a Model One with wider pole spacing, which makes it compatible with Fender basses. Even then it might not work in the location of the existing neck pickup in a Jazz bass, so you will probably have to install it right down at the end of the neck, ala Billy Sheehan.

    Just do it!

  3. I'm a mudbucker fan, not an owner right now. I love the sound of the Epiphone EB-3 mudbucker above all others.
    I put a DiMarzio DP 120 in a Gibson EB-0 husk, it's rather weak in comparison, I say don't buy that.
    I loved the sound of the Epiphone EB-3 but the worst neck dive ever, so I cut out a horn from clear plexi and screwed it on the back. That worked.
    You don't need to do this mod untried, go play an Epiphone EB-3 someplace. There are many soapbar bass' that have a super deep sound, you can find one of those. The EB-0 has a short scale so it don't have the snap of a 34" scale bass.
    BTW: The mudbucker in a Fender idea goes way back to the 1960s.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
    PawleeP likes this.
  4. Are we doing this...? Keep us posted. I'm itching to do the exact same thing, for no other reason than I'm getting kinda bored with my jazz.
    LifCE and merseymale like this.
  5. nachothrash


    Mar 16, 2014
    Yup, I did it.
    Ended up going with a jazz/mudbucker set
    PRS SE Kestrel modded ala Cliff Burton
    patrickj likes this.
  6. ProgressiveDoom

    ProgressiveDoom Guest

    Mar 31, 2017
    Just completed yesterday. All I can say is that after playing it for 1 hour I unplugged it and just before I put it on the stand I told it "I love you".