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What pickup for overdriven sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by photocyborg, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. photocyborg


    Jan 29, 2014
    Don't know where to ask this..

    I don't play bass but I need to buy a bass for my own recordings. What kind is good for a thick OD sound that can sort of do rhythm guitar's job? Kinda like ZZ Top does I think?

    Under $500 for sure. I see a Squier P Bass and an Epiphone Thunderbird getting great reviews. The TB has Gibson humbuckers. Is that what I need?

    Couldn't find any such info anywhere! Maybe this is a stupid thing to ask.
  2. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    Are you asking about a pickup that is actually overdriven or a pickup that pairs well with overdriven tones? As in an aggressive pup that would pair well with say an OD pedal or an overdriven amp.....
  3. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    1) Get an SX P-bass from Rondo Music.
    2) Get a Catalinbread SFT pedal.
    3) Rock it.
  4. photocyborg


    Jan 29, 2014
    I'm simply going to use Amplitube to OD the tone and record in Logic. I'm asking what kind of pickups work better with OD tones. I want it to sound HUGE, sound that can fill the space of a OD rhythm guitar playing fat power chords. What I understand is this is a humbucker's job but is there a particular type out there I don't know about?

    I totally don't want the slap sound.
  5. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    A humbucker will help you get there. IMO anything active or an aggressive passive pup will do the job well. Maybe SD quarter pounders. I plan on putting their sbpj3 (I think that's the model name) in my p/j affinity eventually. From what I understand they're pretty aggressive and hot. I would think anything along those lines would help you get to where you want to be.
  6. MR PC

    MR PC

    Dec 1, 2007
    Get a short scale model. Sqiuer Mustang/Musicmaster, Epiphone, Dean EVX, ect. All easily under $500. Short scale basses work real well for the situation you describe.
  7. Clouz

    Clouz The Ayatollah of Jack and Cola

    Jan 26, 2013
    gibson/epiphone thunderbird or explorer are great for overdriven sounds. those ceramic humbuckers are very aggressive. i have to plug my passive explorer into the -15bd just to settle it down a bit.
  8. The first thing I thought of when I saw your post is Musicman. A used sterling or sub would be within your budget
  9. ChopperDave

    ChopperDave Hai-ohhhhhhh!

    Nov 14, 2012
    Boston, MA
    I use a QP (SBP-3) in my P-bass. $65 on Amazon, drop-in replacement, and it sounds HUGE.

    So go get a Squier (the Vintage Modified P?) and a QP. You'll be out maybe $375.

    If you want to use a pedal for your OD, I recommend a $35 Joyo Ultimate Drive. It's a Fulltone OCD clone, and it does a splendid job of keeping your bottom intact. Your bass, that is, not your butt.
  10. photocyborg


    Jan 29, 2014
    Yes I think its the Vintage Modified-P I was looking at. I will check out that QP thanks!
  11. photocyborg


    Jan 29, 2014
    Ah nice, good to know thanks!
  12. photocyborg


    Jan 29, 2014
    Thanks, I wanted to look for a used Fender Mustang. Do the strings feel floppy on a short scale bass? I have no idea!
  13. photocyborg


    Jan 29, 2014
    Thanks, I'll check that out.
  14. southshoreconor


    Oct 30, 2007
    The Road
    Endorsing Artist: Fender Musical Instruments, SIT strings
    I love an overdriven P bass tone. i put a dimarzio model P in a few of my P basses for some light grit. turn my amp up loud for some more grit. play HARD for even more grit.

    but of course if you really wanna sound like "rhythm guitar on bass" look no further than one of Lemmy's signature Rickenbackers. i think they fall just under $500... :bag:
  15. markanini


    Jun 25, 2008
    Greg Lake used a Jazz bass with King Crimson(listen to 21st Century Schizoid Man):
  16. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    yeah, your best bet is really a bass with a normal, good sound like a regular P or J with regular vintage-style pickups, then adding whatever overdrive in the signal chain.

    distorted mush is easy, the hard part is overdrive that still has clarity and bottom, and to me that means starting with classic, cleaner pickups.
  17. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I don't have any experience with OD boxes (although a Fairfield Barbershop pedal is on my wish list) but IMO adding a DiMarzio Model-P to a lower priced P-Bass would be my recommendation. If you want to go the lower priced Jazz Bass route, add a set of DiMarzio Model-J pickups, and you're all set.