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What should I do with this pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by topper, Sep 1, 2019.


  1. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away I built a god awful terrible bass. It's been hanging out in the basement in a gig bag for many years (hence the rust on the strings in the pic below).

    Now I want to scavenge some parts from this bass and build something new (and hopefully considerably less awful).

    I put a single humbucker in the bass and for the new project I'm going to need a mate for it.

    The pickup was a cheap copy of a Guild Jetstar that I found on ebay. Now I can't find anything like it (except for some expensive actual Guild Jetstar pickups).

    Anybody know where I can find a Jetstar copy?

    15673474075190.
     
  2. Ok, so I decided to pull the pup out of the sh!tty bass I made for it 15ish years ago. I thought maybe there'd be some markings of some sort on it that'd help me figure out what I had so I could find another.

    Well, it's not a cheap copy. It's got "Guild Made in USA" stamped on the back. It reads 33.3k on my ohm meter.

    I thought I had a cheap $30-$50 knock-off pickup. Nope. It's the real deal. I really doubt I would have paid the kind of prices these are selling for (or technically what people are asking for them).

    Guild Humbucking Bass pickup 1960's chrome 32.5K!
    PAIR- Guild Dearmond bass humbucker pickups jetstar starfire 8k c 1970 Chrome original vintage USA

    So I've changed the thread title from "where do I find a match for this?" to "what should I do with it?"

    Should I sell it and put the funds toward another project? If I keep it what kind of bass should I build for it? I'm not much of a luthier, so anything requiring more than a little routing and bolting parts together is out.

    And what can you tell me about this pickup? What does it sound like?

    I see it described as a humbucker. I only see two wires coming off the back. Is there anyway to tap the coils on this beast?
     
  3. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Would you want a mate to the pickup if you could get one? It wouldn't be that hard to send the pickup you've got to a pickup maker and have a copy made, one that would have a bit more or a bit less output so you could have neck and a bridge pickup set.
     
  4. MattZilla

    MattZilla

    Jun 26, 2013
    CNY
    IMG_1259.JPG

    Build one of these cute shorties. Good use for a jet star pickup.
     
    MCF and rllefebv like this.
  5. I'd love to have another. If I did, I'd probably build something a little like the mythical Fender CS Lotto bass. That was my plan when I was looking for a mate thinking I had a cheap pickup. I'm guessing having one custom made is going to cost me more than buying a used one isn't it?
     
  6. A short scale could be fun. And I could probably manage a slab sort of body without much trouble. I'm not sure about that shape though. What is it?
     
  7. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Not necessarily, but that always depends on what's available. If I was in your shoes and had an unusual pickup that I wanted to duplicate, I'd contact these guys.
     
  8. El Güero

    El Güero

    Oct 5, 2015
    I have one, and can tell you about it, but it's the only one of its kind I've played to any extent.

    Made for narrow (non-Fender) string spacing. The screw poles fit better with Guild and EB-3 style string spacing.

    Big. These are bigger than most bass pickups, so if you mod/alter a bass for this pickup you'd best be sure you're going to like it because you can't get a cheap replacement of the same size. BUT, you can get around that by making a DIY oversized surround to use with a smaller pickup.

    LOUD. Yours is 33.3k. Mine read 36+k. That's a lot of windings which makes for a lot of power AND reduced highs. They are called mudbuckers to describe the muddy (inarticulate) tone.

    Hard to find a good match for, unless you get another Guild mudbucker.

    You could probably get $200+ on ebay if it's in good shape and the right buyer sees it.
     
  9. Can the inarticulate tone be mitigated at all by pickup placement? I've seen some single pickup Guilds with the pickup way up at the neck and others way down at the bridge.

    Or maybe I could use a bridge with piezos to brighten things up? I'm thinking something along the lines of a Supro Huntington, but with block inlays and 32" scale maybe?

    https://www.musiciansfriend.com/bass/supro-huntington-1-mahogany-electric-bass
     
  10. El Güero

    El Güero

    Oct 5, 2015
    I really think you'd be better off selling it for $200+ and using another pickup/s than trying to make this pickup work.

    You've had this pickup in a working bass, right? If so, you have an good idea of what it sounds like.

    Do you want that sound, or do you want $200 to buy other stuff?

    The Catch 22 is, anything you do to alter that pickup will make it much less desirable/valuable to a buyer who's looking for a replacement for his vintage bass.
     
  11. Sort of. It was a god awful bass so I didn't play it much, especially in a band setting where I'd get a good idea about how well the sound would work for me.

    Will pickup placement make much of a difference? Or is the pup just mud mud mud?
     
  12. El Güero

    El Güero

    Oct 5, 2015
    The closer to the bridge the brighter, but don't expect much. I had mine in the bridge position and it loud and bassy. If that's want you want, it'll do it. Maybe you could try something with .002uF or .001uF caps just to see what they do...wouldn't cost but a few $ and some time.
     
  13. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I've got a Gibson "mudbucker" pickup that I installed in a project bass and the way to make it sound good (not mud mud mud) is to use a lot of EQ on the bass amp (or through the effects loop).

    Basically, you need to cut some of the bass spectrum where the boominess is coming from, but more importantly, boost select frequencies in the midrange that provide some articulation and character.
     
  14. MattZilla

    MattZilla

    Jun 26, 2013
    CNY
    Pretty much a Les Paul Jr DC.
     
  15. I wonder if pairing it with an active 3 band eq would be the way to go.
     
  16. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois

    It would be a start. But my experience is more precise EQing is necessary. Just cutting the bass and boosting the mids, while helpful, probably won't be adequate to get the most out of a "mudbucker" pickup.

    I find that having the ability to notch specific frequencies up or down brings out the best of the pickup. Many bass amps have a graphic EQ (typically a 9 band) built in and this is a great place to start.
     
  17. MattZilla

    MattZilla

    Jun 26, 2013
    CNY
    Man, what is the center-to-center spacing of the leftmost and rightmost polepieces? Kinda want that pickup to experiment with...
     
  18. String spacing is about 46mm.
     
  19. El Güero

    El Güero

    Oct 5, 2015
    That isn't like the Guild mudbucker in the OP.

    That's a Hagstrom Bi-Sonic single coil; nothing at all like the Guild HB bass pickup.
     
  20. MattZilla

    MattZilla

    Jun 26, 2013
    CNY
    you're entirely right.
     

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