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What is it about the shape of the p pick up that gives it the distinctive sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JoeBbass, Dec 31, 2013.


  1. What is it about the shape of the p pick up that gives it the distinctive sound?
     
  2. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Casting out the nines Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    2 Short, squat coils wired in series. The fact that they are offset in space definitely affects the tone as well.
     
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  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps
    I think it's the place it's positioned combined with the E and A coil being closer to the neck than the D and G coil that gives it that sound. That said, I've heard a Jazz get awfully close to that sound with just the neck pickup.
     
  5. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    I'm probably in a distinct minority, but I don't think there's any functional difference between a split-coil P pickup and a split-coil J pickup. And I don't think 1/4" difference in placement makes a discernable difference either.

    Of course they are variables, but IMO they are insignificant variables when compared to differences among the many variety of P pickups available, and among the many J pickups available.

    The original split P shape wasn't about tone, it was about eliminating hum and accommodating the raised A & D strings. If Leo had the wherewithal to put the two coils in line originally, there never would have been a P pickup in the sense we know it.
     
  6. if I'm remembering right, the true american style p pickup is similar to two p90 guitar pickups in series (but of course are 4 string mandolin pickups). great tone from p90 pickups.
     
  7. its a humbucker but each string only passes over one coil. So its a humbucker that sounds like a single coil.
     
  8. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Kinda like this?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. topcat2069

    topcat2069 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Cathedral City, CA
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing Artist: GK Amps
    This is truth.... wired in parallel (like in line Jazz 2 coil) and it sound very different.
     
  10. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    One important part is that the D and A string will get a humbucker effect, because the magnetic field to "the other" coil doesn't abruptly stop just because it's not intended to stray into the other string. There are cancellations of overtones that you can more clearly hear in real side-by-side humbuckers but in the new-fondled split P pickup design you still have a good chunk of it. This gives you a bit of a "roar" or growl like bass players call it.
     



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