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'88 MIJ P-Bass: EMGs to Lindy Fralins, or Something Else?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by esxmac, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. esxmac


    Aug 17, 2003
    I have an '88 MIJ Fender P-Bass (maple neck and basswood body). I have had EMG-Ps in it since roughly 1989, however, after putting a set of DR Nickel Low-Riders on it, I find them kind of harsh (and I have adjusted pickup height several times). When I put the EMGs in it, I was into metal. I was going to put the originals back in, but I can't find them.

    Well, I took a 13 year hiatus (college, working, etc.) and got back into playing again, playing primarily praise and worship, gospel (getting into slap), R&B, and funk (I also have a Fender Amer Dlx Jazz V). I am finding the EMGs don't work well for me in the P-bass with the styles I am into now. However, I have heard good things about Lindy Fralin pups. I should note that unplugged, I like the tone of the bass.

    What p-bass pickups do you recommend for the styles mentioned above? Which set will work well with maple/basswood? Any advice is much appreciated.
  2. esxmac


    Aug 17, 2003
  3. KLEIN


    Apr 4, 2009
    Lakewood CA
    Endorsing: Schecter Basses
    Have you tried looking into the original pickups that came with it. You can be pretty versital with a set of stock fender p pups. And they wont break the bank.
  4. esxmac


    Aug 17, 2003
    Ahh, well, that is another story. During my 13 year hiatus, I seem to have lost them in a move along the way.

    Where would I find a set of originals and/or a set that are close? Should I go for the vintage reissue ones?
  5. Greevus


    Apr 15, 2009
    I am with you in a few ways--I played and still play 'metal' and I have maybe 6 P style basses with EMG-Ps. I LOVED the tone mixed with my GK heads for years. Lately I am playing stock Washburn passive J's (Taurus T25) through Ampeg SVT classic and I am really digging the passive tone. I tried one of my basses with the EMGs and it sounded really harsh and too trebly/clicky these days. It is like losing an old friend or two with leaving the EMGs and GKs. BUT I love the low clean thump of my new toys. I had a Dimarzio P style in one bass before I replaced it, and to me it sounded very good for a passive. Maybe it's the tubes vs solid state also, but the passives sound very "woody" to me. I am just enjoying having no battery, no preamps, just a bass and amp. I wish you luck and let us know what you find out. I am thinking of gutting those EMGs and ebaying them.
  6. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    I've been playing for 20+ years and have been through various phases from Dimarzio's to EMG's to Duncans. Recently I tried Fralins, and I was blown away... it's the sound that I've been looking for all these years. I ended up using 5% overwounds in my main P bass.
  7. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    Fralins are a sure bet for great tone from pickups. Seymour Duncan Antiquities would work beautifully as well...or a set of Lolla P pups...but Fralin are my favorite split p pups. Period.
  8. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    but which Fralin ? the standard one I tried was brittle. (In a Lakland Glaub)

    Me I preferred Pete Biltoft's ( http://www.vintagevibeguitars.com ) split P spec'd with Alnico V magnets and a 5% overwind. Warm, punchy and articulate. Pete's attention to detail in construciton and shielding is second to none. IMO - he's way out front.

    I was aiming at a Paul Jackson Headhunter's vibe and he nailed it. My only sample was of the watermellon man lick which isn't slap or gospel related. Here it is though ... http://w3.gorge.net/mfbrown/vvwater.mp3

    no eq, no compression - this was an off the top of my head, straight into ProTools recording warts and all... Oddly enough this was installed in an 89 MIJ P
  9. I'm a big fan of the Nordstrand p-bass pickup. Nice, punchy, growly tone. Check out the DiMarzio Model P for a more modern sound and the Fender '62 reissue pickup for a more mellow sound.
  10. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I love the single coil 50s P bass pickup Pete Biltoft built for me recently. You describe the sound you want and he gets it for you. Mine has alnico 1/4" magnets and is overwound a bit. Great sound.
  11. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    From what I understand the Fralins carry a vintage 60's tone with them no matter what bass they're placed in. I have a set in my CIJ Fender Jazz - amazing - even A/B'd them to my friend's original 66 jazz and the Fralins killed. havent heard the Fralin P pickups, but I'm sure they sound great.

    If you really like the tone of your bass unplugged, you might want to consider checking out Seymour Duncan Antiquity PU's. They are supposed to carry a lot of tone from the actual wood of the bass - thats the reason why a lot of players put them in vintage basses when they don't have hundreds to spend on a set of original PU's - they carry similar qualities.

    So I think you'd be good with the Fralins, but defintiely look into the SD Antiquity PU's as well...also the SD's are around $100 more I believe, so price might be a factor.
  12. I am very happy with the sound of the Seymour Duncan SPB-1 I put in my mid-'80s MIJ P a few years back. Nice full range, crispy clean highs, and cheap to boot.

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