Which PU & electro allround?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by wiro, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. My wife gave me this 5 string fretted handcrafted Rikkers bodyline bass as a birthday present. Yip I'm a lucky man. :)

    This one is quite nice: I'm amaized by the sustain and the harmonics. Kent Armstrong pickups, toggles parallel-single coil-humbucker. Active-passive. But I think the neck is too wide. First I'll try to get a grip on it and then decide to leave it or to make it smaller. I've been told a wide neck gives more rich tone. Perhaps I can get used to the distance between the strings. :hyper:

    Now suddenly I need to know everything about the different kind of pick-ups and electronics to make the right choice.

    I got EMG's. I like their clarity but I can't get the warm sound out of them that I like so much. Another sound I like is the wooden sound of Warwick. But the MEC pick-ups (got this one too) don't give enough on the low and the high end. The bass on the picture has Kent Armstrong's. They sound nice: Give some warmth and they keep clarity.
    But I never played any Seymour Duncan or Bartolini or Duncan's or Di Marzio's or Sadowsky or what else is there on the huge market?

    I only go for the best and I wanna be able to get the whole range from metal to Stanley Clarke-funk to Jaco-jazz (as far as possible with a fretted instrument) to old-fashioned rock and jazz and we also do some classical stuff as well. :bassist:

    I understand that Aquilar makes pretty good electronics, which is nowadays the standard for Rikkers bodyline basses.

    I allready worked my way through the PICK-UP FAQ above. Which is some help. But I can do with some more info. Not that I'm curious, but I'm the kind a guy that wants to know everything.

    Who is familiar with a combination of pu's and pre-amp which can do it all? Are these Kent Armstrongs together with the Aguilar OBP3 fit for all jobs? Or can I better go for something different?

  2. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    If you were going for a different bass I'd say look at Alembics and Ritters (with the masterbar pickups).

    However, if you're going with the Rikkers, here are some thoughts:

    I have a bass that at one time had a Bartolini 5.4 preamp and now has an Aguilar OPB-3 pre-amp. The Aguilar is, IMHO, more transparent than the Bartolini was and works quite well although it does tend to click audibly when I switch mid-frequencies. Having said that, I preferred the Bartolini which imparted a coloration that I liked. I also liked the 3 band selectable mid range vs the Aguilar's 2-band. I only switched because the Bartolini broke (I think the people who sold it to me snookered me with a b-quality unit).

    I've also used an emg preamp, but only with emg pickups, and a carvin preamp, which I wouldn't recommend.

    As far as pickups are concerned, lane poors are probably the thing you're looking for, but since they're not made anymore, probably difficult to find. They're the closest thing to sounding like an active/passive hybrid as anything I've ever heard. I would suggest thinking hard about Bartolini double or triple coils, particularly the CB series which are supposed to sound the closest to lane poor pickups. If you get CB humbuckers and wire them so that you have coil taps and series/parallel options, then your choices will be pretty limitless when combined with either the aguilar or bartolini preamps.

    hope this helps.
  3. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    Don't know how long you've had it but I get the impression you're not used to it yet. It can take me months to to get the feel for a piece - especially with all those controls and a pair of pups. To me the ideal bass is one that puts out a couple of quality tones that's applicable to a broad range of styles while being as simple electronically as possible.

    When it comes right down to it, the extra controls really don't matter as long as the end result is the same. The problem is to find them - and from the looks of that bass, that could take a while.
  4. Saint: I know quite some Alembics but this bodyline beats them all. :) I don't know Ritter basses. Don't see them a lot here in Europe. What's so good about the Masterbar pu's?
    Do you know how these Kent Armstong double coils are compared to the Bartolini's you mention?

    You're I wise guy Luknfur. I got this one 4 days now. :smug:
    I think you're right that it's good to realize that becoming familiair with such a piece of equipment takes time. As this bodyline is now all different sounds are top-quality allready.

    Next week I'm going to change thoughts with Ferdinant, the maker himself.

    See also:http://www.rikkersgitaarbouw.nl
  5. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    Keep the Kent Armstrong pickups for a while. I installed one recently in my Project bass and it kills. The 3 way switch is very useful for an array of many useable tones. If you really want to get a different tone try changing strings first. BTW Beautiful bass bro.