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Should I replace MEC with Duncan?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Weasel, Nov 21, 2004.


  1. Weasel

    Weasel

    Feb 18, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    I have a slight problem with my Warwick FNA, its sound is too "good" for rock. It handles jazz, funk, soul, pop etc. really well but doesnt go well with distorted guitars.

    The sound should be more "ugly" and crunchy. So, do you have any experience with Seymour Duncan SMB-4 pickups? Do you think it would make the trick?

    Thank you!
     
  2. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    I did a review on SMB-4d (I think it was) under Dimento's MM experiment. I haven't had their Alnico version. I have concluded that I prefer Alnico 5 mag's in an MM pup. I have a Carvin, a Nord, and had a original Sterling all of which are Alnico and the tone is not as clear - more raw, warmer, and more to my liking. The Nord is new condition and for sale for $82 shipped to 48 contiguous states. There's a review on it as well. It sounds very close to an original MM.
     
  3. Weasel

    Weasel

    Feb 18, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    I did it, put Seymour Duncan´s MM-pickup to my W. Got to say it works! You know the Warwick growl? Imagine it ten times meaner, warmer, deeper, crunchier etc. etc. Can´t wait to tomorrow for the first gig with my "new" monster!
     
  4. Sonorous

    Sonorous

    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    Hmm. I've always believed warmer and deeper were opposites of growl...
     
  5. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    try a distortion pedal with just the lightest amount of noise added, will fuzzy up y our signal a bit, and dump some more mids in your sound.

    i used a very "bright" sounding bass, and with the right tweaking, can get it VERY deep sounding, and bring it right back to a nice crisp sound for a solo spot.
     
  6. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I was going to make a new thread for this, but it's sort of on-topic.

    Anyone know where I can buy MEC pickups and electronics in the US? I'm looking for two active J's and an active BEC III (3-way).
     
  7. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE

    FWIW: growl typically is a midrange thing but I have gotten some suprising growl in the lower range with a few pups.
     
  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    And that's why recommending pickups can be a risky business. I always think of growl being in the mids, and warmth in the low end.
    I think Bart 9J#1 pickups are a good example or warm and growly.
     
  9. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I sometimes confuse distortion with growl, and vice versa. Basically, I see it as anything but smooth sound.
     
  10. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    I've owned 6 Warwicks and the only ones that had a "growl" to them were my Thumb Bolt-Ons. I had a 5-string and I have a 6-string now.

    The Streamers seem to have a pretty smooth, round tone and the Corvettes seem to have a pretty smooth jazz tone. I have had MECs and EMGs in these basses, and either way, it seems to be the body shape of the Thumb that give it its trademark sound.

    Sound clips of my 1994 Thumb 5 Bolt-On with stock MEC Js and the stock 2-band pre. Wenge neck, wenge fretboard, ovankol body: http://users.1st.net/milk/thumb5/Clips/

    Pardon the playing. :)
     
  11. Weasel

    Weasel

    Feb 18, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    Maybe we have a language problem? I have to translate everything from finnish to english and phrases arent same in every language you know?

    Well, I try to explain...

    MEC was growling like a grizzle or a big dog but Duncan´s growl is more like a lions, much deeper and warmer like I said ;D
     
  12. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    Nope, MECs are the best for pure rock and distorted guitars. Seymour Duncans, in my limited experience, are have less growl and more gain. Instead of changing your pickups, I'd change your equalization or add some light fuzz.
     
  13. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    You might (or might not depending) want to check out "Tone is in the neck" in the luthiers forum
     
  14. Weasel

    Weasel

    Feb 18, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    MEC´s were real pain in the ass combined with dist. guitars. Don´t know about active ones but at least the passive MM-pickup is. No matter what the EQ says.
     
  15. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    Yeah I checked out that thread a few days ago.

    I've owned 5 Warwicks with Wenge necks/fretboards. The Thumb is the only one with a growl. The neck has a lot to do with tone, but the body shape can't be ignored.

    I agree with most that body WOOD doesn't matter much, but the shape of it has something to do with the way it resonates. Just my experience.
     
  16. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    FWIW:

    Never tried isolating growl specifically but, having changed lots of pups and kept everything else constant, growl varies significantly in the same bass with a change in pups. Basses that are brighter acoustically yield more growl. Has a lot to do with amp settings and probably strings, but I don't change strings to know that.
     
  17. snailplow

    snailplow Leon Phelps Wanna Be

    Just a side note: The engineers at Seymour Duncan/Basslines (Kevin Beller and crew) designed all of the circuits for MEC.

    Also,if you want as much growl as one person can stand,try to get your hands on a good,used Ken Smith bass.They'll growl the walls of your house down.
     
  18. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Interesting piece to know.
     
  19. teej

    teej

    Aug 19, 2004
    Sheffield, AL 35660
    I definitely didn't know that! You learn more and more stuff here...
     
  20. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Ontario
    Also consider strings. I find TI Flats to be INCREDIBLY growly, and when I turn up the mids and kick in some tube overdrive, the distorted electric guitars in my band don't stand a chance. All on a stock Yamaha BB404F.