thoughts on 3 pickup basses

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by boilingTheDead, May 3, 2019.

  1. boilingTheDead


    Oct 15, 2018
    I know there are luthiers doing all sorts of pickup combinations, but why are there almost no stock basses with 3 pickups? I mean especially as a bassist u want to choose your tone very precise to fit the band and sit good in the mix. Having more pickups to choose from might help. At least having the option could sometimes be nice.

    Have recently played a duesenberg triton, felt absolutely natural to have a strat style control and the tones were very useful along the different pickup combinations.

    Are there any stock basses with 3 pickups you know and like?
  2. melloncollie

    melloncollie Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2016
    I haven’t tried I yet but the triad from reverend just came out.
    boilingTheDead likes this.
  3. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Diminishing returns... I'm on the fence whether the SECOND pickup adds anything truly valuable to the tone, let alone the THIRD! :cool:

    With technique and EQ adjustment, you can get a lot done on the bass.

    But they sure look good :bassist:
  4. PawleeP


    Oct 8, 2012
    East Coast
    blue-ish ash hpj full.jpg
  5. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Three magnetic pickups and a 5 way switch gives you less precision of fine tuning your tone than 2 pickups and a blend.

    With a 5 way switch you can't change the ratios between pickups. They're each either on or off. You can't have, for example, one pickup at 75% volume and another at 100% volume. You also can't select the two outside pickups without adding additional switches.

    That being said, you're wrong about the lack of 3 pickup basses. There are dozens of models with two mags and a piezo. They usually have a master volume and two blend knobs.
    PawleeP and boilingTheDead like this.
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins Dominated Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Not really related to the context of your original question, but I freaking love this thing that I built last year, and I shamelessly share it at every opportunity!

    Three Rickenbacker HB1s, and a six-position switch. Every combination is unique and musical. :bassist:

  7. Paul Reed Smith bought out some three pickup basses back in the 90s. They were very expensive, flame maple, fancy inlays etc. IIRC they had three singles and a dummy coil, plus a 5-way rotary switch so all settings were hum cancelling. I've worked on a couple. Interesting instruments...
  8. PawleeP


    Oct 8, 2012
    East Coast
    not sure if i want to add a 3rd volume. right now the p has a separate volume and bridge and neck are on same vol pot with a 3 way mini toggle, making the levels pre determined by the pup heights when running the 3 way in the middle for the neck and bridge on. blue-ish ash hpj full.jpg