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Pickup swap that made the biggest difference in your tone?

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


  1. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Sussex County, NJ
    no endorsements yet...Are you listening Spector, DR, GK, Line6?
    I had an '02 Fender P/J that I put Duncan Steve Harris P's in and a Duncan QP in the bridge and it was a night and day difference...it went from bland to beef and balls. Sold her long ago.
    Rock on.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
    ToddOfThunder and faulknersj like this.
  2. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    This bass was built using a Reed James soapbar and a Noll preamp. I don't know if I just got a bum unit but the Noll preamp was noisy and unusable. When I had it swapped out for a John East P-Retro I also swapped out the pickup for a custom Aero.

    Even in passive mode the difference was night and day. More vintage sounding while also being more even across the whole frequency range with bigger lows and removing the odd mid-range quality of the Reed James.

    MVIMG_20171216_123109.

    This really the first time a pickup swap made such a big difference.
     
    faulknersj and rashrader like this.
  3. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    Lakland Skyline 44-64 D Dunn P bass:
    The stock Hanson or Neo punch whatever they are pups are too sterile and too modern sounding to me, I swapped them for EMG Geezers, it’s like night and day!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    faulknersj and Holdsg like this.
  4. Gizmot

    Gizmot Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    View attachment 3252556 Earlier this year, I installed a Nordstrand Nordenbocker on my almost 40 year old Ric 4001. The reason that I bought this pickup is because one of its claims is that it helps minimize noise - and it delivers on that promise perfectly as long as you're using both pickups and have the gains set approximately the same. What really surprised me about this pickup is that it sounds very much like a genuine Rickenbacker pickup, except with more gain thanks to its more powerful magnets. My Ric has a wider palette of tones and it has no negatives whatsoever. The Nordy fit in the stock location perfectly and the bass looks great with it installed. This was a fantastic purchase!
     
    Charlzm, ultra60, faulknersj and 2 others like this.
  5. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Delano JMVC’s for stock Fender Jazz pickups.

    For single coils, I also like the Seymour Duncan SJB2’s. But the Delano’s going into a Sadowsky preamp are my sauce, and produce all the cover tones I need to the max.

    C05BE4D8-436F-4AB7-A887-09F3E9D22E65.
    12FE8586-142B-42FF-B274-E673F843DDCE.
     
    Mr_O'B and faulknersj like this.
  6. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Lakland NeoPunch P to a Duncan Antiquity to a Fralin then on to a Bill Lawrence P46.

    The P46 is the most amazing P pickup I have ever played.
     
  7. I can imagine they do have more output than Rickenbacker pickups, as I find RIC pickups are normally low output.
    The gain part doesn't happen until the signal gets amplified.
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  8. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie

    Mar 24, 2006
    NoVA
    I suppose this counts since it happened, but...
    Replaced the stock Squier Affinity JV bridge pickup with a Carvin HB MM-style AlNiCo. Currently wired for Bridge Coil/Parallel/Neck coil. Amazing .
    69D7AE1F-C768-4680-A82A-55DF266ADD52.

    D4F78F7D-722A-4792-A799-B8C168DEC2F6.

    Then in another Squier Affinity JV, swapped those pickups for those out of a Marcus Miller sig Jazz V.
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  9. Holdsg

    Holdsg I should be practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    Lots of love in here for the GZR P pickup, and for good reason. One of my two favorite modern sounding, full bodied P pickup. The other is the Nordstrand power blade, which I currently have in my Roscoe Classic.

    blue roscoe classic 3.

    My favorite vintage P pickup is Lollar. Put one of those in a Squire and you’ll be amazed at the difference.

    For J pickups (traditional) I’m a big fan of the warm and wolley version of the Nordstrand J-blade. Put them in my MIM fender Active Jazz with very pleasing result.

    For soap bar shape, I’m a fan of Nordstrand Big Splits humbuckers. Have swapped them a few times. Yes I love the Big N. Here's one.
    ns-2 bo front.

    And I did major radical surgery once to put a Darkstar into a Lakland P-bass. Been a long-term Darkstar fiend.

    bg with darkstar. Lakland skyline darkstar route.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    Charlzm and faulknersj like this.
  10. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    Lindy Fralin PJ to EMG Geezer Butler PJ. Geezers all the way!
     
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  11. Gizmot

    Gizmot Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2009
    Nashville area
    Just based on the size of the magnets, the Nordstrand has probably 3 times the flux density of the stock Ric neck pickup. I've used other aftermarket pickups, but this Nordy is hands down the best.
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  12. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Putting an Aero pickups in my Lakland 494, and wiring it VVT. Best pup swap ever.
     
    franklindayala and faulknersj like this.
  13. InhumanResource

    InhumanResource

    Dec 28, 2012
    Single coils to dimarzio ultra jazz. Instant bedroom tone, nothing but a deep dark pillow in band mix. Mid suck to the max, went right back to normal fender single coils.
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  14. Dynomuttasaurus

    Dynomuttasaurus

    Jul 23, 2016
    Milwaukee
    7.8k J and P pickups out of an entry-level Fernandes and installed Seymour Duncan SJB-2 and SPB-4 (hot jazz and Steve Harris versions). Along with new wiring and pots, the $150 investment turned a beginner bass into an anything goes bar closer.
     
    faulknersj and Zoobiedood like this.
  15. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Bartolini MM to Nordstrand 5.2 on a prototype Lakland 54-76 fretless

    Stock Lakland 55-01 to Nordstrand Soapbars (and preamp upgrade to Aguilar OB3)

    Stock G&L JJ to Norstrand single-coils on a JB-2.

    Do we see a pattern here?
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
    faulknersj likes this.
  16. lmfreeman9

    lmfreeman9 Supporting Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Arizona
    Had an MIJ Precision bass, great instrument, great neck-weak pickup.
    Stuck in a G&L split coil MFD Precision pickup and WOW!
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  17. Marcus Willett

    Marcus Willett Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2005
    Palm Bay, FL
    Endorsing Artist: Bag End - Dean Markley - Thunderfunk
    Several different brands all to VFL (Cirrus) pickups. Have them in 5 different basses now.
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  18. bassinflorida

    bassinflorida turn that dang thing down

    Jan 27, 2014
    Tampa, FL
    Swapped out a 2001 Nissan Frontier for a 2015 TAcoma.
     
    Mark76, jamro217, Jason42 and 4 others like this.
  19. Holdsg

    Holdsg I should be practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    Carey aka "Doc Brown" Nordstrand knows flux density

    doc brown.
     
    faulknersj likes this.
  20. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    I thought it was flux capacitance? :roflmao:
     
    faulknersj likes this.

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