Pickups questions for a Custom Luthier bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Louzan, Jul 26, 2018.


  1. Louzan

    Louzan

    Jul 26, 2018
    Maßbach
    Hello all,
    I have an "issue" that got me overthinking for a long time, and still didn't get a solution.

    From long time ago I decided to don't buy E-Basses from brands anymore and spend my money in custom handmade basses, from Luthier basically. I was looking into Mayones, Musicman and so on, but for half price than those, I got my own designed bass with all the specs, wood and hardware specifically chosen by me, plus I did follow the construction with the artisan step by step to avoid any misunderstanding and make corrections on the go. It has a great tone, for studio is perfect, comfortable and without weird metallic sounds, etcetera.

    Now I want to make another bass, a Jazz Bass, but I have a problem with the pickups. Because is going to be a luthier bass, I can take any pickup shape I want (soapbar, candybar, J-style ...), the guy will just make the necessary space for them, so I'm more flexible with that. The thing is I would like to have a dual coil pickup that I can turn into single coil, like the EMGs TW, specially in the bridge, that will allow me to get a J-Bass tone but also change it to the typical EMG Dual Coil sound that I love. I need also another pickup in the neck but I don't know what I should use, plus I don't know which electronic use as well (like EMG BQC or what), because I'm not sure what is going to be more compatible. I know I can use a DPDT switch and then attach any electronics (maybe?). Well the thema is that I don't know very well how I can get that versatility I want. Will appreciate some advice.

    Thanks and regards.
     
  2. jeffb28451

    jeffb28451 Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2006
    Leland NC
    I love Ulyates and I believe that they are all custom to spec. I have Fralin, Bart’s, bass culture, etc, but the Ulyates are my faves. Easy to talk to and deal with, also.
     
    gorneyg and Louzan like this.
  3. spaceatl

    spaceatl

    Jun 22, 2018
    TW comes with a push/pull volume pot...Seems like might work for what you are saying is 2 EMG 35TW pups with BQS. If you don't want balance, then you could simply use both volumes that come with the TW and put the ABC aside...Or you could get a couple of DPDT switches to feed the ABC...So you would have a basic BQS with Volume, Balance (ABC), Bass, Stacked MID and treble pots (5) with two mini switches (4P2T)...

    There are a lot of switching options here.
    You could do it with a single toggle switch (4PDT) if you want humbucker or single on both pickups (no mixed mode) and feed the ABC
    You could do it with a 4P4T Rotary and get all combinations to feed the ABC
    You could do it with a 5 way Strat Lever switch and have all 4 combinations with an off position or a boost on one of the positions.
    You could use a Freeway, but that might be getting a little crazy... lol! Free-Way Pickup Switch | stewmac.com
     
    Louzan likes this.
  4. Louzan

    Louzan

    Jul 26, 2018
    Maßbach
    I have to check that, thanks man!

    Yes, freeway switch is getting crazy haha. Anyway I just want the TW in the bridge, I don't want a too complicated system. The problem is what I can put in the neck that helps with that versatility and it doesn't need a switch. Maybe a JCS or an alnico J Pickup. I have cero experience with those.
     
  5. spaceatl

    spaceatl

    Jun 22, 2018
    Oh that makes it way easier I think...With the BQS you would need to change out the volume pot for the TW one and change the shunts. I think you just remove them...So the volume is isolated from the switch...then just run the TW pickup output from the switch to the ABC...JCX or whatever would just go to the ABC as normal. Should be super easy with EMG...plug and play...
     
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    If you know you want EMGs, I would pair a 35P or a 35CS with a 35TW. The CS will have a thicker sound, and the P a bit more clarity and zing.

    But the great thing about modern EMGs is the solderless wiring, making pickup swaps super easy.

    Consider the X series.
     
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  7. spaceatl

    spaceatl

    Jun 22, 2018
    I agree on a 35P in the neck, especially for the genres listed...I use a 40P5 and it is really a great neck pickup. I have not used the CS yet.
     
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  8. Louzan

    Louzan

    Jul 26, 2018
    Maßbach
    Well is now like I need them, but is the only ones I know they offer me the Single/Dual Coil switching.

    A P-Style pickup? So basically the idea is to make a PJ bass that can switch to P-DualCoil bass. Very interesting, I would have never consider that by myself.

    The next thing I have to consider is that the body shape is going to be like a Jazz bass mainly. Maybe I can change it to a P Bass and use those P-Style pickup with the TW.

    Thanks guys, you gave a lot to think about.
     
  9. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    It looks like you may be in or near Germany, ja? If so, have a look at Delano (if you haven’t already). They’re fantastic, but expensive here; perhaps more affordable where you are.

    Their SBC soapbar pickups are very good, and offer single/double coil switching. Even better are the quad-coil versions, which offer the benefits of single/double coil switching, while keeping every option hum-cancelling.

    And if you’re not married to the soapbar shape, have a look at their P and J offerings, particularly the PMVC and JMVC big-polepiece designs.

    DELANO Pickup Overview
     
  10. spaceatl

    spaceatl

    Jun 22, 2018
    My main rationale for going with the 40P5 in both positions with BQS in my B205 was to get something very close to my Steinberger XM2TT. It is remarkable to me how close it is...Notes up and down the wood neck are not as even as they are on the graphite neck, but the overall tone and vibe is very very close...One option to look at if this is a 4 string is the EMG HB...That is the original pickup designed for Steinberger. Something else to think over if you dig Steinberger tone....freaking huge!
     
    Louzan likes this.
  11. Welcome to TB. Pickup placement is as important (if not more so) as pickup type. You may want to discuss this with your luthier beforehand and get his advice. Make sure you describe what your musical goal is for this instrument (with sound clip examples) so you get it right the first time. Hope this helps.
     
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  12. Louzan

    Louzan

    Jul 26, 2018
    Maßbach
    Yes I live in Germany, very interesting manufacturer, thanks

    Yes of course, after deciding more or less what I want we will check it together, and make the virtual model to see how it looks like and all sizes and that. Then is when the party starts and many things are going to change probably.

    Thanks man, is going to be a 5 string btw.
     
    jamro217 likes this.
  13. Someone on here posted a chart showing where the harmonics were in relation to the pickups. I think it was regarding the Jazz bass '60's versus '70's placement. Very helpful for fine tuning your build specs.
     
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  14. Louzan

    Louzan

    Jul 26, 2018
    Maßbach
    True will look for it.
     
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  15. Louzan

    Louzan

    Jul 26, 2018
    Maßbach
    The offer the switching for those with 4 conductor cable, right? I guess the 4 conductor are for that, you can even put volume for each coil, or do parallel and series stuff.
     
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  16. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Yes, exactly.
     
  17. Louzan

    Louzan

    Jul 26, 2018
    Maßbach
    omg, you just drove me crazy with that. It looks like what I was looking for, unbeliable.
     
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  18. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks I build Grosbeak Guitars and Basses Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    Grosbeak Guitars
    The Delano SBC’s are some of my favorite pickups! I actually just installed a Delano PC-4AL in a P bass, and that pickup is phenomenal too.

    Just a note, the quad coils are more of a P while the duals are more like a J when you get into coil switching.

    This one has a quad in the neck and a dual in the bridge. Coil taps on both pickups. Sounds incredible.

    The bass in my avatar used them too.

    28D848EB-2764-4BEA-AFC9-802BC6F3B96E.jpeg
     
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  19. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
    The MMTW has a beautiful sound in single-coil mode, and almost knocks down my walls in dual-coil mode (EYYUUUGE!) :)
     
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  20. Maynjo

    Maynjo Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, NC
    You should look into the Delano Hybrid set. MM pickup J pickup neck.

    Edit: Sorry was in a hurry when I wrote that. The hybrid bridge pickup has one Music Man style coil and one jazz bass style coil. When combined with a jazz style neck pickup you can switch from an active Music Man sound to a passive Jazz bass sound. I've never tried the set but I've seen videos and from what I've heard they sound pretty good.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
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