Back in town; Pickup swaps; Lane Poor

Well, I’m back from vacation now.  It was fun but I missed playing my basses (and experimenting with pickups).  Since I’ve been back, I have been spending more time with this hobby, and trying to get my fingers back into shape.  Two weeks without playing bass made me a bit rusty!

I had previously loaned one of my (last remaining) fretted basses (a Tobias “Toby Pro”, made by Samick) to my father, who played it occasionally for a few years.  It has a pair of rare Lane Poor pickups – a wide aperture pickup in the neck position, and a humbucker in the bridge position – as well as a two-channel Lane Poor pre-amp.  The bass isn’t all that nice, but the pickups were worth saving.  This weekend, I reclaimed the bass (since he was done using it) and started a pickup swap.

The Lane Poor pickups are now installed in one of my fretless Warmoth Gecko basses, and they sound really nice (as I expected they would; I’m no stranger to using Lane Poor pickups in a fretless bass) but I am finding that I don’t like the tone of the humbucking Lane Poor pickup as much as I used to.  The wide aperture pickup seems to be more resonant and singing, whereas the humbucker seems to have a very forced midrange.  I’ll do some fiddling around to see if I can make it work, but I’ll probably try to obtain another wide aperture pickup for the bridge position instead.

Current plans for this Gecko bass will be to use an Audere preamp (to be purchased) but I have not yet decided on the model, or which control pots to use.  So many options to choose from.  I’ll do some more research.

Also, the original pickups from this fretless Warmoth Gecko bass (a pair of Seymour Duncan “ASB2-5″ active pickups) have been removed.  I was never that happy with the tone, since the pickups just seemed to suck out all the interesting midrange frequencies.  I only used these pickups because they came with the body (purchased from eBay) and now I have reached my limit.  These are the second brand of active pickups that I’ve tried but didn’t like.  (EMG was the first.)  So I will probably move these pickups to the “Toby Pro”, wire them up, and then try to find a new home for this bass.  It has served me well, but I no longer need it since I almost never play fretted bass.

Finally, it is now public news that The Legacy Pickup Shop is taking orders and will likely be shipping new pickups in 2010.  These pickups will be the same designs as the original Lane Poor pickups, made with the same tools and materials and (hopefully) in the very same shop by a former apprentice of Lane Poor himself.  This is great news, and I feel very proud to have been a part of bringing this effort back to life.  For those who didn’t know, I held on to the “lanepoor.com” domain for several years, while it was left idle (and picked up at one point by domain spammers).  The domain has now been transferred to the new owner of the Legacy Pickup Shop.  I wish them the best of luck.

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