Known for their broad selection of pickups and electronics, Bartolini is recognized around the world as a standard in guitar and bass tone. Since their inception in 1973, Bartolini has built their reputation for great tone and electronics through years of research, rigorous experimentation and the implementation of the latest technology. Today, we want to show our appreciation for their partnership by sharing their history as well as highlighting a few standout Bartolini products.
Based in San Luis Obispo, California, Bartolini's product line features a wide selection of pickup styles and sizes for both guitar and bass. Some of their most notable replacement pickups include both Jazz and Precision bass models, soapbars, P-90s, humbuckers and electric guitar single-coils -- all of which are manufactured in the US from start to finish.
The company has its roots in 1973 when founder Bill Bartolini decided to begin manufacturing his own line of magnetic pickups after 11 years of part-time research in the acoustics of nylon string instruments, speaker cabinets, power amplifiers and polyphonic pickups. During this early period, Bartolini focused solely on quadraphonic and hexaphonic pickups (pickups with four and six outputs, respectively) under the Hi-A moniker. Soon after in 1977, Bartolini had expanded their product line to include their first active pickup, the EVQ, which included and onboard preamp as well as hum-cancelling capabilities.
By the end of the 80s, Bartolini's offerings had grown significantly, releasing several new product lines tailored for a variety of players, instruments and genres including New Wave and Metal as well as several designs that are still around to this day, such as their 3AV acoustics and 3X Fender Strat replacements.
Today, Bartolini's offerings encompass a wide selection of offerings for multiple styles and genres. Although they have experimented with different techniques and designs throughout their history, some of which are no longer available, Bartolini has never lost sight of their original mission -- superior tone for musicians around the world.
A Few of our Favorites
The items below are just a few of our favorite Bartolini pickups and electronics but there's a lot more quality stuff where that came from. You can check out our entire selection of Bartolini gear right here.
The 9J1 L/S is the Fender Jazz Bass ( J Bass ) replacement pickup set with a long-length for the bridge and a long-length for the neck. The set is highly respected by musicians and luthiers alike for its deep tone, strong lows, low mids tone. They feature a dual in-line coil design. The original series bass pickups with passive designs. They are cast in epoxy to remove unwanted feedback and microphonics.
The lengths of the neck and bridge pickups in the original J-basses are not equal. The neck pickup is 3-3/4" long , and the bridge pickup is 3-3/4" long. Please check the physical size of the pickups you want to replace to make sure the replacements fit properly.
The 9J1 L/S is the Fender Jazz Bass® ( J Bass® ) replacement pickup set with a ‘long’ for the bridge and a ‘short’ for the neck. The set is highly respected by musicians and luthiers alike for its deep tone, strong lows, low mids tone. They feature a dual in-line coil design. The “original series” bass pickups with passive designs. They are cast in epoxy to remove unwanted feedback and microphonics.
The lengths of the neck and bridge pickups in the original J-basses are not equal. The neck pickup is 3-5/8″ long which is slightly shorter than the bridge pickup which is 3-3/4″ long. Some modern designs, however, use two ‘long’ bridge-length pickups. In this configuration it is important to use the “LN” (long neck) pickup that is specifically designed to work in this position (do not use a bridge pickup in the neck position). Some (very few) use two ‘short’ neck length pickups. Please check the physical size of the pickups you want to replace to make sure the replacements fit properly.
The MK5CBC Pickup set is a Cort Curbow shape soapbar. The bridge and neck both measure 4.24" / 107.57mm long and 1.33" / 33.66mm wide. The dual coil design features powerful lows and low-mids bright treble.
Part of the Classic Series, these bass pickups are passive designs featuring an extended and more resonant frequency range with far more air and definition at the top without sacrificing lows and low mids. Just like the rest of the Classic Series, these pickups are cast in epoxy to remove unwanted feedback and micro-phonics.
The PBF line of pickups was forged through a two collaboration between Bartolini and famed guitar builder Ed Reynolds who was known for his excellent self-crafted guitar and basses along with top quality repair services.
HR5.2AP/918 Prewired Active/Passive Preamp Harness (9/18V 3 Band EQ)
A pre-wired harness will save you the time and aggravation of wiring your pre-amp and pots into your instrument. They feature Bartolini's industry leading pre-amps and premium audio-quality potentiometers with smooth control and ready for years of rugged use.
The HR5.2AP/918 features a 3-band EQ and pre-amp, volume with Active/Passive push-pull switch, blend and three holes for tone control.
The TCT is a tone control module designed for electric guitars, basses and other electronic musical instruments. it yields a very wide range of boost or attenuation of the Bass, Midrange and Treble regions of the musical instrument spectrum. Its tonal range is at least equal to that of that of the older Fender amplifiers with Bass, Treble and Presence (low midrange) controls.
Your Turn to Sound Off!
What are you favorite Bartolini pickups or electronics?
Sound off in the comment section below!