A J pickup that sounds like a P?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Queg, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Queg


    Nov 20, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    I've got a P body routed for jazz pups that I'd like make sound like a P as much as possible. Is there a brand/model of Jazz neck pickup that sounds more like a P than others of its kind? Or is it the split config of a P pickup what gives it that P sound?

    Before I get inundated with suggestions for a series/parallel switch, I've tried it in other jazz basses and it's kinda fatter and muddier than the typical punchy P sound.
  2. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    I think a telecaster bass style pup in a jazz housing might get you there.
  3. BFISHER1970

    BFISHER1970 Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Pensacola, Florida
    Dimarzio model J is about as close as you will get in a J housing
    IMO neck pickup on full and bridge at about 50-75% (depending on your pickup height) will get you pretty close with these
  4. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    An overwound split-J is the closest you are going to get. I recommend contacting Lindy Fralin and see if he can 5% overwind his split-J.

    I had DiMarzio J's on a '75 light ash J bass in the early '80's, and with due respect to BFISHER1970, for me, they growled more than a P-pickup does and so I disagree with that recommendation.

    And what bkbirge is talking about is a split-early-P, which the bobbin is wider than a J pickup, and even though internally that would be a similar or even preferred pickup, it will not fit without trimming the bobbin, which would limit the number of winds, thinning out the tone.

    Yes, Lindy Fralin is the man for this kind of application. Others, like Aguilar, Nordstrand, and a couple more also make a split-J, but if you're looking for a similar tone to a P-pickup, he is the guy who can wind it for you.
  5. topcat2069


    Dec 2, 2007
    Palm Springs
    a side by side dual coil J, with the coils wired in series. The flat, wide coils of a P pickup and the series wiring both contribute to "That P Pickup" sound..... Jazz pickups are narrow and tall.
  6. iiipopes


    May 4, 2009
    Yes, that's what we're talking about. Most folks call it a "split-J" to distinguish it from a pickup that is essentially the same as a conventional guitar humbucker.

    I forgot above: Bartolini also makes various versions of a split-J.
  7. BFISHER1970

    BFISHER1970 Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Pensacola, Florida
    I've got the Model Js in 2 jazzes now (ash/maple and agathis/maple)
    I also own a p (sen ash/rosewood) with an antiquity II and either one can get pretty dang close.
    Of course pickup height and strings will make a world of difference.
    Just my opinion
  8. Sparkdog

    Sparkdog Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    Burbank, CA
    BFISHER1970 is right.

    And so is iiipopes!

    I have both. The model J's do a pretty damn close impersonation of a P when you run the neck pup wide open and add in just enough bridge to get more definition.

    I also have a bass with Fralin splits. They are not overwound, but the neck pickup is definitely beefy. Lindy does great work and can definitely make something that meets your tone needs.

    In purely stock mode I would have to give the edge to the Dimarzio though.
  9. George Mann

    George Mann Banned

    May 27, 2012