Help identifying these old bass guitar pickups please

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Astrolabe23
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Help identifying these old bass guitar pickups please

Post by Astrolabe23 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:49 pm

I was cleaning out the studio closet and I found this pair of pickups in an old EMG box. I imagine that the EMG's went into a bass and the old ones went back into the box. I have no recollection of where they came from. They have no markings anywhere on them. ( or on the box) They have 4 string wear patterns on the top of each. Both pickups have 2 separate grey wires exiting them. Each of the gray wires consists of 4 insulated conductors and a braided shield around the bunch. The wires in each are red black brown and orange. The pickups are very large like the size of a bar of soap. The last pic shows one in comparison with a standard size Ibanez bass. My intention is to determine what these are and if they have any value to sell, or are they just cheap 1980's stock pickups that should go into my DIY and experiment parts box. ( it's really not a box, it's a full wall of broken electronics, parts, and "junk" that I horde). Any help on identifying these pickups would be appreciated.


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Rex Coil 7
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Post by Rex Coil 7 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:06 pm

Have you contacted EMG about this? They'd more likely be the best source of information.
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Astrolabe23
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Post by Astrolabe23 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:25 am

I am doubtful that these are actually the EMG pickups that came in the box. Most likely the EMG's were installed into a bass and the two pickups I have are the old ones from the bass that were put back into the EMG box. I did some online searching before I posted and I could not find any EMG models past or present that looked like these. Also, all of the EMG's I saw were clearly marked EMG somewhere on the front or back of the pickup.

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Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:32 am

Astrolabe23 wrote:I am doubtful that these are actually the EMG pickups that came in the box. Most likely the EMG's were installed into a bass and the two pickups I have are the old ones from the bass that were put back into the EMG box. I did some online searching before I posted and I could not find any EMG models past or present that looked like these. Also, all of the EMG's I saw were clearly marked EMG somewhere on the front or back of the pickup.
EDITED: I made a total ass of myself. Nothing new there! I'm truly sorry if I offended you or hurt your feelings. You got caught on the wrong end of a very bad day I've had. But that's no excuse for throwing shit at you.

On those pickups, I don't recognize them beyond being sortof generic take offs from a mass produced bass guitar. Perhaps someone else with more experience will come along and provide more useful help.
Last edited by Rex Coil 7 on Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Astrolabe23 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:35 am

Wow! Not the kind of response I expected. I know a shit load about synths and not as much about vintage bass and guitars. My gut says these are crappy old junk that is not worth much, but before I tossed them in the bin I thought I would check with some people who knew more than me. I would never sell something trying to pass it off to a "sucker" ( that's not a very good business model) but what if these really were vintage pickups that some guy would love to have for a restoration? I don't know if they are. That's the point. I'm asking here to find out. No ulterior motive. Just asking some friends if anyone knows more than me.

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Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:37 am

Astrolabe23 wrote:Wow! Not the kind of response I expected. I know a shit load about synths and not as much about vintage bass and guitars. My gut says these are crappy old junk that is not worth much, but before I tossed them in the bin I thought I would check with some people who knew more than me. I would never sell something trying to pass it off to a "sucker" ( that's not a very good business model) but what if these really were vintage pickups that some guy would love to have for a restoration? I don't know if they are. That's the point. I'm asking here to find out. No ulterior motive. Just asking some friends if anyone knows more than me.
Please take another look at my response. I've edited it. I was completely out of line and acted like a rude ass punk.

Best wishes. I'll show myself to the door.

:doh:
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Post by sduck » Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:46 pm

While they look vaguely familiar, they're not familiar enough that I'd try guessing. Perhaps if you posted in a dedicated guitar/bass forum, although I don't know which one would work. You could also try reddit, one of the guitar subs.
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Post by Revok » Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:57 pm

I think they might be quadraphonic pickups. Each sting has a separate output which is why there are so many wires. They might be worth money to the right person. They also might be pretty cool.

Maybe very early Bartolini's or something custom? Here's an old Bartolini for size comparison. Obviously not an exact match though. https://reverb.com/item/17546968-vintag ... tar-pickup

The epoxy potting is very EMG though so I still might shoot them an email just to completely rule it out.

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Post by hieronymous7 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:45 am

I am a bassist - been playing for over 35 years - and I'm stumped! The four screw holes in the corner are unusual - I thought maybe Gibson Thunderbird but no.

The closest I could come up with was maybe '70s-'80s Kawai from Japan? This one almost looks right, but not exactly:

https://reverb.com/item/7609994-80-s-ka ... -ohsc-rare

Maybe ask at TalkBass?

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Post by sduck » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:03 am

Revok wrote:I think they might be quadraphonic pickups. Each sting has a separate output which is why there are so many wires.
You could determine this with a DMM, and it would be worth testing with one anyway.
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Post by MindMachine » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:59 am

Try contacting Ernie Ball, Normans Rare Guitars and the like?

Those seem too thick for guitars?

I like your bar of soap description.
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Post by Chrome Dinette » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:34 am

I doubt they are quadraphonic. That would require 5 conductors, whether five insulated conductors or 4 conductors and a shield.

Is that shielding coming out of the end of the wire or is it just the fabric filler that is in some wires?

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Post by Chrome Dinette » Sat Aug 31, 2019 5:40 am

I think the Kawai suggestion makes sense, though there were many Japanese instruments in the 70s Alembic style that might have used such pickups.

As well as asking Talk Bass, EMG and Bartolini, maybe ask Alembic, though all the pics of those I see have the mounting holes on a flange, not through the full thickness of the pickup.

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Post by Bubbles » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:17 am

hieronymous7 wrote:I am a bassist - been playing for over 35 years - and I'm stumped! The four screw holes in the corner are unusual - I thought maybe Gibson Thunderbird but no.

The closest I could come up with was maybe '70s-'80s Kawai from Japan? This one almost looks right, but not exactly:

https://reverb.com/item/7609994-80-s-ka ... -ohsc-rare

Maybe ask at TalkBass?
I thought Gibson too when I first saw these. That’s where I’d start.

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