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What might I expect from P/U change?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Rockin John, Jan 22, 2004.

  1. Am a bit uncertain about posting this, but here goes...

    My fretless is the budget, Yamaha RBX270F. I use TI Jazz flats to play a finger style of 'British Rock / British R&B' from 30 odd years ago. Although my personal taste in bassing develops towards a jazz-ish / rock style, and away from traditional rock.

    The bass plays well and feels fine, etc. I like the sound because it sounds like a bass all over the f/board, if you know what I mean.

    The guitarist complains that the bass has no definition and that he cannot hear me so well (as opposed to when I use the Yammy BBG5S 5er fretted). Perhaps it's the strings, perhaps it's the wood, perhaps it's just a budget bass and that's that. Or perhaps it could just do with a pickup change (at a cost that will come close to the original bass' price, I guess).

    If I went for new pups (not certain that the idea's financially viable, though), how may I make an informed choice as to what to buy? Also, is there any way to be sure how (or whether) the sound will be significantly affected?


  2. tuBass


    Dec 14, 2002
    Mesquite, Texas
    Sorry, for the very late reply to this post, I just found it.

    I have a BBG5S, and changed the pickups to EMG DC45's. It was a great upgrade, and made the bass go from a very budget sounding bass to one that I like the sound of better than basses that cost many times than what i have invested in it.
    If you are still interested, I could send you some sound clips of me playing with me band.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Looks like it's not the BBG5 he's having problems with.

    Sounds to me like you're actually satisfied with the bass, it's the guitar player that seems to have a problem. If it doesn't sound that way to you and you're not hearing it from other people and if it sounds fine live, to me if there was a one and only opinion that mattered, it would be yours.

    Many modifications can make a big difference in the way a bass sounds but pups are probably a better starting place than anything else - since they are what's amplifying the sound of your bass - and fairly inexpensive and easy to replace. Pups can sound quite different from bass to bass and with different rigging but they have a sound that follows them wherever they go. As a rule, onboard preamps are fairly transparent even though they can make a big difference but I'd say, regardless, the pups the guy's using is the place to start.

    As for an informed decision, I'd say go out listen to the style of music you play and when you find a bass you like the sound of, find out what pups he's using. If you see a pattern developing then you've got your answer. Apparently by the time you gather the information needed, you'll have the cash to buy some pups if you decide to go that route.

    For what it's worth.
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    If your guitarist can't hear you, maybe it is the amp settings that need to be changed? You might want to try boosting the mids a bit to cut through more. Playing around with the amp is cheaper than new PUPs :) You may need different settings to cut through on the fretless compared to the fretted.
  5. I'm very happy with the sound of my RBX270F after I changed it to a 2 X volume setup instead of the stock panpot + volume one.
  6. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Personally if I was very happy with the sound of a bass with accompaniment (as opposed to solo - some basses are killer solo but not worth !@%# for playing with anybody), I consider myself a happy camper. Strings, settings, room acoustics, rigging, technique, among other things affect your sound. My general approach is take the easiest, cheapest, least invasive, most reversible procedure to make alterations. Cutting tones are typically upper mids. As for the strings, I use TI Jazz flats exclusively and can tell you that they sound very different with different pups - including some strings/frequencies getting lost in the mix. But if you like the sound you're getting that would change with a pup change - though not necessarily for the worse.

    Start with simple stuff (like sticking your amp behind your guitarist head - joking) like moving your amp around - it will change the percievied sound - somtimes dramatically. Anything else you can think of that's cheap and easy. There's are good chance you and your guitar player could reach an agreement without spending a nickel.

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