Tested: Aguilar 4P-Hot vs. Dimarzio P
So, I've been a big fan of Dimarzio Ps (and Js) for the last decade or so. I end up putting them in almost every Fender-type bass I've owned, so they kinda are "my" sound.
I just put together a really nice P-Bass with a J neck and wanted to try something different. Never been a fan of vintage-correct pickups. I like big volume, attitude and big sound. So I tried to new Aguiar P pickup, hot version.
Really pleased. The Aguilar is almost as loud, but not quite as much as the Dimarzio. A bit more tame, but a lot more balanced in every direction. Not as crystalline sounding as a vintage-type pickup, but almost. Pretty clear for being an overwound pickup.
The Dimarzio still has a lot more attitude, treble and mids, and girth overall. Although, this comparison is based on "opposite" P-basses, sorta. The Dimarzio is on a '73 P with ash body and all maple neck; the Aguilar is on a recent alder P body and a rosewood fretboard. . . I can really hear the brightness and snap of the maple/ash, and I can really hear the smoothness in the alder/rosewood P-Bass.
Interestingly, I have a fretless Yamaha (probably poplar or basswood body) with a Dimarzio P, and it's notably unfocused and darker than both these basses, which proves that at least wood type has a bit impact in sound (I know this is a life-long debate, whether wood affect tone, but that has been discussed to death).
All in all, I'm still a fan of the Dimarzios but the Aguilar Hot is really nice too, a lot smoother but not as soft as normal P pickup - which, well, pretty much fits the description. Great choice for those looking for a hotter pickup that still retains some of the traditional characteristics of a P pickup.
It'd be interesting to compare a Duncan Quater Pounder with this new Aguilar Hot, since the designs are similar.
Nice review, it sounds like it may be a high output pickup that actually sounds good.
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