UPGRADE P BASS PICKUPS?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Auldscot1, Feb 23, 2013.


  1. Auldscot1

    Auldscot1

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2011
    I recently built my first bass, using Stewart McDonald neck, tuners, bridge, Golden Age P bass pickups, wiring etc. The body I carved myself from instrument grade curly European ash. I used StewMac components, since I wasn't sure if I could build a decent bass, and didn't want to waste money on high end components if it turned out to be a dog.
    The bass turned out well, and various bass players (a lot better than me) have complimented me on it. So, to my question....I'm thinking of upgrading the pickups, and I'm leaning towards EMG PHZ or possibly Fender Original 1962 P Bass pickups. Does anybody have any experience of the Stewmac versus EMG, Fender or any other pickups? Any suggestions on any other brands? I play this bass and a Ned Steinberger electric upright in an acoustic band typically in small venues through a Phil Jones Flightcase amp.
     
  2. Hawkbone

    Hawkbone Supporting Member

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    Mar 23, 2009
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    Newfoundland
    can't go wrong with the '62 Original
     
  3. darkside 88

    darkside 88

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    DiMarzio Split P's are a piece of work.
     
  4. sbpark

    sbpark

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    I have no experience with the EMG, or the other pup you originally installed, but did recently install a '62 'Original' in my '76 P. It previously had a Dimarzio Model P which I didn't like. I was going for a more old-school P sound, and the '62 pup fit the bill perfectly. Full, but not muddy, fat, round and growls, and the notes are well defined.
     
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  6. Davo-London

    Davo-London

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Location:
    London, England
    There are hundreds of threads on this.

    Try the search button at the top right. There are as many opinions as there are pickup makers!

    Davo
     
  7. sbpark

    sbpark

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Plus, you have to first decide what kind of sound you are looking for. As a previous poster mentioned, there are endless threads on pups. Figure out what sound you are shooting for first, then start searching the threads for pups that fit that sound, and remember it's all subjective.
     
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned

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    Aug 21, 2008
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    The Golden Age pickups are actually very good. I haven't used them myself, but other builders I know like them a lot.

    P bass pickups are very easy to make correctly. They will all sound pretty much like the real thing. Then you will find variations on them.
     
  9. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Napa, CA
    I don't have any experience with Golden Age pickups.

    Here is a list of P in my order of tone preference:

    Seymour Duncan Antiquity II and Aguilar AG 4P-60
    Seymour SPB-1
    Fender 62 Reissue

    The wild card here is the Dimarzio P. It's in a league or style of its own because it is a ceramic pickup. It's assertive without being aggressive, it's got hot output huge bass highs and mids. I adore this pickup but it does not sound like a Fender traditional pickup. It's a different beast. It edges on a 70's Fender pickup but it's more in your face. This is a great budget option too. Since it's priced in the ballpark of the 62' Reissue and the SPB-1.

    To my ears all the pickups listed ahead of the Fender 62 RI offer a significant amount of improvement. Pass that it's a question of style and tonal preference. They are all great pickups.
     
  10. ChrisCassisi

    ChrisCassisi

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    Mar 24, 2011
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    San Jose, CA
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    I personally really like the Lollar P bass pickup. Has a lot of punch to it. Look at Nordstrand or Fralin also. I have yet to check out the new Aguilar P bass pickup but knowing those guys it probably kicks ass.
     
  11. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

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    May 21, 2008
    Location:
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    If you like Lollar and Fralin, I suspect you will not like the Aguilar. It's polar opposit of these two.
     
  12. scotch

    scotch Will play bass for fish tacos. Plus cash. Supporting Member

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    Im familiar with the Lollars and Fralins. Haven't tried an Aggie pup yet. How would you say they are different?
     
  13. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

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    The Aggie is the warmest pickup I have tried. It's incredibly woolly, round. It has mid punch, limited highs and very round bass. It's similar to an Antiquity II but it has its own personality. The Antiquity two has more bass and is a tad less punchy in the mids.

    To my ears the Lollars and Fralins are a lot more aggresive with and abrasive edge to the highs.
     
  14. scotch

    scotch Will play bass for fish tacos. Plus cash. Supporting Member

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    Neat. I will be trying an Aguilar P pup soon...

    I like the Fralin, but it sounded nearly identical to the Fender Vintage reissue in my '62 AVRI.

    The Lollar is probably the "clearest" and "widest" I've heard. Yup. Lot's of highs and extended lows. I like it just as long as the instrument sounds killer acoustically - otherwise it's a little too 'honest'!
     
  15. luzceloffan

    luzceloffan

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    Mar 9, 2007
    I have tried the emgs, fenders and lollars. And to my taste lollars are tne ones to go.
     
  16. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

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    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Mount Airy, North Carolina
    I'd actually love to hear how the Golden age P'ups sound. I have some cheap P'up's that came loaded in some bodies I purchased and they sound wonderful. I'll get flamed for this but... there's only so much you can do with magnets and wire. A lot of it is just Hype IMO. Yes some pickups have weaker output but that's want the volume knob is for.
     
  17. GuzBaas

    GuzBaas

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    Oct 10, 2008
    Location:
    London
    Talking about what you can do with magnets and wires...

    Lace Aluma P is a revolutionary design, clear (NOT high fi) tone
    For some reason, not very popular around here
    Totally passive!

    Here's a demo:
    http://youtu.be/Iq6hpvjs47Y?t=1m40s

    To me they have the vintage tone (?) but with a modern vibe
    Highly recomended... I have used the alumitones since day one.

    Had a problem with the originals

    LACE MUSIC replaced them at no charge :bassist:
     
  18. GuzBaas

    GuzBaas

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    Oct 10, 2008
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    BTW I think that the "lows" of the Lace Aluma P is UNREAL
    and the "highs" can be easily removed with the tone knob!
     
  19. ChrisCassisi

    ChrisCassisi

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    I am going to be dropping another Lollar P in one of my basses soon. Jason and crew are amazingly down to earth people who are a real pleasure to deal with. I consider their pickups the best on the market right now and their customer service is a prime example of how all businesses should be ran.
     
  20. bumperbass

    bumperbass

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Opinions on this will be very subjective. 1,000 people will have 1,000 suggestions for you. I was in this position myself a while back. I chose the Original '62 pickup. I figured I couldn't go wrong, especially for the price. I'm afraid you'll have to read possibly a thousand posts and decide for yourself.
    Here's a site with sound clips.
    http://ozbassforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3672
    I couldn't find THAT much difference in a lot of them that EQ'ing wouldn't take care of. I bought a used PBass and I decided I'm leaving the stock pickup it in there and will be experimenting with strings instead because IMO there's more of a difference in strings than there are with pickups.
     
  21. fede_carbonero

    fede_carbonero

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    I wouldn't put EMG HZ, can't go wrong with basslines, go for the SPB-3 or the SPB-2
     

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