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Advice on Fender Pbass pickup for reggae-dub & edm

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Phaidrus, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    Since acquiring a second Fender Pbass some months ago I have dedicated my first Pbass - a 2008 Fender AmStd with maple neck and Fender Original pickup - exclusively to reggae-dub and EDM (electronic dance music, namely a number of house music variants). As an amateur, I play with friends and record stuff at home via Ableton Live. To this purpose this Pbass is currently strung with Dunlop flatwounds 45105 (previously with DR Legend and Fender 9050). I do like the tone but more often than not I have the impression it is somewhat too growly/aggressive for this type of music. Too much funk in that pup! Ideally I'd describe the tone I'm looking for as "round", "fat", "no upper mids", yet with punch and some definition (think of Robbie Shakespeare or Aston Barrett). So the question is, would the Fender Pure Vintage 63 pickup be a better choice than the Original to this end? Or perhaps the Fender Custom Shop 62 pickup? I'd like to stick with Fender, so not considering any other brand. Thanks in advance for your input!
  2. I would try getting an EQ pedal and just dialing out the frequency you are not liking and boosting the lows, and dialing in a little 230hz.
    retslock, dbsfgyd1, Crispus and 10 others like this.
  3. bassdude51

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

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Don't know exactly what to suggest. The '63 Pure Vintage P pickup is a little bit on the "hot" side compared to the CS '62 or the Fender Original. (The '63 having around 12 K ohms. vs the 10.9 K to 11.5 K ohms of the CS and Or.) I mean to say that the '63 PV is probably a better choice for your desired sound IMHO.

    Stings. Have you thought about trying out some taped strings? They might have the sound that you are looking for.

    Either that or a big hunk of foam under the strings near the bridge with some LaBella Deep Talkin' Bass Flat wounds.

    Good luck.
    drumvsbass, Hammerfield and Phaidrus like this.
  4. jchrisk1

    jchrisk1 Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    If you like Aston and Robbie's sound, why not a jazz bass?
  5. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    Yes, I suppose I could experiment with EQing via the amp or DAW (Ableton) although I have the impression one cannot really tame the upfront attitude of the Original by doing so. If I were to invest in hardware I think I'd rather try a different pickup instead of an EQ-pedal.
  6. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    Good point! But I'm a Pbass person, perhaps with a bit of a split personality going on :laugh:
    murphy, Michael Bauer and jchrisk1 like this.
  7. jchrisk1

    jchrisk1 Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2009
    Northern MI
    I would be looking at something like quarter pounders, they are high output and scooped mids.
  8. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    Thanks, good luck will definitely come in handy (so as not to waste more money than necessary).

    Yes, from what I've read on TB as well as elsewhere the 63 PV may be the ticket. It's not a huge investment, so I suppose I could give it a go. Will it have punch?

    As of strings, yes, I've tried Fender and D'Addario tapewounds. I like them - as I do like the Herbie Flowers sound - and would string a further Pbass with them. But as many have noticed, they just can't match the juice and authority of an appropriate set of flats. And a dub bassline without authority is not a dub bassline! So far I really like the Dunlops on this bass, much more than the 9050 and the DR Legend, which are also fine strings (but the 9050 were in fact accentuating the aggressiveness of the Original pickup and the DR Legend were too stiff and dead for me).
    bassdude51 likes this.
  9. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    In fact I do have a SD QP, unused and unopened, in my spare parts box but I think its scooped profile will not do the trick. I suppose that the right pickup will have mids but even more lows. That's why the 63 P looks promising on paper. It's Fender's anti-scooped pickup.

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  10. Bloomfield


    Jan 21, 2020
    Nova Scotia
    What is your tone capacitor? If it is .047uF you could try a .1uF which will roll off more high mids.
    Phaidrus likes this.
  11. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    No idea, whatever was factory fitted in the 2008 Am Std. Pbass (I only replaced the stock pickup with the Original some years ago). But I can check.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2021
  12. Evanforbass

    Evanforbass Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2016
    Denver, CO
    PV63. It is fat in the lows and shy in the high-mids and high. I let it go because I found myself tryign to turn the tone knob up for more highs only to fin it was already maxed
    Phaidrus likes this.
  13. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Sticking to Fender pickups is a great way to get the same sound your new pickups. Isn’t it cheaper just to keep the one you’ve got?
  14. MIMike


    Jan 1, 2013
    West MI
    I would think many of the other things suggested (different strings, eq, etc) would not only get you where you want to go faster, but much easier to swap out those things than different pickups, which based on your stated limitations, are probably not going to be significantly different.
  15. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    Well, that's exactly what I'm trying to find out in this thread. Whether the PV63 will sound considerably different than the Original currently fitted in that Pbass.
    Killing Floor likes this.
  16. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    So you think the difference in tone between the Original and the PV63 is not significant enough in terms of what I'm looking for. String wise I'm fine at the moment with the Dunlop flats but will certainly experiment more with EQing before ordering any pickup.
  17. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Ok. Subtle. But different. Might get you there for the deeper lows and less bright.
    Phaidrus likes this.
  18. Garagiste


    Feb 16, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    Those reggae greats chose the Jazz bass for a good reason. The neck pickup is closer to the fretboard and thus “fatter” and “warmer” than the P bass with its pickup more centrally located between the end of the fingerboard and the bridge. The classic reggae tone is Jazz bass with neck pickup 100 % and bridge pickup probably nil. I’ve seen some reggae players use a Hofner-type violin bass which also features a neck pickup. The P bass has too much low-mids for a good reggae sound. IMHO.
  19. SLPimp

    SLPimp An Injury to One is an Injury to All Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2020
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Turn down tone knob. EDM achieved.
  20. Phaidrus


    Oct 25, 2009
    That's my impression too, if YouTube videos and Fender's EQ charts for their various pups are anything to go by.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 3, 2021

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