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Turning a P into a P/J... What electronics?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Judas_Bassist, Oct 7, 2013.


  1. Judas_Bassist

    Judas_Bassist

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    I have an American Standard P I'd like to turn into a P/J, I've always liked the look of them and I want a bit more versatility.

    I've already decided on getting the DiMarzio Model P/J DP126CR set (although black or creme, I can't decide), but I have NO idea what to do as far as adding pots for new volume or tone control. I've been looking on the threads already on TB, but there's so much technical talk going on, I'm not sure I'm getting some of the info correct.

    The two configurations I'm looking at are V/V/T or stacked V/T V/T for each PU. I had also read that plenty of other bassists like selector switches.

    Thanks in advance! I'm hoping to get this done soon.
     
  2. T-34

    T-34

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    France, Paris region
    Everybody will tell you his own preferred configuration, but how are you going to decide which one is good for you?
     
  3. JGbassman

    JGbassman

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Location:
    Midwest
    I went with V/T-V/T on my PJ so I wouldn't have to cut further holes in my pickguard, leaving it as stock looking as possible. I had it set up like this for years without issue. I don't see where one would be better that the other, I went that route simply to keep the look closer to stock and to keep from drilling/routing for a different location for the input jack.
     
  4. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    There are a lot of options. What's best depends very much on these questions:
    -How serious are you about completely preserving the original p sound.
    -Do you want to dial in the full range between p and j, or are you only going to use the j as an extra to the p or are you content with a few fixed settings.
    -What is your own preference for controls.

    If you are serious about not altering the p sound and picky about the taper of your pots a vol/vol setup is not a wise option. A switch or a blend that's not connected to ground is the best. Oherwise vol/vol will work just fine you just need to live with either a sligthly darker sound because of the lower overall resistance to the ground or with the taper of 500k pots.

    If you want the full range of blending options you obviously need vol/vol or blend, but a lot of people never use the bridge om it's own, so there's also the option of just switching in the j or having the p always on and blending in the j before a master volume pot. That blending in pot can also be disconnected from ground to keep the overall resistance to ground the same as with the original p.

    I myself use a 6 way switch with my prefered settings. It's quick, easy and poses no problems with pot values.

    Two tone controls will interact with both pickups on full. It will sound like you've got double the cap value and it put's even more pot's in the circuit (lowering the resitance over the pu). That can be very versatile or extremely annoying and is a matter of personal preference.
     
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  6. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Above are just some of the passive options. If you don't like the effect of the two pickups loading into each other (a distinctive part of the pj sound) buffering pre-amps can open a whole new range of options.
     
  7. T-34

    T-34

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    France, Paris region
    Then, you have possibility to put P and J in series. And the list goes on :)
     
  8. Matthijs

    Matthijs

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    And we haven't even touched different pu positions and humcancelling pu's yet :))
     
  9. Judas_Bassist

    Judas_Bassist

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    So many options, I don't want to go with one and regret it. I actually just had another idea. Would "V/V/T/3 Way" be a good set up? I'm hoping to be able to solo either pickup with its original sound (which the switch could do), but when I have them both on, I'd still like to be able to adjust the Volume for each PU.
     
  10. T-34

    T-34

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    France, Paris region
    Yeah, this can be done too.
     
  11. eddododo

    eddododo

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    look at fluxjetson's x-bass thread.. interesting stuff there.. i like the idea of having two jacks, one-per-pickup, and blending/tone/ etc outboard. but i am probably in the minority here...



    but more to the point on topic... WHY do you want the PJ (i'm not being sketpical, its an actualy question)

    is the P awesome, but too P-ish sometimes?
    do you want a more modern sound?
    do you just want new options in general, due to GAS and curiosity?

    for most of these, if it were me starting with an actual P-bass, I would do this:
    4-way 3PDT, with V/V stack and tone

    look at fluxjetson's x-bass thread.. interesting stuff there.. i like the idea of having two jacks, one-per-pickup, and blending/tone/ etc outboard. but i am probably in the minority here...



    but more to the point on topic... WHY do you want the PJ (i'm not being sketpical, its an actualy question)

    is the P awesome, but too P-ish sometimes?
    do you want a more modern sound?
    do you just want new options in general, due to GAS and curiosity?

    for most of these, if it were me starting with an actual P-bass, I would do this:
    4-way rotary 3PDT, with v/v stack and tone

    pos 1- P only vol 1
    pos 2- J only, vol 1
    pos 3 - PJ parallel- P v1, J v2
    pos 4 - PJ series, vol 1

    I would pick a cap tuned to the P, since p is so distinct, and I find where pj basses fall short is the P... come to think of it, i may even use a fixed cap for j-only, since i would never play that wide open...

    edit: i guess i was dishonest.. if it WERE ACTUALLY FOR ME, and not some perfect-balance logic scenario, I would skip on the series (never liked the sound) which takes up a whole Pole of the switch by my scheme, i would use a dual pot for the tone, and would therefore have a P-only cap, a J-only cap, and 2 PJ voicings, or something

    further edit:
    i would use a hum-free j pickup- i think a bridge j will always sound like i think a bridge j should sound if its a good pickup.. i think a 'non authentic' humfree J will have a much more convincing sound than the ****** single-polarity p (if you havent seen it, its common in cheaper pj stuff) and I also think a solo'd humfree pickup sounds alot better than a hummy crappy electrical practical joke that is a 60 cycle hum
     

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