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Passive agression, EMG 40hz or SD SSB?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ShadowImage, Dec 31, 2016.


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  1. ShadowImage

    ShadowImage Guest

    Jan 12, 2016
    I want to replace the passive pickups in my Brice Defiant multiscale. The pickups need bar type magnets due to the angle. Mostly I play rock so a punchy, compressed, high attack tone is important but I would rather stay passive as I get paranoid about my 9v in my other instruments dying mid set.
    I'm torn between the EMG 40hz and Seymour Duncan SSB-5. I had considered a Lace Bass Bar but they are pretty expensive and the EMGs and SDs are available for fairly cheap on eBay. After listening to some Youtube comparisons, it appears the EMGs have more bass response, but the SDs have more clarity.

    Does anyone have any experience with the two or other recommendations?
     
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Why would you think that?

    First, I've learned (the hard way) that if you buy cheap pickups, you get cheap pickups. Buy once, cry once.

    Now, the SSBs are pretty nice pickups for the price, but the Bassbars are better. They have a thicker, meatier, more textured and detailed tone, and way more output. Plus they look wicked cool. :)
     
  3. ShadowImage

    ShadowImage Guest

    Jan 12, 2016
    The pickups are at a š30 angle, so the strings would not travel directly over rod style magnet pole pieces.

    That's a good point. I just wish that the Lace pickup was not double the price of Seymour Duncan. IMO the chrome bars look pretty cool but the black would match better.
     

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  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    They don't have to. A lot of people mistakenly believe that the strings and polepieces must line up visually. The only thing that really matters is the shape and size of the magnetic field surrounding the strings, which is (of course) invisible. Well, that and the coverage of the coil underneath. I routinely use four-string pickups for five-string basses, whether blade or pole, and it works just fine. The magnetic field extends outward from the polepieces quite a bit, so it works.

    I still recommend the Lace Bassbars, but I don't want you to limit your possible choices based on a misunderstanding about how pickups work.
     
    ShadowImage likes this.
  5. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    Have you considered G&L MFD pickups?
     
    ShadowImage likes this.
  6. ShadowImage

    ShadowImage Guest

    Jan 12, 2016
    No I didn't realize that, pretty interesting. I've read various reports about players who bend a lot wanting bar type magnets for more consistent magnetic fields laterally. So I take it that the field is considerably large enough that a quarter of an inch or so isn't going to make much of a difference?

    The adjustability of those is quite interesting, reading about them now. Something like that could be nice because I often find my E string to have far more output than the higher frequency strings. I hate to EQ down the bass to compensate. So with those one could adjust the pole pieces near the E string to be less hot?
     
  7. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I'm not certain of the adjustability of the G&L pole pieces (I just slapped a set into my bass and they were incredibly aggressive for passive pickups. I've never thought to adjust anything.)

    I can speak to the adjustability of Dimarzio pickups, which are also very high output. You could balance a set of those out however you like.
     
    ShadowImage likes this.
  8. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I'll answer that with these two photos, one from an early build of mine, and one from @Ric5 's website:

    DSC00383.

    425-1.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
    ShadowImage likes this.
  9. ShadowImage

    ShadowImage Guest

    Jan 12, 2016
    You guys gave me some ideas so this weekend just for fun, I installed an old Dimarzio Blaze 7 (guitar) pickup I had laying around in the neck position. It worked except the highest and lowest strings had noticeably lower output due to the pickup being too small. The A and D strings sounded quite nice though. I really wish that Dimarzio made soapbar bass pickups but sadly they don't.
     
    ctmullins likes this.
  10. ShadowImage

    ShadowImage Guest

    Jan 12, 2016
    Well I took your advice and waited to get the Lace Bassbar. Installing it last night I really do like the sound of it. I haven't had a chance to try it out besides headphones but so far it seems like a real improvement over the stock.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    ctmullins likes this.
  11. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    :thumbsup:
     

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