EMG Bass pickups?

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TTonyTTony Frets: 11597
There is a risk that, after the temptation placed in my path by @Bridgehouse, I'll be acquiring a bass.

Or, at least, I'll be acquiring the parts to build a bass.

One option is the EMG PJ set of pickups.
http://www.emgpickups.com/pjset.html

I've no direct experience of EMG in guitars, although I've read various comments about them being sterile or too forceful.  

Are they better / different in a Bass?  Would you consider them, or is there an obviously much better option?
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  • FelineGuitarsFelineGuitars Frets: 4139
    Their bass pickups are fine. Good clear sounding units.

    Many guitars have a re-sale value. Some you'll never want to sell.
    Stockist of Earvana nuts, ASL and BKP pickups. Sperzel, Tonepros, Gotoh and Graphtech too!
    Expert guitar repairs and upgrades - fretwork our speciality! www.felineguitars.com

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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    Do you know if you prefer an active or passive sound to bass?

    Active can sound a bit more modern, and of course gives more control over EQ, whereas passive tends to be the more classic 'traditional' bass tone..

    If you think you do like the active sound, then there's nothing wrong with the EMG ones at all..
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 3587
    TTony said:
    There is a risk that, after the temptation placed in my path by @Bridgehouse, I'll be acquiring a bass.

    Or, at least, I'll be acquiring the parts to build a bass.

    One option is the EMG PJ set of pickups.
    http://www.emgpickups.com/pjset.html

    I've no direct experience of EMG in guitars, although I've read various comments about them being sterile or too forceful.  

    Are they better / different in a Bass?  Would you consider them, or is there an obviously much better option?
    "Sterile" like David Gilmour's sound through the 90s and noughties? yes please

    I have a few EMGs, I like them a lot, they do a range though, some I don't like and sold on
    I recommend the active EQ regardless, it's so easy to add, I bought the BTC set, but get as many knobs as you can add
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  • BridgehouseBridgehouse Frets: 8745
    @ToneControl  - I would say _some_ actives can sound sterile on bass. To my ears they can be more modern and directed.

    Passives (good ones) can have a unique character which can really add musically. Not always, but sometimes.

    You need to ask @Gassage about the Gilmour bass sound from the stack knob Jazz ;)

    It's as big a debate as single coils vs humbuckers imho


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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 6050
    I've got EMGs in most of my guitars.  I've tried them in my Jazz bass (both the J and JA sets) and removed them to put the original singles back in.

    It really depends what you want.  For a first bass I really would be tempted to stay passive especially if you are going with a Fender type design, unless you specifically know you want the EMG sound.  If you want more EQ control you can get an outboard pre.  Personally, I'd get an Aguilar Tonehammer, that's proved to be my favourite outboard preamp (as in EQ, not talking about distortion/amp type preamps which are a different thing).

    What EMGs on bass are good for is less noise (might be an issue with a Jazz single), less transient/overall more fat/even playing feel and tonality.  Noticeably less gritty/grindy, I found they did the opposite of what I want from a rock bass sound which is that clanky/grinding thing you get from plugging a Fender into an Ampeg or Darkglass type setup.

    Be aware with a PJ your middle position won't be noiseless if you use a regular Jazz single, as the P has two coils making the middle position 3 coils total - 4 would be needed for humbucking.   So if you do go passive and want noiseless, remember to get a humbucking Jazz single.  The EMG Geezer Butler PJ set is passive and gets rave reviews most places, I'd be tempted to go for those over active EMGs for a first bass
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  • TTonyTTony Frets: 11597
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  • FunkfingersFunkfingers Frets: 1489
    TTony said:
    One option is the EMG PJ set of pickups.
    The EMG P/LJ pair suffers from an output difference between the two pickup types. The P is noticeably louder than the J. Adjusting the P pickup low to compensate for the volume difference compromises its tone.

    The EMG-GZR passive set suffers no such problem. The output of the J pickup has been increased to balance with the P. They do not quite have the notch filtered honk of a JJ pair but they get fairly close.

    https://i.imgur.com/PdoIT8Y.jpg?1

    The GZR pair has the added advantage of rod magnet polepieces. These contribute to the attack transient of every note.

    Thus far, EMG has not produced an active P style pickup with rod magnet polepieces instead of a steel blade. This is not to say that the P is a slouch. I have had one since 1990. It currently lives in a Charvel CX492, where it sounds massive.
    I fear the Geeks, even when they bear GIFs.
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