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Thread: Swiss Army-Bass

  1. #1
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    Default Swiss Army-Bass

    Hey Bass-Masters,

    I'm a guitar player who spends most of his musical time writing and recording his own material. I live in a small apartment and have maxed out almost all my storage rooms for guitars. The only problem I've ever had with recording was Bass. I don't have one to call my own and usually use my friends. (not to mention that I'm a lefty and all the basses I bring in are right handed)

    I've decided to invest in a bass. But I need this bass to cover all the sounds: EB0, P, J, and MM. After searching the internet I came across this thing:

    http://www.delano.de/the_hybrid_pickup_system.html


    My only pet peeve about it is that it does not do the humbucking/parallel/single coil that other pups are known for doing....maybe SD CS can make a different version. Let's pretend that actually happens..what do I do about the P-bass sound and the EB0 sound? Is there a pup that can pull both sounds off? Or is there an alternative solution all together..


    Your help is appreciated in advance,
    OvenMan

  2. #2
    Something Cool uOpt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    Nah, I bet that won't do.

    Just for starters, the Jazz sound will be ruined by the fact that there are the MM style rod magnets with opposite polarity right next to the Jazz magnet setup. It doesn't matter that the MM rods don't have their coil on.

    If EB0 is really important to you you can mount a mudbucker in the neck of a PJ bass.

    If you are hardcore enough you can route out a bass so that you have a quick change system for the Precision and Stingray positions.

  3. #3
    Shaunofthedeadologist Johnny the Kid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    Basses are nice that they don't have a specific genre to stick with in terms of like pickups and such. For example, you wouldn't often see a guitar with P90s in it in a death metal band. You wouldn't see a SD Distortion in a jazz box. But it's not uncommon for a bass player to use the same bass in a metal band that he would use to play something like jazz. As long as you invest in a decent sounding bass, whatever your tastes are, you can get away with just about anything.
    Schecter ATX Blackjack C7 BKP Painkiller (B) and Abraxas (N)
    Hagstrom Hj800 Jazzbox stock pickups
    Fender Jazz Bass EMG MJ Set
    Music Man SUB Ray5 stock pickups
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    Alnico 6/8 Chickenwings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    do you really need the sound of all those basses or do you just like idea of it? I think a more flexible eq in your preamp or front end of your amp is money better spent than trying to emulate a whole bunch of different basses by having multiple pickups. One good simple bass with a P/J setup and a good flexible preamp will do the job in all cases except for fretless or double bass sounds. Noone listening to you either live or a recording will give a toss about "real" bass sounds if you can fit your low end into the mix and dominate it.
    "Technique is really the elimination of the unneccessary ... it is a constant effort to avoid any personal impediment or obstacle to acheive the smooth flow of energy and intent"
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    Quote Originally Posted by gibson175 View Post
    do you really need the sound of all those basses or do you just like idea of it? I think a more flexible eq in your preamp or front end of your amp is money better spent than trying to emulate a whole bunch of different basses by having multiple pickups. One good simple bass with a P/J setup and a good flexible preamp will do the job in all cases except for fretless or double bass sounds. Noone listening to you either live or a recording will give a toss about "real" bass sounds if you can fit your low end into the mix and dominate it.

    a little bit of both...not sure if placebo or not, but my ears do hear a difference. I like that I can rely on the bass more than the amp, or the eq or w/e it. When it comes to playing live or recording, I hear the difference. I'm sure a lot of you guys are like that...yeah sure the audience might not here the difference, they just here bad/good, but the player hears every little nuance.


    So since that hybrid bucker seems out of the question I guess I'll turn to the stock models... what do you guys think of: stingray basses, MM/P basses, P/J basses, double P basses, J basses, gibson basses and that goofy fender blacktop with the J style humbuckers (keep versatility in mind)

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    Modsterbator trevorus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    Get yourself either a P-bass with a jazz bridge pickup, or just a jazz bass. Then invest in a good preamp, and you'll cover about all the basses you need. Seriously. A mudbucker in an EB0 is a very different sound, and will likely stomp all over everything that dips into bass range. You can do a crapton more with HOW you play a bass than you might think.

    For some concrete examples, check this site: http://www.basstasters.com
    Last edited by trevorus; 06-13-2013 at 10:05 PM.
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    now when it comes down to P neck vs J neck...

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    Modsterbator trevorus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    Honestly, and this is from a guy that played bass in bands as much as I have played guitar, if your music is not bass-centric, then it really won't show up that much on a recording what pickups you are using. It may give the player some jollies to have one pickup over another, but unless you're building music around the TONE of the bass, you won't hear it that well after everything else is layered on.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    what do YOU prefer then?
    Last edited by 0v3nm4n; 06-13-2013 at 10:31 PM.

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    Modsterbator trevorus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    Alone, I hear the difference, for sure. I was primarily a bass player for near 8 years. There are differences, depending on your engineer. But, after adding in everything else, the things that really differentiate one from the other will become blurred, especially to a layman-listener. Your best bet is a good bass, because one with 43 pickups in it will just drive you nuts because you'll never settle on a sound. With a jazz bass in the stable, neck pickup for round sound, bridge only for snarl, both for spanky. Add flavor to taste. I say this, because from what I gather, you are trying to add a bass to a guitarist's recording. If this is not YOUR main instrument, or a good section of your musical endeavors, you'll be glad for a simple, proper bass.

    The swiss army thing is great for one thing, a swiss army knife. The blade doesn't lock, it's kind of bulky, and you always lose the toothpick and tweezers, and the tweezers kind of suck. That's what you'll get with a bass with a random smattering of pickups.
    Quote Originally Posted by crusty philtrum View Post
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  11. #11
    Ultimate Tone Member BlueTalon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    A Swiss Army bass isn't a bad idea, but you have to think of it in terms of functionality, not parts. Most basses that have two pickups in it can cover a lot of sonic territory, so start there. You want to make sure the neck is comfortable for you. You'll get a lot of people recommending Precision basses, but they have thick clunky necks. That's great if you like thick clunky necks, but more people don't than do. You gotta see for yourself. Right now, you're thinking in terms of getting a bass with the ability to cover a bunch of different tones, but if it's a PITA to play because it doesn't fit your hands, it's not going to do you much good.

    Since you asked specifically, I can recommend J/J and P/P basses (my BC Rich Mockingbird is P/P), I'd stay away from P/J unless you want to replace the J pickup. Two single coil J pickups can sound really good together. A single coil J with a P, not so much IMO.

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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    The older USA Fender Stu Hamm.

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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    IMO, If you're a Swiss Army player (i.e., someone who's natural sounding in many different styles), then the bass should fit you. Your hands are the ultimate determiner of the sound, so get one as comfortable as possible. You'll be able to figure out how to get different sounds using your preamp, amp, playing technique & attitude, etc.

    When I started, I found a '74 Precision fretless for a good price. Unwittingly, I stumbled into the Tony Franklin (The Firm)/Pino Palladino (London sessioner)/Boz Burrell (Bad Co.) camp. Little slides, bends and micro-intonation anomalies (AKA "poor fingering technique") gave me a distinctive sound, and I got into it. People gave me spots in jams, and I was tapping my interest in jazz to get my mojo workin'. Is a P fretless a Swiss Army bass? Hell no. But it worked for me because (a) I didn't have another axe and (b) I practiced like a fiend until I sounded halfway decent.

    What helped was the chunky neck; it gave my hands something to grab and anchor to while I was murdering "Teen Town", a song I still haven't mastered.

    "Add about a half-a-teacup o' bass...."
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    can a J bass mimic a P bass? I know the P pickups have that off set setup, but i wanted to know if the magnetic field if the J pup could come close to a P sound.

  15. #15
    Funkfingers
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    Fender and Musicman basses use one construction method. Gibson and, say, Rickenbacker use another. Then, there are the pickups. Nothing else on the planet is constructed quite like the big Gibson bass humbucker.

    As a Yamaha Attitude owner, I can tell you that installing a mudbucker in a Fender style bass guitar does not entirely recreate the sound of a short scale, set neck Gibson.

    Most listeners would not be able to identify the instrument used on the majority of recordings. They just want the bass to sit in the track. For this reason, if I were only allowed to record with one make, it would be Warwick.

  16. #16
    of the Forum PFDarkside's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    I would just get a Fender style (choose P or J neck and P or J body) with either:
    -P/J with a Series/Parallel on the P
    -J/J with slightly hotter Js (Like Duncan Customs or Quarter Pounders) with a Series/Parallel switch

    With a decent preamp that would get me everything I need for home recording.
    Oh no.....


    Oh Yeah!

  17. #17
    Ultimate Tone Member BlueTalon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    The problem with P/J bass, at least those by Fender, is that with two exceptions, they match a single coil J pickup with a "split-single-coil" humbucking P pickup. The exceptions (American Deluxe Standard Precision and Duff McKagan Signature Jazz) use humbucking J pickups.

    There isn't a sound or tone produced by a P/J bass that (A) I can't get in another bass, and (B) is worth dealing with any amount of noise. I have a zero tolerance for noise. For me, good tone + noise = bad tone. I can't separate them.

    That, along with my good experiences with other basses like my Ibanez SR305, Peavey Grind, BC Rich Mockingbird, Epiphone Thunderbird, Waterstone Skelly, and others, are what color my opinions.

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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueTalon View Post
    The problem with P/J bass, at least those by Fender, is that with two exceptions, they match a single coil J pickup with a "split-single-coil" humbucking P pickup. The exceptions (American Deluxe Standard Precision and Duff McKagan Signature Jazz) use humbucking J pickups.

    There isn't a sound or tone produced by a P/J bass that (A) I can't get in another bass, and (B) is worth dealing with any amount of noise. I have a zero tolerance for noise. For me, good tone + noise = bad tone. I can't separate them.

    That, along with my good experiences with other basses like my Ibanez SR305, Peavey Grind, BC Rich Mockingbird, Epiphone Thunderbird, Waterstone Skelly, and others, are what color my opinions.

    I take it you're a soapbar guy

  19. #19
    Ultimate Tone Member BlueTalon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    I'm a whatever guy. I have basses with J pickups, P pickups, MM pickups, and soapbars. I really honestly don't care what the pickup looks like or how it's configured if I get a good sound with no unwanted noise. That's the kicker.

    You want a bass that is tonally flexible -- I believe that requires more than one pickup. Obviously, any combination of well designed, properly installed and working properly humbucking pickups will provide a variety of tones with no unwanted noise. A typical P bass has a single "split single coil" pickup that is designed to cancel hum and give a clean signal -- good, but not tonally flexible. A typical Jazz bass has two single coil pickups that do a pretty good job of eliminating noise when used together. However, most typical P/J basses mate up one single coil J pickup with a split single coil humbucking P pickup. My problem with that arrangement isn't the style of pickup, it's the noise.

    Put a humbucking/stacked/split-coil J pickup in with the P pickup in place of the single coil J pickup, and I'm fine with it.

    Again, let me point out that I personally can't stand hum/noise. Some people are ok with it, and say the noise doesn't matter once you're playing.

    You might find this interesting. It's a P/P/J, not a P/J, but it should demonstrate that I'm not anti-P/J. The J is stacked.

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  20. #20
    Alnico 6/8 Chickenwings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Swiss Army-Bass

    bartolini make a great J/J pickup set. Both are actually split/humcancelling p bass style pickups inside a j bass footprint. Great sounding pups.
    "Technique is really the elimination of the unneccessary ... it is a constant effort to avoid any personal impediment or obstacle to acheive the smooth flow of energy and intent"
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