Pickup Advice for Fretless Squier/Flatwound/J Retro 01

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cmichaelis, Mar 9, 2017.


  1. cmichaelis

    cmichaelis

    Mar 9, 2017
    Hi guys! Been reading this forum for a long time, first post here.

    Question about an upgrade I'm considering to a Squier bass that I love. I defretted it and refinished it completely, put a lot of love into it. I love the bass itself and the feel of the neck; right now it's using stock electronics and pickups, and La Bella nylon flatwound strings.

    I love the bass in general, but the sound isn't all that versatile. The tone knob, for example, doesn't do all that much; the change is barely perceptible to me. It basically always sounds the same no matter how you fiddle with the knobs. ;) Thus, I'm thinking of adding a J Retro 01 preamp to it to gain some versatility.

    So, my question(s)... does my preference for nylon flatwounds limit my sound too severely to the point that adding the pre-amp won't do me any good for adding some more tone options? Should I look at upgrading the pickups as well? (Leaning toward Seymour Duncan, though not sure which exactly.)

    The sounds I'd like to get out of this bass are primarily rockability-esque stuff (hence the flatwounds and fretless), but I'd love to be able to squeeze out a more rock and pop style tone out of it from time to time - hoping the preamp will let me add some extra mids and higher end for rock/pop that I don't normally want for swing/rockability type music.

    What say you? Good idea or should I save my $300? If a PU upgrade at the same time would be wise, any particular recommendations? (I realize I'd be laying out more cash than the original bass cost, but I did put a lot of time into the refinish...)

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  2. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars: Ulyate Pickups & StringJoy Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    Michigan
    I never cared for nylon strings personally but I know a lot of players that dig them. You could upgrade your bass but a question to answer instead of what can you do to your bass is what can you do for your bass.

    What kind of amp do you use? What kind of cab? Any effects or preamps?

    If I was in your shoes, I would skip on putting a j retro in your bass, save some money, and buy a preamp pedal. That will give you all the EQ you need and you'll be able to use it on other basses verses giving all your tone to one. You'd be surprised at the difference. Pickups are cheap and although you could keep what you have, they are decent sounding pickups, it's easy to replace with something different.

    If you did anything to the guts, put better pots and cap in it. I make the harnesses and sell them here, let me know if I can help. I'm Sure several TBers would vouch for me. But that is off topic.

    Also, venture off into other strings. That'll do you some good in the tone department.
     
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