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redbandit599

Sandberg Black Label vs Delano etc

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Hi all

I have a Mk1 Sandberg California active 5 string Jazz/MM. Love it. 

It has Delanos in it from stock, but I'm thinking about swapping them out for something with a bit more, something, maybe growl....ūüôĄ

Hearing that the Sandberg Black Labels are popular- anyone able to compare the two? 

Cheers 

Edited by redbandit599

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I think the word you're looking for is... LIFE?

IME (on a Maruszczyk Jake 5a+ I had with those pickups) those big pole Delanos sound DEAD, indeed terribly dead if you have the real thing beside to A/B (I own a a couple -ceramic era- Stingray5s). Everytime I plugged in a Ray after that Maruszczyk it felt like someone had lifted a blanket from upon the amp. Funny thing is it also happend with a Harley Benton P-bass kit build, I'd even take that cheapo' P pickup over the Delano big pole P pickups any day. They were the reason I got rid of that Maruszczyk which, otherwise, was a superb instrument (still can't touch my current "Fender killer").

Edited by andruca
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I swapped the Delano's in my Sandberg TT for a set of Bartolini B-Axis pickups.  Not single coils but nice warm sounding pickups with that bit of growl too.

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Well.... I find it hard to see Delano’s as being dead (you may have had a duff set), big chance it could be a dead instrument - did the sound change with a pick up change?

So all in sandberg made basses.....

I have played Delano’s in a VS, VM, 48, VT, TT.

I’ve played original Sandberg pick ups in a VS and a MarloweDK (passive)

Haussels in a TT (passive)

Black labels in a TT and TM2 

 

Now this pick up is very subjective, for example plenty like but I do not like turdstrand pick ups, but as a generalisation.

Delano - yes more hifi, but not sterile in anyway, transparent in a good way with plenty of oomph.

Haussel - Little German manufacturer, verry meaty and quite hot mid focussed jazz pick up, neck solo’d it’s as close to a P as a jazz pick up will get.

Old Sandberg - more vintage sounding, less output, very very nice pick ups. Especially nice if you like pedals with preamps in as they are hot enough to be good on their own, but not too hot that they do not then fight with a pedal to over power it if that makes sense. Very easy to sculpt a sound.

Black labels - blew my socks off - it’s like the Old Sandberg’s with More chutzpah, very punchy, great sound - sort of like all the best bits of the aforementioned ones rolled into a pick up. Played a TM2 before and after - transformed it.

There is a basic guide - I would go for it, I think they are great.

Happy for a PM if you want to further dissect the discussion.

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After a few years on a Stingray 5 (ceramic pup era) I briefly had a Basic KT with Delanos.  I have to agree with Andruca that they sounded very dull and lifeless in comparison.

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The thing about comparing a KT or a shake PJ to a Ray it’s completely apples and pears.

Vastly different pick up positioning, different pick ups, different pre amp - a Ray is a Ray for a reason like or loathe it.

Even when you look at the Sandberg TM‚Äôs VM‚Äôs etc. The ‚ÄėMM‚Äô pick up will never sound like a Ray solo‚Äôd¬†Either, it‚Äôs it in the same position, different pre-amp, and it‚Äôs not meant to be!

Its all just different sounds which clicks with people differently. They are all high quality products

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Interesting thread.

I have a Sandberg VT4, it's my goto bass and I love it for comfort and playability . But I have been questioning how much I like the core tone compared to my Fender PJ or Mayones J.  With those I can leave EQ pretty flat on my preamp and be happy but I find the Sandberg needs quite a lot of adjustments.

I wouldn't say the Delano are dead, but I do find they do lack low end ooomf.  I'm considering swapping them out for an Aguilar PJ set - maybe I just prefer a more vintage tone.  I'll look into the black labels too.

Edited by PJ-Bassist
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Those black labels are good.....

If you can get to bass direct try one of the been superlight basses, the nighthawk or the Rammstein sig bass.

They have black labels and should give you an idea

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I can't really add too much to this thread as I haven't tried the new black labels, but I can vouch for the haussel PUs in terms of growl.  I absolutely loved the active haussel's I had in my sandberg (MM and a P). The thing growled like a monster. Personally the delanos were a little too polite to my taste.

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Reviving this thread from a few months ago to ask if anyone knows if it's possible to buy the Black Label pickups for an after sale swap.  I haven't seen anywhere that sells them directly .

Edited by PJ-Bassist

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Hello folks, I have been playing sandberg and been a sandberg artist now for a while and have tried a few pick up variations in them. I have an Ida signature 4 and 5, and TM and VM 4 and 5‚Äôs. I get my Ida last and it‚Äôs the first time I tried the black labels and they blew me away. The Delano‚Äôs or the sandberg bid pole piece are good pick ups IMO. They are paired with the Glockenlang design sandberg pre amps. I will agree with them being more ‚Äúhi fi‚ÄĚ but I would not say dead. There is a certain sterility and glassiness to the sound on one level but loads of ‚Äúpunch‚ÄĚ and authority and you can sit in a good place in the mix.¬†
However, I agree with Cuzzie, the Black labels are something else! Amazing pick ups. I have changed all mine to Black labels. For me they are the perfect balance of everything I want from a pick up. It has transformed my Basses. So much so that I get random folks and bass players alike asking me how I get my tone and commenting on how great my Basses sound. I have been playing the same bases for ages and all that changed is the pickups. Contact sandberg direct for where to buy them. The folks there are very helpful.

I have played and used many pickups and combinations over the years in many Basses. DiMarzio’s (all of them), Hausell (P and MM), MEC, Seymour Duncan (various), Nordstrand (various), Aguilar (MM, P and J), Delano’s, Bartolini and all the stock fender/Musicman (the list goes on) and pre amp combos from all those companies. My target sound is punchy, clear from low to high, authoritative, leaning around 7 on the scale if vintage is 1 and  modern is 10, and strong so here  my favourite 3 pickups from each category  that help me achieve that sound:

P bass: Dimarzio Will Power, Sandberg black label, Seymour QP

Jazz Bass: Dimarzio Ultra Jazz, Aguilar hum cancelling, Sandberg black labels

MM: Sandberg black labels, Nordstrand BBM, Delano FE

 

Pre amp: Sandberg Glock designed, Aguilar OBP 1,2 or 3, Sadowsky

 

so basically, out of all the pick ups I have tried I Highly recommend the black labels. In combination with the sand/glock pre amp you have a versatility but most of all a really solid and satisfying bass tone straight out of the box. These are a triumph in the bass pick up world and I think if more people tried them they would go straight to the top of their list as well. And at a cost of around 90 euro per pickup they are a steal.

 

happy hunting 

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6 hours ago, Jobustiggins said:

Hello folks, I have been playing sandberg and been a sandberg artist now for a while and have tried a few pick up variations in them. I have an Ida signature 4 and 5, and TM and VM 4 and 5‚Äôs. I get my Ida last and it‚Äôs the first time I tried the black labels and they blew me away. The Delano‚Äôs or the sandberg bid pole piece are good pick ups IMO. They are paired with the Glockenlang design sandberg pre amps. I will agree with them being more ‚Äúhi fi‚ÄĚ but I would not say dead. There is a certain sterility and glassiness to the sound on one level but loads of ‚Äúpunch‚ÄĚ and authority and you can sit in a good place in the mix.¬†
However, I agree with Cuzzie, the Black labels are something else! Amazing pick ups. I have changed all mine to Black labels. For me they are the perfect balance of everything I want from a pick up. It has transformed my Basses. So much so that I get random folks and bass players alike asking me how I get my tone and commenting on how great my Basses sound. I have been playing the same bases for ages and all that changed is the pickups. Contact sandberg direct for where to buy them. The folks there are very helpful.

I have played and used many pickups and combinations over the years in many Basses. DiMarzio’s (all of them), Hausell (P and MM), MEC, Seymour Duncan (various), Nordstrand (various), Aguilar (MM, P and J), Delano’s, Bartolini and all the stock fender/Musicman (the list goes on) and pre amp combos from all those companies. My target sound is punchy, clear from low to high, authoritative, leaning around 7 on the scale if vintage is 1 and  modern is 10, and strong so here  my favourite 3 pickups from each category  that help me achieve that sound:

P bass: Dimarzio Will Power, Sandberg black label, Seymour QP

Jazz Bass: Dimarzio Ultra Jazz, Aguilar hum cancelling, Sandberg black labels

MM: Sandberg black labels, Nordstrand BBM, Delano FE

 

Pre amp: Sandberg Glock designed, Aguilar OBP 1,2 or 3, Sadowsky

 

so basically, out of all the pick ups I have tried I Highly recommend the black labels. In combination with the sand/glock pre amp you have a versatility but most of all a really solid and satisfying bass tone straight out of the box. These are a triumph in the bass pick up world and I think if more people tried them they would go straight to the top of their list as well. And at a cost of around 90 euro per pickup they are a steal.

 

happy hunting 

Great info, thanks!  Might you have any audio or video demonstrating the Black Label tone you get?  I already played an order for a TM4 with Delanos but am considering upgrading to the Black Labels.

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Posted (edited)

Just got a brand new VM4 Nighthawk with Black Label pickups. Its a really great bass. My band is rock/funk/groove and the tone from the Nighthawk just nails the sound I'm after. 

My other favorite Sandberg is my Grand Dark. These have the Sandberg+ pickups and they also deliver in the tone dept. Love the 3 band EQ on this one too. 

My TM4 with Delano's will now be a back-up. Great bass not not as good at the other two, IMHO.

 

Edited by bob_atherton
Typos...!
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Dragging this thread up again. As mentioned in the main Sandberg thread, I'm pretty sure I'm going to put a MM pickup into my Electra VS4, which currently has the Sandberg design big pole pieces style which I quite like the tones of. Reading this thread I'll probably go with the Black Label MM pickup but will that pair well with the Sandberg design P pickup and the preamp? Or would it be a better idea to replace both pickups? 

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