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One pick-up?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by iDavid, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. iDavid


    Apr 22, 2005
    Is there a benefit to having just one pick-up?

    I think less options can be better at times, but I wonder about the "sweet spot"

    any of you prefer one over two pick-ups.... why?


  2. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I've always been a 2-pickup guy, always playing JBs and copies, but now I have a P and I'm really in love. There's some variation in right hand placement and in the tone control, but the sound itself doesn't change a whole lot. Luckily, it's a great sound. To my ear its single pickup does the P thing very nicely, while other 2-pickup basses never quite get a sound that makes people get up and dance. I wish I knew the answer...but for now, I'll stick with the Precision.
  3. I just gotta have 2 pickups I think.

    Even when I look at EBMM's or MM style pickups, I tend to like the models that place a Jazz in front of it.
  4. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Bah, 1 pickup is all i really need right now. Because of the pickup location on the MM, i get a growl with a nice bright top, and enough low end to make me happy.

    I have debated adding in a P-Bass and a blend, but really, why mess with a near vintage bass, when it sounds this damn good :)
  5. JHL


    Apr 8, 2005
    London, England
    I'm gonna order a custom fretless in the future and it will be a jazz bass style bass with just a bridge pickup... I never use the neck pickup on fretlesses anyway and I like the look of a single pickup bass.
  6. flatwoundfender


    Feb 24, 2005
    It depends, if your sound requires two pickups get two, mine is just one, a p pickup. I just end up using the neck pickup if I play a jazz so it might as well be one pickup and the p does it much better.
  7. Kenny Allyn

    Kenny Allyn

    Mar 25, 2006
    For one pickup make it a P ... however on some basses what looks like "one" is not always the case. The Warwick Pro M series has what looks like one it's actually 2 Js in one box with seperate volume and tone for each coil very cool ... and the old Ibanez ATK actives have triple coils in one pickup very versatile.
  8. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    My main bass for the last 2 years has one humbucker in the P spot. My new bass on order has one MM styled pickup in the MM spot.

    I do have a 2 Jazz 5 sting setups and a 4 string PJ if I need them too though. I just find with a well built, good sounding bass I can get enough varied tones by adjusting my attack & hand position.
  9. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    2 of my basses have one pickup. Im a simple person when it comes to tone, once i get my tone i leave it.
  10. iDavid


    Apr 22, 2005
    how about one EMG DC pick-up?
  11. instigata


    Feb 24, 2006
    New Jersey
    itd b interesting. i've seen one bartolini soapbar on lots of fretless basses. combined with a piezo bridge.

    could be cool.
  12. lug


    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    Theoretically, one pup will have less magnetic pull on the strings and allow themto sustain a tiny bit better. Whether it would be enough to be detectable is up for debate. As far as a "sweet spot", no such thing. The closer you get to the bridge the more overtone content and less fundemental content you get in the signal. Think of it more as finding a good balance point between the two.
  13. Funkengrooven

    Funkengrooven Turn it down? You gotta be nuts!!

    The "Sweet Spot" Is the point where the 4th harmonic has Zero Amplitude.
    That is approximately 81% of scale length.
    See attached JPG

    Attached Files:

  14. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk

    Anyway, there is a school of thought that says that you will get a more defined, less diffused sound with one "properly placed" pickup. I remember Anthony Jackson talking about this in BP years ago when he was having one of his Foderas built with single humcancelling J in a spot somewhere between a P and a MM. I think there's some validity to it.

    Having said that, all my basses (except my P) a 2 pickup designs.
  15. JoeB


    Dec 19, 1999
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Without context or further explanation, I have no idea what Mr. Funkengrooven is trying to say here but I'll tell you about my own practical experiences David. Having played bass for over 25 years now I've noticed a few things.

    When I used to play two pup basses (like a Jazz and also the MM Sabre), there was a wider variety of tonal colours available with those basses due to the placement and availability of two pups. However, I also noticed that there was also a little bit of what I'll call "sonic flab" when using both pups at the same time (up full) which might have to do with certain frequencies from the bridge and neck positions cancelling each other out or fighting for the same "territory".

    I noticed when listening to bassists who played single pup basses (like a precision) that there was a sort of focus or clarity to the sound. Not that a two pup can't have punch, it's just different. When I finally bought a Fender Precision a few years ago, I noticed that it was able to cut through very nicely and, right or wrong, I attributed this to the lessening of frequency cancellations from there being only a single pup.

    Now, just to add more confusion, I also think that when you reduce the overtones that come from roundwound strings, that there is an added focus to the sound. I am now using flatwound strings on my P bass and it just cuts through all manner of sound on any stage thank you very much...

    Compare a two pup bass with rounds and a single pup bass with flats and you'll see how different you can get with two basses.
  16. Smallequestrian

    Smallequestrian Rock and/or Roll

    Jul 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Beta Tester: Source Audio
    Give me one phat humbucker in the sweetspot and thats all I need. I had a few dual pickup bongos, but none of them made me smile like my fretted and fretless, single H pair. To put it more practically, I found that I was hardly ever using the neck pickup.
  17. Mojo-Man


    Feb 11, 2003
    I just did a P-style fretless with single jazz pickup in bridge position.
    No knobs, passive, special wound Lollar pickup.
    Sounds great. nails Jaco sound.
    I believe that one pickup placed in the right spot, is all you need.
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Then did he raise on high the Holy Humbuckers of Antioch, saying, "Bless these, O Lord, that with them thou mayst blow thine enemy's eardrums to tiny bits, in thy mercy." And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree-sloths and fruit-bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals ... Now did the Lord say, "First thou routest the Holy Body Blank. Then thou must count to two. Two shall be the number of the pickups and the number of the pickups shall be two. Three shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count one, excepting that thou then proceedeth to two. Four is right out. Once the number two, being the number of the pickups, be reached, then installest thou the Holy Humbuckers in the body of thine bass, who, being bitchen in my sight, shall be slapped."

    With apologies to Monty Python.
  19. JHL


    Apr 8, 2005
    London, England
    Pics pls! :p
  20. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I have a custom just like this, with a single jazz in the bridge.

    It's really a very simple bass, but it keeps you playing instead of twiddling. :bassist:

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