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Owners of basses with Bartolini MK-1 electronics - I need your input!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by fourstringbliss, Jan 15, 2012.


  1. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    I'm an aspiring pickup maker and I'm shocked to see that even though more and more basses are being made with Bartolini MK-1 pickups that there are very few options for replacement pickups. I've owned a few basses with these pickups and they're not bad, but is that really what you want in your bass - pickups that aren't bad? I know you can use Bartolini BC shaped pickups (Nordstrand and others) but there are gaps around the pickups because they're not the same size.

    If I were to make replacement pickups in this size what would you want? Please PM me your responses, if you don't mind.
     
  2. sent
     
  3. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    Thanks for the replies so far - keep 'em coming!
     
  4. JohnnyB53

    JohnnyB53

    Nov 1, 2009
    The Bartolini MK4CBC is a drop-in replacement for the Korean-sourced Mk-I.

    bartolini_mk.
     
  5. topcat2069

    topcat2069

    Dec 2, 2007
    Palm Springs
    Sounds like "P BASS"

    at least that's what I want
     
  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I believe the Bartolini P2 will also fit. Just a tad shorter (same width) and only 1 screw on each side. The MK will have 4 conductor wiring while the stock MK-1 has 2.

    Some Nordstrands are also direct drop ins.
     
  7. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    That would be the P2, not the BC. The BC is a four string pickup.

    The P2 is 107.8mm X 32.3mm. The MK is 108mm X 34mm.

    So when you split the difference it's .1mm on each side for the length and .85mm on each side for the width.

    The BC is 100mm X 32mm.

    So the P2 is the closest match for the MK. Unless you are going to make rubber molds, the P2 is the only plastic cover you are going to find from WSC in Korea. This is the same cover other pickups makers use for that size. There's a slightly different cover from G&B pickups.
     
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    All the replacement P2 covers have three screws. That's the same cover Nordstrand and I use.

    new-pickup_styles.
     
  9. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Sorry. I was going by the pic on the BBG website. It's showing 1 screw on each side.

    http://www.bestbassgear.com/bartolini-p25-pickups.htm

    Just checked the Bartolini site and it shows 3 screws. BBG has the wrong pic up!
     
  10. DAcat

    DAcat Supporting Member

    Jun 14, 2005
    Iowa
    I got an Ibanez SR1000EFM off Ebay that was only 1 year old. It has a Bartolini preamp(which one?) and Bartolini pups (? ones).The pots are very scratchy and it just does'nt have very good tone compared to other high end Ibanez basses that I've played though I like how the bass plays...I don't know if the active onboard Preamp was tampered with or what...I'm not sure which pick-ups it has, but would it make sense to replace the onboard preamp and pots first...ie, will a great preamp (ie an Aggi OB3) make average pick-ups sound great? Thanks ...Peace...DAcat :cool:
     
  11. fourstringbliss

    fourstringbliss Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2003
    Puyallup, WA
    The SR1000EFM has "real" Barts and a "real" Bartolini preamp. If you don't like the sound I'm not sure if a different preamp is going to make that much of a difference.

    What other high end Ibby's have you played? This will give me a frame of reference to what sound you do like.
     
  12. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    They are Barts, but it's not a Bart preamp. I had an SR5000E here for a setup. It had US made Barts, but an Ibanez preamp. I don't know if Bartolini designed it, but it wasn't made by Bart. You could tell because you could see the circuit board instead of it being encapsulated in a box.

    One thing that might help the tone of that bass is to swap the neck and bridge pickups. Ibanez wanted the neck pickup to be very bassy and the bridge pickup to be very bright, so they install the bridge pickup at the neck, and vice versa. You can verify this by looking at the bottom of the pickups. The neck pickup is marked "T" (bridge) for treble and the bridge is marked "B" for bass (neck).

    I found the preamp was OK, but the pickups had a muffled tone.
     
  13. kraigo

    kraigo

    Jun 21, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    On topic, I bought a set of Nordstrand DC's for my 55-01. It was close to what I wanted, but the pole pieces are two per string per coil like a Jazz bass. I wanted something a bit more like Music Man with one slightly larger pole piece per string per coil. I was thinking about them being roughly the diameter of a pencil eraser.

    SGD Lutherie will tell you that he does blades with no expose pole pieces because he doesn't have to worry about various five string spacing, 17mm vs. 19mm. In my case I wanted the bass to have a Fender vibe and exposed pole pieces are a part of that look for me.

    I don't think I'll be buying any new pickups for a while, but that's why I was thinking of getting into the pickup winding business for myself. I'm kind of glad I could find something to buy instead. I'm still coming to grips with the Nordstrands.

    KO
     
  14. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I also don't have to worry about the number of strings! That way you can use the same pickup for any number of strings that will fit in that sensing area. Blades also exert less string pull than alnico rod magnets. Thats's important for me because I'm using very strong neo magnets. It also allows me to use laminations and things that you can't do with round pole pieces.

    This is why Leo had put two magnets on each side of the string on a Jazz bass, and not right under the string. His patent claimed it helped the sustain of the note. Of course he changed that with the MM pickup.
     

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