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what is the loudest pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Discrepancy, May 23, 2001.

  1. which is the loudest pickup? soapbars, p-style, or j-style?
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Depends how they're wound. More wire = more power = goodbye treble response. (In other words, who made them).

    Also, whether they're being used with an active system or a passive is just one other factor.
  3. notduane


    Nov 24, 2000
    Wheeee! :D Here we go again.

    Passive-wise, the DiMarzio X2NB. Output over ½ volt,
    4-conductor for wiring options, fits a g**t*r size
    humbucker cut-out...

  4. killer B

    killer B

    Apr 18, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ USA
    In my experience EMG humbuckers are the loudest. Sound really good to.
  5. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    Yeah, active EMG's seem to have plenty of output.

    Those MFD humbuckers on G&L's are loud too.
  6. EString


    Nov 20, 2000
    Los Altos, CA
    I have to nominate G&L MFDs as well, extremely high output, but still relatively low resistance makes for deliciously hot output and aggressive tone.

    Mmm, mmm, good!
  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Can't remember ever hearing a pick-up, except a few small trucks.
    What do they sound like?
  8. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Seymour Duncan has some choices in all of the styles you noted that are very hot. Quarter Pounders, if they still make them, smoke. But Duncans generally are pretty loud pups.
  9. The loudest pickup is the pickup with the highest number of windings, as someone mentioned before. This is why humbuckers are louder (2x windings). Theoretically, you could have pickups wound enough to stick your guitar to a refrigerator and make your bass loud enough to shake the whole neighborhood. The downside of this, though, is it will sound like arse. The more a pickup is wound the less treble there is, because the signal travels through so much wire. Also, pickups with more windings and more power pick up a greater portion of string. This is why they have more power. The downside of this is you can get phase cancellation in that portion of string with frequencies with the smallest vibrations, ie treble. My suggestion: get a pickup that sounds good and turn up your amp.
  10. Do loud pickups yield the best tone?
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    IMO, there is no correlation between signal strength and tone. The tone of an unpowered passive can put the tone of a boosted active to shame, and vice versa.

    I think it really depends on the components used and the skill of the luthier/manufacturer. (I don't want to even get started on tone woods :eek: ).

    Pickups are like strings - you can study them all you want, but there is still voodoo involved.
  12. Ahhh, Rickbass1, voodoo. That's what it is, is it? And here's me thinking it was Tech-y and all that;).

    Still, you're probably right.

    OK. Catch y' later. Just off to stick a few pins in a circuit board:D.

  13. NJXT


    Jan 9, 2001
    Lyon, FRANCE
    I can't tell if "loud=good" but I'm sure that "low=bad" is false.
    The bart's on my two basses have a pretty low output but a great sound.
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    A hot pickup is not that important for bass unless you want to create distortion. Of course that is why guitatrists love them.

    Have you ever wondered why when you crank your amp it distorts? Consider this: if the amp maker knew you had a Fender P-bass, they could measure the output of a P-bass pickup and design the amp so with the volume on 10 you would be at maximum output power and NOT distort. The reason they let you keep going is they don't know what kind of bass you have so they have to allow for WEAKER pickups.

    In that sense, a hotter pickup gets you nowhere, it simply means your amp will reach maximum output at a lower setting of the volume knob than with a weaker pickup. Heck, many amps have pads and low gain inputs to deal with overly hot pickups. Once the amp is into clipping, you can't get any louder anyway.

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