Pickups Dillema on Fretless

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Geoff St. Germaine, Dec 11, 2001.

  1. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I have a bit of a dillema. I am considering a fretless 5-string Kinal bass and I am not sure on what pickup setup would work best.

    So...could people post any pickup configs that they think should obviously be kept away from. I have the choice of 2soapbars, J+J or MM + J configurations on a bass I am seriously considering as my first fretless.

    I have played a Kinal with J + J Lindy Fralins and it sounded great, but the luthier's work is pretty hard to find, and without going right to his place (across the country) it may not be possible to try out the other pickup combinations.

    Oh, it will have a piezo as well.

    Also, has anyone tried out any fretlesses with sound chambers? F bass Alain Caron, Ken Lawrence Chamberbrase and Kinal DK5-B are the only ones that really come to my mind. I think tha Rob Allen and Veillette are different animals altogether, could be wrong.


  2. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Dual humbuckers, definitely.
    But if you want free string motion you skip the neck HB. Or better yet, use LightWave pups!
  3. I would try to make the decision based on the type of sound I wanted to acheive.

    I've owned a Zon Sonus Custom fretless with Bart soapbars and piezo that was on of the most versatile basses I have played. I own a Zon Lightwave fretless that has a very unique sound - very different from basses with magnetic pickups. I've played a new Sadowsky fretless with jazz pickups that just sounds wonderful - full, fat and vintage. The Sadowsky fretless I have on order will have EMG soapbars - vintage sound with modern options.

    Another consideration might be the routing. All things being equal, I would want a Lightwave setup because you remove less wood from the bass. Jazz pups would be my second choice (plus, for some reason, it seems the resale on basses with jazz pups is higher) and soapbars would be the third choice.

    Regarding the chambers, my experience with a Caron bass would indicate that you will get a very different tone than from a solid body. It will be unique. That may, or may not be what you want. I love the sound of my Lightwave, but find it doesn't always sound "right" for the song.

    So, my advice would be to talk to the luthier. Tell him what type of tone you want. The piezo will give you versatility.

    Good luck!

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