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Alembic Club » Alembic Basses & Guitars » Archive through January 07, 2011 » Alembic MXY56 pickups with a Bartolini Preamp « Previous Next »

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Username: bloodmason

Post Number: 6
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - 4:15 pm:   Edit Post

Hi there,
Just a quick question to pick anyone's brain who might know the answer. I had a scoure of the forums but can't find anywhere this question has been answered before.

I'm looking at buying a 5 string fretless Warmoth Gecko that has Alembic MXY56 pups installed with a Bartolini 3-band onboard preamp.

I can't get much of a response from the guy about how it sounds though.

I have an Epic and a Europa in my collection at the moment which both have the MXY56 pups but their respective Alembic electronics.

I love the sound of these basses but don't know how much of that comes from the pups and how much from the electronics (not to mention woods, bridge, nut etc)

Has anyone ever played with these pups and different preamps?

Will they work the same as any other pups or are there going to be issues with the output when used with non-alembic electronics?

I just don't know if the Alembic pups are going to be a welcome addition without the Alembic electronics or whether it would be better with just standard pups?

Anyone's thoughts on this would be appreciated.

On another note: does anyone kinbow how much it would cost to purchase some Epic electronics so I can replace them in this unit?

Thanks for your help.

Cheers from the Land Downunder,
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2223
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 6:27 am:   Edit Post

(Message edited by jazzyvee on November 11, 2010)
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 2224
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 6:29 am:   Edit Post

You are in luck here is a seller from down under selling an alembic pickup and electronics.

Looks like, volume, filter and q-switch to me.
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 9816
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 7:17 am:   Edit Post

Alembic pickups are low impedance; most other pickups are high impedance. I have no idea whether Bartolini makes a system specifically for low impedance pickups.
Senior Member
Username: dfung60

Post Number: 452
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 7:27 am:   Edit Post

Dave H - I think the Series single-coils are wound with very little wire and only work with the onboard electronics, but the other models are hum-cancellers that have normal levels of output. In this respect, something like an MXY would be a high-impedance pickup.

Because the output of an MXY, AXY, or Fatboy is fed to an onboard preamp, the output of the bass is low-impedance.

As for the Bartolini preamp... I think is should work fine with the MXYs, then it's just a question of whether you like the way they sound or not. Personally, I'm not crazy about these pre-amps, although they're very popular. You can buy an EMG AND Aguilar preamp for the cost of the Alembic electronics, so you can try out alternates without busting the bank. The big difference between the Alembic electronics and the more conventional stuff is that the Alembic has a more distinctive filter behavior than the regular treble-middle-bass of the others.

David Fung
Username: mica

Post Number: 7032
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 4:34 pm:   Edit Post

None of the pickups are quite high-impedance, and we think that most applications of our pickups sound much better with our preamps/electronics. The stacked humcancelling pickups (MXY, AXY, FatBoy, etc.) are probably better described as low-medium impedance. We always say low-impedance though, since that's understood you should really use a preamp with them.

I know people have hooked them up without preamps (sometimes with a bypass switch, others just straight passive), but they don't sound right to me. That doesn't mean it won't sound right to someone else. You just have to hear it yourself.

As for the Bartolini preamp - does it have a gain control trimpot? It's likely it would work if it does, because you could adjust it.

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