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suggest a pickup/configuration! what kind of pickups for tonal variation on a bass with no space?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Gojiberry22, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. 2 emg soapbars (pbass+ dual coil) placed directly next to each other

    7 vote(s)
  2. 2 thinner soapbars (aguilar dcb) placed slightly further apart

    5 vote(s)
  3. 2 jazz pickups (emg j's) placed similarly to a Warwick thumb 4 (greatest space between pickups)

    8 vote(s)
  4. 1 quad coil humbucker (series/single/parallel)

    20 vote(s)
  1. Gojiberry22


    Jul 14, 2017
    Im having a custom bass built for me and with it ive run into a bit of a dilemma. Its a shortscale 4 string with 26 frets which leaves a very small space for pickups.

    I like a hifi modern tone like emgs and i was originally going to use a emg35p (pbass pickup in soapbar shape)+ plus 35dc combination but it may not fit onto the limited space on the bass or they would have to be placed very close to each other.

    Despite this they are still 2 different types of pickups so perhaps this will have a greater effect on tone rather than the space between pickups?

    other options i was looking at are dual bartolini type soapbars as they are thinner in width and would theoretically allow the pickups to be wider spaced. considering "bright" barts or aguilar dcbs for this.

    Then finally a jazz bass configuration, jazz bass pickups being the thinnest would allow for the greatest space between , perhaps a configuration that is similar to a warwick thumb might work? I wouldn't have space for traditional jazz bass spacing. For this I was considering emg jazz pickups.

    what do you guys think?
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  2. Your obvious solution is to use only one pickup.

    Wire it up so that you can select series/single/parallel.
  3. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    Why not a MusicMan humbucker with a three-way coil selector switch?
    basscapes and Captain Chaos like this.
  4. Gojiberry22


    Jul 14, 2017
    I thought of doing something like this with a quad coil humbucker but ive always thought that 2pickups>1pickup when it comes down to it in terms of variety .

    but its a good idea ill add it to the poll.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  5. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    26 frets is a bit confining, but there should still be plenty of room for 2 pickups. The neck one should be snugged up to the fretboard - get as much low end as you can out of that one. I'd vote for Bartolini BC size routes - easy to fit a couple routes in a small space, and LOTS of kinds of pickups will fit in those - Nordstrand makes an ever increasing array of new, novel pickups that'll fit those routes.
  6. If you want a wide variety between the two pickups, get two Nordstrand Dual Coil pickups. Have one wound for parallel & the other wound for series.

    Dual Coil 4
    Yes, you can still switch between series/parallel, but they are specifically wound for one or the other.
    EatS1stBassist and Gojiberry22 like this.
  7. Gojiberry22


    Jul 14, 2017

    I’d like to avoid having a pickup right at the end of the fretboard, just because that’s the area I like to dig in and really get my fingers under the strings for my slappity pop business.

    This of course further restricts pickup placing. I’d save about half an inch with the slim soapbars compared to the emgs. I believe the bc size is 1.28” as opposed to emgs 1.5” so at minimum I’d gain .5” right there.
  8. Gojiberry22


    Jul 14, 2017

    This is a great suggestion, I’ll look into these
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  9. For each dual coil you can have a push/pull volume pot for series/parallel, or
    you could have 3 position DPDT switches for each that goes series/single/parallel.

    Just make sure one uses the North coil & the other uses the South coil for single mode, so they can still humbuck when both pickups are in the single switch position.
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    BC's are indeed slimmer than EMG35's - 1.25 vs 1.5, which, if you're short on space, matters. There are even slimmer soapbars, but in the BC size you can get several types of hum cancelling pickup configurations, so if your first guess at pickups isn't right, you have other options
  11. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    What about mounting the neck pickup between the 24th and 25th frets, with pole pieces peeking though the fretboard? Then you'd have plenty of room for a bridge or mid-position pickup. Or, quite a few hi-fi basses have close-spaced pickups (with a ramp between); you should have room for that.
  12. Gojiberry22


    Jul 14, 2017

    This is also a cool idea but i dont quite think this is something i could ask of the guy building my bass.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  13. voodoobassist

    voodoobassist Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2008
    Tulsa , OK
    I'm having a 33" scale built with this p'up configuration,.....Ulyate p'ups, lots of switching options,..I'd think you'd have plenty of room for something similar? big bene.
    MonetBass, Inara and Das Jugghead like this.
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Unless I don't understand what you're saying, this would make the last 3 frets impossible to use with said pickup. Not something I'd want on my instrument.

    Single soapbar pickup is the way to go in my opinion, or a pair of narrow pickups such as Bartolini X or Delani JSBC
    funkinbottom likes this.
  15. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    The suggestion was somewhere between tongue-in-cheek and thinking outside the box. But yeah, probably impractical. Given the parameters, I'd go for a coil-switchable single or two close-spaced pickups.
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  16. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Piezo also are an option.
    Haroldo, funkinbottom and Inara like this.
  17. mikewalker

    mikewalker Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2017
    Canada, Eh!
  18. BobKos


    Apr 13, 2007
    Isn't placement a consideration that will weigh in on configuration? Or are new pickups such that you can drop them anywhere in the scale and they sound great regardless?
  19. MCS4


    Sep 26, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Zon offers most of their basses in an optional "Special" configuration that uses either two jazz pickups or two soapbars with the neck pickup moved much closer to the bridge (substantially reducing the space between the pickups), and folks seem to like them well enough.
  20. xaxxat

    xaxxat Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    What Scott did:

    Gilmourisgod and Inara like this.

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