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Need advice on MM-style pup choices

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JohnL, Aug 19, 2002.

  1. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    I am designing a 5-string bass with a single MM-style pup. I already have two Jazz basses, and am looking to build something that will give me an alternate sound. I would like to keep the cost of the pup under $100, if possible. Warmoth has the Basslines MM for $81.75. Is that the best deal for my price range? Can it be used without the "tone circuit" (additional $89.25), and just wired to normal passive volume, bass, and treble pots? I already use a SansAmp and preamp, so active pups/electronics are not a must, plus the simplicity factor, as it is my first DIY bass project. Others I have researched so far:

    Barts: can't find anyone who has them, or a "street price" other than MSRP.
    Mighty-mite: No 5 string available.
    Carvin: More $$$ than the Basslines, not much positive feedback.
    Kent Armstrong: $20 less, how much less quality sound-wise?
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i have custom duncan mm-style pickups in my 8 strings...

    8strfretted.jpg 8strfretless.jpg

    imo, they are excellent. great freq response and tone, better than the eb mm pickups, imo.
  3. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    the seymour duncan pup will work without an active preamp. You should be able to wire it passive if you want to.
  4. If your really just looking for an "alternate sound" to your single coils, consider soapbars, too (as JT already suggested).

    Some other makes you might consider;

    - www.harmonicdesign.net (handmade & definitely in your price range)
    - Schaller pups (moderate pricing)
    - EMG Selects are dirt cheap through www.stewmac.com
    - www.riograndepickups.com

    Others that come to mind exceed your price range (but why skimp on pickups???, as the experts say)

    Have you tried www.basscentral.com for the Barts and Basslines??? (talk to pickup guru, Grasshopper). One thing I like about Basslines --- if you don't like `em, you have about a month to return them. Maybe some of the others do the same.
  5. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    If you go Duncan I would highly recommend you go with the Alnico magnet version of the MM pickup versus the ceramic magnet. It's about $10.00 more but well worth it.

    BTW, you should be able to do better than Warmoth on pricing for Duncan's.
  6. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    Thanks guys! I was trying to do a little research over the weekend, and I couldn't find any sites with info and pricing (re: Barts and Basslines) other than Warmoth. I'm still waiting on a callback from BassCentral. (Gard's out of town) Any other links are appreciated.
  7. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Click the www. icon at the top of my post ....
  8. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I have a custom P bass with a Mighty Mite in the neck position and a Bartolini in the bridge position. The are both running through a Bart NTMB preamp. The Mighty Mite is VERY hot(I have to have it a 1/4 inch under the string in order to balance it with the Bart-which is almost grazing the bottom of the string). I spoke with a luthier friend and he said that if you convert a four string to a five, the MM type pickups don't necessarily have to be switched out to keep the individual strings outputs even-reason being that their magnetic fields tend to cover a larger area than other pickup types. I guess it would depend on positioning, but for 20 bucks($20!!!) at www.almostmusic.com you can't really go wrong. Thats less than a set of strings FGS!
  9. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Kent Armstrong are good.
    I can't find any disadvantage to the more famous and expensive brands. Especially when it comes to the MM.
    It is well suited for passive or active wiring, and for whatever coil tapping you may require.
    At a very cute price, too!
  10. JohnL


    Sep 20, 2000
    Grayson, GA
    Thnks for the feedback. Suburban, that's the first report I've gotten on the Armstrongs. As I've discussed with some of you via PM already, my aim was to not start out with a cheap pup I would have to replace again down the road, but a decent passive pup that I could upgrade with active electronics if/when I fall in love with this 5 string.

    Thanks again!
  11. Mock,

    What are the recording details for your MP3?
  12. direct into a Tascam 414 4-track channel as a preamp, set flat, aux send out to Soundblaster Live soundcard, edited in Soundforge, converted to mp3 in Musicmatch.

    it's a cheap n' cheerful PC setup, but noise levels are low, so I'm happy with it for now.

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