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Tone help! Thinking of adding bridge J pickup into a P-body

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by soaf, Mar 23, 2014.


  1. soaf

    soaf

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    I have a bass I have assembled using various parts. I am getting a nice clean piano sound but would love to add some mid snarl. Will routing in a bridge EMG to my existing setup make much of a difference? I would think that adding a jazz pickup closer to the bridge may help. The bass currently consists of...

    -vintage Phil Kubicki jazz neck (maple/maple)
    -vintage trans red maple P-body
    -EMG P active pickup with vol/tone (Alpha 250k pots)
    -Fender 60s bridge

    Any advice is appreciated.
     

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  2. Steve

    Steve

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
    If you're going to commit to rout work and a new pick guard, it may be worth considering reversing the P.

    Personally I find the Bright > Piano > Mid Snarl thing more effected by string choice than any other single item.
     
  3. soaf

    soaf

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Do you mean physically turning the pickups 180 degrees, or adding a phase switch?

    I have a 4-hole pickguard on standby and am thinking of going vol/blend/tone or vol/blend/EMG parametric mid stack, and doing away with the tone circuit since I always run it wide open anyway. This would keep me to three holes in the pickguard and I would add a "more stable" side jack.
     
  4. soaf

    soaf

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    not sure why i would have to swap the pickguard since a P and a PJ use the same one...
     
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  6. Steve

    Steve

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2001
  7. lowendblues

    lowendblues Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    vintage Phil Kubicki jazz neck (maple/maple)

    Nice neck, had one, shoulda kept it.:meh:
     
  8. mrbell321

    mrbell321

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Location:
    N. Colorado
    If you can do a good clean job of routing and filling in chips and edges in the route(which will be difficult), you won't need a new pickguard.

    I'm considering the same thing and I believe a bridge pickup would make quite a difference.
     
  9. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    Your EMG needs 25kOhm or 50kOhm pots. That might be a source of your sound problems.

    A Jazz bridge pickup doesn't add mid snarl. I think what you are saying is that your EMG P pickup is too transparent, but with your incorrect pots you run it completely open.

    Alternatively since you have pots for passive pickups anyway why not try a SPB-1 or so before routing the thing?
     
  10. Dogghouse

    Dogghouse

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Santa Barbara
    Disclosures:
    Bass Guy @ Seymour Duncan
    The cheapest way to start is change the pots to 50k for added mids. If that doesn't do it, maybe try a hotter passive P so you can more dynamics than actives provide. Something like the Duncan SPB-4's or SPB-3's. Try with 250K pots.
     
  11. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I've tried the P-pickup flip and was underwhelmed. In the end, the traditional PJ sound is a fine sound for recording or gigging, and slaps *very* well.

    Make sure you have the p'up placed in the right spot and that the pickup you choose matches what's in the P position (that is to say, has a bit more output than the standard J pickup, since the P can often have more output due to it's position and size).

    good luck
     
  12. OldDirtyBassist

    OldDirtyBassist

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    I'd replace the EMG with a passive alnico P pickup of some make, before you route for a J pickup. All the EMG's I've owned has super fat lows and crispy highs, but the mids were nothing to write home about. You might find the mids you want with a different pickup.

    EMG's damage the speakers over time, anyway.
     
  13. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2011
  14. soaf

    soaf

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Good advice! I will check to see if the value of my pots is correct and will consider a passive pickup with a stronger midrange rating before any routing. I figured, upon comparison to my jazz basses, I tend to prefer the sound of a pickup that lives closer to the bridge. Hence the desire to route, but I will route as a last resort.
     
  15. faulknersj

    faulknersj Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    Scottsdale Az
    Hey man...food for thought....been there done this. P bass is a P bass....gotta play it like one...the PJ configuration doesn't get you there...and by 'there' i mean with the same type of cut a J Bass gives you...You are at a cross roads here...either learn how to work a P Bass...or just play J Basses. They are different and each is not for everyone. A J is what is....a P is what it is....you can't get J from P or P from J. Spend enough time to get to know and master both and you will be rewarded. Cheers!
     
  16. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    The OP runs the EMGs with pots for passive pickups.

    That's broken. It needs to be repaired to see where the bass stands with the EMG in working order.

    Routing it based on the results so far is borderline insane.
     
  17. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca.
    Good take I agree. In a PJ setup, with the J in the 60's location, I *personally* don't get much benefit from it. The bridge pickup needs to be as far from the P pickup as possible. I had an old P bass with a hum bucker decades ago and that was mounted smack dab right next to the bridge and THAt worked. Otherwise it's waaaay too honky sounding and your fundamental gets all convoluted.
     
  18. acebase62

    acebase62 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    If you plan to solo or emphasize the J bridge pickup much, the 60's location will have a little more punch (further from bridge).

    If you plan to emphasize the P pickup and use the J bridge pickup to add sound variety, the 70's location would work as well.

    Also, a good hum cancelling J pickup will avoid some degree of hum/buzz you get with a single coil J pickup in a PJ bass.
     
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Where the heck did you get that little bit of misinformation? Complete and total poopycaca.
     

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