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Thread: Thoughts on Aguilar DCB-M at Neck on an HH

  1. #1

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    Question Thoughts on Aguilar DCB-M at Neck on an HH

    Does anyone have thoughts / insights / experience on how an Aguilar DCB-M at the neck might blend with the standard MM style pickup at the neck?

    For context:
    I'm relatively new to playing bass and just picked up a Sterling HH (Ray34HH). First let me say I love it. Went to get a Fender Jazz Aerodyne and brought along my Ibanez SR305 to A/B what I know well. Was supremely dissapointed in the Aerodyne. Next on my list was an Ibanez AFR45, liked it allot though the piezo is admittedly a bit odd with allot of microphonics. Price wise though I wouldn't have been walking out with it either way. Went through a few others before giving up on walking out with one when the Ray HH caught my eye. Needless to say I was immensely impressed and brought it home.

    I'm very happy with it but for two reasons I am looking at various pickup options. First because I always do that with all my instruments, I want them to sound the way I want them to sound. Second because I have been very pleased with the Aguilar soapbars I have in my Ibanez. The qualities that I like about them is that compared to the stock pups they pickup allot of nuance / harmonics, add to the dynamic range, sound much more natural, and have nice even levels across the strings.

    The Ray was admittedly a rather odd choice for me as I (theoretically) prefer a jazzy, wide dynamic range sound over the more aggressive full throated sound of the Ray. I say theoretically because those preferences went out the window when I played the Ray. All the same, and while I'll still play the Ibanez some, I'd like to have a bit more of those dynamics and nuance available at the flick of a switch.

    So, I'm really tempted to drop in the DCB-M at the neck and keep the bridge pup for the classic MM sound. My only hesitation in pulling the trigger is worry over how the two will blend (or not blend) in the middle position. I've found several audio examples of the DCB-M alone but no examples or conversations about mixing them.

    Anyone have some insights on that? More broadly if anyone wants to add any thoughts on the DCB-M in general that's helpful too. Most of what I've seen and heard has been promotional so I any real world impressions are great.

    Thanks for anything you've got

  2. #2

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    I can't help you out with that because I really don't know. Howeve years of lurking this forum has taught me that it's heavily frowned upon to mention mods.
    I'd genuinely suggest to check out other bass forums or if Aguilar has a forum.
    Some of the players here are die hard fans.
    Personally I say try it and if you don't like it swap em back.

  3. #3

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    A lot of companies use somewhat bland stock pickups in their sub 1k models, which is why so many guitarists get used to instantly switching them out. Even the more expensive models from Gibson often get their pickups swapped out often.

    EBMM is not one of those companies. They make incredible instruments with incredible pickups. I've never felt any need to replace the pickups on any of the basses that I have. I got them FOR that legendary sound. I don't care how good the Aguilar pickups are, I don't want them in my EBMM.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
    2012 Stingray 5 H Pearl Blue / Rosewood FB / 3 Band EQ/ AlNiCo Pickup
    2012 Steve Morse Morse Blueburst / Rosewood FB
    2012 Luke III SSH Vintage Sunburst / Rosewood Neck

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcMurder View Post
    I can't help you out with that because I really don't know. Howeve years of lurking this forum has taught me that it's heavily frowned upon to mention mods.
    I'd genuinely suggest to check out other bass forums or if Aguilar has a forum.
    Some of the players here are die hard fans.
    Personally I say try it and if you don't like it swap em back.
    Thanks, I think you're right. The only way to really know the answer is to try it anyway, so I think I'll give it a try and see how it sounds. Can always swap 'em back if it doesn't achieve what I want it to

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    A lot of companies use somewhat bland stock pickups in their sub 1k models, which is why so many guitarists get used to instantly switching them out. Even the more expensive models from Gibson often get their pickups swapped out often.

    EBMM is not one of those companies. They make incredible instruments with incredible pickups. I've never felt any need to replace the pickups on any of the basses that I have. I got them FOR that legendary sound. I don't care how good the Aguilar pickups are, I don't want them in my EBMM.
    No doubt, the Sterling doesn't sound anything like a budget brand model. The pickups are killer, both the neck and bridge. Importantly they blend together really well too, which is why I'm hesitant to swap as the blend part is what I'm least sure about. That said I'll probably give it a try to see if it adds the touch more versatility I'm looking for and swap back if not or if that versatility comes at the expense of other fine tonal qualities already present.

  6. #6

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    Nothing wrong with tinkering its human nature just keep all original parts cause when you come to need them again they’re not that easy to get hold of

    StingRay 4HH. SapphireBlack.2006
    StingRay 4H. Buttercreme. 2005
    StingRay 4H. ”SunBlue”. 2005
    Bongo 4H. Sapphire Black. 2005
    Bongo 5HH. Firemist Purple. 2019
    GENZ-BENZ & ORANGE amps...

    https://www.facebook.com/DanSmithBassist/

  7. #7

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    This is a big fact! Even if you like your new ones, keep the originals.

  8. #8

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    My new Ray 34 and Ray 4 basses sound great through my Hartke. Not feeling the need to mod either bass, and I’m usually open to that kind of thing.
    “Don’t play it if you don’t feel it.”

    James Jamerson

    “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”

    RUSH

  9. #9

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    I owned a SBMM stingray 5 that had an aguilar pickup in it, I did not like it. Was mellow sounding to me.

  10. #10

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    This kind of question is better posed over on Talkbass. As this is the official forum of Ernie Ball Music Man, we try to keep the discussions pointed at EBMM product rather than aftermarket products. No harm, no foul, no one is up in arms, but let's focus on the OEM and have fun. Thread closed.

    Jack

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