Recommendations for upgrade - Cort GB75

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Visor_JN, Aug 3, 2021.

  1. Visor_JN


    Sep 17, 2018

    I'm looking to mod and upgrade my bass guitar I use for recording - the GB75JH model made by Cort. I've heard I can achieve much better sound from it by changing the electronics, and maybe even the pickups.

    I'm primarily a guitar player though, and while I'm a huge gear nerd in the guitar world, truth is I know nothing about bass guitars o_O so I thought asking for advice here would be the best option since I have such a good experience with you guys on talkbass :D

    If this makes a difference, I'll be using the Cort to record pretty much only progressive metal, but I suppose the electronics don't play a huge role in the resulting character of the sound, or do they? And what about pickups, I heard the newer version of this Cort have decent ones, but I'm not sure. Any recommendation is appreciated :)

  2. P Cheen

    P Cheen Alembics and parametric mid knobs scare me.

    Apr 4, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    I googled your Cort and, man, that is a sweet bass! Specs reminds me of Lakland for some reason…

    Regarding the pickups, is there anything lacking/having too much that you deem unlikeable? Seymour Duncan is a nice place to start. USA-made but won’t cost you so much. For the preamp, Audere looks like a good candidate. Again, excellent quality (and reputation) for a reasonable price. EMGs are kind of pricey, but consider that all of their pickups come with all the necessary parts AND they also sell on-board preamps.

    I’m a bassist at heart but played, wrote, recorded, and gigged rhythm guitar from about 2011 to 2015 for two bands. I found that bass guitars tend to sound a lot more different using different strings (rounds vs flats, stainless steel vs nickel-plated, etc.) than guitars so I would also recommend checking out string sets for you to try. They’re cheaper than pickups and a preamp! For your kind of metal (I’m a metalhead too) I suggest stainless steel with a hex-core, but that’s just a starting point. Do you tune super low?
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
  3. Visor_JN


    Sep 17, 2018
    Yeah, it's a very nice instrument and it plays really well! Thanks for the recommendations!

    Regarding the pickups, there is a low-mid boom to the bridge pup which I always need to tame when I mix the bass. I didn't know SD makes bass pickups as well, seems like a good choice then because I have SDs in both my 6 strings and I love them, I'm even looking to put them into my 7 soon :D

    I checked Audere electronics and they don't seem to be available where I live (central EU) so I might have to look into other options :( the electronics seem like the #1 priority to upgrade though, because there is an audible hiss when rolling the treble knob up and it's driving me crazy

    That's interesting about the strings, I tune to Ab Eb Ab Db Gb so pretty low... I'm using D'addario nickel wound right now, so changing it to ProSteels could be a good idea?
  4. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Nice bass! I wish I knew about them when I was looking for a fiver to try…

    anyway, my two cents: chances are the pickups are fine, tho if the bridge pickup is boomy, I’d look under the hood if it’s wired in series… maybe parallel wiring could help.

    As far as alternatives go, for some reason my mind went to Nordstrand blade pickups - a matches set of a J blade and BigBladeMan (or whatever they’re called). I think I was thinking blades because one of the googled pictures indicated somewhat tighter string spacing. What are the specs on that? (Note that it probably doesn’t matter for sound, it’s just my pet peeve when strings don’t line up above the poles well).

    for electronics, Darkglass seems to be popular with metal folks these days, and they’re from Finland so that may work well for you. I don’t know too much about active electronics, tho I do know that boosting treble can be a recipe for hiss. Indeed, I seem to recall that at least one Darkglass preamp doesn’t have a treble control, but instead a high-mid control.

    last, i agree that perhaps the best solution for sound and almost always the best first step is- try different strings! Try different brands and models too, they can sound quite different! And they will sound quite different on different basses, so it takes some trial and error…
  5. P Cheen

    P Cheen Alembics and parametric mid knobs scare me.

    Apr 4, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    Yeah, SD is definitely up there! Their Music Man humbuckers are the SMB-4A (alnico) and SMB-4D (ceramic). For Jazz pickups they have a lot more options to choose from. For guitars I LOVE the Pegasus/Sentient set! Hard to beat!

    A hissing noise is normal when turning up treble frequencies. Since you’re in Europe may I suggest John East? He’s based in the UK and his products are a little pricey but for the most part they are solderless and easier to work with than, say, Audere or Aguilar or Nordstrand preamps. Like the previous poster said I would also suggest looking into the Darkglass Tone Capsule though that will require some work to retrofit with your existing volume/blend knobs.

    If you switch to stainless steel strings, it’ll be more aggressive, have more bite, and will generally last longer than nickel-plated steel. Roundwound, hex-core, stainless steel strings are stereotyped for rock and metal and will be a good starting point for you.
  6. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    I own new GB74JJ currently. Before I bring it home, I been test it along with GB74JH (sexy look trans black than amber )side by side. To, me , I found the MM pup has uncontrollable strange mid voice when blend with neck pup. But, it is fine when solo, sound close to Musicman vibe.

    I own the Cort Arona IV in past, the OEM Delano JH sound fantastic blend or solo.

    Give a look on the Delano JH pup .



    Off topic.
    The stock 2 band EQ actually work very well to me and fairly low hiss while full turn the treble knob. Honestly, the USA 3 band NTMB on my previous ibanez SR705 create more hiss while turn up the treble knob. My current Yamaha trbx504 notable some hiss once active mode engage even all knob set flat.

    Mostl the time I just leave both knob center/flat on GB74JJ.
    When I need smooth classic J vibe , leave the bass knob centre and dial back the treble knob a bit.
    When mix in busy song, dial back the bass knob a bit and raise the treble knob until I get enough bite.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
    Visor_JN likes this.
  7. Visor_JN


    Sep 17, 2018
    Thanks so much guys! I couldn't find any info on the wiring of the pickups, I'll look deeper into it and definitely keep that in mind. The string spacing is 17.5mm, I guess dislocated poles would affect the sound a little bit, but not in an extent that would matter :) fun fact: I have SD Pegasus/Sentient set in my 6 string with trem and accidentally bought a humbuckers instead of trembuckers :laugh: and YES they are my favorite pickups as well!! They are the ones I want to put into my 7 string!

    Back to talk bass (pun intended) - I know Darkglass, everything they do sounds really sick and I'm actually using the emulation of their B7K made by Neural DSP for my bass tones - didn't realize they make electronics as well :facepalm: their Tone Capsule V2 is available in my country, so that seems like a really solid option right now :thumbsup:

    I'll do a research on the most appropriate set of strings first, then. I'm also looking to raise the gauge, especially on my lowest string (using a .130 now) to .145 which will require some bridge modification as well.