Seymour Duncan on Fenders P: 2 out of 2
A few weeks ago I switched the pickups on my 2008 Fender P bass 62 US RI and installed Seymour Duncan Antiquity II. The improvement in tone was amazing and gave this bass the voice I wished it always had. I felt a little funny doing this because I had assumed the Fender 62 P bass pick up was the holy grail of tone for that instrument.
I was faced with the same dilemma with a brand new Fender ash body US standard P Bass made in 2012. The bass has a maple neck. It's a limited series and a great instrument but I did not like the pickups from the beginning. To have some variety of tone I selected a Seymour Duncan SPB-1 and noticed a vast improvement over the stock pick-ups. It's warmer, bigger sounding and less shrill in the highs. It's got a nice vintage vibe. The SPB-1 is a great value for the price.
Compared with the Antiquity II the SPB-1 has a lot more highs and less bottom but it's designed to be this way.
Matched with the maple neck and ash body the SPB-1 works really well.
Anyways, Fender has really improved the quality and finish of their instruments and this US standard P Bass shows the brand is at the top of its game. When it comes to pick-ups (which are admittedly very much a matter of taste) they don't quite perform quite as well. Their pick-ups are good but they have nowhere the mojo and tone Seymour Duncan currently delivers.
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