replacement precision pup decision
Thinking strongly about dropping a new pup in my trusty P bass. My first requirement is that the pole pieces are flush with the top of the cover. After that, one that sounbds fairly balanced - something that sounds on the vintage side but will not change the fundamental sound of the bass. Lastly, it must be a drop in replacement/standard sized pup. My short list is-
1. Fender Original 62 - (I am a fan of fender reissues basses)
2. Bill Lawrence P-46 - (seem to get a lot of run here)
3. Nordy NP4 - (love the nj4s for jazz but never played a bass with their p-pup)
4. SD spb-1s - (well regarded, easy to find, inexpensive)
On your list, I like the Fender Originals best. I cannot deal with the aesthetics of the Bill Lawrence extra pole's. I have read the NP4's sound "modern". I have a set of NJ4SE's that are very nice though. The SPB-1 get's great reviews here and I may use a set myself on my next project to check them out and, as you noted, they are very affordable.
I would add to your list the Aguilar 4P-60's. The basses I play the most, unless they have their original pups, are using these.
I have had, and have heard, nothing but good things regarding SD's.
The aggy's may be a bit more mid and low happy. I seem to run the tone more fully open (close to ten) with them and I like that. I do not like to roll the tone off on my P's as I think they sound muddy.
I have never A-B'd the Fender Originals and Aggy's in the same bass but I have several basses with both. I have Aggy's in ash and alder bodies with maple and rosewood boards and the tone has been consistent in all those basses.
I have far more basses with the Fender Originals because I used to buy them whenever I saw a deal and I built a ton-o-basses from parts using them.
I am really looking forward to trying the Duncans though. JohnK recommended them to me and that's what I'll be trying in the next bass. If I do not like them, I will start shopping for a good deal on the aggy's.
I've used the SDs on two basses (one P) and am very happy with them.
The pole pieces aren't really a factor. I put a strip of electrical tape over the poles under the covers. I like how it looks and it restricts the poles from being a problem. I have a number of friends who do this. Especially good if you like to have your pickups high.
Very very happy with my P46s, have not tried the Seymour Duncan SPB-1s but I do generally like SD and their customer service is absolutely top notch IME. The weird pole piece configuration on the P46s doesn't bother me as I generally don't look at my pickups whilst playing.
You have picked some of the favorites, I got recommended all of them by fellow TB people.
While I have no personal experience with any of them, I know a guy (with references!) who is good for installs and quite local to your area ;)
But I'd definitely like to hear how it sounds, either way.
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