INTRO: A few weeks ago, armyadarkness posted a thread - What really makes a GREAT bass sound GREAT! - and prompted me to post a question that have been bugging me for quite some time now. WHERE do electric basses get their SOUND from? I apologize if this has been covered before. I searched "sound, bass sound" but didn't see one that talked about my query. VERSE: From different sources, I gather the following: pick ups, strings, woods, bridge, pots, preamps, fingers, playing style. I agree, but I suppose these factors have different weight values in terms of sound. CHORUS: To simplify things, let's talk passive fretted basses with EVERY part working and in tune, using the same player, strings, cable and amp, same settings etc.... IMO, I would rate each sound source factors somewhat like this: 1. pick ups - 40 - 60% 2. strings - 15 - 30% 3. playing style - 15 - 30% 4. bridge, woods, other hardware - 5 - 15% What I'm getting at is that however you mix the values, the bass sound will mostly come from the PUP. BRIDGE: For those who agree up to this point, please go to the next paragraph, and for those who don't, please post how you would rate these factors. Thank you. CHO 2 (change key): So if we say that the sound of an electric bass comes mostly from the PUPs, a stock Fender, Ibanez, Squier, Yamaha can be called generically as it is. BUT... If you have a Sq VM Jazz, and change the pick ups to an EMG, shouldn't it be called an EMG bass on a Sq WMJ body? Or does putting a Fender pick up on an Ammoon bass make it a Fender sounding Ammoon bass? I mean, why do we change the pick ups on our basses if not to go for THAT PUP's sound? CODA: The second question would then be - how should we call the bass officially? This 2nd Q may be immaterial though. OUTRO: How would we call a Toyota with a Honda engine assuming that it can be done? Do we wanna ride (or be seen) in a Toyota but deep inside we know that Honda is "running" the car?