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S or HB for 'acoustic' tone ?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by vintager, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. vintager


    Jan 29, 2005

    I've just started work on a new bass, e-c 5 string. The sound of the instrument should be airy, woody and acoustic-like (reminiscent of a classical guitar) as possible as it gets with magnetic system only. Labella tapewound strings, smallest frets, passive.

    I'll use 2 pups, both a bit closer to the neck than on JB. They will be custom made ceramics, i'm just not sure, whether to go with S or HB. In the past i've heard nice, organic, 'acoustic' sound from both.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    all the best,
  2. My only experience with HB's on a bass is with my Epi Les Paul bass. But the sounds are very woody and dark although not necessarily acoustic. The tones do feel a bit more organic and well rounded than my single coil jazzes.

    I would personally go with HB's for a full, thick, warm tone.
  3. vintager


    Jan 29, 2005
    thanks. usually i prefer HBs also, but i was a little afraid of losing a clarity (i have to preserve some of it since tapewounds and wooden bridge will act against that). i may end up with HB at the bridge and some sharper sounding, lower output tiled p-type (in soapabar casing) at the neck (to balance 'boom' character of that string spot).
  4. Arvin

    Arvin Underwound Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    On the bench
    I find that playing technique is the biggest contributor to getting the kind of sound you describe. I can get something like that with a single coil Jazz pickup, a P-bass pickup, or a humbucker.

    That said, though, I find it a lot easier with a low-gain setup (lower output vintage-voiced pickups, amp gain set low, no distortion pedals, etc.). Also, I find it a lot easier to achieve using a neck or middle pickup than a bridge pickup.

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