Can P-pickups be mixed brand-to-brand?
Is there any reason a person can't mix Precision Bass pickups .. y'know a treble coil-set from one maker or type, and a bass coil-set from an other maker or type? I mean as long as you stay all passive or all active?
And can you put a tone control on each coil-set? One tone control for the bass pickup and one tone control for the treble pickup?
Seems like dumb questions but ya never know sometimes, I figure the worst that can happen is I'll get called a dumass. And that happens alot anyway so it's no big. :) Haahaa!
And what the heck, may as well go all the way here ....
Can active and passive coil sets be mixed?
Sure why not. They're all just copper wires right? You might run into problems if you use two different brands because the impedance may be different for each pickup. Not sure what effects this could have on sound. I would just stick to one brand personally.
As for the tone control, I believe this can be possible. Don't ask how though, I don't have a clue. You would need to wire the tone controls before the volume, not even sure how this could be accomplished.
Then again, I don't know of any manufacturer who outright makes a matched set of tetris-block-Precision pickups for the neck and bridge position, so you're on your own to experiment. I do recall some very successful P-P combinations from here on Talkbass, but not who made them. Also, remember they can be mounted obverse and reverse (with respect to whether the EA or the DG is the neck-most coil for each pickup), so trying that out can also yield interesting results.
(Addressing the repeated theme of "the impedances probably have to be close")
Why would you need the impedances to match (or even be close)?
If they're in series they become ~one~ pickup with a summed resistance.
If you run them in parallel it's not any different than running a bridge pickup and a neck pickup in parallel and they almost NEVER ~match~ anyway.
Mismatched impedances cause the pickups to unevenly load each other creating dips and notches in the frequency response, which may not always cause trouble, but they can cause the tone to go dull and lifeless if the difference is extreme. Again, with P pickups that's not much of an issue since they tend to be in the 10 kΩ ballpark.
(below -- Regarding discrete tone controls for each pickup ~block~)...
... there is no other way to wire a bass as far as I'm concerned. Recently I have seen excellent success by processing the two pickups on that 2-channel J separately then mixing them together post-FX. This really works well. REALLY well. And I like it way better than sending each pickup to it's own amp ... that's nearly cliche. My guess is that every bass I own from now on will be configured with per-pickup outputs (I don't really think of it as "stereo", it's more like 2-channel. Stereo sortof implies sound placement of each signal within a field. This is more like separate channels that are mixed into a mono signal post-processing and amplified with a single amp channel if desired).
I was planning to do this with P-pickups should I decide to try them. I'm still thinking through my options, this thread is part of that process.
I'm also considering a wiring/switching ~matrix~ so that I can (let's say) combine the bass pickup in the bridge position with perhaps the treble pickup in the neck position. Treating each ~block~ as a separate entity in as many ways possible. So if I have two sets of P-pickups treat them as four individual pickups as far as wiring, switching, and routing is concerned. I know it would be impractical to have every single possible combination available, but if I leave the bass stripped down enough (like a race car) then switching things around will be fairly less difficult.
None of these combinations may work worth a dang, but I'd rather have a hundred failures that lead to a single success. If it ends up that the "most used" configurations that are seen on every bass made are .. in fact .. the best ones, then so be it. But how will I ever know that if I don't try?
I recall that bass of yours - I knew you'd go for separate outputs again. :P And you're right, it's not stereo in the sense of positioning, but since that's what those connectors and that modus operandi is usually called, I'm too lazy to type "dual-channel output". :D
Yes, you can add up a lot of Precision pickups and select individual coils, there's no electrical harm in it, the only thing you'll have to mind is that your EA pickup halves have to have one electrical and magnetic polarity, while the DGs will have to have the opposite, so you will always retain hum-canceling - if that's something you're after, of course.
Here's one very simple way of messing with pickups for someone who wanted a P and reverse P in the same bass. You could as easily extend it to use a bank of DPDT switches or a rotary depending on just how many pickups you have. This below is just the tip of the iceberg. The only problem I see is that with far-offset coils you'll have a very disparate sound between the lower and higher strings - but, of course, that may be just what you need for tapping or such. ;)
The P pickup on my Yamaha BB3000S has two different "half-pickups". One is wound more times with a thinner gauge of wire than the other. I can't remember which side is which now, but this arrangement seems to work, tonally speaking. Response across all strings, with this pickup solo'd, is quite even. Great basses, these old BBs.
And another thanks, I had not considered the tonal difference of the two string pairs if the treble pickup is placed too far from the bass pickup. Which is ironic because that tonal disparity is a huge issue with me. Having "two basses" (high pair-disparity) is fine for some situations, but it is also rather easy to accomplish. On the other hand, creating a nice tonal balance between the two pairs is much more difficult to do. The ideal situation would be some way to design the setup so that you have onboard choices between tonal balance and tonal imbalance. Switches, pots, something/whatevers, that would provide fast choices of how far or how closely the two pairs sound.
When I say "setup" I probably mean "configuration". That would mean EVERYTHING, pickups chosen for installation, pickup placement, wiring, wire-routing, pot values, cap values, etc..
My main focus at this point in time is to get the bass itself worked out. I have totally mastered the off-bass setup and now have a completely flexible preamp and amp system that allows me complete freedom and easy useage (that http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f36/ex...ss-rig-902681/ .. aka "The X-Thread" or as it has been dubbed ... "The X-Rig"). My focus is now placed on (ahem) "The X-Bass".
Once I get the details and configurations worked out, the hairball mess of it all will be reduced to it's elements and installed in the actual ~bass~ that I am aiming to construct.
Hmmm ... it may be time to start a completely new thread, one that is separate from the X-Rig itself (that X-Rig thread is pretty enormous and difficult to locate various subjects. I wish the mods could allow me to edit the first page of it so I can add indexing links to various subtopics within it's depths).
Anyhow .... I'm rambling again. (who .... me? ramble? naaaawww! can't happen!)
Back to Earth here, thanks for the data, noted and added to my notes.
On this here .....
So ... I'm on the fence. The little ball bearing ricocheting around in my head like a PONG game set on "master level" is the choice between going with (perhaps) 3 J-Bass pickups (piles and piles of options in the J-bass pickup format, there's tons of J-bass-type pickups out there, many choices!) --- OR --- do I go off the deep end and set the bass body up to deal with the Precision Bass "tetris block" pickups? (most likely a J-pickup in the bridge position and two pairs of P-bass pickups ~northward~). Something like this maybe ....
There are easily three or four potentially useable pickup combinations here (without even including the J-bass pickup in the bridge position!). I think moving the entire gang of P-pickups more towards the neck would be a little better though.
So ... the P-pickup choice easliy redoubles the potential, but it also redoubles potential complexity and the amount of potential bench time vs playing time.
The little red-guy on my shoulder is SCREAMING .. "DOOD Just do it mangs! Go P-bass!!! Go P - Go P - Go P" (uh, I gotta go pee now heheh!). But the little white dood is saying "Flux, be sensible, go with the Jazz Bass pick format. It will reduce the amount of dilly-dallying and you KNOW how you are about dilly-dallying! We both know what's best here! Be sensible and go with the Jazz Bass pickup format, use 3 of them and you'll be more than satisfied".
My brain is on fire.
Something tells me that the P-Bass format is how this will end.
Thanks Stealth. You're definitely on my list of people of personal technical council. It's a short list! (In no particular order)...
As well as a view lesser involved members.
THANKS TO ALL OF THE FOLKS THAT HAVE OFFERED HELP AND CONTRIBUTED TO MY EFFORTS! :)
Beautiful bass though! I sortof prefer natural looking finishes, and that pickup arrangement sounds like it's pretty cool. Wish I could hear it!
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