Low-Independence Bass pickups

Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby Philsland » Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:50 pm

i was wondering if anybody knew of any besides Alembics as they're really expensive. I'm trying to get an almost acoustic sound, Emg's seem quite stale atleast in my experience with them. I figure with low impedance pickups, a bartolini adjustable dual gain buffer, and a stellartone tone pot i could achieve a pretty good phil tone
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Sat Aug 18, 2012 4:54 am

The impedance of the pickups is about the 20th item on the list of things that help your tone sound like Phil's IMHO.

That being said - EMG now has pickups with Alnico V magnets instead of ceramic, that should give a more vintage tone vs. the classic sterile tone that we're used to. That being said, I love the tight and focused tone of EMGs in big venues and hate the lack of warmth in a bedroom or practice setting. At home in my jam room I love a passive P-bass with flats, but find it really lacking in power on the bigger stages.

That tangent aside, I believe any "active" pickup that requires voltage to make sound would be a low impedance pickup. EMG is the classic example but Seymour-Duncan makes some, you can find MECs from Warwicks sometimes, and even Alembic pickups can be reasonable when you find them on Ebay, especially in Fender-replacement shapes.
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby Philsland » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:09 pm

Thanks a lot Ill have to check those out. The problem i have is that some active pickups aren't truly low-impedance, but medium. I want the low-impedance because with the stellartone tone pot i could get a much wider range of tones out of one bass because the tone pot simulates the treble roll-off that occurs with more wraps of wire in a pickup.
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby 1dallek1 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:51 am

Philsland wrote:Thanks a lot Ill have to check those out. The problem i have is that some active pickups aren't truly low-impedance, but medium. I want the low-impedance because with the stellartone tone pot i could get a much wider range of tones out of one bass because the tone pot simulates the treble roll-off that occurs with more wraps of wire in a pickup.


Just a point of interest the contemporary ToneStyler units state (Not compatible with active (battery-powered) or low impedance pickups)
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby zambiland » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:32 pm

If what you are looking for is the resonance and roll off of various pickups, I would suggest getting whatever pickups you want and an ACG EQ03 preamp. A low impedance pickup has other issues. My '67 Starfire has early Alembic Series II electronics and the pickups are less than 1Kohm and they are consequently pretty noisy. If you want a more acoustic tone, I suggest a piezo bridge setup. I would also politely suggest that what you are looking to hear is maybe not the consequence of the parameters you might think are responsible for those results.
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby Philsland » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:13 pm

ahh i didn't realize that the tonestylers were sensitive to that, i thought that if the output was boosted to be around normal passive levels than it wouldn't have any issues. Perhaps piezo is the way to go than... all i am truely looking for is something that is brighter than the typical fender sound but not as stale as most emg's. I just feel like from the majority of pickups i've played they've either been lifeless or all thump and nothing much else
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby Philsland » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:24 pm

Also i should mention that this post wasn't necessarily meant to spark argument whether or what i need and don't need to sound like Phil , i'm simply trying to get some feedback on Low-impedence pickups, because i felt that they'd give me a wider tonal range to work with.
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby zambiland » Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:31 pm

I think you should also look at strings, bass, woods, bridge, amp, etc. There are a lot of factors that going into giving a good bright, clear tone. You might also try one of Brad's SMS preamps. It's great for bass and has wonderful clarity. After I started using one with my Dark Star equipped Starfire bass with an ACG preamp, I found that the adjustments I made on the onboard filters became a lot more perceptible.

So, the question is: what's your rig now?
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby Philsland » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:07 am

Well right now i am using a B.C. RIch Mockingbird that has dual p-bass pickups. I replaced the bridge with a gotoh 201, everything else is stock. I use my friends old kustom amp head, and 2x15 cabinet. i'll be getting a eden wtdi and a boss 7 band graphic equalizer soon to replace the amp head however and i imagine thatll give me some more flexability. I really wanted to get an ADA mb-1, but they're hard to find
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby Philsland » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:08 am

i also use rotosound swing bass strings
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:18 am

Philsland wrote:i also use rotosound swing bass strings


The classic stainless steel roundwounds? If you haven't experimented with strings, I'd suggest trying out some other brands, even if that is the tone that you're after.
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby Philsland » Thu Sep 06, 2012 6:03 pm

i have played many strings actually, but i always come back to these. I've played tapewound, flatwound, nickel, and tapercore. I do wanna try coated and the half-round and compression strings. I'm nt a huge fan of the flat wounds due to the high string tension so i'm curious to see how the later strings compare because i certainly wouldn't mind not tearing my fingers up as much. I like the rotosounds though because they age better than all the strings i've played, so if i was to change theyd have to outperform the roto's in that area. Tbh i dont find the strings to be a big factor in tone, besides the contruction ( flatwound, roundwound, etc) other than that it's basically all personal preference.
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby zambiland » Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:08 am

You haven't tried Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats, from the sound of things. Low tension bass string, similar to the Pyramid Golds of yore (and of Phil and Jack's starfires, etc.). Very different string and can nail a lot of the Phil tones, especially ca. 1970-76 or so. He started using D'Addario halfrounds around then and I'm not sure it was an improvement, but the Golds were gone by then. They're back but QC is an issue. So, I'd say a set of Jazz Flats should be in your future. My low impedance Alembic pickups love them.
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby 1dallek1 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:08 am

zambiland wrote:You haven't tried Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats, from the sound of things. Low tension bass string, similar to the Pyramid Golds of yore (and of Phil and Jack's starfires, etc.). Very different string and can nail a lot of the Phil tones, especially ca. 1970-76 or so. He started using D'Addario halfrounds around then and I'm not sure it was an improvement, but the Golds were gone by then. They're back but QC is an issue. So, I'd say a set of Jazz Flats should be in your future. My low impedance Alembic pickups love them.


correct me if I’m wrong I've had this discussion with mica and others, alembic's pickup strategy isn’t low impedance, its low magnetism. they use a pickup with a low magnetic field so as not to dampen the strings in a magnetic field, but to let them vibrate freely and then run it through amplification. the low impedance if it needs to be recognized comes later in the buffering, which by the way is buffered twice sending and return. it's just that referring to the pickups as low impedance as if that is its strong point may be barking up the wrong tree. again a simple posting of this on the alembic site would yield tons of useful information
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Re: Low-Independence Bass pickups

Postby zambiland » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:09 am

1dallek1 wrote:
zambiland wrote:You haven't tried Thomastik Infeld Jazz Flats, from the sound of things. Low tension bass string, similar to the Pyramid Golds of yore (and of Phil and Jack's starfires, etc.). Very different string and can nail a lot of the Phil tones, especially ca. 1970-76 or so. He started using D'Addario halfrounds around then and I'm not sure it was an improvement, but the Golds were gone by then. They're back but QC is an issue. So, I'd say a set of Jazz Flats should be in your future. My low impedance Alembic pickups love them.


correct me if I’m wrong I've had this discussion with mica and others, alembic's pickup strategy isn’t low impedance, its low magnetism. they use a pickup with a low magnetic field so as not to dampen the strings in a magnetic field, but to let them vibrate freely and then run it through amplification. the low impedance if it needs to be recognized comes later in the buffering, which by the way is buffered twice sending and return. it's just that referring to the pickups as low impedance as if that is its strong point may be barking up the wrong tree. again a simple posting of this on the alembic site would yield tons of useful information
ns


This is true to a certain extent, but they did experiment with low impedance pickups. My '73 Series pickups are around 800 ohms or so. that's pretty low. It's also got low magnetism. The preamp card is crucial with these pickups, which do seem to sound different than other Alembic Series pickups I've played. The low end seems clearer and deeper. My understanding is that the newer ones are more correctly designated medium impedance.
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