Question about P/J configuration.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by sonic 7, Nov 30, 2013.


  1. sonic 7

    sonic 7

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    As we all know a standard jazz bass (two single coil j pick ups) has certain characteristics, hum when either pickup is rolled off, slightly "out of phase" sound with both pickups on full. Does a P/J configuration behave the same way ? As I understand a P pickup is two single coils wired together in a way that cancels the hum. How does it work in conjunction with a single coil J in the bridge position ?
  2. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    You can get a hum-cancelling single J pickup so that should solve any concerns you might have. It would be good to buy the P and J pickups as a set. Question is are you going VVT, VTVT, VBlendTrebleBass or something else?

    Davo
  3. sonic 7

    sonic 7

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Thanks I should have specified, Im thinking VVT , just as standard J.
  4. Teddy64L

    Teddy64L

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    Norway
    I own a box-standard Modern Player Jaguar with P/J config, and I have some hum from the J (especially when both PU's are on full volume). I have the standard Fender PU's, and Jazz-style VVT. It helps a little to roll off the tone, but I am now dropping the volume on the J-PU when there's a pause in playing. It gets to be a habit. Don't know what happens if I ever get around to swap the Fenders for some hum-cancelling ones (been thinking about the Lace Alumitone). I'll probably be adjusting the volume anyway...
    So, the short answer to your question; Yes, the P/J has some of the same characteristics.
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  6. line6man

    line6man

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Close to Los Angeles, CA
    You need an even number of coils in order to humcancel. A standard PJ setup has three coils, and thus, the more you turn up the J pickup's volume, the more hum you get.

    All two-pickup basses will have phase cancellations when the pickups are used together. The degree of phase separation is determined by the distance between pickups.
  7. vistacruiser

    vistacruiser

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    Menomonee Falls, WI
    I used to have SD 1/4lb's in my P/J. On some stages I would'nt even use the J due to the hum. So no hum canceling there. I now have DiMarzio Model P&J's, so far no hum. DM J p/ups are twin coil and hum canceling. (as are many others)
  8. Gmclachlan

    Gmclachlan

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago
    I had a bit of noise with my PJ unless I rolled off the J completely, so I put in a split coil J (Fralin). A P pickup essentially is a split coil pickup, so sounds great, no hum.
  9. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    I wonder what other configurations folk have tried other than the VVT?

    Davo
  10. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Marilynsghost.com Supporting Member

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    Location:
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    Pickup switch 3 way (volume tone).
    Vol. Blend. Tone.
    Stacked separate volume and tone.
  11. vistacruiser

    vistacruiser

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    Menomonee Falls, WI
    I have a 4 way Telecaster switch in mine, with master vol & tone. The 4th position is both pickups in series.

    Another P bass of mine has 2 P split pickups, master V/T (stacked) and blend. That one also has a 2 way micro switch for series/parallel.

    Both setups keep the 2 knob appearance, and work well for me.
  12. superjesus

    superjesus Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I run a modified VVT, consisting of a master volume, J volume, and master tone. The J volume only controls the J pickup. The master volume and tone are exactly what they are. Think of this setup like a VBT in which the blend only turns towards the neck pickup from the detent.

    The limitation of this setup is that the J can never be used independent of the P. The J can be pulled out entirely or it can be raised to match the level of the P, but the J can never be used without the P.

    This setup works for me because I prefer a master volume over a dual volume setup, and I seldom have a need for a soloed bridge pickup. Another benefit of this mod is you don't have to change any of the pots from a VVT. You just move a few wires around.
  13. vistacruiser

    vistacruiser

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location:
    Menomonee Falls, WI
    A simple idea that sounds great for a P/J bass, I like it.
  14. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2005
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Here's mine. Moved to a SD Vintage Hot J. Better balanced.


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