Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

where can I find 8-string pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Slap McPoppy, Jul 13, 2002.


  1. Slap McPoppy

    Slap McPoppy

    Jul 12, 2002
    I'd like to replace the pickups/electronics in my 8-string. Who manufactures decent active 8-string pickups/electronics? Oh yeah, this is not a doubled 4-string style, but has 8 independently tuned strings (i.e. much wider pickups necessary.) Thanks for info and suggestions!
     
  2. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    what kind of 8 string?
     
  3. Slap McPoppy

    Slap McPoppy

    Jul 12, 2002
    It is a Galveston, which is a generic brand made by the factory which makes Samicks (I think.) As far as I know, these guitars are sold entirely through resellers on eBay. Anyway, the stock pickups are of mediocre quality and are kind of noisy. It has two soapbar-style humbuckers which off the top of my head I'm going to say are about 4" by 1.8". I thought about getting the Carvin active/passive electronics module to replace the current electronics, but I suspect that would not be enough to improve the quality of the sound. So, if anyone knows of manufacturers for 8-string pickups, please let me know. Thanks!
     
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Can you show us some pics?
     
  5. Slap McPoppy

    Slap McPoppy

    Jul 12, 2002
    OK here is a pic. The guitar itself is actually pretty nice. Good workmanship, nice feel, decent hardware. The pickups/electronics however are really below average. Actually the sound is not too bad, but there is a constant crackling sound (sort of like when you adjust dirty potentiometers) that is highly annoying.

    Now, cmon, 8-strings can't be all that rare. I've found several luthiers who make 8,10,even 12-string basses. I've seen doubled 4 strings, even tripled 4-strings. But I can't find a source for pickups.

    Please, somebody help.
     
  6. Well, you don't really need pickups made specifically for an 8-string. The majority of soapbars by folks like Bartolini, EMG, and Seymour Duncan/Basslines have bar polepieces, so you don't have to line the strings up over anything. Most soapbars made for a 6-string by either of these folsk would do fine if they were wide enough to go under the strings, and since the string spacing on the Galveston is quite narrow, that shouldn't really be much of a problem. It would be nice to find something that's exactlythe same size as the existing pickups, of course, so that you don't have to do any routing or anything. I believe the Bartolini catalog (at http://www.bartolini.net) gives some detailed pickup dimensions, and the Basslines page gives info on which Bart/EMG pickups their soapbars replace, so you should be able to find out if any of these folks offer pickups to fit exactly.

    Good luck!
    Mike
     
  7. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    EMG does not make a replacment pickup that would fit.as far as J style pickups go six is as far as they will go.another thing you can do is contact Bartolini and ask if they have something that is similar in size or close,make sure you have exact measurments first.sometimes Bartolini may have some pickups that were made and did not send them in to who may have ordered them for what ever reason.they dont make a lot of 8 string pickups.and EMG does not make 8 string pickups at all,unless you have a relationship already established to some degree.or you can find an open minded co.that may be interested in making it for you.as far as your pots go you may be able to spray some dust cleaner on them and clean up the sound.
     
  8. Jauqo,

    I'm curious--if the pickup has a bar magnet that is wide enough to go under all the strings, why would you specifically need an "8-string" pickup from EMG?

    Mike
     
  9. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    with EMG that wouldn't be the issue.the issue is the casing for the pickup,thats very costly,a custom mold would have to be made.thats one of the reasons they don't offer a MM replacement pickup.but EMG offers more options in J bass replacements.thats one of the advantges Bartolini has over EMG and some of the other companies.
     
  10. Why would you order custom pickup casings for a bass in this price range, when it'd be a lot cheaper to just route the bass for new pickups? That's assuming the existing pickups aren't the same size as one of the standard pickup casings...

    Mike
     
  11. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    Thats a good question.but maybe he didn't think about the cost.
     
  12. Slap McPoppy

    Slap McPoppy

    Jul 12, 2002
    OK, let me clarify. The pots are not dirty, the pickups make a constant crackling sound which is similar to that which dirty pots make when you adjust them. That's why I would like new pickups.

    Yes, a bar magnet with one giant winding (or two if a humbucker) would probably be almost as good as one with 8 properly spaced pole pieces. However, I don't know where I could find one that is the right size. That's what I was hoping someone could tell me. 6-string magnets, bar or otherwise, will not fit under all 8 strings. The span of the strings is really wide - much more than 6-strings. I guess the next step is to direct my inquiries to the pickup manufacturers as was suggested.

    Well, anyways, thanks to everyone who responded and tried to help. I guess there aren't many (or any) 8-string owners around here though.
     
  13. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    What's the total string spacing on that?

    Bartolini G6 is available in 96 and 100mm sizes. I believe 100mm is roughly 4".
     
  14. Specifically, how wide is it, and what are the dimensions of the current pickups?

    Mike
     
  15. JAUQO III-X

    JAUQO III-X Banned

    Jan 4, 2002
    CHICAGO,IL.
    Endorsing artist:see profile.
    I own 8 string basses and a few other TBers here do as well.its not so odd as you may think.I've also worked on several desighns with a few companies on 8 non double,9 etc.its just not a very big demand therefore you will not by way of logic find a wide selection to choose from let alone a big 8 string bass guitar pickup.as I've suddested to you earlier there maybe a co.that may be openminded enough to give it a go.
     
  16. Slap McPoppy

    Slap McPoppy

    Jul 12, 2002
    The dimensions of the current pickups are 5 1/4" x 1 1/8" (approx 133mm x 30mm) and the string spacing is 3.5" (89mm.) I've initiated inquiries to several manufacturers - I'll let everyone know what I find out.

    The noise that the pickups are making has now morphed from crackling pots to a sound reminiscent of an idling car. It is highly annoying. However, it is only present when the active electronics are engaged so I'm thinking there is either a defective or just really cheap component in the active module. If this is the case, I should be able to swap out just the electronics (for which there are an abundance of choices), use the current pickups, and see an improvement in sound. Does this sound correct?
     
  17. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    I'd try changing the electronics first. They're probably the same as the ones that were in my Galveston 12 that were pretty worthless - I only used it in passive mode.

    Otherwise. . .89mm isn't so bad, you could get off-the-shelf Barts to cover that. Dunno if they'd fit without routing however.
     
  18. Well, it wouldn't be hard to find pickups to accomodate 89mm/3.5" string spacing--heck, the spacing on my Curbow and Elrick 6's was wider than that. However, finding pickups that are an exact fit for a 5-1/4" x 1-1/8" hole will be rather harder. There's nothing that's an exact match (that I see) in the online Bartolini catalog.

    Mike