Pickup Guru's, your guidance is needed.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Drop1, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    I'm after something very specific and I dont know exactly what it is.
    Some info.
    Im running dual Nordstrand Big single pickups in an Ibanez sr800 with a John East uni preamp.

    My bass is hyper active at about 1khz to 2 khz.
    For the most part I can work around this with eq but find my open E the worst offender and no matter what strings, the harmonics persist. So either the pickup placement and wiring are accentuating those harmonics or it's the bass its self or a combination of both.

    What im looking for are pickups that I can get in the bartolini p2 size that naturally are tame in this region.

    Is there a winding configuration that naturally combats this? I've read that many bartolini are darker sounding and maybe this could be beneficial. I've tried the mk1s, Nordstrand duals and nordstrand singles. All have maintained the peak around 1khz except the Nordy duals wired in series which were far too dark and tame for my taste in that configuration.

    My options are Aguilar , Bartolini and Norstrand as all 3 make many models in the desired size.

    I'm not even really looking for brand recommendations as much as I am recommendations for winding configurations.

    this clip is the bass in passive more no tone roll off straight DI into the computer using several slapping techniques on differing areas of the open E string.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  2. Warpeg


    Jun 20, 2005
    Have you tried just using a parametric EQ to isolate the range and subtract some out?
  3. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    If this peak is present with several different pickup models, I have a few diagnostic questions...

    Is the peak present in this bass played through other amps?

    Is the peak absent in other basses played through this amp?

    Do you have your East Uni pre set to flat input, or the pre-shape curve?

    If you have the pre shape engaged, try going flat instead. The pre shape does involve an treble boost that might be the peak you're hearing.
  4. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    A dual coil wired parallel is the most mid-scooped configuration. Dual coil wired series is kinda the opposite, it has a low-mid bump, but is also hotter/darker overall because of the way the coil impedance/resistance adds up.

    Nordstrand winds their dual coils specifically for parallel -or- series wiring. They put less winding on a pickup that's intended to be wired series so that it isn't so hot/dark. Could be that you had a set that was wound for parallel wiring, so it was overly hot/dark in series.

    Here's Nordstrand's description -
    "These pickups are available in two different versions. One set is designed to be wired in parallel, and the other in series.

    The reason we do this is that a pickup that is made to sound good wired parallel will usually be too hot and dark sounding if wired in series. So, we put less wire on a series dual coil than a parallel dual coil.

    In general, a pickup wired in series will have a fuller and fatter midrange with a subdued high end than a pickup wired in parallel, which will typically have more highs and a deeper low end with a cleaner midrange. Series pickups also have more output than parallel pickups. Parallel pickups are generally a better choice for a split-able installation, as there will not be the gain loss associated with series pickups."

    Nordstrand does custom winding, you can order stuff over- or under-wound, and they're just a few $$$ more than a stock pickup. You ought to try contacting them for their opinion on which of their pickups and what winding might best suit your needs.

    Other pickups manufacturers do custom winding too - off the top of my head, Lindy Fralin, Aero, Seymour Duncan, Jason Lollar all do custom work. Doesn't usually cost much extra either, but there's gonna be some wait time involved.
    Scott Baiowulf likes this.
  5. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    I havent tried other basses through the amp but have run the pre in both configurations. With the big singles I get a flatter response from the pre in flat mode which it currently is in.
    Switching to the enhanced amplifies the issue.

    I have tried my amp and juggling straight into the mixer. That's how I identified the exact area. I pulled up a few p eqs and went to works isolating the harmonics I am speaking off. It certainly helped but hurt the overall tone I was after.
  6. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    This makes sense. I appreciate the long post. I emailed Nordstrand with a version of this post last night before posting here. I figured getting as much info as possible couldnt hurt. Thanks.
  7. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    The fact that you're hearing this same peak with three different pickup sets from two different manufacturers is what's got me trying to figure out if there's an issue with either your amp or the East Uni pre.

    So you hear it both through the amp and direct to mixer/headphones?
    thetragichero likes this.
  8. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    Yes. Let me emphasize, I don't really thing it's a "problem" per say as much as it is just a slightly overactive area of harmonic content. Those harmonics just happen to be in an area if the spectrum that annoys the hell out of me.
    I'm really fricken picky.
  9. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Bucks County, PA
    Interesting. I wonder what you are listening through, if it's a cabinet with a tweeter you can adjust. I also wonder if you couldn't add a passive tone knob. My East equipped jazz has one and it helps tame the clank quite a bit.
  10. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    I have a 3 band eq with adjustable mid and tone control in active mode and a tone control in passive. I can EQ down some but I'd rather kill it at the source than fight it if possible.
  11. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    If it's happened through three sets of pickups, then I really feel like your most likely culprit is something other than the pickups:

    • The East preamp
    • your string choice
    • the bass? (setup? inherent acoustic tone of the instrument?)
  12. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    Here is a sound clip. I used multiple slapping methods and some finger style at the end across the strings.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
    InhumanResource likes this.
  13. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    I believe it to be a by product of the instrument its self. A resonance or maybe nut or bridge material. I do not believe it to be an issue with the pickups. Im only looking at pickups as a way to tame it.
  14. 4StringTheorist

    4StringTheorist Supporting Member

    True. It might be as simple as removing and reinstalling the bridge and/or neck! A few minutes with a screwdriver might have a positive effect!
  15. aproud1

    aproud1 Don't surround yourself with yourself. Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Cincy, OH
    I've had something similar due to a loose tuner. All basses I receive and own get a periodic checkup. All screws and bolts verified upon receipt. The tuners tend to loosen more than anything else. SO those get checked at every string change.
    4StringTheorist likes this.
  16. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    I left a sound clip. Have listened to it?
  17. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Bucks County, PA
    Not to knock what you're saying, but it sounds friggin great to me.

    Maybe you just aren't liking rounds on that particular bass?
    blindrabbit likes this.
  18. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Bucks County, PA
    Passive tone is essential killing at the source, it's a filter.
  19. Drop1


    Mar 28, 2019
    Been through 16 sets of strings looking for the right ones including flats.
    I do believe its 100 percent possible my ocd is kicking my ass. I dont hear music as a whole. I dont even hear notes as a whole. I hear all the little pieces, dynamics and harmonics as shifting layers. Almost like they are all split to seperate tracks and then blended back together. It's a by product of too many hours sitting at a mixer. I wish I had never gone down that road. Music was much more enjoyable before.
    So yeah. I may be tripping.
    b-b-b-bass and ctmullins like this.
  20. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Bucks County, PA
    Yeah, no offense but it might be a bit of a head trip you have happening. My only criticism is it might be TOO pretty for a band mix, like a bedroom tone. But I don't see the need to replace anything unless you just hate what you're getting.
    JimmyM likes this.

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