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70's P Pickups: Serious Help Needed.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by DD Gunz, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. DD Gunz

    DD Gunz

    Jun 18, 2015
    I have asked this before and after much research I am at a loss....

    I am in need of some late 70's style P pickups. I am talking the nasty, grindy, sought after by few pickups that are hard to come by.

    Who makes them and how can I get them? I have a 77 P with non origonal pickups and the ash body and maple neck almost gets me there! It's just missing the originals.

    Please tell me there is an aftermarket alternative before I spend 250 on an old grey bobbin.
  2. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Ive heard folks mention nordstrand, Dimarzio, and a couple custom winders, which i cant remember. I think virtually every pickup maker has a pickup that shoots for 70's sounds.
  3. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    '70s stock pickups were certainly nasty - that's why many of us replaced them with Duncans or DiMarzios!
  4. flojob

    flojob Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    Folks mentuon mojotone and curtis novak
    JKB1957 and DD Gunz like this.
  5. Axstar


    Jul 8, 2016
    East of Eden.
    Are '70s Fender pickups different to '60s ones in terms of materials, number of winds, magnet strength etc?
  6. rujulian

    rujulian Guest

    Apr 24, 2014
    Aguilar ag4p-hot are grindy and nasty with volume on full...turn down the volume and tone a bit and they get warm and round..my favourite pickup..
    Radio, Lo-E, HiEnd Basses and 2 others like this.
  7. howlin


    Nov 15, 2008
    I'm Not There
    Rockin Mike and Growlmonkee like this.
  8. DD Gunz

    DD Gunz

    Jun 18, 2015
    It's simply not true that companies gear their P pickups towards 70's tones. I have played for 25 years and have yet to see a pickup marketed towards a 70's sound. Sure, there are plenty of Jazz pickups sold as 70's clones.
    SanDiegoHarry likes this.
  9. DD Gunz

    DD Gunz

    Jun 18, 2015
    Have it in there now. Sounds good, but it's more of a warmer 60's vibe to my ears. The 70's pickups just had their own thing going and I have yet to hear a modern replacement.
  10. DD Gunz

    DD Gunz

    Jun 18, 2015
    Someone else would have to answer to the technical specifications as I am no electronics expert. The late 70's basses had pickups that were almost nasal in tone. They had an abundance of treble and mids. Not mild sounding at all.
    Axstar likes this.
  11. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I think the sound you're describing can be had, but it might not be from where you expect. Have you tried the Fender "Original" pickup? Tons of high-mid range gank.
    gjohnson441496 and DD Gunz like this.
  12. DD Gunz

    DD Gunz

    Jun 18, 2015
    I have that one in another bass. Sounds like you describe but the highs are not as defined as I am looking for.
  13. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    IMHO, if you get just about any P pickup with alnico 5 magnets and around 11.5k to 12.5 K ohm of winding, that should give to you the sound you are wanting.

    The EMG Geezer's are gonna be a good choice for a bit of that "nasty, grindy" sound you are looking for.

    Maybe the Duncan 1/4 pounder Ps might do it too.

    Other than that, contact Curtis Novak or Lindy Fralin and tell them what you want. Probably for about $160 to $200, they'll fix ya up.

    You might have to do the "trial and error" thing with a various assortment of P pickups to find what you are looking for.

    Good luck
    DD Gunz, divetone and Badwater like this.
  14. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    nothing says 70's p bass like dimarzio.
  15. Papalampraina

    Papalampraina Need.More.Fez.

    May 13, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    I think what you should try is an overwound 8%-10% pickup. That's what made them sound so aggressive. I ordered one from Bullock (unfortunately not making pickups anymore) and it was exactly what I was looking for at that time.
    Wfrance3, DD Gunz and Fender_Bender like this.
  16. Was just thinking that myself. The ones with the adjustable pole pieces.
    DD Gunz likes this.
  17. I thought they had changed from alnico magnets to ceramics in '75 or '76. My '76 had the original pickup and it went into the dumpster posthaste. What a putrid sound. Got some anonymous pickup to replace it and it sounds like my '68 only slightly brighter and more defined. The bass is great, though. B neck, maple, natural ash body that has aged to the color of peanut butter. Nothing wrong with some late '70's Fenders. The pickups are an acquired taste and don't have much of a following, so manufacturers probably didn't bother making replacements that sounded similar.
  18. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    with the 1/4 lbs , there are 3 models SPB - 1 , 2 , 3 ...

    i recently tried/installed the SPB-3 pup ... rather hot and nasty ... slightly bigger pole mags ... thicker with fairly clear highs ... good ' bang for the buck ' ...

    and remember ... who in the audience is really gonna know ... ?? ( = no one ) many times we chase holy grails of sounds we have/hear in our heads that will only , maybe , be noticed by Us .. !
  19. Papalampraina

    Papalampraina Need.More.Fez.

    May 13, 2009
    Athens, Greece
    Actually, only the SPB-3 is called "Quarter Pounder".
    On the other thing, I half-agree with you. No one is going to notice if my bass has a Lollar or a Fralin, when I play live in a bar, but for example the SPB-1 and the SPB-3 have two distinct tones.

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