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Pickups for Black Sabbath sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by joshwilson3, May 8, 2005.

  1. joshwilson3


    May 8, 2005
    I really like the old school Black Sabbath bass sound like on war pigs. What type and brand pickups would give me a sound like that? I'm wanting to say Bartolini P 8S, but I'm not sure as I'm a guitar player starting to get into bass.

    Oh, and I'll be getting an MCS custom bass with maple neck-thru and mahagony sides.

    thanks :)
  2. If I'm correct, at that time Geezer was using a Fender precision, with either Marshall amps & cabs or Laney amps & cabs, all valve, full volume or there abouts. So it might be difficult to get that sound from new pick ups because I think it's more of an amp generated sound. Mind you I'm not overly technically minded myself and perhaps just cranking up the volume to get that kind of sound is old fashioned. !

    Stu :bassist:
  3. you can deffinitely tell it's an overwound single coil. a while ago when i was searching for bass pickups on ebay i came across a dearmond overwound single coil. resistance was a little over 13k. a typical p bass is about 10K.
  4. johnvice


    Sep 7, 2004
    My band does "War Pigs" and "Paranoid". To get the Geezer sound, I use a bass with a Seymour 1/4 pounder P with vol and tone on full.

    The amp set up best is treble on full bass on full mid close to zero. Volume is high so there is distortion.
  5. joshwilson3


    May 8, 2005
    Cool, I figured it was a P. Do you think it would hurt if I went with a dual P setup?

    I don't like high fi sounds, so I think I'm gonna try two Bartolini 8S P's. Maybe have them custom made to overwind them, but I'm not sure as that would further diminish the treble.

    What do you guys think about preamps like those made by Bartolinis?

    Also, if I went with a dual P setup, what type of controls would you recommend?

  6. I believe you would want to stay passive on your PU and overdrive a tube guitar amp to get that tone.
  7. joshwilson3


    May 8, 2005
    Yeah, I'm gonna stay with passive pickups, but I was thinking of having a Bartolini preamp in there. Any opinions?

    Also, how would I "overdrive a tube guitar amp"?

    Oh, are you meaning I use a guitar amp instead of a bass amp?

    thanks :hyper:
  8. snake


    Jul 21, 2004
    Aurora. CO
    I use to play bass though a Marshall stack in the early 70's. That was the sound some of the bass players had at that time. Marshall wasn't famous for their bass amps. Check out the inside cover of Blue Cheer's "Inside, Outside" album. Awesome!
  9. P bass, tube distortion pedal...

    the easy way.
  10. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    What's funny is that I recall reading an interview with Geezer about how he "hated" the bass tone on Paranoid and Black Sabbath and was so happy to have money later in their career so he could buy equipment that wouldn't sound so distorted and muddy.

    Its a classic sound now, but at the time it was basically the best he could get with his gear.
  11. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    I remember seeing Black Sabbath on television in the early 70's. They were in concert and played tunes like "Iron man' and "war pigs". That turned me on to Black Sabbath big time! Geezer Iirc was playing a white double cutaway bass with a 2+2 headstock design, I was most definately not a precision and maybe some sort of Gibson.
  12. Souns like the EB-3 Bass.
  13. Yep.
  14. Geezer now uses Ampeg
  15. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    No, it was more like a Les Paul jr. It wasn't the SG body style.
  16. joshwilson3


    May 8, 2005
    I've pretty much decided on the dual P's. P's are very common, so I shouldn't have any problems swapping pickups until I find the right set for me. Plus, I'll have a little bit of diversity with two instead of just one, ala Fender.

    I think with my first custom bass, I'll probably try out some Bartolini 8S P's. I really like warm and bassy. I like my guitar trebly and my bass bassy. I just don't like those hi fi sounding basses. I'm sure I could find some uses for that type of sound, but not for an everyday sound.

    Does anyone have any opinions on the Bartolini preamps? My guitars have passive pickups with no preamps, but I haven't experimented with different basses yet. With a preamp turned on, does it give you an "active" sound, or does the sound remain passive? I don't want to put alot of **** in the bass that I won't use.

    Oh, and I really like that bass intro sound on the 'No more tears' song by Ozzy. Do you think I would have any problems getting that sound out of a Bartolini 8S P?

    thanks :D
  17. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Sometimes you can catch the old video of Iron Man on VH1C. He's playing what looks like a stock sunburst P-bass into an Orange amp.

    Beyond the obvious tube sound, most of that tone comes from him playing near (or on top of) the end of the fretboard.

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