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3-piece P-bass pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JGrooveguy, Oct 25, 2018.

  1. JGrooveguy


    Feb 22, 2018
    Has anyone tried this? Or at least a reverse P where the DG half is in it’s standard spot, but EA half is closer to bridge? (not a reversed P pickup in same general spot).
    The bass is a Warmoth PJ with the P in normal spot and J in 70’s spot. I was thinking of putting another J pickup in between, then had this idea to rout for a second half P pickup closer to bridge and using a push/pull pot to select it.
    Just not sure if there would be enough difference in tone to justify going through with this vs putting another J pickup in the “middle” spot.
    I did the pic in MS Paint just to see how it would look - I have a SD 1/4lb pickup kicking around so I used that for the pic.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    I've seen it called a half reversed P when the DG is in the normal place and only the EA is moved. People have definitely done that.

    As for the switchable 3 piece P, it's an interesting idea. Most people tend to prefer one arrangement or the other, some can't hear a difference. It's pretty much going to be up to your ears if it's a worthwhile thing for you to do.
  3. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Might work well, kinda like Warwick or Spector PJ maybe? But imo it just looks wrong. Perhaps adding another half to the DG side (toward the neck) would balance it nicely, so you have two reversed P configurations and a classic P in the middle...

    But I think your original idea of having another J might work/look better...
  4. merseymale


    Oct 28, 2018
    I had not thought of this idea before!

    It’s intriguing to me because on a very few basses I found reversing the usual precision pick up configuration sometimes works better and in almost all cases it works better if the pick up is moved from the middle to the bridge Position IMHO

    Perhaps your best bet would be to do what I’ve often done and that is connect a jack to the bare pick up wires and physically move the pick up along the string/s in question whilst being played

    You may need a willing accomplice for this!
    ELynx likes this.
  5. merseymale


    Oct 28, 2018
    Now that you’ve got me in the mood(!) Has anyone tried getting two sets of P bass pick ups & putting a single coil of one of the precision bass units under one string only?

    Two poles under a string never hurt a Les Paul and one is less likely to bend strings as severely on a bass anyways!

    I don’t have your talents with photo shop but if you understand my meaning then doing it this way could mean better string separation (perhaps with the option of multiple outputs…?) And the ability to have a more balanced output as each string has its own pick up much like each string having its own intonation at the bridge.

    Each string could even have its own tone control -preset or otherwise AND each string would have a pick up placed exactly right, tonally, for it alone without having to compromise by sharing another string’s pick up!

    It would, of course, mean using one more pick up unit than your interesting suggestion but if you’re looking for tonal variety this may be worth thinking about… Especially when you consider that the output would be stronger, clearer and just as humbucking;-)
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  6. merseymale


    Oct 28, 2018
    Maybe having all 4 pick up units together like one giant mudbucker in one place under the strings at the middle would be a better look and also offer more tonal variety when switching one of the four coils.?
  7. saabfender

    saabfender Banned

    Jan 10, 2018
    The extra half should be on the high side, since the low side is probably already well-represented.
    merseymale likes this.
  8. JGrooveguy


    Feb 22, 2018
    Yes im starting to think a J pickup in the middle position might be a better (but less unique) plan. Not looking to put anything closer to the neck as the P pickup solo’d is as thick a tone that I would want. Was hoping to get something in between to get the more “Music Man” timbre/nodes of the strings. But I might be getting close as it will get when combining my existing pickups in series, I don’t know.
    I decided I would make a temporary jig that holds a pickup above the strings to try ideas out before putting holes in my baby!
    Now to find the time...
    merseymale likes this.
  9. merseymale


    Oct 28, 2018
    Another great idea!!

    A M E N re: “Now to find the time...”
  10. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    I think that is the basis of quad coil pickups.
  11. merseymale


    Oct 28, 2018
    Quad Coil...?:help:

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