True single coil tone?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Argento1980, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Argento1980


    Oct 5, 2012
    In my (expensive) quest to find my favorite tones... :laugh:

    I've recently tried a Warwick Streamer Stage I PJ bass and a Fender Jazz bass. Unfortunately, I could only try them on separate occasions where the amps and cabs were different but, generally, the Fender definitely sounded brighter and clearer. The notes were really defined and not 'boomy', unlike the Warwick. Keeping in mind that I was comparing a PJ to a JJ, of course. Maybe the P pickups are not for me.

    I attribute this clarity to the fact that the Fender pickups were also true single coil and some J pickups on other basses are actually essentially humbuckers (hence have that thicker tone)?

    However, I love the neck-thru Warwicks with their brass nuts (adds brightness supposedly), and the wood grain finish in general.

    Still, as far as I know, the Warwick's MEC J pickups are not true single coils although they are made to sound similar.

    I know there are a hell of a lot of variables here :D And I haven't even mentioned factors like using eq. But, in general, if one were to compare a Warwick with a JJ configuration to a Fender Jazz bass, in both instances with both pickups full on, which would have the clearest, brightest tone or would they be more or less similar? Thanks :bassist:
  2. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    I don't have a ton of experience with Warwicks, but I generally find that both active and passive can be clear and bright, just in different ways. The rest is a matter of preference, and I wouldn't worry too much about it - just trust your own ears.

    If you prefer everything but the tone on the Warwick, just get some nice passive pickups and electronics for it. Heck, it may be just a matter of finding the right strings and dialing in the setup (pickup height too affects tone quite a bit).
  3. Argento1980


    Oct 5, 2012
    Thanks! Yeah, so many factors at play... string type, string condition (new or old), eq... The speaker size didn't sound like it made a huge difference as I thought it would. I compared 10s to 15s.
    Then there's also the room acoustics and the fact that "the sound in your head" may be the sound of a bass on a record that was recorded by DI. :D
    sikamikanico likes this.