Searching for 6 String Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ColbyR2068, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. ColbyR2068

    ColbyR2068 Guest

    Jan 4, 2015
    Hey guys, long time user, first time poster here.
    I recently bought an ESP B206-SM off my friend for good price and so far I'm impressed. I love the way it feels and plays and looks. However, what was immediately noticeable to me was how bland and flat the pickups are.
    Anybody out there have experience in upgrading the pickups in this bass? Or just 6 string pickup recommendations in general?

    Much thanks in advance,
    - Colby
  2. Are you sure it's the pickups that sound bland and flat? How long did your friend have the strings on it? They could just be dead and a fresh set of strings could liven up the sound completely...and much more cheaply than a set of pups.

    I'm not familiar with ESP basses, never played one, but the pups look like fairly standard EMG type Soapbars (45 size) so there are any number of aftermarket pups that will fit (including many different varieties of the EMGs). Personally, I would fit a set of Delano SBCs which are also available in the EMG package, but you may want to think about how much you want to spend on the bass.

    I'm a big fan of budget/medium priced basses that, as long as they play well, can be hot-rodded to make into your own...I have several, as well as other basses that I wouldn't mess with.

    The key is knowing where you want to go with it first. What type of music do you play? Do you want bright and aggressive or smooth and mellow? Fat and punchy or in your face zing? All of this will help you know what pups should get you towards that...but I'd still start with the strings.
    JustForSport likes this.
  3. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    One thing I discovered many years ago when trying to spec pickups for a semi-custom 6-string bass I commissioned: You don't necessarily need to look for "6 string pickups" explicitly; you just need to look for pickups that use continuous blade-type polepieces (rather than individual polepieces per string), and then make sure that the blades are wider than the total B-to-C string width.

    On my bass I wound up using an EMG that was marketed as a "5 string pickup" but it happened to fit my string spacing perfectly.
  4. JustForSport

    JustForSport Guest

    Nov 17, 2011
    If the blades are split, like EMG's 5-string 40P and 45P, the gap between the blades will usually be where one of the strings on a 6-string is.
    Bart's DC's and Quads are split also.
    The DCs for 4-string pickups will work ok for 6 strings if they are wide enough, as the gap is centered.
    EMG 40DCs will fit narrower spaced 6-strings, and I think the rails go all the way across on those.

    Check here:
    as they're noted (by many here on TB) for being very helpful, have a huge selection, and much info avail on their site.
  5. MrFred


    Mar 25, 2007
    Honolulu, HI
    Highly recommend Aero Pickups. Larry is super cool and will build to your specs.

    I was actually in the studio with my band recording our album when he walked in. Our recording studio is actually in Hilo, Hawaii where Larry resides. I just finished recording my bass parts and my guitarist was working on his. My guitarist was extremely stoked to try out his brand new and freshly installed seymour duncan sentient/nazgul pickups. He was really happy with the sound he was getting out of it, but then Larry handed him a guitar with his aero pickups installed. It blew the seymour duncan pickups out of the water. We ended up staying a few more days in the studio so we could redo all the strings including my bass tracks. He let me use one of his own personal basses to record the album.

    You could buy non-custom aero pickups right out of the box, but Larry recommends custom to get the exact sound youre going for.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  6. Sid the Kid

    Sid the Kid Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2013
    I just put a pair of EMG 45PX pickups in my short scale six. It is ridiculously muscular sounding. The bridge solo gets the nasal jazz tone on the top strings and has a more ballsy low end with more low mids than a solo jazz would. Combined they sound incredible. The neck is what you would expect from a p pickup but more modern.

    I toiled over which pickups to chose from EMG. I knew I would find at least one good tone from any of them, so I decided to go with an unusual configuration.

    By all means do what you want but I would try a single EMG 45P in the neck first. Easy to install, will sound great solo, will give you an idea what you moght want if you should decide to upgrade the bridge pickup. They sound great without a fancy preamp, just use the passive tone. $110 isn't a serious investment.
  7. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Good point, I was only thinking about the ones with the continuous rails/blades. EMG in particular is really good about documenting the blade configuration on all their models.
    JustForSport likes this.
  8. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    I put Delano SBC7-HE/S seven string pickups on my six string fretless. They were as long as the original pickups,but just a bit wider.
    So the route had to be widened,but not lengthened. Snapshot_2015309 (2).jpg

    They are double coils and have blade magnets.
    These same pickups will be installed into my seven string. Snapshot_20141115 (20).jpg

    The D string volume is less than the other strings.
    I suspect that the makers used a six string split coil pickup.And the D is in the space.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015
  9. JustForSport

    JustForSport Guest

    Nov 17, 2011
    I meant to say 40P5 was split with longer rail on one side than the other-
    the 40P and 45P have equal-length split-coils.