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Pickup Suggestion for a Weird Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mortvest, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. Hello Everyone!

    I've been an active TalkBass reader for many years now, but never had posted anything before. So here comes my first thread.. :D

    I have been a proud owner of a Sandberg Forty Eight 4 bass for more than a year now. It's a weird "fenderbird" type of bass with a pair of pickups, each with its own huge chrome cover. It is a wonderful instrument with a low action and plays great, but with time I found myself dissatisfied with the standard pickups that the instrument comes with. I'm looking for a more "passive growl" type of sound (similar to 70ies gibson basses or something alike). The Forty Eight pickups are of not standard form factor and are not replaceable without a lot of work, so I've ordered a pair of empty replacement pickup covers directly from Sandberg (great customer support btw). Now I only need to find a pair of pickups to put (glue) inside the pickup covers. The covers are pretty big, so about any pickup would fit with a little bit of work put into it.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Sorry for the suboptimal English, I am not a native speaker :)
    NKBassman and JRA like this.
  2. JohnMalay


    Oct 23, 2018
    New Jersey
    That's a rare bird. What are the dimensions of those pickups? I read one of them is a split singe coil and one is a humbucker??

    The only thing I can think of that might fit would be something like the Fender Wide-Range Humbucker or third-party version of same.
  3. I think you are right, it's a split + mm-like humbucker. The pickups are about 100x50 mm.
    Hmm, that's an interesting suggestion, I'll look into it. Are you familiar with the sound characteristics of those?
  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
    Since you have spare covers, you could likely fit almost anything. I’d love to see a photo of the shape and size of the cavities under them. I’d be tempted to put something like a pair of Nordstrand Big Splits (without their covers) underneath.
    retslock and okcrum like this.
  5. I'll post a photo when I get home, but it is just a plain rectangular cutout with four schrews going into the body.

    These Nordstrands do indeed look promising. I think they'll fit just fine without their covers. Thanks.
  6. JohnMalay


    Oct 23, 2018
    New Jersey
    The Fender WRHBs are sort of "love them or hate them". The old Gibson EB mudbucker might fit as well.
  7. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Your English is better than some native speakers. I didn't know it isn't your primary language until you announced it at the end. No need for an apology.
  8. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Since you have the covers, you can try a bunch of different pickups in it, so don’t glue the first set of pickups in ;) If you want a Gibson sound, try to get Gibson pickups (or replacements)? I’m not familiar with them, but I think Lollar thunderbird pickups are quite popular...

    For a direct fit, maybe MEC Star Bass pickups would fit? I loved them on a Warwick I tried once...
    WARWICK Pickups -> E - Bass -> Other Shapes -> Warwick Star Bass
  9. I've looked into both of these options. The MEC Star Bass pickups do indeed have similar dimensions, but I'm afraid that the screws won't align with the existing holes. Furthermore, they are epoxy sealed, so I can't use the original covers. But it is still worth a try.
  10. There's always darkstars.
    mortvest, salcott and Nev375 like this.
  11. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Hmm. The chrome covers with the four corner screws look a lot like Gibson Mudbuckers (as in the original EB series basses of the 1960's). I would measure the outer dimensions of both your pickups and compare the dimensions, including screw placement, to a Gibson pickup. If they are the same, there are several drop-in replacements that come to mind, starting with Gibson, DiMarzio, Artec, Novak, Allparts, Gotoh, etc.
  12. Vinnie Boombatz

    Vinnie Boombatz Inactive

    May 26, 2010
    Have a boutique builder custom wind a set for you.
  13. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Columbia SC
    I have a Proto Guitars MM+J in my weird bass.
    Sounds HUGE! They even offer custom spacing & a J+MM option if that’s more your jam.
  14. What's going on with those strings and saddles? :bored:
    Ellery and cataract like this.
  15. cataract

    cataract Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Columbia SC
    Good eye! The bass was shipped to me with zero tension on the strings— the Travis Bean saddles slide in & out when not being held in place by in-tune strings. All is well now though.
    mortvest and AndyPanda like this.
  16. Thank you for the suggestion, but the pickup covers on Forty Eight is wider than a mudbucker, so none of these would actually be a drop-in replacement.
  17. What a cool looking bass!
    cataract likes this.
  18. okcrum

    okcrum in your chest

    Oct 5, 2009
    Verde Valley, AZ
    RIP Dark Horse strings
    Agreed. Since they're not split pickups, Nordstrand Big Blades, or the coil tapped pickups Gibson used in the 2013-2014 EB (and in later Thunderbirds) might be worth a try too.
  19. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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