Is there really much different between the Model P and the SPB-3

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by prater, Dec 29, 2013.


  1. prater

    prater Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    I'm modding a Squire Affinity P for use as a drop tuning bass for a couple of songs. I plan to keep it tuned to BEAD.

    I'm trying to select pickups and have been doing extensive research but can't seem to come to a solid conclusion.

    Initially I was dead set on the Dimarzio Model P.

    but

    After some more research I became convinced that the Duncan SPB-3 Quarter Pound would be more suited for what I am doing.

    Today I am at a brick wall between the two.

    I play in a 90s rock/alternative/nu metal cover band. I would use this bass primarily for dropped songs that require the Low B like Staind or Cold.

    I play nickel rounds through a GK 400RB IV into a 2x10 and 1x18.

    I want something that cuts, while retaining a clear tone, with attack and clear rumbling lows, occasional chords and a combination of pick and fingerstyle. I rarely slap or pop.

    I want something that will enhance the sounds of my instrument but still retain the distinct P bass sound.

    Both of these pickups are in my price range and I can't really afford more than that at this time, however I am open to other ideas as long as they are affordable.

    Am I just over thinking it or is there really a distinct difference between these two pickups?
  2. prater

    prater Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Also does anyone know what the pots on the Affinity are rated at? Will they be compatible with either of these pickups?
  3. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    I think the EQ curves of those pickups point in different directions. Model P pickups are quite mid-heavy, to the detriment of extreme highs and lows. For this reason they work really well in a band setting, but probably don't sound too good for bedroom playing. I say this because the couple of times I've encountered Model Ps, and their clones, I really loved them.
  4. prater

    prater Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    This is a great response. While I do love the sound of a mid scooped bass, I understand that it just doesn't cut as well in a band setting. I find myself boosting my low mids more and more often these days.

    One thing I did notice about many famous players who use the SPB-3 (Hoppus, Der Maur etc.) is how much less they have to compete with due to the nature of the bands they play in.

    I've also never heard them in dropped tuning.
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  6. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz

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    Oct 29, 2013
    Location:
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Yeah, the SPB-3 is most often mentioned as a 'pop punk' pickup, where the player guns the treble and cuts the bass. I think Hopper et al actually have some pretty good P bass tones personally. The SPB-3 is also in the Roger Waters P-bass. I don't associate Roger with that tone, but I guess times change.
  7. miles'tone

    miles'tone

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    Feb 26, 2008
    Location:
    Wales, U.K
    Nick Oliveri used the SPB-3 when he was in QOTSA. He tuned down to C natural and always sounded awesome.
  8. prater

    prater Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    That is very interesting. I do like his sound but it is not really me. At least not for my current project. I'll be playing more nu-metal type stuff with this bass.

    I'm leaning towards the model P right now.
  9. prater

    prater Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Agreed on the Roger Waters thing, I saw that but his tone always seemed more like a Vintage P bass sound. I was surprised they used those pickups in his signature bass.
  10. TN WOODMAN

    TN WOODMAN

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Location:
    Smyrna, Tennessee.
    True with Waters . Seems with Duncans the better choice would have been the vintage or vintage hot wind versus the 1/4 lb er .
  11. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    The Quarter Pounder is a real heavy-hitter. It has both fatter magnets and a higher wind. It is complete overkill, IMHO, and needs serious reigning in with the tone pot. If you want more than vintage class then the SPB-2 is better.

    I also very seriously question how many Roger Waters recordings or shows have been done with the QPs.
  12. maturanesa

    maturanesa

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    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    There´s no major difference between.. Both are high gain, boomie, dark, mid boosted sounding pups...
  13. prater

    prater Supporting Member

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    Aug 4, 2011
    I have no idea which one would work better for me, I'm thinking perhaps I should try to find some Fender Standard P bass Pickups.
  14. extreme

    extreme

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    I personally love the Model P, but based on everything you said in the original post I would highly recommend the SPB-3...it's really a great pickup and does what you say you want.
  15. wcoffey81

    wcoffey81

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    Feb 3, 2012
    Location:
    S/E Michigan
    off topic, but is it possible that your tonal goals might fight the 2x10+1x18 cabs?
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    Apr 11, 2005
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    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Both are good pickups, but I prefer the Model P because of the mid scoop in the SPB-3. To my ears, both roll off equal amounts of treble, though.
  17. prater

    prater Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Not at all, I've played my rig with a borrowed P-bass and have the sound I want with it. If the bass I got was a higher quality bass I wouldn't even bother with a pickup swap but the squire pickups are just lacking in every area.

    Honestly if Fender sold the pickups from their MIA Standard P bass I'd probably buy those.
  18. mike koers

    mike koers

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2013
    Steve Harris uses spb3 aswell.. probably since for ever ..
    Just to have somthing to compare ;-)
  19. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    No he doesn't.
  20. JellinWellen

    JellinWellen

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    Oct 18, 2012
    Location:
    Houston Tx
    Actually he uses SPB-4s which I have. They are super hot mid oriented pickups, basically SDs take on the model P but with alnico magnets and slightly hotter.

    Edit: before the spb4 he used the spb1 custom wound which became the now purchasable spb4.
  21. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    Still waiting for some good evidence that Roger Water used a Quarter Pounder for extended periods.

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