Single Coil P-style pickups - How strong?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by J.Nuno, Nov 22, 2012.


  1. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Portugal (Braga)
    Hi,

    Given that I'm considering getting a single coil (not split) P-bass style, I'd like to know more about how these kind of pickups react to thumb resting.

    Going from squiers to fenders is there considerable variation regarding the "ability" of these pups to take thumb rest abuse without breaking or getting loose.

    Should I worry at all?
     
  2. jordak

    jordak

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    Do you mean resting your thumb on top of the pickup? It will be fine, I've played the Squier CV 50's P model which has that and there was no problem.
     
  3. mongo2

    mongo2

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    15,062
    Location:
    Downdashaw
    Consider that the original SCPB design called for a grounded pickup cover and Fender thought the bass would be played with the thumb using the fingerpull.

    The pickup was not designed to be used as a thumbrest and shouldn't be expected to serve that function.

    Though I generally float my right hand or use the neck as a thumbrest, I've never had an issue with pickup damage in the infrequent and brief times I've used the pickup as a thumbrest over decades using SCPB style bases. An aftermarket pickup cover or thumbrest can easily be installed rather than risking damage to the pickup.
     
  4. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Portugal (Braga)
    But considering that brands like fender know most people wont use the index-finger rest, shouldn't we expect for newer models to be more...."prepared" to hold the thumb there? I know I can install a new thumb rest or use the neck, but I rest my thumb so much, I'd like to know if I can just not even think about that, or be careful :)
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8,186
    Location:
    Willow Street, PA
    Disclosures:
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    AFAIK, the only SCPB pickup that ever had any issue with breaking was the original, and the one they used on the school bus yellow reissue. The too part of the pickup would separate from the rest of the pickup with too much pressure, and kill the pickup.

    The Squier version (and most others) are sealed to completely avoid this issue.
     
  7. mongo2

    mongo2

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    15,062
    Location:
    Downdashaw
    Frankly, I don't.

    If they're made in the traditional manner with top and bottom fiberwork with the polepieces holding them together, they would be subject to the same stress as the originals.

    If they change the pickup design and use a solid plastic bobbin incorporating the top and bottom plates with an integral central core through which the poles pass then I would expect the pickup would be less subject to damage when used as a thumbrest.
     
  8. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8,186
    Location:
    Willow Street, PA
    Disclosures:
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I've only got one SCPB, and it's a cheapie.

    The pickup is completely sealed like you'd normally see in a humbucker design, or go figure, a cheap bass. It's not a bad sounding pickup but doesn't really look anything like the original SCPB's. I'd expect the lower end models like the Squier to have a similar design.

    [​IMG]
    Any spot on the pickup that you can touch while installed is one piece. There's a cover over the entire pickup.
     
  9. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    3,275
    Yes, Leo thought people would hold on to the "tug bar" and play the bass with the right thumb.

    The problem is that the originals, and most copies, do not have a cover, like a P or J pickup, and the coil is wrapped with, get this, string. So a vintage or vintage-style pickup is not durable.

    I'm sure there are pickups made with individual covers like a P or J pickup, but I don't know of any.
     
  10. J.Nuno

    J.Nuno

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Messages:
    217
    Location:
    Portugal (Braga)
    I see. But right now I'm not considering getting a true vintage old bass, but a recent new bass. I think no one here ever broke one so they're probably very resistant now.

    It's just that I like to rest the thumb on the split coil, even better than on the J-style pickups, despite these are flat while the split coil has the screw on the side.

    I guess I really have to try on of these. I just can't find one! Damn store so limited on stock :)
     
  11. mongo2

    mongo2

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    15,062
    Location:
    Downdashaw
    They're no more resistant than the old ones so care should be taken.

    Someone once posted an image (or a link to it) of a recent Fender SCPB style pickup with the top fiberwork partially pulled off. I personally had to repair a recent Duncan version with similar damage.
     
  12. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    13,453
    Location:
    Colorado

Share This Page