P bass and Music Man Pickup Config. Tell Me How. Please.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jrives, Jan 22, 2013.


  1. jrives

    jrives

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    I just got off the phone with Spike at Warmoth. He sent me to this Forum hopefully to get some direction. I am wanting to build a Pbass with a Jazz neck and both split P bass and Music man pickups. The question I have for you guys is.. What are the electrical components that I need? What would the knobs do? I would prefer an active setup. ANY HELP WOULD BE NICE.

    JUSTIN
     
  2. rnarrington1

    rnarrington1

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    Just a fore warning these guys may want ALOT more info to answer your question, because how you set everything up and what you will need, will depend on what electronics you choose to use.......
     
  3. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    You want to build a bass like this ...

    [​IMG]

    The problem is the p-bass pickups work best passive and the MM pickup likes a preamp. So you can wire it active or passive like a jazz bass. The one in the pic above is active.

    I built that bass from parts.
     
  4. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    You mean something like this
    [​IMG]

    This one is passive, wired up as your standard volume/volume/tone, with a concentric pot for each volume. The switches are series/parallel for each pickup. I'm probably going to get another pick guard and do away with them, as I always use them in series.

    Its really no different than wiring up any other bass. Just think of them as pickup one and pickup two, and wire them up per the instructions on your preamp if you go active.
     
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  6. parsons

    parsons

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    the musicman pickup sounds best with a preamp. it also sounds best in its intended placement from the bridge which happens to overlap the Precisions intended placement. Youll never get both tones at once with this combo which is why it isnt very popular amongst the guys who build their own. its been done obviously, but if it was all the rage you'd see a lot more people doing it. My two cents.
     
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    i don't really know where the myth came from that a MM pickup doesn't sound good passive. It has more to do with the individual pickup, not the shape of it. My bass sounds pretty awesome.

    Its true that you wont be able to put it in the true MM position with the P in its true position, but being moved closer to the bridge doesn't make it sound bad. It actually makes it a bit more growly and quite a bit brighter, but still retains quite a bit of bottom end.

    This is the pickup I used in my bass http://www.bestbassgear.com/basslines-pickups-smb4a.htm
     
  8. jrives

    jrives

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    Hopkins -
    Nice Basses. I love the look. They both are awesome. What would you suggest? Should I build an Active or a Passive Bass. What would be cheaper passive? Could you tell me the parts you used?
     
  9. rubbadubdub

    rubbadubdub

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    Wow That's my dream p bass. I have a silver series Squier P bass from 1992 which I bought cheap because the previous owner half stripped the finish. It will be refinished in olympic white at some point and will have a Wilkinson mm pickup and a 1979 Stingray pre amp which I have in my spares box. I fitted a stingray pickup to a previous P bass before and it worked very well passively.
    I wouldn't worry about the preamp too much, after all, you have one of those on your amp. The position isn't a big deal unlesss you really want an exact ray sound. I have a couple of Stagg Bm350s with an mm in that position and the bridge pup has all the bite and attack I could wish for with a top end very like a ray. Think j bass on steroids. The only 'problem' maybe that your mm will be louder than the p pup. I would recomend fitting a series/parallel switch for the mm. Parallel for less output and brighter ray like tone and series for more low mids and I believe a more Sterling like tone.
    Good luck with it and post a picture for us.
    BTW... don't be afraid to have something out of the ordinary if you like the sound. Famous players all have their own distinctive tones.
     
  10. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    Its a Fender 62 RI P pickup, Duncan MM pickup. I had to swap leads on the P pickup, because it was out of phase with the MM, but they work fine together.

    Of course passive would be cheaper, but I cant tell you weather or not you should go active or passive, that's your decision.
     
  11. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

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    I didn't say mm pickups don't sound good passive. They usually sound better active.
     
  12. parsons

    parsons

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    Again, never said it sounded bad. I said it sounds best with the proper Pre. At my practice space there is an OLP that has the exact pickup you used in it that's passive and it sounds not so great to me but that's because I have 5 MMs(one of which has that Duncan pickup) at home that are obviously active.
     
  13. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member

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    It sounds not so great to you, because its different than what you are used to. I have a two band MM bass also, my P bass doesn't sound anything like it with the MM pickup soloed. Its a different animal all together. It almost sounds like a really hot Jazz bridge pickup.
     
  14. kjpollo

    kjpollo

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    You mean like this?

    [​IMG]

    Granted mine's a Jazz body but this is my Clement custom build. The pickups are both Duncans. The P is a Quarter Pounder and the MM is an SMB-4A.
    They are run through a non-bypassable Bart preamp so the bass is active only.

    This bass is a tone monster! But I will say that the assumption above that the MM will be louder than the P is not the case with this bass. When I have the pickup blend knob set flat, you definitely get more of the P pickup sound. I have to dial it back a little toward the MM to get a truly balanced sound.
    I'm not somebody who worries about exact pickup placement. I get plenty of brightness from the MM and the Quarter Pounder is a beast up front.

    Right now you can get both of those pickups for about $150 plus shipping. The place mine came from sells the MM for $85 and the Quarter Pounder P for $65. So thats your baseline cost. Where you go from there depends on whether you go active or passive. Its been said several times before that passive is definitely cheaper. Preamps can run $125 and up brand new plus it can be a little more work to do some of the wiring, though some sources prewire the pots for you so you only would have to wire the pickups, ground and jack.

    For me, I've always liked active but I also have plenty of passive basses in my stable. Right now I have 4 passives, 2 full-on actives and one that does both and when I get bass #8 very soon it also does both. But I cant tell you which way is better for you. That's YOUR call.
     
  15. rubbadubdub

    rubbadubdub

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    Inspired by that stunning p bass in the first picture, I have just fitted a Wilkinson mm in the bridge position of my P bass. I measured the distance from the nut to the front edge of the brudge mm on my Stagg bm 350 as that position sounds great on that bass. It was 78.4cm exactly.
    Wow what a result. Way more useable than a j bridge solod and a lovely rounded and slightly smoothed out p sound with both pups on. Great slap tone and perfect for rock ballads with the tone pot open and more gentle stuff with the tone backed off.
    To get it going I simply wired the mm (in series mode) straight to the output jack via a pushpull (250k b as standard for the p bass) pot. This is a slighty odd setup in that I can solo the bridge pup by rolling back the volume slightly when the mm is engaged via the switch. I never use a tone pot on a bridge pup as I only use them for when i really want to cut through to the front so this works well for me. In fact this combo is so good that my other p is getting the same treatment. No actives required here. Best of all the wilkinson pup cost £20 delivered from evilbay.
     

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