I recently picked up this precision pickup and I have decided to do a review of it for anyone else who might be looking to upgrade their P pup
I'll divide this review into two parts - the first one covering why I wanted to upgrade and what my tonal goals were, and the second covering the installation and my reaction to the pup === Part 1 ===
To start, I have owned a 2010 MIA Fender Precision for a little over a year now, and while I have always loved the feel of the bass, the tone had left much to be desired. Some issues I was having with the stock pickup was that it:
- sounded dull and lacked punch
- it's low end wasn't as deep or as full as I'd like it
- and it didn't grind at all when played with a pick
These were personal issues I had with the pup and I won't try to argue that this is the case with all MIA Fenders, but rather that these are just issues I've had with my own. I should also stress that I don't dislike the stock pup; I just wished it offered more.
I spent a few months researching different precision pups and found myself fairly overwhelmed given the numerous options that our currently available. I did a little soul searching and decided that the pickup I was going to purchase had to:
- be punchy
- had to have a very sizable bump in the low mids
- had to be fairly transparent
- and had to be capable of grindy tones when the tone was turned up
I eventually heard the name Delano dropped in a conversation about precision pups, so I decided to do a little research into their line. This is how I stumbled upon the FE/M2 pup. In their description Delano mentioned that the pickup was designed to mimic the attitude, attack, punch, and grind of a EBMM StingRay. Seeing as my second bass is a StingRay this sounded perfect for me.
Unfortunately, there are only two carriers of Delano pups in the US, and this pup seems to be fairly rare and not normally kept in high supplies. I was actually on a wait list for 3 months before a new shipment finally arrived, but let me tell you that it was worth it!
=== Part 2 ===
The installation of this pickup was surprisingly VERY easy. I had never done any sort of work like this before, and it ended up taking me no more than an hour's worth of work to get the job done. All I needed was a pair of wire cutters, a soldering gun, some steel wool, some very fine grit sand papers, and a screwdriver. The pups also came with some handy schematics which are very clear and easy to understand.
After the installation job was complete, I quickly went into my practice space and fired up my amp. All I could say was, "WOW!"
I immediately noticed three things:
1. My output had seemingly gone up quite a bit
2. My bass was much punchier than it had been
3. My tone was seemingly much more clear and transparent... and this was all apparent with dead strings!
I quickly threw a new set of Dunlop Nickles on the bass (the only set I had available) and began to take notes. The most notable thing I wrote down was that my bass was much more transparent sounding, and by that I mean it felt like a blanket had been lifted off my speakers and I could finally hear what my bass really sounded like. Each note felt as if it stood on its on and that there was no 'blur' between them, so to speak. In addition, my notes just sounded clean and clear - almost piano like.
The next thing I noticed what how much more sensitive these pickups were. Subtle changes in touch were much more obvious both in terms of volume and tone. It was easier to get notes to stand out or fall back into the bass line when needed.
Another thing I noted was the added punch I got. If Precision basses are already known to have a low mid bump then these pickups take it to the next level! My bass was really bumping for the first time ever since I bought the bass, and when I later tried the bass on a gig it was as if my bass went from supporting the band to driving it!
The last thing worth mentioning was the added grind I was finally able to get out of my bass. When I cranked the tone knob up I was first surprised to notice that my bass still maintained its low end. With the stock pup I'd just get a thin, unpleasing, bright tone, but with the Delanos I'm getting a full, crisp tone that reminds me a lot of old punk songs.
=== Conclusion ===
Overall, I have to say that I'm VERY pleased with the Delanos! Their price is fair, their installation is easy, and they've given me the sound I've been looking for with no hassle! If you're looking to get a more aggressive, punchy, modern tone that is similar to that of an EBMM StingRay in your Precision then this is a pickup definitely worth checking out!