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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive 2006 » Archive through October 19, 2006 » Pickup selector - do you really use it? « Previous Next »

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Intermediate Member
Username: lg71

Post Number: 129
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Monday, October 09, 2006 - 4:04 pm:   Edit Post

I have finally decided to upgrade my Aria SB900 with Alembic electronics (I don't have the new pickups yet, so I'll be using the Fatboys from my first Arialembic for now...) I have enough parts to upgrade it with Anniversary electronics, including the nice four way rotary switch for pickup selection, and also have some spare balance pots...

I am wondering if I should really have the pickup selector installed at all, as I never use the pickups on their own, maybe that would change one day... It is very cramped in the cavity area, and we'll have to use few of the already existing holes which limits the layout a bit.

I'll appreciate your valuable feedback, I have to call tomorrow to give the definite answer. Please let me know how you like your pickup selector and is it worth the extra hole + less space to tweak knobs...

Senior Member
Username: 811952

Post Number: 850
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, October 09, 2006 - 4:19 pm:   Edit Post

I use it. Not a lot, but I use it. Mostly just to turn it off between sets without changing any settings.

Senior Member
Username: olieoliver

Post Number: 789
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Monday, October 09, 2006 - 4:54 pm:   Edit Post

I have never used the p/u selector on any of my basses with the exception of turning off the bass as John stated. I always use both pickups. But I like a real fat bass sound. And if you have individual volume controls for each p/u then the selector switch is kind of redundant. If you need to make an extreme tone change in the middle of a song then the switch can be a handy tool.
I like the switch on my Kubicki basses. The switch has three (5 on early models) positions, Off, Active, Active with a preset mid control (boost or cut) and Passive (which I have never used).
Username: hieronymous

Post Number: 72
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, October 09, 2006 - 6:33 pm:   Edit Post

I definitely use the pickup selector on my Rickenbacker 4001. I like the contrast between both pickups at once - full and deep - and just the neck pickup - a little more midrange, and growlier. My Exploiter is similar. I find that often using just one pickup works better with some effects, especially dynamic effects like envelope filters.

So, personally, I like having a pickup selector. I've never really liked blend knobs or the jazz bass setup, but of course this is just my personal preference. Oh, and of course the mute position is great!
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 588
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, October 09, 2006 - 7:00 pm:   Edit Post

I very rarely use the selector switch on my Brown Bass. As others have said I only use it to turn off the pickups but even this I don't do often since I have a mute switch on my preamp. In general I balance the pickups via their volume controls. On my other two basses I have pan controls.

With the Anniversary electronics (this applies to Series electronics too as I recall) running mono and switching from both pickups to a single pickup causes a noticable volume drop. It has to do with the pickup signals adding to each other. By blending with the pickup volume controls this drop is not as noticable. I also don't notice the difference when I run in stereo. If you search you can find other threads that talk about this.

Advanced Member
Username: 88persuader

Post Number: 218
Registered: 5-2004
Posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 - 2:25 am:   Edit Post

I never use the pick-up selector. I use the tone knobs and Q switches all the time but always run both pick-ups. I think it's a habit from my old Fender Jazz Bass days where the only way to get hum cancelation was to have both pick-ups on full.
Intermediate Member
Username: georgie_boy

Post Number: 133
Registered: 8-2005
Posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 - 6:55 am:   Edit Post

I use mine quite a lot!
It depends on the song being played and the timbre of the bass sound needed. I may use it 20 times a night-excluding the standby mode, and I thinke it's invaluable----Just My $0.02 worth, but each to their own
Intermediate Member
Username: lg71

Post Number: 132
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Tuesday, October 10, 2006 - 10:47 am:   Edit Post

Thanks to everyone, I have decided to NOT have the pickup selector fitted. If the bass was built from scratch I would have probably liked to have it fitted, but the cavity is not really big and there are already fews holes which we'll have to use, so the layout is also limited...

So, it's going to be, 2x volumes, 2x filters, 2x 3-positions Q-switches and a special 3-positions switch that I have requested to do; Mono, Stereo and a "reversed/swapped" stereo" setting, the later will be very handy to switch pickups thru various effects for A/Bing... I told Mica about this idea, I think it's a good one.

I am very impatient now, but I'll have to wait!

Thanks again,

(Message edited by lg71 on October 10, 2006)

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