1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Pickup swap that made the biggest difference in your tone?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by faulknersj, Dec 18, 2018.

  1. just dropped my first set of gzr,,, and wow am I hooked. might replace my norty in my sr 655 . its a pj set up though but I still can get one .
    faulknersj likes this.
  2. FugaziBomb


    Jun 5, 2017
    I've got a couple of bases with swapped pickups that I like:

    I swapped out the original pickup in my parts P Bass (Squire affinity pickup) for a DMZ Split P and its a huge difference. It really tames the typical P Bass mid hump and gave it a more even response

    I swapped out my stock MIM Jazz pickups for SD QPs. The voice of the instrument changed completely. There is this magical thing that happens around 1khz with rise pickups that's really great. I would describe it as a sort of "snarl" that I didn't have before.

    Changed out an EMG GZR set in an Ibanez for DMZ model PJ set that I liked a lot more. The GZRs are great pickups, just not in that bass.

    Then there is my Washburn w/ single p bass pickup. Swapped the stock pickup for a SD "Hot for P" and there was almost no noticeable difference...
    faulknersj likes this.
  3. klaymaster


    Jun 10, 2016
    This Duncan in my cheap OLP made a huge difference.
    FunkyEel, mouthmw, faulknersj and 2 others like this.
  4. rashrader


    Mar 4, 2004
    Baltimore, MD
    I am getting ready to drop a GZR PJ Set in my Schecter Model T Session tomorrow. I expect a big improvement from the stock active EMG setup. I’ll report back afterwards.
    Clarence Walker and faulknersj like this.
  5. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    I have a theory that off-white guitars sound the best. Can you confirm or deny that speculation?
    faulknersj likes this.
  6. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA
    Swapping the stock pups in my Lakland Skyline 55-01 for US made Bartolinis.

    metermech, faulknersj and Holdsg like this.
  7. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Not mine. But I helped a friend replace the perfectly good sounding stock Gretsch minihumbuckers in his brand new Junior Jet II with a pair of TV Jones Thunder’Trons.

    The Junior Jet II is already a very good sounding bass right out of the box. And putting $280 worth of pickups in a bass that only costs $300 might seem silly. But the sonic difference is major.

    Fear the Tron! :thumbsup:


    One thing on my radar for this year is to pull the EMGs and TonePump pre in my Spector Rebop 5-string came with and replace it all with something a little more…refined? More on that as it develops.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    faulknersj likes this.
  8. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Stock MIA Fender J-bass pickups to Lindy Fralin's hum-canceling Split-Jazz. Outstanding J-bass tone with no single coil hum, which to me is a significant change. I've had the Fralins for 13 years.

    I also installed a Lindy Fralin into a 2004 Fender MIA Precision, which was fantastic. It was the third aftermarket pickup I tried in that bass, and the best by far IMO. But it was probably closer to the tone of the stock pickup than the intervening ones, a DiMarzio Model P and Duncan SPB-2 Hot. I tried the DiMarzio first, and it was very different from the warm, vintage tone of the stock pickup. The Fralin had all the vintage warmth of the stock pickup, plus all the clarity and almost all the punch of the DiMarzio. So, I'd say the DiMarzio had a bigger effect, but the Fralin provided more improvement IMO.
    faulknersj likes this.
  9. klaymaster


    Jun 10, 2016
    It's like a natural maple veneer, the picture makes it look more creamy. I just like light colored instruments.
    faulknersj likes this.
  10. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Fort Worth, Texas
    I also did a swap on a Squier VM Jazz. I went with the Seymour Duncan Antiquity IIs. I also upgraded the electronics with a Stewmac Golden Age harness. Night and Day is a good description.
    faulknersj and LinusKarlsson like this.
  11. Replaced stock Steinberger Spirit 4 pickups for EMGs. Wow!
    faulknersj likes this.
  12. jcerio

    jcerio Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Syracuse, NY
    Heartfield P/J w/ preamp in my '94 Fender Prophecy III with EMG P/J and BTS preamp. Made the bass go from a run-of-the mill sterile sound to a rock monster. The P pickup on that thing is thunderous!

    Stock MTD Kingston Z5 electronics to USA Bartolini soapbars and preamp. Killer.

    Pretty much any time I've upgraded pickups I've gotten a real difference in tone.
    faulknersj likes this.
  13. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    It's really pretty. I've toyed with the idea of getting an OLP and dolling it up more than a few times. By this point, if there were one in sight, I'd grab it and do it.
    klaymaster likes this.
  14. Andy235


    Dec 14, 2018
    I have the one pickup Junior Jet Gretsch, and I love it. After I put some flats on it, it got me that kind of 60s deep thumping tone that you hear on British Invasion era stuff. People don't understand how powerful the low end is on those little short scale basses.
  15. BurtMacklinFBI

    BurtMacklinFBI Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2018
    Swapping the stock pickups in my USA Jazz with active EMGs, years ago. It’s not my favorite pickup swap ever, but it was really good and very different from the stock pickups. The stock ones were really, REALLY scooped sounding, not in a terribly bad way but I still much preferred the stronger high mids the EMGs brought to the table.
    Kokoman and faulknersj like this.
  16. Leonid Nidis

    Leonid Nidis

    Jan 1, 2018
    I swapped the p bass pickup on a mex deluxe special p bass to klein(won in a card game) and it sucked!sounded very dark.
    on the same bass the pathetic mex noisless bridge swaped for fralin noisless and it was a huge improovment,sounded great balanced volulme wise with the p.

    I got an american elite jazz 5 someone put bartolini in and imo it ruined the guitar,harsh sounding no wormth.
    Got the originals N4 back and its a pleasure.

    Dont think ill swap pickups anymore.
    faulknersj likes this.
  17. Miker27607

    Miker27607 Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2015
    Raleigh NC
    I put an EMG Geezer Butler PU in my MIA Precision bass. I play in cover bands, so I'm doing lots of styles of bass playing, very little of which is hard rock/heavy metal, but man oh man do I dig the sound of that pickup. It really brought the bass to life.
    REV, Clarence Walker and faulknersj like this.
  18. RiZzBot

    RiZzBot Drunk + bass + broken strap locks = :'( Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2014
    210, Texas
    Swapped out my Highway One P with a David Allen P bass pickup. Night and day difference. Quite possibly the best P bass pickup on the market.
    REV, faulknersj and 40Hz like this.
  19. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    This is a really good question. How come I never thought about it before? Most pickup swaps that I've ever done have only ever brought about minimal differences.

    Favorite J pickup swap........Aero Type 1. Favorite P swap......geeezzzssss, they all sound the same.

    The biggest differences in sound for me have always been the strings!
  20. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Agree 100%. I have the same one except I have GHS Pressurewounds on mine. :thumbsup:

    And the nice thing about the single pickup version of the Junior Jet is that the pickup on that model was “designed” (i.e. built by but packaged in a different cover) by TV Jones.

    I’ve noticed in blues circles that I’m seeing more short-scale basses lately.
    ToddOfThunder, faulknersj and Andy235 like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.