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'51 P bass vs. MIA standard P bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by LotusCarsLtd52, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. LotusCarsLtd52


    Dec 6, 2009
    I know the '51 uses a single coil with an ash body and the MIA standard alder with split single coil.

    How do the two compare tonewise?
  2. LotusCarsLtd52


    Dec 6, 2009
  3. Natropath


    Apr 13, 2010
    Huge difference between the two. The 51 doesn't get lost in the mix in a loud setting, but doesn't have quite the bottom of the MIA P. I always felt like my MIA was dead in comparison to my 51.
  4. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    In my opinion, the difference is almost all in the pickups.

    The single coil has more highs and lows, the split coil has that low-mid bump in the eq that makes it fit in anywhere. The single coil is more "raw"--listen to the first couple ZZ Top albums. More front end, more "splat". The split coil is more smooth.

    If you search "SCPB" here, you will get lots and lots of threads, and many will touch on the diffrences in sound.
  5. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    <-- split

    Check em out in person, pick one, and play :D
  6. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    I feel the opposite way :p
  7. Lync


    Apr 13, 2004
    Right there with ya!

    '51 w/SC=more grindy/wider range highs and lows (but a killer tone).

    Split=low mids with thump that fits nicely in the band mix.

    I have a Sting and a bunch of regular p basses. I do like the Sting, but I find playing the regular P more comfortable.

    For rockin' blues music, the '51 is bad ass. IMO though, the regular P is the ultimate workhorse. Both can can used wherever though...that is up to you.
  8. marchone


    Nov 30, 2009
    They're two different animals. The '51 is more of a one trick pony. Or two to be precise. The later P has more range of tone and less hum. Both are great basses.

    In essence, Fender has three different designs. Original, P and J. They're just different from each other. Dozens of variants came later and are still coming.

    I have the '68 Tele version of the original P. I'll never sell it.
  9. BillMason

    BillMason Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2007
  10. LotusCarsLtd52


    Dec 6, 2009
    This is sorta off topic but...how is the quality of these WD Music prewired kits? http://tiny.cc/6x42e
  11. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    Passable. Nothing to write home about though.
  12. LotusCarsLtd52


    Dec 6, 2009
    Is the quality good? Quality is the big factor for me here. I figured the prewired kit would be much easier for me to handle and I wouldn't have to pay someone to wire a bass for me. Although I might consider replacing the pups with DiMarzio DP-127s.
  13. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Put big flatwounds on them and I simply can't tell any difference, except the splitcoil doesn't have the 60Hz hum.

    Seriously, if there's a difference strung like that, I can't hear it.

    Flatwounds...The Great Leveler. :meh:
  14. Rumblefisher


    Aug 22, 2007
    Astoria, NY
    At that point you ARE better off just buying the pups you want and having them installed.
  15. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin'

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I own both a '51 RI and a '57 RI. The only similarities are the body shape (slab on the '51, contoured on the '57) the backwards tuners, the small frets on a maple fingerboard with a 7.25" radius, and the controls.

    The sound is quite different. The single-coil P was a speaker-killer, due to its more abrupt attack. Leo Fender decided to reduce warranty returns on bass amps by designing the "thump" out the pickup, and the split-coil, with its two-pole-piece-per-string and humbucker configuration did the trick. In the process the P gained its characteristic mid-range voice.

    So the single-coil is more percussive, and less mid-rangy; the split-coil has a smoother, more mid-range prominent sound.

    I like 'em both.
  16. emblymouse

    emblymouse exempt Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2006
    '51 = a smack in the jaw

    Split P = a punch in the gut.
    bassthumpersf likes this.

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