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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. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    I replaced the single coil PUs in a MIJ Squier Jazz with humbucking Bartolinis.
    The change was...quite noticeable. ;)
    faulknersj likes this.
  2. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    Same here.
    Which Squier, which Barts?
    faulknersj likes this.
  3. I'd have to go with Alembics into an obscure luthier made bass. Second to that, Barts into a Ric gave it the power and punch it was lacking.
    faulknersj and wideload like this.
  4. Maynjo

    Maynjo Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, NC
    Mexican jazz pickups to Seymour Duncan quarter pounder. Huge difference in sound.
    faulknersj and Zoobiedood like this.
  5. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    Stock Fender to SD SPB-1....also a switch to SPB-4...
    faulknersj likes this.
  6. levis76

    levis76 Seconds from getting ba...

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    Stock passive Ibanez PJ p'ups in a GSR200 for a set of active EMG PJ's, some slight modification to the jazz route was necessary. Transformed that cheap little bass into a thunder stick of doom.

    Stock passive MEC J's in a Warwick Corvette for a set of single coil Barts, don't recall the exact model but they were a far cry better than the stockers, wired them with a homemade 6 position tone switch with 5 different caps and of course the last spot was no cap, wide open. Great bass, wish I still had it.

    Every Spector bass that I have owned that came with EMG HZ's I swapped for the active versions and not regretted it once, HZ's are dull lifeless junk, IMHO.

    EDIT: I didn't do the swap, but my current bass has a swapped set of p'ups in it, EMG's were removed and Delano's installed.
    faulknersj likes this.
  7. JeffJ2112

    JeffJ2112 Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2016
    Nowhere Indiana
    Putting some Nordy's on a Epi Toby.
    faulknersj likes this.
  8. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    Replaced the stock pickup in my first bass, a Korean "big Fender, little Squier" Precision, with a hot Reverend pickup that they blew out for like $20 on their website. Instant fatness!
    faulknersj likes this.
  9. Phil508


    Feb 19, 2012
    Central MASS
    VM Jaguar Duncan Designed (junk) replaced by Bill Lawrence pickups, big difference it now growls and sounds great.
    soulman969 and faulknersj like this.
  10. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    Took the horrible, brittle sounding OEM Fender P pup out of a '76 and replaced it with a P pup I had from some other project. This was in 1978. I wish I could remember what kind of pup or where it was from because it sounds great.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2018
    faulknersj likes this.
  11. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Swap pickup are less notify in tone different or improvement than string , amp or cab swap.
    leftyjohn and faulknersj like this.
  12. Sorry, I'm a little unclear about this. So Pure Vintage 58's out and Fender Originals in? Or or swapped the other way?
    faulknersj likes this.
  13. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. (O)))) Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Correct, got rid of the '58s and replaced them with a pair of the '62 Originals.
    faulknersj likes this.
  14. Nebula24


    Nov 23, 2017
    Norman, OK
    Only one ive done....

    The new guild bisonic to replace epi sidewinder in my epi eb0. Also changed from rounds to tapes.

    Both helped in their own way.
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i've never played any pickup (active or passive), at any price point, which made 'a life-changing' difference. i can't even say that the differences were a "big" or a "huge" change. IME: the differences have been more subtle...even when i'd say they were "better." i suppose that some of the original cheapies (came on the bass) weren't actually that bad. and i'm real sure that some of the pricier replacements weren't actually that good (per the hype!).

    IME: if you change pickups as a tone-chasing exercise = you may find that practicing on what you have is more rewarding in the long run.
  16. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Yet, I had a stock ‘70 Telebass with single coil. Swapped pu for SD 1/4 pound added Badass bridge. It lost all of its original great sound. Learned my lesson.
  17. gungrog


    Nov 25, 2017
    Swapping the non-functioning Korean pickup in my Korean P-Bass for a functioning Chinese pickup - stunning improvement. Best $10 investment I've made :)
  18. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Whoo mama that pickguard is giving me ideas on adulterating my 50s Classic honey blonde P.
    carsbybigd likes this.
  19. JDMcDorce

    JDMcDorce Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2017
    Sanford, MI
    On the two occasions where I swapped pickups in bass guitars, my intent wasn't to make a difference in "my tone", the intent was to enable me to get my tone out of a specific bass.
  20. bassboysam

    bassboysam Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Ottawa, Ontario
    assuming passive to passive, David Allen P and David Allen J by a mile. they destroyed anything i have ever used.

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