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What pickups to install?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by xethicx, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. xethicx


    Feb 26, 2014
    I am a guitarist, I pretty much only play bass when I am recording or occasionally during a jam. I bought this bass from a friend for basically nothing. Plays nice but the pickups are garbage. They are actives and they sound horrible.


    What pickups should/can I install in this with no routing etc. If it's any help, I really like the tone from ernie ball music man sting rays.

    Also, does anyone have pickups to sell me for a good price? Let me know!
  2. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    I'd contact BestBassGear and ask them. You might want to print a picture of the body, and note the exact lengths and widths of the pickups (outer edges, coils, screw holes). They might not need it, but it's better to be prepared.
  3. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Looks like an RBX775- those are passive pickups with an active preamp, despite what some advertising states:
    pull the cover and you'll see there is no hot (batt) lead to the pickups.
    I think they sound better if the preamp is upgraded, but there is very little space in that cavity.
    I don't know who makes anything that exact size-
    the ceramic (w/exposed pole pieces) pickups in the RBX375 (close body style) are likely hotter/ louder than these.
    Haven't been able to A/B them, tho.
    I think I have a pair of the ceramic ones (also passive) if you're interested in a trade.
    PM me if you'd like- I'll try to make a size comparison.
  4. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Bartolini may make something that size...
    1 1/2" x 4 3/4" size is 1/4" longer than Bart M5 and EMG 45 series.
    The RBX375 pickups (but dual-coil humbucker) are the same size (just measured them) as what you have (split-coils), so should be a bit stronger.
  5. xethicx


    Feb 26, 2014
    Looking to put something higher end into it if possible. Now that I know they are passive that's terrific. I don't care if the pickups fit a little small or if there's a teeny bit of routing to do. Just wanting 5 string pickups that are "humbucker" style, higher end, used and well priced. I just bought a tech 21 VT bass and instead of it helping the bass tone out, it exposed the crapness of the pickups.

    Let me know what's out there friends.
  6. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Replaced the battery with a new one?
    Tried the 'boost' switch? One's 'boost', the other is pickup selector.
    I think those pickups are the same as in the TRB5/ TRB6 but with different preamp and different body wood.
  7. What's wrong with the tone now? What type of tone are you expecting?

    Blindly just plugging in new pickups may not get you any closer to your desired tone. When it boils down to it, "tone" comes from so much more than the pickup: string choice, EQ on the bass (including using a neck pickup or bridge pickup), the way the signal reaches the recording board (DI versus mic'ed cab or both), the settings on the board, effects used such as compression. And of course the big factor: playing technique.

    Another point: an isolated bass track may not sound like the greatest tone in the world, but when put into the mix, it can work far better than a track which has "the best bass tone in the world". Several threads on this board have linked to isolated tracks from some of the great bass lines, and in isolation, they aren't really what we could call "killer tone". But they work fabulously in the mix.
  8. xethicx


    Feb 26, 2014
    I am not a bass player so it's hard for me to describe the tone that I am looking for. But I guess I could just something that sounds more solid and whole if that makes sense. Something that doesn't sound cheap, yah know. I have messed with tones and messed with everything in the VST software and on the VT bass pedal. Nothing seems to get me what I want. Looking for something full sounding.

    90% of the time, this bass will be playing aggressive music with an overdriven tone, does that help?
  9. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Back to the same thing- get some Hot pickups- humbuckers, like those large pole ceramic magnet ones in the RBX375/ RBX500+ series (they fit right in, and are passive, also).
    I have 2 RBX 775's like the one pictured and have no problem getting full range, solid tone. But those are split-coils, like 2 coil single-coils, that are humcancelling.
    Ibanez used large pole ceramic pickups- humbuckers- (similar to those in the RBX375) in their SRX basses with strong signal for aggressive styles. Much larger aperture for string sensing- larger magnetic fields.
    Paying more $$$ isn't always a guaranteed +:
    "can't buy me love".....
  10. xethicx


    Feb 26, 2014
    Where would I go to even find the pickups you speak of? Looked around and couldn't find much.
  11. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    pm'd info