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one pickup bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Yvon, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    I am planing my next bass, as some of you may know.
    Swamp ash or mahogany body, maple neck, ebony fingerboard.
    I thought that if one pickup was enough for all my musical hero it would be enought for me :D
    Jaco, tony Levin, Anthony Jackson, James Jamerson, Duck Dunn, Sting.

    So, I was thinking about a Nordstrand wired direct to the outoput jack à la Antony Jackson.

    Is there any other pickup I should consider?

    Where should I put it?
    Where a P bass pick should be?
    Should I back it up a little bit?
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I favor bridge tone and the more I mess with pups the more I like a single pup. In the past it seemed a little neck pup was needed to beef up the bridge to my taste but typically it's VERY little. I also run straight to the jack and go off amp controls.

    I really haven't messed that much with moving a single pup away from a bridge. Invariably when I get a single pup of a pair I stick it in the standard Fender J bridge position cause it seems the best barometer. I suspect that a location between a j bridge and up to P position would be most ideal for most single pups. Even considering a given players taste, different pups will work better at different locations. There are a lot of good pups out there but Nords are in Vogue now.

    Personally, if I was making a bass or having one made I'd route out between the J to the P. I get my pup and try different locations till I found my spot and cover with a fixed shaped pickgaurd routed to fit the pup. Then if I wanted to go from a J to a soap to an MM I could just change the pickgaurd out. The pickgaurds being identical except the routing. Then you've got a bass for life even if your needs/desires change. I've rigged up setups where I could go from a set of originals Rics to an MM in about 5 minutes (Charlotte so it's' Nascar country here - spills over into everything in these parts).
  3. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    Thank you,
    I am thinking to position the pickup somewhere between the P and J position. I think it will be the most versatile place. Also I was thinkind Nordstrand, aero or maybe bassline. I want a great pickup since I wont have any electronic to bring life to a dull pick up.
  4. slowburnaz

    slowburnaz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
  5. KeithPas


    May 16, 2000
    I'm currently putting together a bass from parts I got off ebay and Stewart McDonald. The body is Paduak/Mahagony and was routed for one pickup basically in the Musicman Stingray position and it was routed for a standard EMG 40P shaped soapbar, the neck is a Moses Graphite. I will change the route to accomodate a Basslines MM5 pickup and match that with the corresponding Basslines three band preamp. I too have come to favor one pickup basses, although I like having a jazz bass pretty much at all times because I just love that tone. I have had good luck with pickups located from jazz bass to P bass territory. If the pickup is good and the bass is well put together it will sound good.
  6. maybe you would like to try slanting the pickup ???
    my previous project has one slanted pickup, and im quite pleased with it, using a EMG 45DC on 5 string bass fretted, and using mahogany body, maple neck with ebony fingerboard just like your choise of woods.
    but i wish it were closer to the bridge to get better mid and hi-mid.
    here is the link http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=140235
  7. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    that is a good idea, I haven't thought about that.

    Thank you
  8. That is the Music Man (Stingray) or G&L L1500 position. The P, MM, and J each has its own sweet spot.

    You mention Duck Dunn (P), Sting (Tele-P), Jaco (J), and so forth. Time to figure out if you want a P, J, or MM. You can't do it all in one bass.
  9. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada

    Probably my favorite sound of all the ones I listed is Anthony Jackson. And looking at the picture of a Fodera AJ I think the pickup is at the P position. So it might be there. I was thinking about backing it up a little to get more low mids.
  10. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    It's easy to over simplify factors in obtaining tone, not to focus pre-planning on factors that are most constant, and allow flexibile adjustment for factors than aren't. 1) No matter how carefully you select your woods and assemble it, you won't know what the timbre/acoustic tone of the bass will be till it's done - aside from timbre it could range from very bright to very dark. 2) depending on which pup you choose and your personal taste, one pup may need to move up the neck or down the neck an inch or more (the "sweetspot" depends on who's listening). The acoustic properties of the bass will merely add to that unknown. 3) What you play through can alter the tone and your opinion of a given bass significantly.

    In my experience, the three major factors in the tone within a given bass are not constant: the acoustic properties, pickup selection, and pickup location. Since one affects the other, in effect, they are all uncontrolled variables.

    Given the assumption of all the above, optimal pre-planning in a bass design would include 1) allowance for use of different shape pickup(s) 2) various locations of that pickup(s) 3) a bass with a both-on neck.

    You CAN have an MM, a PJ, J's, or whatever all in one bass cause I have 5 of them. Regardless, aside from a brightness or darkness to acoustic tone, there's a timbre to each instrument that can make tone significantly different.

    There's a major advantage to modifying a bass that already exists because, unlike a bass that's yet to be made, the acoustic properties are not unknown.