Alex Webster On His New Hammer Smashed Bass Pickups

Alex Webster has been a part of the Seymour Duncan family for quite a while now and, as a founding member of Cannibal Corpse and one hell of an influential bass player we thought it was well and truly time he was honored with his own signature pickup. Meet the Hammer Smashed Bass, named in tribute to CC’s crushing classic Hammer Smashed Face. Here are some words from Alex on his new pickup and his current rig.


What were you looking for specifically in your signature pickups?


I wanted to improve on the sound I already have established, and also make the pickups a bit easier to work with in terms of output level. I’ve had a problem over the years getting a completely clean signal out of my basses without having to turn the volume down on the bass itself. Optimizing the output level of the pickup seemed like a great way to resolve that issue – might as well start at the beginning of the signal chain, rather than try and fix things somewhere further down the line.


So I’m super excited with what the guys at Duncan came up with for me. Now I have pickups that work perfectly with my style, and I can crank the level on the bass all the way and the tone is still tight, punchy, and powerful. Also, somehow they managed to add more clean low end than I had before, a welcome bonus for sure. The pickups turned out amazing, I couldn’t be happier.


What’s your current live rig?


My amp is an Aguilar DB 751 head with an Aguilar DB 810 cabinet. My pedal board has a Radial Bassbone OD, a Darkglass B7K overdrive/DI, a Boss tuner, and the Seymour Duncan Studio Bass Compressor pedal. My basses are my Spector signature models, I have them strung with DR Strings. Also, I’ve recently started using Darkglass Tone Capsules as the preamps for my two main basses, they sound fantastic in combination with my new pickups.


How did you first start using Seymour Duncan?


My friend Keith Merrow gave me a Duncan Studio Bass compressor pedal a while ago to check out and I really liked it. When the possibility of doing a signature pickup came up, I jumped at the chance, knowing the quality of Seymour Duncan pickups, plus the company’s great reputation for working closely with their artists.


What does the bass mean to you?


Well, mainly it’s just something I love to do – I love playing bass, and hearing how it works with the band. The bass is the instrument that connects the rhythm of the drums with the melodic instruments in the band. It’s often not the most obvious part of the band, but it’s extremely important- along with drums, it’s like the framework of a musical structure. Those girders better be strong!

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