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Question: new p-ups for my Carvin 6 string

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bass Kahuna, Dec 3, 2002.


  1. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Hey Gang,

    I have a Carvin LB76 with Koa body sides. When I first got it I replaced the stock bridge pickup with an EMG Active (so far I have run EMG actives in the bridge position of all my basses...), but I have never been happy with the support of the low-B string as the J-bass style pickups really don't have a wide enough pickup area to support a 6 string.

    I am REALLY considering getting a pair of the Bartolini xxM56 pickups, probably a xxM56M split coil for the neck position and a xxM56C or CX for the bridge position, and have a few questions.

    Is there really a big tone difference in the "deeper" vs. "brighter" option they offer? Is there a strong enough difference between the xx56M or T split coil vs. the xx56C quad coil to justify the extra expense (note, I do prefer a humbucking pickup sound....).

    Last thing, I run my basses stereo, that is, I have a seperate output jack for the 2 pickups and run them each through seperate gear and cabinets matched to the lower and higher sound of each pickup (ie: Rick-O-Sound or Billy Sheehan....)

    I have read and heard great things about the bartolini's, but am looking for additional input before I buy `em and take a router to the bass (no worries, I have years of luthier experience....)

    Thanks!
     
  2. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    If your bass is already routed for J-style pickups, Bill Lawrence's J-45L pickups totally transformed my LB76. They're full range, but fairly bright.
     
  3. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Hey Chucko,

    I'm not necessarily looking to change the overall sound of the bass, but to increase the support for the low B. Most J style pickups have a maximum string width pickup pattern of about 72mm, and string width over my neck pickup is 74mm and over the brdige pickup is 78mm, which is outside of the pickup pattern of a J style pickup, and then you add the side to side "swing" of the string when it vibrates and half or more of the vibration pattern is outside of the pickup pattern.....

    Did you find that the Bill Lawrence p'ups increased the support of the low B?

    Thanks,
     
  4. chucko58

    chucko58

    Jan 17, 2002
    Silicon Valley, CA, USA
    I paid for all my gear myself. Well, me and MasterCard.
    Yes, they did. I get plenty of signal from the low B and the high C. I think you will find the J-45s work much better than the Carvin J99 or H50 pickups on this bass.

    I spoke to Bill about this very issue before I ordered them; he said the absolute maximum string spacing for the J-45 was 3.1". The string spacing at the bridge pickup position on my LB76 was 3.07".
     
  5. Bass_pirO

    Bass_pirO

    Aug 31, 2013
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

  7. Bass_pirO

    Bass_pirO

    Aug 31, 2013
    the LB 76 is a narrow neck 6 strings, the separation in the bridge is 16.25mm (.640")

    sugestions???
     
  8. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    EMG pdf shows 3.480 for rail length-
    should be good for 3.07- 3.10 string width
    (and bias a little toward the B to be sure).
     
  9. tubby.twins

    tubby.twins Amateur Pickup Reviewer Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2009
    Oregon
    In my experience, the difference between Bartolini's "deep" and "bright" pickups was very subtle. I tried both of these on a fretless bass, and could hear very little difference in tone, especially in the upper end, where one would assume the extra "brightness" would manifest. I think it would have been more noticeable on a fretted bass.

    I know people who swear by the "CX" pickup armatures (which were the "brightest" before the "classic bass" series was introduced), and they sounded good, just with a minimal lifting on the natural treble that was portrayed. The "C" didn't do much for me, and the "K" was somewhere in the middle.

    However, in my opinion, none of these three armatures had nearly the same upper midrange and treble response as the "CB" (Classic Bass) dual-coil armature, which has an open and resonant upper midrange. All of the older three armatures sound muffled somehow, especially the "deep" which rivals Carvin's "Icon" soapbars for the award of "Most Likely to Sound Like It Has a Built-In Capacitor to Roll off the Treble".

    If you're looking for something warm, deep and expressive without needing a lot of upper midrange resonance or treble extension, then the "K" or "CX" armatures might be good for you. Otherwise, you would be better served by a naturally brighter and more uncolored pickup. The "classic bass" line is a good starting point. Delano's SBC "driver" soapbars have a remarkably similar tone, with even more upper midrange clarity and treble extension. SGD's Sidewinder pickups are great as well.

    As far as expanding from J-shape to soapbar-shape, I think you're on the right track. The extra width and sensing area will make a difference.