Author Topic: AXYs vs FatBoy  (Read 618 times)

shim

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« on: December 29, 2006, 03:16:14 AM »
I ordered my dream bass to Alembic. My bass will have the signature electronics, but I cannot decide the type of Pick-up. Valentino wrote he could get the better sound by exchanging AXYs to FatBoy, but, I cannot hear the sound sample of them.  
 Any other opinion?? or do you have any sound-samples to get a idea about pick-up?  
 
 please help me. :D

bigredbass

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006, 10:03:44 PM »
I had AXY's in the BigRedBass for several years before venturing out and retrofitting it with FatBoys.
 
The AXYs are perfectly clear and sound as if they have a relatively flat frequency response.  They are very honest in their presentation.  They remind me of studio monitors' very equal presentation of material with little coloration.
 
The FatBoys seem more muscular, a meatier presentation.  They impart more punch, all else being equal.  Other musicians not prone to saying anything about my tone all suddenly began inquiring what had I done to that bass, it sounds great.  I had to agree.  
 
I liked the AXYs, but I'm just crazy about the FatBoys.  I would NOT go back to AXYs, and they were very good.  I just prefer the FatBoys.
 
J o e y

bigredbass

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006, 10:03:48 PM »
I had AXY's in the BigRedBass for several years before venturing out and retrofitting it with FatBoys.
 
The AXYs are perfectly clear and sound as if they have a relatively flat frequency response.  They are very honest in their presentation.  They remind me of studio monitors' very equal presentation of material with little coloration.
 
The FatBoys seem more muscular, a meatier presentation.  They impart more punch, all else being equal.  Other musicians not prone to saying anything about my tone all suddenly began inquiring what had I done to that bass, it sounds great.  I had to agree.  
 
I liked the AXYs, but I'm just crazy about the FatBoys.  I would NOT go back to AXYs, and they were very good.  I just prefer the FatBoys.
 
J o e y

the_8_string_king

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 10:22:06 PM »
Joey, do you prefer Fatboys for both pickups, or for only the bridge pickup -as I seem to recall hearing another club member saying they were too much or something to that effect -on/for the neck pickup.
 
I ask because they've started working on my custom, and I could ask them to put Fatboys in one or both pickups.

lidon2001

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2006, 10:35:56 PM »
FatBoys were too much for my neck pickup on my medium scale bass with the neck pickup moved closer to the neck.  I assume it was from the strings being a bit looser on the shorter scale.  With a longer scale, and I believe Shim has his neck pickup moved a bit back towards the bridge, I would think that Valentino's suggestion is the way to go, as are most suggestions made by the fine folks at Alembic.
2005 MK Deluxe SSB, 2006 Custom Amboyna Essence MSB, Commissioned Featured Custom Pele

bob

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2006, 12:36:41 AM »
I've also commented that I thought a FatBoy was too much for the neck, but Joey prefers using them in both positions. From what I recall reading here, I think there's a pretty even split of opinion, though maybe a slight preference (among those who have tried) for using them in both positions.
 
The one thing I'm pretty sure of is that if you have a choice, it would be crazy not to put a FatBoy at the bridge.
 
If I were choosing a pickup for a position halfway between the standard neck and bridge positions, I would certainly try a FatBoy first, and expect to stick with it.
 
But it's all a matter of taste, as always, and I think you probably have to hear them yourself to make a decision. My suggestion would be to go with one of each, then swap them around. Whatever you choose, worst case is you end up buying one pickup, and it probably won't be a second AXY.
-Bob

shim

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2006, 12:53:01 AM »
Thax. so Joey suggest the both position Fatboy, and Bob suggest the only neck pick-up FatBoy... right?
 
Bob~ but, I cannot hear them myself to make a decision, because in Korea most alembics have only AXYs, not FatBoy. I really want to hear them....  
 
I feel the AXYs too clean.  
 
 Thanx Joey, the_8_string_king, Bob... :D
 
 Anyother opinion???
 
 -Shim

bsee

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2006, 01:16:47 AM »
I have two short scale basses.  One has AXYs and Europa electronics, the other has FatBoys and Signature electronics.  Both have the neck pickup pushed closer to the neck.  It's like the difference between single coils and humbuckers in terms of tone.  The wood recipes are different, so it's not apples to apples, but the FatBoys just sound fat.  
 
I think it's a matter of finding the right pickup height and gain settings.  I suspect that if you just swapped a higher-output FatBoy in for an AXY and made no other tweaks, it would be too much.  However, a careful rebalance should make it work just fine.
 
Logically, I would almost want to try the reverse.  A FatBoy in the neck position for warm Motown tones and an AXY at the bridge for crisp treble accents.  Of course, the treble on an Alembic is so present to begin with that the FatBoy still works great there.  Again, it would be critical to match the gains and heights.  That would be a challenge with this config since you'd be putting the lower output pickup at the lower output position.
 
I would say that they are two different tools with different tones.  I would go for the FatBoys for a vintage tone and the AXYs for a more modern sound or for chording that needs the tighter definition.  Just my opinion...
 
-bob
 
Oh, and if you go with one of each to consider swapping, make sure they both get made with equal length lead wires so they reach from either position.

the_8_string_king

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2006, 09:05:27 AM »
Wow, I got a thanks, and I didn't even contribute anything!
 
Hey Shim, congratulations on commissioning your custom!
 
Joey, Tom, Bob, thanks for your input.
 
I have to say I'm pretty interested at this point -based on what you guys have said (along with previous raves/testimonials)- on getting the FatBoy pickups for my 6-String custom that they've started on.
 
I'm planning on getting the Balance K Omega body (the only thing that might affect that is concern over whether the reach required to reach the 1st fret would be greater than that of a Europa of the same [34 inch] scale).
 
I can't remember if Mica said the Balance K comes with AXYs or MXYs, but I'm pretty sure she said the FatBoys fit right in (without the need for further routing).
 
(If so) I'm interested in getting a FatBoy for the bridge pickup, and the standard (whichever it is) pickup for the neck.
 
Now my neck pickup should be in the standard position.
 
But hey, does anyone happen to know the retail $ for a second FatBoy & that of the standard pickup -in case, after getting the bass, I decide that I either want to swap the standard neck pickup for another FatBoy, or to swap the FatBoy for the standard pickup?
 
And can anyone confirm that FatBoys are readily switchable with the standard pickups on the Balance K?
 
I'm 99% sure Mica said they were -but I'd like to be 100% sure!
 
Thanks, gang!

bsee

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2006, 09:32:05 AM »
FatBoys and AXYs are exactly the same size.  If you order your bass with AXYs, then you can drop it right in.  What you get depends on your base electronics package.  I think you get MXY with Set-neck and Essence/Europa/Rogue basses and AXY with Signature basses.  Of course, you can order whatever shape you want and I doubt there's much, if any, upcharge to switch pickup shapes.
 
No idea on the cost...
 
Were I in your shoes, I would order one AXY and one FatBoy in whichever positions you prefer.  Then you can swap them back and forth to check your preferences.  This means you will have to only buy one additional pickup in the worst case.  On the other hand, if you order two AXYs and prefer FatBoys in both spots, you'll need to order two more...
 
By the way, reach to the first fret of a Balance K should be the same or shorter as compared to a Europa.

bigredbass

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2006, 10:58:12 AM »
Yeah, B, that's a great idea:  Get one of each and it's NOTHING to swap them back to front.  It's gonna take longer to unstring/re-string than to unplug them and switch them.  The crazy thing is you only remove the two screws you can see, swap them, put the two screws back, and they're still in EXACTLY the same height!
 
The BigRedBass is a long scale, standard Omega shape, so my neck pickup is in the traditional spot, next to the truss-rod cutout at the end of the fingerboard.  I basically set my heights with the neck pickup about halfway between the top of the body and the bottom of the strings, and the neck pickup halves that height again closer to the strings.  My trims are set with a slight rearward bias to add that bridge pickup zing on top of the front pickup beef.  I have the 4-way selector, no pan.  I originally tried the AXY in front with the FatBoy aft, but the FatBoys are so delicious to me I prefer them in both places.
 
I would rather have a little too much of something and thin it out rather than having to really boost something that is barely there.  I'm finally to the point I want as little tone modification as possible, and I preferred a little thinning to a lot of boosting.  My friend Bob likes 1 and 1 on his fretless, which I could see for him.  Bob has VERY good ears, not surprising as the rest of him is first-class, too.
 
J o e y

bigredbass

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2006, 11:03:17 AM »
Oh, and BTW:  Be sure if you order replacement AXYs/FatBoys that you let Mica or Val know WHAT fingerboard width you have.  
 
The BigRedBass is a classic taper five-string.  So I told Val to send me a FatBoy 5/6.  Guess what?  Classic taper fives actually take a FatBoy four ! !  OOOOOPPPPSSS!  Once I got the right one, they ARE utterly interchangeable, same size.
 
J o e y

shim

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2006, 11:25:50 AM »
Thanx Everyone. :D  
Because I cannot hear the differences between AXYs and FatBoy, so your suggestions are so helpful.  
So.... your suggestion is... AXYs for Neck pick-up, and FatBoy for Bridge Pick-up??  
 
PS : Because I'm poor at English, so Frankly speaking, I might not be able to understand whole of your words;;;; I worry about it.

shim

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2006, 12:40:26 PM »
And, I want to get the sound like Jimmy Johnson. To get this sound, which one is good for me??

the_8_string_king

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AXYs vs FatBoy
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2006, 11:59:33 PM »
By the way, thanks to all you guys, Shim for raising this topic and bringing it to the forefront of my attention, and Joey, Tom and the Bobs for their comments.
 
Bassed on your feedback, I'm going to tell Mica I'd like to get the Fatboy for the Bridge pickup, and see if this costs extra.  If it doesn't, I'll go for it, and ask that the wires are long enough to allow swapping.
 
It sounds like I can't go wrong with it.  But -this is probably a really stupid question-  ... I really want this bass to have a FLAMING Coco Bolo sound... the Fatboy couldn't... I dunno, make it sound less... Coco-Boloier... could it?  That's probably a dumb question, but if any of you FatBoy lovers can answer it, I'd appreciate it!
 
Thanks again you guys!  You done educated me good!  And I think it just might have a significant effect on my finished sound... which, if so, would be no small thing!
 
Time for my behind to go to sleep!  Night, y'all!