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splitting strings for stereo output

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by geddyentwistle, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. geddyentwistle


    Apr 6, 2005

    i'm a guitarist/bassist ( don't hate me yet) with a 6 string bass tuned liked a guitar (e to e), and would like to play fingerstyle/classical guitar on bass....

    but i would like to split the strings...low strings going to one pickup and high going to another, with a stereo output and then separate amps...

    i've been thinking about the two parts of a p-bass pickup, separating them, and giving them separate outputs

    someone at harmony central suggested using a bartolini quad coil but from the web site i can't see if i can wire it appropriately

    any suggestions ( other than getting a crossover) are greatly appreciated

  2. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I don't see why you couldn't split a p-bass pickup, however, not sure if a standard p-bass pickup would be wide enough to cover 3 strings instead of 2....

    I would think that you could wire up a Bart quad coil okay, or look into a pair of Bart dual coil side by side pickups (basically, a p-bass style pickup in a single soapbar package).

    However, keep in mind that the "standard" for stereo wiring is to have two pickups and each pickup has it's own output jack. You then run each pickup into a seperate rig. I run my basses this way, and the bridge pickup is run through what would be considered a guitar rig (guitar pre-amp/multi FX unit, sonic max, compresser and stereo power amp) and then the neck pickup runs through a standard bass rig (bass pre-amp, sonic max, compressor, and big power amp into two 18" cabs).

  3. geddyentwistle


    Apr 6, 2005
    that is exactly what i want to do

    have the lower pitched strings go through a bass amp, and the higher pitched strings through another, and be able to effect one or another independently
  4. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    A number of Bart quads won't isolate the coils period, some isolate in pairs, even fewer isolate all four coils. The older Bart 94J's can isolate 4 coils but not the later models. I've got a Bart MM4 coming and I think this one at best may isolate in pairs. Nord MM4.4 I think isolates all 4 coils.
    Don't know of any P's that will isolate 4 coils (2 per "half"). A Bart P with blade mags could be used using 2 P pairs but you'd have to re-wire the pups (which you can do) cause the factory is only 2 lead (wired in series I assume).

    At any rate I think you'd have no problem locating a pup that will isolate in side by side pairs. I think the DM model J's are that way . I guess Bart makes an extended range P and that would do. EMG makes extended range pups and split P's in a soap style casing (and Bart makes them in a J casing).

    It may be a little tricky trying to line the strings up with the breaks in the magnet.
  5. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I think that the only way that you will be able to truely isolate the strings is using a piezo-equipped bridge with individual piezo saddles for each string. Magnetic pickups won't isolate the strings completely.
  6. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    One downside of this is that they will no longer be humbucking.

    There was some pictures from NAMM of a Benevente that I think belongs to Al Caldwell that did something similar. I think it's an 11 string with seperate pups for the high 6 strings. Maybe a search will find you some pics.
  7. If you weren't opposed to a large pickguard, couldn't 2 sets of Ps be used? If you could "fold" each set around, or bring the pups up so that they were side by side each other....

    Like this...

    pup - 1 pup - 2


    Think this would work? I imagine that the routing for the pup wiring would be a pain if a large pickguard wasn't used....
  8. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Got to thinking about the practicality of this, no doubts it's been done but definetly not the traditional stereo approach. I happened to have a set of 4 lead DM Model P's in a bass with stereo jacks (but running them parallel through just one jack). But the ideal setup for a 4 string version of this discussion.

    Took me a few days to get around to it but I just finished splitting the pups to strings and gave it a go. I was impressed. This is what stereo REALLY should sound like and actually what I expected when I first went stereo. Splitting frequencies into seperate cabs sounds like mono in comparison. This is like having a bass player on each side of the stage playing dueling banjos (or basses in this case). Definetly ideal for playing chords or the classical guitar idea.

    And it's not out of the realm for playing basslines - even though you only get sound from one side when you're staying on that group of strings.

    I'm definetly going to toy with it more. Pretty cool.

    Have to throw in that I studied classical guitar for a year way back when and it has really helped with bass - fingering, hand position, finger exercises, reading music, and general discipline involved.


    Update: played through about half the standard tunes with this setup and it really works well about 90% of the time. There are times when the higher frequencies are definetly lacking on the low end but that could be resolved with a full range cab or adding a small second cab there. I ran the low end through an Altec 421-8LF and I forgot how good that speaker sounds - this pup the Poly and the Altec put out a quality old school tone at low volume.