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To those in metal bands, what pickups would you recommend?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by electricdemon3, Oct 10, 2002.

  1. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    I am about to join a death metal band. I play finger style and prefer it to playing with a pick, so I was wondering what kind of pickups would help my sound cut through 2 extremely loud guitar players? I don't like the sound of a P bass and my current bass is P/J, which is ok, but I need something with more guts. I am leaning towards getting a Jazz bass, but would it be better if they were soapbar humbuckers as apposed to single coil?
  2. dougray


    Apr 16, 2002
    western maryland
    upgrade to EMG actives for your P/J setup,they can be found at virtually any guitar shop. good-luck..
  3. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    I already have EMG's. I love them, but was wondering if there is anything else out there that is more suitable for the sound I am looking for, or do you think the P/J combination is the way to go?
  4. dougray


    Apr 16, 2002
    western maryland
    there is a couple different ways to attack your problem,you can add an EQ. pre-amp to your bass(EMG-BQC or BTC),get a bigger amp?add more speakers?or try different strings? DR high beams are an extremely "bright" string. ?,add fuzz/distortion effect pedal? or you could try telling your guitar buds to turn down a smidge? :D , good-luck...
  5. I have EMG's in my Spector and use TI Powerbass strings, and I cut through just fine. Not quite death metal, but just as loud.

    I've always found for myself that jazz style pickups (or soapbars) with both pickups at full volume (or the fader centered, depending on the setup) gives me the best tone in these situations.

    But I will also add I have seen many different death metal bassists use all sorts of basses, so I tend to believe the volume problem in these situations lies more in the amp setup than in the bass itself. For me the bass is more about tone and my rig is about volume.

    Good luck to ya - and by the way, don't ever tell anyone to turn it down :p
  6. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    I guess what I am more concerned about is tone rather than volume. When I say cut through, I mean I need a good narly tone that will not be covered up by the frequencies of the heavy guitars. How would you say using soapbars effects the tone as apposed to single coils? Does it sound punchier or mellower?
  7. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Soapbars seem to get more midrange, but single coils,, to me, have a bit more scoop in them. Jason newsted from metallica gets his tone with a jazz, and a jazz can sound pretty mean with both those single coils on to make a humbucker. I would suggjest a humbucker of some sort. Get that mid growl that can cut thru anything. mt atk has a humbucker at the bridge, it cuts thru NASTY big.
  8. Agreed - of course with my Eden Navigator I can pretty much nail any tone I want. Another benefit of soapbars (for me) is more pickup for my thumb to anchor to when playing :) I only play with my fingers, and quite hard at times. I do use my Jazz bass too though.
  9. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    I'd also agree that EMG's can get a pretty good set of growly tones. If you're all about the growl, then a set of soaps or J's might be your cup of tea, but IMO PJ has a pretty good combination of growl and meat.

    Also, have you tried steel strings, like the Rotosound Swing Bass sets? I find that those usually give out more of a raspy, throaty sound that is great for heavy music.
  10. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Another vote for EMGs. They're agressive without being over the top. They cut well, and are fat, but articulate.
  11. if you decide to get a jazz you might want to check this out: http://archive.bassplayer.com/z1999/9903/pickups.shtml

    Especially look at the SD Hot and the Dimarzio DP123

    EDIT: Another possibility would be to use the DiMarzio Model P + Model J Set in your P+J bass, both of these pickups are supposed to cut throgh fairly well according to the reviews
  12. P/J - pick ups are great for metal.

    I would go for the EMG that the guys here recommend.

    Or a J/P bass would also be cool.

    I'm getting Dimarzio's Split P (those white ones) and Ultra Jazz to replace my stock P/J's on my Yamaha RBX. They give a nice boosted low and high -end signal.

    I'm into progressive metal, but when it comes to sound I don't want to astray from heavy and death metal. It's just the melodies that must difference these sub-styles in metal.

    P/J elements are the way to go for metal.
  13. The guy from Tomahawk has a J/P bass and he cuts through extremely well (he uses a pick)
  14. QTraXQ

    QTraXQ Guest

    Aug 16, 2002
    San Antonio, TX
    For cutting through you want a good Mid tone - mid low because you don't just want to sound like another Guitar. Most people go with the EMG's for good cutting action (for Rock) as they are known for picking up everything.

    If you are going to purchase another Bass, then look into a Bass that will give you the sound you are after. Don't just get a Jazz because it may give you what you want, get it because you know.

    Check out Spector Basses also for metal; they have a Nice look and they sound great as well.

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