adding a j pickup to a p-bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by shaolinwhat, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. shaolinwhat


    Jun 5, 2005
    has anyone done this or had this done for them? i love the jazz bridge pickup sound, and id love to be able to get it with my p-bass, but the only p's ive seen that have this also have a jazz neck, which im not that into. how much should it cost to have a bridge j pickup installed with a 3 way switch?
  2. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    This is a pretty common modification and you can probably have it done for $50, more or less (not counting the pickup).
    What brand of pickup to use? I've used and liked Bartolini and Dimarzio. The Dimarzio I had was a humbucker ("J-Bass" model, I believe), so it didn't hum when the P-Bass pickup was turned down. On a different bass at a different time, I tried the comparable Bartolini, but ended up with their single coil version, which seemed to "sing" more, IMO.
    Good luck!
    Anyone else?
  3. Jeff Martinez

    Jeff Martinez

    May 10, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Seymour Duncan makes a kit that includes a P and a J, each with their own volume pot. It's active and includes all the wiring you need for the battery.
    I installed this on a Fender Squire Bullet Bass that was given to me. I used a "Dremel tool" to rout out a cavity for the J pickup (and also for the battery on the back side). It took a little work, but the difference in sound is awesome. And I have complete control over how much of each pickup is in the mix.

    Total cost (including touch-up paint): about $175
    Total time invested: about 3 hours
    Total value to me: priceless :D
  4. imkelvis


    Jul 19, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Reverend Basses, Traynor Amplifiers
    I have a couple of P basses with this configuration. Here's what I've learned the hard way. If you're going to do the routing yourself and you've never done this before... practice on something else first! You will not make this pretty the first time.
    Probably also helps to choose your pu first and route to it specifically.

    Noise is the other fight you face. The split pu's on a P bass hum-cancel each other. Same with the two pu's on a passive jazz. Adding another single coil jazz pu allows it to hum away nicely on it's own.
    You can buy a matched set of emg's or duncan's (or many others) that are active and silent.
    You can add a stacked (two separate windings that cancel each other on the same pu) pick up to a passive P bass set up and achieve the same thing.
    I haven't heard the humbucking or stacked Dimarzzio(?) but it's probably great. My stacked Duncan is very quiet and sounds like it's supposed to. Good luck!
  5. shaolinwhat


    Jun 5, 2005
    well i will definitely have someone else do it for me if i do it...and i dont think i can bare to mod my mij precision, so im thinking about buying a mexican one and replacing the precision pu and adding the j pickup as well. does seymour duncan sell QP sets that are this configuration? ive heard good things.
  6. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    It's a very common mod. In fact I'm looking at doing it... however, I would do it probably in a '70's Bridge pickup position. It's not a difficult modification if you're handy with a router and use routing templates ( sells them - but it's probably cheaper to have someone else do it than to order the templates, router bit and risk screwing up) I would recommend trying some Dimarzio's as well, they do a P/J set.

    The real question is what kind of tone you're looking for? Whatever you want can pretty much be done.
  7. imkelvis


    Jul 19, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Reverend Basses, Traynor Amplifiers
    Me again.
    I believe the Q-pounders are passive and don't come in a pj set.
    I could be wrong...There is a great list of duncan pu's on the warmoth website.
    Warmoth makes amazing neck and bodies, but they sell everything you need to build an instrument start to finish.
    Click on pick ups and follow to the duncans. I know they make an active p/j set with pole pieces showing. (pots, wiring, everything for around $150)
    Have fun,
  8. shaolinwhat


    Jun 5, 2005
    i really love the brige pu sound i get from my mia jazz through my gk, if i can get that from my precision as well by adding the pickup, that versatility (sp?) would be awesome