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'Rounded' 80's Squier pickups. Info/opinions?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bumperbass, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. bumperbass


    Jun 19, 2012
    Hey there pickup gurus. I have a chance to pick up an early 80's Squier Bullet bass. Could get it at a very good price. It has the rounded type split coils in it. This will be my 'experimental/maybe mod' bass, depending on what it actually turns out to be in terms of condition.
    Since I don't really WANT to do any routing to put regular split pickups in there, what are these pickups like? I'd like to get some opinions in order to pick a set of strings to go with it.
    I guess what I'm saying is, I doubt very much that these pickups are pure crap, considering that some JV and SQ Squiers from Japan were very well built instruments, so they must have a certain character. What is the character?
    I value your opinions. Thanks.
  2. I'm guessing it's a Precision?

    I have a Jazz equivalent to yours and have been wondering the same thing!

    They say the pickups are sometimes USA and sometimes the Japanese equivalents. Either way, do some recordings, whip them out and compare with another set!!

  3. bumperbass


    Jun 19, 2012
    Yeah. Sorry. It's a Precision. I am assuming a regular P-bass pickup won't fit on the routed cavity where the rounded type are. I'd like to know the answer to this, too. I do know that a regular Fender pickguard will fit, because Fender Japan used the same blueprints for manufacturing starting in the early 80's.
  4. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Ok..I can help :D I'm a 80's SQ Squier junkie ..own 3 and one has the round Mustang type pups. Mine is a black with maple neck an 84' SQ Squier Bullet.

    The bass is way lighter than my (2) 3TS 83'- SQ P Squiers...really light. The neck is a sick maple that is wide but slim profile and very fast, a real gem to play on.
    The pups are different than say the SQ's P pups or other P pups I own. They are a bit more growly and brighter but in a good way. I used that bass in a loud rock band with tapewounds and it kicked butt. I took the tapes off and now it is strung with chome flats and will work great in my new country cover's band. I like the look and how it plays and sounds and since I got it for $150.00 it's a keeper. Hope this helps.
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  6. I used to own a defretted Bullet Bass built at the Japanese factory around '82. It was a killer bass and the stock pickup sounded fine, I would describe it as an agressive rock sound with biting mids.

    A standard Precision pickguard will NOT fit; you'll need to get a custom pickguard if you ever decide to replace it. Also the routing is tight to the rounded pickups so you'll need to re-route if you decide to switch to standard P pickup. (which is not necessary in my opinion)

    Best is to just not think of it as a P bass but rather its own unique animal. Enjoy your great bass!
  7. Cadfael


    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU

    A Fender or Squier Bullet Bass has MUSTANG BASS pickups?!

    The Bullet bass was a method to lower production costs by using the P-bass concept to a 30" (and 34") bass. No controll plate, no special bridge ...

    But the pickup of the Mustang remained.
    The replacement would be an SD Mustang Bass PU???

    Many people put P-PUs into their Bullet. But if it's still original, it would be a shame to put in other PUs.

    Or did I missunderstand anything???
  8. bumperbass


    Jun 19, 2012
    Thanks! I guessed they were like the ones on a Mustang, but wasn't sure.
    So this one must be a JV serial number? I think I'm gonna LOVE the weight difference. At this point, I've yet to get detailed pics and the serial number. It definitely has the Mustang-type pickups because I saw a fuzzy camera pic. Not too sure I'll try to change it's personality. Personally, a string change *IMO!! can work wonders if you know what you're starting with.
    Thanks again!
  9. bumperbass


    Jun 19, 2012
    NO! The hammer hit the nail, man! I will check out the SD's but at this point, I will just probably slap some strings on it and play the thing. I'd have to do that anyway to see where 'ground zero' is.
  10. Cadfael


    Jan 4, 2013
    Germany, EU
    With an original Squier (or Fender) Bullet Bass from the early 80s, the stings should be the clou to sound.

    Maybe the PUs (SDs). BUT ...
    Much more punch is provided by Halfround strings (with still good high frequencies).
    Maybe another brand or thickness of normal roundwound strings? The right bass strings are more important for the bass sound than 90% of PUs ...
  11. bumperbass


    Jun 19, 2012
    Amen, Cadfael! That's one reason I want this bass. Want to try some flats...Chromes, Sadowsky Back Label, GHS Pressurewounds, etc.
  12. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    Yes the MIJ Squier Bullet bass had Mustang type pups that are just fine stock. They were made in the mid 80's after the JV and are the SQ series.
    Mine is an 84' says so right on the neck and all the info I have found on them. Squier did an magazine add in the 80's showing the SQ 3TS P bass and the Bullet below it in the add and I am lucky enough to own both basses. The add that floats around here time to time.

    I would buy it and decide what you think. Mine has Chromes on it and it sounds fantastic.It's not quite like a P bass but close like another said a different animal but a good one.

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