Pulled the trigger on a P/J set of Dragonfire pickups....

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Diesel Kilgore, Jan 10, 2013.


  1. Diesel Kilgore

    Diesel Kilgore

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    I was going hard for the GFS J pickup. But as I do before alot of purchases I read the best bass review source in the world and did a search.

    Dragonfire popped up and I read quite a bit about them. Found some posts here about them, but got alot of my info from the guitar side where DF seems to be more prevelant.

    Shipped, GFS was $40, for one bridge J pup. Dragonfire was $30 for a full set P and J. Couldnt resist.

    Just ordered them and will come back to this thread and do a review. I only needed the J and will review that first for all my P/J thumping fellows with weak bridge pickups. If I like them I will try out the P pup as well. Kill 2 cheap pickup curiosities with one bass.
     
  2. Diesel Kilgore

    Diesel Kilgore

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    So here is the follow up.

    TNT/Dragonfire is just up the road from me in Oregon. They shipped Wednesday. Got here today, Saturday.

    Before that, had a problem with a pre-paid card. Not enough funds. Called them to make up the balance. Very fast customer service by phone (on a Sunday) and took care of the issue. Straight to the point, everything taken care of.

    So....got them in and didnt wait to install them. Was originally only wanting to swap out the J in my Jag as they are notoriously weak. I decided today that I would just do the P pickup as well since I bought the set. Test them out....just see whats the deal with them.

    Had read that a problem with the Dragonfire pickups are that the covers may be too big. For the P. This was definitely true. I dont know what these would/are supposed to fit. They are about a 1/8" too wide on each side on the screw hole center. Luckily I had a set of covers from the original set of Ps in this bass (Originals died and replaced with another original set, which is what I replaced with the DFs) This should be true for all Fender/Squier or any P pickup for that matter.

    The DF covers have the look and feel similar to an Ibanez pickup. Square edged and rougher finish. But they are still too big for an Ibanez. Whatever you use these to replace make sure you borrow the original pickup cover(s). And the screws too as the DFs come sans screws.

    J pickup in the bridge fit great.

    I also noticed after having to remove the covers from the P. They have a nice shrink wrap around the copper coil. The connection of the wires from the coil is also nicer then I have seen on stock pickups. Very sturdy.

    I first tested the J pickup after install. Whoa! Very gutsy and full sounding. Much louder over the stock Jag J pickup. With treble rolled off it sounds very similar to a nice P pickup with a bit more growl and treble. The way a good J pickup should sound. From what I feel from this single bridge J it would be an improvement on alot of bridge J's. I think a matched neck and bridge J set on a J bass would provide more boom and growl on a Standard MIM Fender or even a MIA. It exceeded my expectations. YMMV.

    The Jag has great P pickups. Which is the reason I bought my Jag. At first the DFs sounded similar, until I got into playing some more. The DFs have a more rounded tone and a bit more sustain. A tad fuller and louder. Not a remarkable step up. But noticeable. The Jag P pickups would seem more hollow than the DFs. The DFs have a bit more solid tone to them.

    With both P and J volume full I finally could notice the J bite to the P that this bass has been missing. I really enjoy that tone and these pickups deliver it. I can roll off either pickup a tad and get much more play in tones between the 2 then before. Volume doesnt drop off either with the J and P up full.

    I did initial tests on my 30w practice amp. Then rushed over and played tonight with a friend on his Ampeg SVT head and Mesa cab. A better setup then my Carvin/Peavey rig for sure. I havent had a chance to play them on my rig yet. Just the fiddler amp. These pickups were noticeably better in that jam setting on a good rig then the originals. They were fuller and edgier. I could really see how hollow sounding the originals were. I could change my attack and really cut through harder and could hear it well.

    I am impressed for the money I spent. $33 shipped. GFS pickups are about $10 more for one J. I got a P/J set that I would gig with for cheaper. I am happy with these pickups. I have never experienced something like Fralins, DiMarzio etc....and cannot comment or compare the DFs to that and I wont. But for a parts bass build. A refresh pickup for a dead one or in a vintage bass. Or just a nice step up on a budget bass like my Squier I think these are really nice. I would do it again. I think the J is the bigger winner of this set. I would love to try a full J set in a J bass. The DFs were better then expected for the price and I am happy I took the risk on them.

    Hope you all got something out of my review.
     
  3. FatherG

    FatherG

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Thanks - I just purchased the install kit and set of PJ pickups today. Pricing is interesting: $64 plus s+h on ebay or $54 plus s+h (2 bucks more) from their website.
     

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