Expanding their current replacement pickups and pre-amps for Music Man basses, Basslines strikes again with two new products: the SMB-4a Alnico pickup in dual coil and three coil versions. Both are available in four-string and five-string direct replacements -- the five string is designated as SMB-5a.
The SMB-4a Alnico dual coil pickup was designed in the Basslines Custom Shop and was previously available as a Custom Shop item only. However, demand was so great, Basslines put it into standard production, in effect, reducing the price by half. The key feature is the .375" (3/8") Alnico 5 pole pieces. The mid-'70s StingRay basses incorporated just such a pickup. These instruments are some of the most highly collectable basses of their era, and are known for producing some of the most popular bass tones for metal, rock, blues, and funk. In addition to the Alnico magnets, the SMB-4a employs unique coil windings, which have the effect of extending both ends of the frequency spectrum beyond that of their ceramic magnet counterparts. In other words, the SMB-4a is both warmer on the bottom and more detailed on top.
Complimenting the Production release of the dual-coil Alnico pickup, the Basslines Custom Shop will now offer a three-coil version of the Alnico pickup. This is a direct retrofit for three-coil, post-1996 Sterling and StingRay 5 instruments, which originally relied on ceramic magnets and steel pole pieces. These basses feature a complex pre-amp and switching system that allows for series, split, and parallel wirings, while retaining hum cancellation and uniform gain between settings. The Basslines Custom Shop also provides a detailed booklet containing wiring options and enhancements to a typical three-coil Music Man instrument, which yield a more open and natural-sounding treble response, and a fuller, meatier bass response.