Best P Bass pickup of all time?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by 4bassguitar, May 21, 2011.


  1. 4bassguitar

    4bassguitar

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    So I have this bass that has a shot Dimarzio Model P. I like the sound, but it is giving me too many problems to make it my number one. I love the P bass "thump" and I am using flats on the bass. I want an ass kicking vintage P Bass on steroids and P90x. I'm a broke college kid and I can't break the bank with a 200 dollar pickup. I'm looking at the Fender Original P, the Bill Lawrence P46, EMG PHZ, Nordstrand P4, and the Lindy. What is the best, and more importantly the pros and cons of these pickups?

    P.S. do you think I can send Dimarzio my Model P and they will exchange it?
  2. Rocky McDougall

    Rocky McDougall

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    The pickup everyone uses for "Metal"
  3. 4bassguitar

    4bassguitar

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    it has a good mid range presence, but the pickup farts if i play hard, especially when I roll the tone off.
  4. billiam5billion

    billiam5billion

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    You should consider looking into Rio Grande pickups. I have the vintage P model in my Warmoth and it's got clarity and punch for miles.
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  6. 4bassguitar

    4bassguitar

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    How much do those go for?
  7. TC2112

    TC2112

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Parke County, Indiana
    I have a Lindy Fralin in my number one right now and have had a few other P's with Fralins. For me - they are the definition of P bass thump.
  8. OlSkewl56

    OlSkewl56

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Location:
    South Texas
    62! although someone had some soundclips of different Pups and the Nordstrand is cool too.
  9. Smallmouth_Bass

    Smallmouth_Bass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    Have you tried adjusting the pickup heights? What amp are you using? Maybe you're driving the input too hard and have to set the gain back.
  10. IronLung1986

    IronLung1986

    Joined:
    May 19, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    i'm certainly no P bass connoisseur but the pickup in my new American Special is awesome! it's the Standard Vintage Alnico Split Single-Coil pickup they use on the less expensive American models. very loud, clear, and articulate. no flab or mud, responds well to aggressive playing but still sings beautifully when you're gentle with it. i don't think that pickup is commonly available aftermarket, but anything calling itself "vintage alnico" would probably come pretty close.
  11. 4bassguitar

    4bassguitar

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    I have done everything to try and make it not to do that. i know its not the amp or pickup height. I did put 500k pots in there and that might be it. However, im using this as an excuse for a new p bass project.
  12. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Disclosures:
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Yes. I know people who sent back pickups and had them replaced.

    Is it defective or you want something different?
  13. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    Aug 21, 2008
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    Owner, SGD Music Products
    That IS the tone of a P bass. Listen to the old records. When you hit the strings hard you get that sound.

    Try lowering the pickup under the bass strings a little.

    Here's some vintage Motown isolated bass tracks to show that fart tone:

    Motown Mix

    It's like fart city! :D
  14. 4bassguitar

    4bassguitar

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    if thats what you mean by farts, i must refrain by saying it distorts. I have literally done everything. I have been thinking that it is the 500k pots. I also bought these pickups on craigslists ans it was kinda sketch how i got them. I would not be surprised if he knew they were defective.
  15. 4bassguitar

    4bassguitar

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    And that clip is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm really leaning towards the p46 by Wilde Pickups or the Original Fender's since that is what I want
  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    Jan 29, 2008
    Location:
    Colorado
    My favorite is the Seymour Duncan 1/4 pounder.
    LoveThatBass likes this.
  17. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    Aug 21, 2008
    Location:
    Bloomfield, NJ
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    Owner, SGD Music Products
    That's your amp. Pickups don't distort. Try turning down the gain and increase the master volume if you have one, or plug the bass into the active input and turn up the volume.

    Also, as I mentioned before. Lower the pickup farther away from the strings and it will have less output. That will stop your amp from clipping. And since it happens when the tone control is all the way off, try turning down the bass on the amp. Your amp sounds slightly underpowered. What kind is it?

    You might also notice that the real vintage tone has a lot of top end, as in those clips. These days people think it's all lows and no highs, but that's a misconception.

    It's not the pickups. Pickups cant distort. Those are hot pickups, but they are wound exactly like a real P bass. Same wire, same number f turns. The difference is they use ceramic magnets and steel poles.

    Just lower the pickup under the bass strings a little. Trust me, I've been doing this for a long time.
  18. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Supporting Member

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    Aug 21, 2008
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    Owner, SGD Music Products
    +1

    That's the problem. Let's see if he listens to us. ;)
  19. 4bassguitar

    4bassguitar

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    if i send you the bass do you want to set it up? New Orleans does not have a good guitar tech
  20. 4bassguitar

    4bassguitar

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    the amps i have tried it with is an SWR workingman's 15 and 12, Ampeg 810 rig at tipitina's. every amp has the same thing.
  21. John Wentzien

    John Wentzien

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Madison, IA
    Disclosures:
    Artist:TC Electronic RH450 bass system
    :D

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