Bass pickup - what do I have here?

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Steve Sawyer
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Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Back before I retired, I thought that I'd never ever have any money to spend ever again. As a result I foolishly "stocked up" on a bunch of things that I knew that I was going to need for projects I had planned, including a passive "Select" EMG pickup that I snagged on sale. I knew at the time that this was some kind of cheap-o pickup with the EMG brand on it, but I can't seem to find any info on it anywhere.

I'm planning a bass build, and would like to use this, but if I decide to do a build with two pickups, I'm wondering if I'll need to find another to match this one.

Anyway, if anyone can enlighten me on what this pickup is, how it should be used/mounted and how I might find a mate if I do a two-pickup build. Not averse to getting something else (I'm sure I paid minimal $$ for this). I'm putting a pair of StewMac Golden Age humbuckers on my current build, so obviously, being a "bedroom musician" at the moment, I'm not super concerned about paying top buck for "boutique" pickups! :D

Thanks.
EMG Pickup.JPG
==Steve==

Brian Evans
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by Brian Evans »

They look like precision bass pickups. They are normally screwed directly into the wood of the body in a routed cavity, with a closed cell foam spacer. Fender is not known for sophisticated...

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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Thanks, Brian. So these are likely single-coil I would think.

Would they need to be paired with another pup of the same type if I were to do a 2-pickup arrangement? I seem to see some that that have this split-type in the neck position and a more conventional single-coil pup in the bridge position. I don't know what the logic is of that arrangement, but would allow me to use this pup if I can mate it with something appropriate in the other position.
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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by Peter Wilcox »

You can mate it with a jazz bass type pickup in the bridge position to give you some more treble in the output. Here's a standard wiring arrangement:
https://www.seymourduncan.com/wp-conten ... andard.jpg

I had a spare jazz pickup lying around so put it in this instrument, but with a tele type 3 way switch and controls:
https://www.mimf.com//phpbb/download/fi ... &mode=view

Google PJ bass to get more info.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Thanks, Peter. Great suggestion to research PJ bass. Helps me to start asking myself the right questions.
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David King
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by David King »

Precision pickups are hum cancelling all by themselves, no need for a J pickup. If you decide you want a J pickup you'll have to get one that's a "split coil".
The sellects aren't super cheap-o pickups but they are a bit cheaper than EMG's active pickups. The interwebs seems to think they are made in Asia but I know that EMG also winds passive pickups in California.

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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

David King wrote:Precision pickups are hum cancelling all by themselves, no need for a J pickup. If you decide you want a J pickup you'll have to get one that's a "split coil".
The sellects aren't super cheap-o pickups but they are a bit cheaper than EMG's active pickups. The interwebs seems to think they are made in Asia but I know that EMG also winds passive pickups in California.
From what I've learned in the PJ bass rabbit-hole I've been going down, if using both a P and J pickup it's recommended to purchase a "set" to ensure they're matched, as some have run into problems with uncertainty as to the polarity of one or the other. It seems that the J pickups give a brighter tone than the P, which makes sense just based on their placement. Haven't decided yet which way to go on this build, but I'm leaning toward the two-pickup PJ arrangement. EMG and Seymour Duncan both have nicely priced sets that seem to get good marks. I kinda wanted to use the one I have, but no reason I can't pick up a matched set if I go that way.

I'm also picking up a sense that the majority of bass players seem to prefer the sound of single-coils over humbuckers, and that the hum on basses isn't near the problem it is on guitars. Your point about the hum-cancelling ability of the Precision pups may contribute to this opinion.
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Joshua Levin-Epstein
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by Joshua Levin-Epstein »

EMG sells their passive Jazz Bass bridge pick-up alone, so you could mate that with the pick up you have. It is also humbucking so your new bass would be quiet (it won't hum because it knows the words).

I just saw one on Ebay slightly discounted and $5 ebay lucky bucks off. Google EMG LJHZ

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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Joshua Levin-Epstein wrote:EMG sells their passive Jazz Bass bridge pick-up alone, so you could mate that with the pick up you have. It is also humbucking so your new bass would be quiet (it won't hum because it knows the words).

I just saw one on Ebay slightly discounted and $5 ebay lucky bucks off. Google EMG LJHZ
:D

Thanks, Joshua. I just popped a message to the sales folks at EMG to ask if the EMG HZ pictured above in the neck position would pair well with the LJHZ for the bridge spot. Failing that, the JHZ set of which this is the bridge pup, like the EMG PJ pickup set, is a little pricier than the Seymour Duncan PJ set, but both include pots, output jack and wiring so all three options appear to be in the same ballpark $-wise.

PS - just noticed that the EMG PJ set mentioned above is an active set. I'm really showing my ignorance, but I have no idea what the pros and cons are of active pups. Another rabbit-hole I need to explore! :roll:
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Joshua Levin-Epstein
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by Joshua Levin-Epstein »

Steve,

If you install a PJ set and leave enough room for 2 9 volt batteries, you run the risk of never being seen again. You'll just be standing behind the door, waiting for the next set of pick ups to arrive.

Of course, the next set will sound the best...

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Steve Sawyer
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by Steve Sawyer »

Joshua Levin-Epstein wrote:If you install a PJ set and leave enough room for 2 9 volt batteries, you run the risk of never being seen again. You'll just be standing behind the door, waiting for the next set of pick ups to arrive.

Of course, the next set will sound the best...
:mrgreen:

I dunno - fortunately, I've never been much of a "tone chaser". I just sold all but one of my pedals (kept the Strymon Lex) and all of my amps having started to use a Headrush Gigboard and their FRFR112 powered speaker. I'm pretty easy to please tone-wise! :)

Although I have been quietly collecting parts for a pickup winder. That's when you're really in trouble! ;)
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David King
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Re: Bass pickup - what do I have here?

Post by David King »

Pickups you wind yourself always sound the best of all. That's just a fact.

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