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51p sound

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by sigmafloyd, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. sigmafloyd


    May 1, 2011
    I don't know a ton about the original 51 style p pickup, How does that sound differ from the later split coil? Leo must have felt the need to improve it, so what are the downsides?
  2. Downside is it hums like a Jazz bass, hence the reason for the later split coil P. Upside is it thumps like no other bass, has nice percussive clear notes. Sounds different than the split coil P-bass. Try one out, you may like it.
  3. The split coil had a lot of bite and punch to it, as most single coils have. But it also had noise and hum as well. Leo took that into consideration and redesigned the P Bass from the ground up. The split pup defeated the hum. but made the sound smoother without the spikes and sudden dropoff. He also redesigened the headstock to eliminate dead spots on the G string and modified the bridge and other asthetics as well.
  4. Razzmatazz


    Oct 23, 2011
    I have a 51 RI. Like said, it gives a nice percussive quality, an assertiveness to the tone. The hum does not bother me too much. I have read somewhere that Fralin makes 51 pickups replacements that are quite noiseless.
  5. Hevy T

    Hevy T Supporting Member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Lethbridge, AB Canada
    I am putting a 51 in the 24th fret position of my maple p. Can't wait it should sound sweet!!!:hyper:
  6. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I have a Rio Grande Muy Grande '51. It sounds like the original but exceeds it in every way. It doesn't hum. I tried the Duncans 1/4 lb. It had big output but lost all characteristics of the '51/Tele pickups sound.
    I favor the original. The P was an improvement technologically but for me is just another flavor. The idiosyncrasies of all Fender basses are a part of their charm.
  7. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    ....and they can sound like an upright. Leo knew what he was doing!:)
  8. ojo


    Jun 12, 2006
    Round Lake
    Coincidentally, I'm doing the same to a Squier 70's maple Jazz I just picked up. I've got a fretless neck on it, and am going for a poor man's Ric.
  9. Ditto. It is personally my favorite sounding bass. The hum from my 51 Reissue seems less than my MIM Jazz (pre-shielding project), but it is easily cured with an ISP Decimator pedal. Slight aside -- in my local GC the other day I played a Squier 50s Precision and a Squier Jaguar. I was astonished at how different those two basses sounded. The 50s P sounded great and the Jaguar sounded terrible.

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