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n00b Pickup and Preamp Questions: Suggestions Please

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Sweets, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. Sweets


    Aug 2, 2005
    I've been a bass player for about a month and a half now. Switching over from guitar was a little difficult, but now I'm loving it. I got a really sweet deal on a used Warwick Corvette Standard 6 and I'm enjoying it a lot. While I don't have a large rig (just a small practice amp), I have played through several that I liked and I'm pretty sure I'm going to be picking up a Thunderfunk with some sort of Accugroove cab here in the next month or so. So, from playing guitar, I know most of the lingo involving electronics, etc. However, when it comes to the active preamps and bass pickups, I'm a little overwhelmed at this time. Whose bass tone do I like? Well, I'm a big fan of Oteil Burbridge, Todd Smallie, Juan Nelson, or pretty much any bassist who has a nice, thick low end who can still have a nice funky tone as well. I think Victor Wooten's percussive tone is too much on that hi-fi end, while someone like...say Berry Oakley or Allen Woody or Jack Bruce has too much of a growling tone. Yeah, I'm sorry, you'll have to bear with me. Anyway, I was thinking about some combos:

    Bartolini Pickups and Preamp: I understand that this can be kind of dark on a bubinga wood body, ie the Warwick.

    Bartolini Pickups and Aguilar Preamp: Again, dark with the pickups, but can the two be combined? Will this change the sound?

    EMG pickups and Aguilar Preamp: Can this be done? Which EMG pickup would I want? There are several to choose from.

    Again, sorry for all the n00b questions, but even with a search, the abundance of info returned is so head-rattling that I'm losing sleep at night :D

    I appreciate any help you can offer. I enjoy this forum a lot and I look forward to contributing here as best I can.
  2. spc


    Apr 10, 2004
    South of Boston
    What's wrong with the pickups in the Warwick?
    And welcome, by the way.
  3. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    If you're dead set on an amp/cab setup then get those before for you start swapping electronics. You'll be surprised at the difference some decent power will do for your sound.
  4. epoxo57


    Feb 17, 2005
    Perrysburg, Ohio

    I have a Corvette Std w/ a Bart NTBT pre which works great, just don't crank the treble since it gets hissy....but what you'd expect, eh?

    I think the MEC pups sound somewhat thin and less percussive on their own compared to others. As far as them being the main determiner of that infamous Warwick "growl", I'm not sure. Actually I hope not since some Nordies may be in my future :D

    I would agree though that a new rig might change your tune (hee hee...ahem) on tweaking your bass.

  5. Sweets


    Aug 2, 2005
    Yeah, I think they sound kind of thin. Maybe not as clear as I want them to be. The amps I've played them through have been an SWR SM500, Aguilar DB750, and an old Ampeg (not sure the model). I kind of thought the same thing on these amps as I do on my Workingman's 10.
  6. Sweets


    Aug 2, 2005
    Okay, I have some more questions:

    1. Let's say I go with a combo of Bartolini Pickups and an Aguilar preamp, can I get a preamp with a 3 bands that's only 3 knobs (Vol, blend, bass/treb stack) or am I gonna have to drill another hole for that mid knob? And a switch for the mid frequency? Or am I going to have to go for the 2 band?

    If I want a warm sound that has good clarity, would I go with EMG's or Barts, or is there something I'm overlooking? I understand that the Barts sound "dark" in a Warwick body, but I'm keeping the treble turned at least halfway down when I'm playing.
  7. epoxo57


    Feb 17, 2005
    Perrysburg, Ohio

    My Bart NTBT has three knobs, bass/treble stacked, and really thickens my sound. I didn't want to drill an extra hole and go to the trouble if I didn't like the Bart. One good thing is that mine runs on 9V and the Aggie runs on 18V so that maybe something to consider. As far as the advantage for 18, I never have really noticed a headroom difference that stuck out. The Aggies may only be boost only? Seymour Duncan also makes a 2 and 3 band preamp with a push/pull slap contour switch that may be something to look at too.

    I have had EMG's before and really liked them, but they are "hi-fi" if thats your bag. They do have a certain "polished" tone to them and very good clarity. For me, I want to retain my Corvette's wood-rich tone and felt EMG's might take away from that...not sure though. No expereince with the Barts but have heard the "dark" thingy with Warwicks too.

    Check out www.bestbassgear.com and www.guitarpartsresource.com for some info, pricing and ideas.

    Let us know what you go with :cool: