Question about P/J configuration.

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

  1. sonic 7

    sonic 7 Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    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. 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?

  3. sonic 7

    sonic 7 Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    Thanks I should have specified, Im thinking VVT , just as standard J.
  4. Teddy64L


    Nov 30, 2013
    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. 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 Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2006
    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


    May 11, 2011
    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. I wonder what other configurations folk have tried other than the VVT?

  10. /\/\3phist0

    /\/\3phist0 Supporting Member

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

    vistacruiser Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2006
    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. 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 Supporting Member

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

    Don Sibley

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