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The Fretless Sound?? Where to Put the Pickup???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    hey all,

    i'm having a fretless built, and am stuck on deciding whether or not to go with a simple rear dual J pickup or a pair of dual J pickups.

    i like the sound of a pair of dual J pickups working in conjunction with one another on a fretted bass. but have yet to use it on a fretless.

    but, it seems like most every fretless guy from Mike Manring to Gary Willis to Dave Beasley like using primarily the rear pickup system.

    why do so many players prefer the rear pickup sound? is mostly a jaco thing? or is there really no other place to put a pickup on a fretless?
  2. I say have one pup by the bridge and one in the middle, and one by the neck... the neck pickup could be used for that very warm fat fretless mwah
  3. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    its the jaco thing. that sound became famous after his introduction. guys like alphonso johnson were playing fretless on record before jaco using a two humbuckers evenly blended sound, but it didnt become the standard.
  4. Aaron J

    Aaron J

    Jul 16, 2003
    Cincinnati, OH
    One other option you might want to check out is the rear pickup and bridge piezo option. I have this configuration on my Status Electro 3 fretless and I absolutely love it. I can get both an incredibly growly rear pickup vibe along with a decent impersonation of my upright (within reason of course) with the piezo, and everything inbetween. The piezo is great for dub with the treble way down. I talked to a couple of fretless players who recommended this combo; it's no mistake that the Alain Caron F Bass and numerous other manufacturers use this combination. I cannot speak for it sounding better than the dual j pups, though, since I don't have much experience with that combo on a fretless. I can just say that just as many great tones, if not more, lurk in the rear pup/bridge piezo configuration. Personally, I would pick this option over the single bridge pup, just for the sake of having more tonal options. Good luck. :D
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Hmmm...why didn't I think of that? None at the bridge though.


    PS: It does sound amazingly warm with that neck pickup at the 24th fret node.