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. JoeBbass

    JoeBbass

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    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

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    2 Short, squat coils wired in series. The fact that they are offset in space definitely affects the tone as well.
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  4. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic Supporting Member

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    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.
     
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  6. dkelley

    dkelley

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    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. bigmoosepi

    bigmoosepi

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    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

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    Kinda like this?

    [​IMG]
     
  9. topcat2069

    topcat2069 Supporting Member

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    This is truth.... wired in parallel (like in line Jazz 2 coil) and it sound very different.
     
  10. uOpt

    uOpt Supporting Member

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    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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