#1
Hey,
Quickly: I modify basses every now and then, mostly to replace pickups, add pots/switches and even to just redo them completely. But today I received and unusual request.

This guy wants something I've never really thought about and need some good solid opinions on it:

6 (possibly 5) string bass, 3 pickups and 3 input jacks. The main idea being feeding the individual signals from each pickup to an individual amplifier setup. (Yes, he is a Phil Lesh fan.)

He seems to think all 3 pickups as soapbars, leaning towards passive though willing to throw in some act/pas if need be.

Basically, brainstorm with me. Tell me whats wrong, what could work, or whether this is completely impossible in the first place.

All help is appreciated in advance!
#2
I think this is a bad idea, mainly because of its impracticality. basses usually have only 2 pups for a reason. a pup in the neck of a bass is going to be overly boomy and muddy.

active/passive combos are expensive and require special care and several extra components in order to keep the active circuit seperate from the passive (for best sound).

3 output jacks is also going to be more expensive because you'd need 3 cables. Plus there are three whole amp setups involved. Even if this guy has all this gear, it's still ridiculously impractical imo.

So no, it's not impossible. Unique, yes, but it's just a huge pain in the arse, more so than can be justified imo.
#3
i pretty much agree with jim on this one, not really practical. now if it was 2 pickups and 2 output jacks, well maybe. but they better be getting different enough tones that it is worth it. for example ive seen 2 outputs on guitars that have a piezeo as well as normal magnetic pickups. one goes to an acoustic amp (or just another amp) and the other goes to the main amp. as cool as it sounds, ive seen it used almost never, and i know people with guitars like that.

however, it might be an interesting idea for recording. allowing the simultaneous capture of all three pickups to pick and choose from later is an interesting idea (going DI of course). still would rather go with 2 pickups, 3 doesnt seem like a great idea and is kinda overkill.

so i say drop it back to two pickups and really think about what you are trying to achieve here.
#4
I agree with Jim about the neck pickup, it'd be too muddy.

Having an active and a passive actually would not be a problem if they are two completely different circuits as you described.
#5
For 2 pickups:

He could use a stereo shorting jack. That way, when there's a mono cable plugged in, it could be used as a regular bass, but then use a stereo "Y" type cable to send the two seperate signals to two different amps.
#7
I really appreaciate all your input folks.

This guy I'm working with is severely ... out there if you will. Frankly I think he's obsessed with Phil Lesh's original bass ... the one with 3 (or was it 2?) independent pickups, 16 buttons to control signals from each string to a separate amp, etc. etc.

Any of you worked with something along those lines?
#9
Scale length I'm not sure of, haven't gotten the body into the shop yet.

Best guess would be 24 frets.

I was talking to the client and was having thoughts about something along the lines of a single coil type EMG LJ at the neck, with different soapbars from there down.

Depending on the scale, we may be looking at re-machining some bridge parts, etc.

Any of that kosher?
#10
If you're going to do 3 pickups I would do 3 singles, this is not uncommon to see on some modified jazz basses. Personally I would go Stu Hamm style with a Jazz Precision Jazz pup config

I would go for some seymour duncans with this setup, take a look at the quarter pounder line of pickups.

see here http://www.fender.com/products/search.php?partno=0191508806

also ask this again on the bass forum, you'll get a lot better insight there, not saying that you guys here dont know your stuff but they may be able to give you more insight into specific pick up combination
Gear:
Ibanez RG4EXQM1
Fender Jazz V
Yahama Pacifica 112
Acoustic B200h
2 custom 1x15 cabs
Vox AD30VT
too many pedals
Last edited by BamaBlues at Dec 9, 2009,
#11
Maybe use two pickups (for Jim's reasoning with the muddiness of the neck) , with a stereo jack (as mentioned above also) but add an on/on/on mini-toggle, to use either or both outputs?

Just something that occurred to me as useful . . .
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#12
Quote by BamaBlues
If you're going to do 3 pickups I would do 3 singles, this is not uncommon to see on some modified jazz basses. Personally I would go Stu Hamm style with a Jazz Precision Jazz pup config

I would go for some seymour duncans with this setup, take a look at the quarter pounder line of pickups.

see here http://www.fender.com/products/search.php?partno=0191508806

also ask this again on the bass forum, you'll get a lot better insight there, not saying that you guys here dont know your stuff but they may be able to give you more insight into specific pick up combination
I agree, the Urge II SC neck PU is anything but muddy. I'd go with a Nordstrom humbucker for the bridge just to mix it up a bit.