51P vs J in the Neck Position (Jazz Bass)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by xsogol, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. Hi All,

    I did a search on this topic but came up empty...if any of you know of threads like this, please let me know.

    I was curious what types of tonal differences one would get from a 51P pickup than a J pickup in the neck position of a two single coil pickup bass. Listening to some Police/Sting songs (Every Breath You Take, St. Augustine in Hell, Canary In a Coal Mine, Man In A Suitcase...please let me know if any of these weren't the 51P) that one 51P single coil sounds a bit fatter than a solo'd J neck pickup. I love my Jazz bridge pickup, but want more beef than what I have currently, but less beef than a true split-coil P...and I like single coil punch.

    Also, is what is the difference in location measured from the nut for a 51P pickup on a '51 Pbass and a J pickup in a Jbass in the neck position?

    Thanks everyone!!! :help: :bassist:
  2. I think the location of the pickup is going to make a difference between what you are going to do, and what's on a 51 P bass..
  3. I'm debating building a bass routed with a 51P in the traditional 51P position and a J in the 70s bridge position.

    I'm just curious how the difference in position of a 51P single coil and a J single coil affects the bass' tone as well as the tonal differences between a 51P single coil and a J single coil. I'm curious if the position or the design of the pickup or both make a difference (i.e. will the J sound similar or the same if put in the 51P position).
  4. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    wow, that's a really interesting idea. Someone has to know something about doing this!
  5. Bump...anyone? Thanks! :confused:
  6. BumpJamima McBumpcakes...:ninja:
  7. There's a dude over at the FDP forum that built a bass with a J body and a 51 SCPB pickup. Ask in the Bass section. www.fenderforum.com
  8. morebass!

    morebass! I'm listening Supporting Member

    May 31, 2002
    Madison WI
    Bump for a very good question! It seems that most of us are very much wedded to the standard P vs. J. vs. PJ configurations.. Good luck
  9. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Sorry to be off topic but I have always thought a SCPB neck pickup with a an MM bridge pickup would make for an interesting setup.

    Now, back on topic ..

    Looking at pictures of the two bodies the position of the SCPB and Jazz neck routes is not greatly different but the SCPB is for sure a bit closer to the neck.


  10. Hmmm...you're right that the positioning of the 51P and the neck J are pretty similar..but they still do sound different to my ears. I wonder if the single coil 51P is sufficiently different from the single coil neck J to affect the tone...maybe 4 pole pieces compared to 8 makes a significant tonal difference. Maybe the slightly closer to the neck positioning of the 51P affects the roundness of the tone...I don't know.

    I'd love to get more thoughts if anyone has them. Thanks everybody so far!!
  11. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Since this thread kind of peaked my interest I went to Duncan's website and looked up the specs for a vintage Jazz neck pickup and the vintage SCPB.

    Vintage Jazz:

    9.2K Resitance, 5.1 Khz Res Peak, A5 magnets

    Vintage SCPB:

    7.98K Resistance, 6 Khz Res Peak, A5 magnets

    Not a huge difference, however, the lower resistance, shorter bobbin and single poles could account for the tonal differences in the SCPB. I was a bit suprised to see a higher resonant peak on the SCPB.

    Of course, this could just prove that specs mean nothing when comparing different styles of pickups!! ;)
  12. Wow...I was going to do this exercise tonight with the Duncan Vintage SCPB and a Fralin stock bridge J (8.5K Res, not sure about the Res Peak, A5 mags)...thanks for the advance research, jwymore!!! :hyper:

    A Fralin neck J for the stock pair has 8K res, so pairing the 7.98K Duncan SCPB and the 8.5K Fralin Bridge J should balance nicely. I've always loved Fralin Js and the Duncan SCPB seems to be my only option for a new 51P pickup...the more I think about this, the more I really want to try it!
  13. Can anyone comment about the tonal differences between a 51P single coil and a neck-position J single coil? Thanks!!!!
  14. Anyone? Thanks!

  15. I had an American Jazz Bass. Once I played the 51 P RI I had to have one. It is fatter sounding and with more punch than the J neck pickup. I do believe that the design of the pickup as well as the position plays a big part.
    I can get growl or sweet P bass lows with lots of thump from my 51P RI depending on the attack and the strings I use (presently using DR High Beams and love them. Great sustain. I do EQ it with emphasis on the low end and use the bass's tone control anywhere from mid to full. Great tonal pallate of sounds. I like the tone I get from the pickup at fully lowered position. It can get even deeper tones raised but I prefer the piano like lows as it is set on my bass.
  16. Thanks LTB...that's what I thought and it sounds like it's up my alley! I wonder what the 51PJ sound would be like...again, anyone ever tried this combo? :bassist: If someone doesn't pipe up soon, I might just have to defile an SX and try it out!!!
  17. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
  18. Wow! Thanks for those links, Chef!!! I think I may go this route (I nay even do the 5 string thing with a Nordie 51P neck and a Nordie single coil J in the 70s position)! That just sounds like a combo that is too sweet not to have!!! Thank you everyone for your info!!