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HughRichardson

I put $180 pickups in a $70 bass. Did they make a difference?

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Hey guys!

A while back I posted a review of a $70 bass I was sent on here.

Shortly after a company from the states called Sonic Pickups sent me some of their jazz bass pickups to install.

Here's the review.

For me I think the sonics sound much richer, fuller, fatter and have a bigger sonic (excuse the pun) range than the pickups that came with the Glarry.

Would love to hear what you guys think!

Hugh

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Definitely a huge difference. A real eye opener for me. I've probably been a little sceptical of just how much difference a pup could really make but that was night and day. 

Of course we're bass players, so no one else would ever notice, but we know, right? 

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1 hour ago, stewblack said:

Definitely a huge difference. A real eye opener for me. I've probably been a little sceptical of just how much difference a pup could really make but that was night and day. 

Of course we're bass players, so no one else would ever notice, but we know, right? 

We do! 

I’d recommend giving it a go. The right pick ups can really bring a cheap bass to life. These certainly did for me in this video!

 

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this is a thing and it is real - had an old squier affinity J and dropped a pair of wizard hammers in - similar result 

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The new pickups seem to have a wider frequency response and are fuller sounding  as you say ..

I take it the tech didn't change strings when replacing pickups ?

Would be cool to hear you A and B the same bassline before and after change 👍

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2 minutes ago, tthiggins said:

Would be cool to hear you A and B the same bassline before and after change 👍

Was just about to say the very same thing. Nice presentation @HughRichardson I like your relaxed, natural style. Not enough of that on Youtube reviews in my opinion. However, the comparison needed to be much clearer. Same line played, pickups soloed for both sets, settings all the same. 

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How many other  pickups did you try? Cost has absolutely no relation to how good a pup sounds. A pup that costs half of what you paid might have made a huge improvement. 

Ive had Fralins that sounded very mediocre compared to cheaper pups that cost hold of what i paid. 

Just saying 

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Today I did a PUP swap in my Ibanez AS53. The stock pickups weren't bad, the bridge one being noticeably heavier with a different part number so obviously 'optimised' not just an identical pair.

I put in a Gretsch neck pickup and an 80's Di Marzio that my brother put in his first strat.

It sounds absolutely amazing now, and even better balanced between the two pickups 🙂

 

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2 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

How many other  pickups did you try? Cost has absolutely no relation to how good a pup sounds. A pup that costs half of what you paid might have made a huge improvement. 

Ive had Fralins that sounded very mediocre compared to cheaper pups that cost hold of what i paid. 

Just saying 

This, what Dave said.

What should be remembered here is the difference you get between playing live, and recording. You could upgrade pickups with some inexpensive Wilkinson or Entwistle's which will improve the tone of a cheap bass in a live situation, and as well for recording. However, upgrading to high end pickups won't be as big a difference as the Wilko's etc, but for recording, the high end pickup will make a huge difference - even over the Wilkinson or Entwistle's.

Also, tone is a subjective thing.

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