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Bass Pickups

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Being able to customize your bass is just one of the benefits of modern instrument design. Manufacturers have made it relatively easy to switch out pickups in order to allow the bassist to upgrade or experiment with different styles. Since these little devices have a big impact on your bass tone, it’s a good idea to ensure yours is operating just the way you want it. The two main types of bass pickups are magnetic and piezoelectric or ‘piezo’ for short. Both respond differently to the bass’ vibrations so examining their differences is key to figuring out what you want. Magnetic pickups like the EMG JVX Bass Pickup Set and the Fender Custom Shop 60s J-bass option use interior magnets to absorb the string vibrations and transmit them to your amp. These typically are installed under the strings but do not make contact. The magnetic force is very effective in transmitting not only your bass tone but the powerful vibration behind it. Piezo pickups like the Dtar Bass Soundspot pickup operate by using crystals to absorb the bass vibrations and are often mounted either under the saddle or on the bridge. You’ll often find the piezo styled pickups paired with the standard magnetic option and a preamp. They work using direct contact so the result is more precise which is why these are considered to be higher end. Different pickup designs also can have an impact on your bass tone. Single coil pickups like the Basslines AJB-5 Active bass pickup are known to have a distinct hum and offer a bright and clear tone. Jazz bass pickups like the Joe Barden J-style line are still considered single coil and are also one of the more common options for jazz player since they are considered to have a ‘fat’ and punchy tone. Humbuckers, like the Dimarzio DP120 Model One do away with the hum that single coil pickups are known for, giving you a clean and warm tone. Soap bar pickups on the other hand, like the Lace Alumintone Bass Bar have a more modern feel with the tightly sealed construction and tendency to be used with 5 or 6 stringed bass guitars. They have a crystal clear tone that is ready to be manipulated by your pedal board. Your bass tone is only as good as the pickup that registers it. When you want to be able to create a signature sound, finding a bass pickup that pairs perfectly and makes your carefully chosen bass sound even better is ideal. The array of options available gives you the opportunity to try out different pickups and change it up any time you want.

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