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New pickups for ESP/LTD B-404SM.. Suggestions please!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ridethespiral, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Since I'm getting my new amp and cabinet on Friday, I'm now looking into upgrading my bass to further improve tone. I'm using an ESP/LTD B-404SM with what I believe are EMG 35 active pickups. It plays very well and I love the tone of it alone when not amplified, but the pickups really seem sterile now that I've tried out a few basses with passives.

    I'm looking to get passives with active electronics that can be switched on and off.. I'm willing to try out just passives or actives w/ preamp though.

    Ideally, the tone I'm looking for is Justin Chancellor's Wal :hyper: now I know you can't have that Wal tone without a Wal, but I'd like to try get closer than these sterile EMGs. Something with a bit of growl to it :)

    What I have in mind is this:


    Unfortunately, this is going to leave me with one useless knob, which is nickel plated and not black like the Seymour Duncan knobs...

  2. awamori


    Dec 10, 2009
    The SD SSB-4 are blander than the so called "sterile" EMG's.

    Anyways I suggest that you replace them 35DCX or 35CSX both are much better than the non-x models. I also recommend getting the BQS system preamp too.
  3. I guess they aren't completely sterile :p but they do lack quite a bit of depth compared to other pickups IMO

    I'll look into them since that would probably allow me to not have any useless knobs.

    Thanks ;)
  4. awamori


    Dec 10, 2009
    No problems.
  5. If I go with the 35DCX, I assume I need to buy two of them right? I don't see anywhere that they come as set.

    And if they are separate, would a 35CSX in the bridge position and the DCX in the neck position work out well. I've read that a DCX in the bridge position is quite shrill.
  6. awamori


    Dec 10, 2009
    Yes, you would need to buy two of them as they don't come in sets.

    As for the CSX vx DCX issue...

    I wouldn't say that the DCX as the CSX can be real bright in the bridge too. Anyways the DCX works well in warmer toned instruments while the CSX works brighter toned instruments.

    EDIT:If your getting the EMG preamp you would need to run 18 volts to power both it and pickups.
  7. That's what I was thinking. Just needed to be sure :)

    I personally think this bass falls in between warm and bright but I would like the warmness to show through so the DCX would be a better choice I'm guessing.

    What about the 35TWX? Any experience with them? http://www.emgpickups.com/products/category/247/2

    As for the 18v, that's going to be an issue since there is only a hole routed out big enough for a single 9V and I'm not really looking to go through the work of getting it routed out bigger and finding a cover for it.
  8. You absolutely do NOT require 18v because you have two EMGs - two will run fine on 9v, especially the X series.

  9. Just double checked the BQS data sheet and you're correct :)

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