active pj sets available?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mattbass6945, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    FWIW- a J in the bridge always sounds that way. It has to do with the pickup sensing less string movement.
  2. ok, i appreciate that joel. is there another way to get more out of it? possibly a higher output in its place? or is this just an expensive experiment, not worth messing with?
  3. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    A good matched P+J set will go a long way. Some Manufacturers usually will make the J a bit hotter than normal by over-winding the coil. This increases the lows and takes off highs. Others might use a different design all together to get to the ball park of a beefier bridge. I'm not convinced fender did this with the deluxe PJ.

    If the P pickup works for you; you can always try another J bridge pickup. A Dimarzio Ultra J is one of the hottest J's with the most lows, a slight mid scoop and extended highs. I found that was a good pickup to match a lot of P pickups, but it tended to make the whole bass sound a bit more scoped. Your Fender P will probably be around 10-11k ohms and the ultra J's 12.5k ohm. I'm not sure that made a difference but I was able to get the PJ to sound more JJ like with that pickup. Mind you, It doesn't match well with an overwound P pickup, because then you would have the same problem

    The Model PJ set sounded good as well, but the J was quieter than the P (163mV vs 190ishmV).

    One trick is to lower the P pickup in relation to the strings and raise the J. However I feel this makes the J give more bite and the P sound more subdued. FWIW this may give you a tone you like, but it may not.

    Try these settings for pickup height. Not promising they will work but its a good compromise between standard and a lower P but not too low. make sure you depress the string at the last fret when measuring. I like to use an allen wrench on the pickup poles to do this measurement from pickup to string; but if you have a good eye a ruler could work.

    P - 3/32 from the G string
    5/64 from the E string

    J - 2mm from the G string
    3/32 from the E string

    I think you'd like an EMG PJ set; but you'd probably have to yank your EQ out to install it.
  4. wow, thanks man! the allen wrench as a reference point is a great idea.

    i like the p and would rather not lower it. maybe i need to replace the j or find a more "matched" set. just another thing to add to my to do list!

    thanks again for your help joel!
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