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"anemic" p-bass pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ubernator, Apr 17, 2015.


  1. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    Obviously not the end of the world because I have had the bass about 15 yrs and never changed the pickup, though I had considered it since day 1...

    It is a 2000 (Z0) American standard, not sure if this is normal or I got a bunk pu or maybe there was a bunk batch of pu's (bought bass new when mars was going out of business). It does not sound bad by any means, but when compared to my 98 jazz am STD, I have to turn the bass eq on the amp up to get the bottom end to match up.

    Does anyone know if this is normal for that year? If not, and it is too late to get a warranty swap from fender, is the spd1 the best bet? Other than the anemic low end, the tone is otherwise decent, if not a tad aggressive (I would use it on songs that needed more nasal mid overdrive).

    I really love the STD pickups on my 98j and the reissue pickups on my 98 geddy, nothing making me want to change those. But I wish my p bass had similar balls so I wouldn't have to tweak the amp when changing basses.

    Also, would rather spend as little as possible too, either leave it as is, or get a swap pu from fender, or go with a lower cost pickup like the sbp1 or maybe a little more for the 62 perhaps (or a regular am STD p pu if mine is indeed not "right"

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    First do yourself a favor, change your pickup. You've been living 15 years with a tone you did not like and that's long enough.
    Many Fender pickups from that era don't sound very good and there are plenty of great options to look at.
    The lack of bass frequencies has me worried a bit that the wiring might be wrong. It happens even at the factory. I would check this first.

    If it's not the issue, I would assume your instrument is bass shy which happens. In this case you want the pickup to compensate for what the wood is not bringing to the table.
    I would look at a pickup that offers an emphasis on bass frequencies. Three come to mind, the SD SPB-2, the Lollar overwound and the Aguilar Hot P. The SD is a budget option but it does what it is supposed to do. The other two are more expensive but worth the investment for an American Standard bass. Your strings, rig, tonal aspiration and style of music might take you in an other direction. You might have to test a few pickups before finding what really works for you and your bass but I would recommend you take the time and make the investment. You will be rewarded with a bass that will sound better and which you will enjoy playing more.
     
    BlueTalon likes this.
  3. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    Seymour Duncan APB-1 will not break the budget and are decent
     
  4. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool

    Jan 28, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Duncan pickups are wonderful. They're second to none, made in America, and they do exactly what they say they will do, and for a good price. The only thing is they come off an assembly line so some people compare them unfavorably to boutique stuff, but whatever, right?

    Another pickup you should consider is the DiMarzio Model P. It will bring a much stronger flavor to your bass that still has some remnants of vintage. Some swear by the EMG Geezer Butler pickup for a good passive vintage-ish tone.
     
  5. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    If you were to look at my 98 jazz and 2000p you could easily tell which one got more use. I am more of a jazz bass guy due to the narrower nut and 2 pickups, I picked up the p because it was a smoking deal. Aside from the lacking low end, the quality is right there with the 98, though the 98 still has the classic f neck plate and the 2000 has the corona neck plate. I never checked the wiring, but I do not think it is the likely culprit.

    I did use the p for a few songs on an album, but it was 10 years ago and I don't remember if it was eq'd differently for those songs or not. I don't really want to change the tone character, other than just have the low end be comparable to my jazz. Probably why I have been reluctant to change pickups. Wish I had a buddy at fender...

    Or some way to have the pickup tested
     
  6. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    I guess what I really wanted to know was if 2000 p bass was known to have a pickup with less balls than other years, laurents reply about pickups from that era is along those lines, and it is likely that 98 is a different era so to speak, but I am also comparing a p to a j. But I would hate to go through the trouble of buying a pickup when it could be the wrong value pot or even just the wood (unplugged resonance seems normal though).

    Bur then again it obviously wasn't a big enough deal or else I would have changed it out years ago. I will probably wait till I have a chance to plug both basses into my new rig, I only recently pulled the p out of storage and it has only been in headphones since. Though I do notice the low end difference there. Tweaking the bass knob is much leas hassle than paying for and swapping a pickup, but then again I may end up deciding to try a drastic change like a quarter pounder or dimarzio. Right now even $60 for a Duncan is pushing it though, serious financial issues.
     
  7. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    Give yourself a try with Fender Pure Vintage 63 pup.
    I change my Squier Cv 60P from Fender Original 62 pup to 63 pup. Really happy & No regret at all.
    62 pup, hi-mid sound, lack lo-mid & bass. Aggressive high.
    63 pup, Nice Lo-mid & bass whithout boomy, D & G string sound full , sound balance string to string, combination with 9050L flatwound , it is easy mix with many kind of music.
     
    gypsyfelon likes this.
  8. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    The stock American Series/Standard pickups prior to 2012 (excluding the Fender "Original" 62RI's) don't really have the best reputation here, at least in comparison to many of their aftermarket counterparts. They aren't the worst, but are far from the best. That said, have you ever checked the wiring in your bass? There's a slim chance it may be wired in parallel, which would certainly sound "anemic" to my ears.

    Good and inexpensive upgrades are the Seymour Duncan SPB-1 or Fender "Original" (formerly 62RI) pickup. Both can be had for under $80 and either will provide the classic sound a Precision is known for. From there, the offerings get more expensive, but makers such as Fralin, Lollar, Novak and even Fender and Seymour Duncan offer high end replacements as well. There's lots of info here on all of the above.
     
  9. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    EMG Geezer Butler.
     
  10. joelb79

    joelb79

    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    +1. Just stay away from the PJ set (IMO, yadda yadda). :bag:
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    LOL...not everyone has problems with the PJ set, Joel ;)
     
  12. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    How much is the geezer? And it is definitely not wired parallel, that I can tell, has the mid punch of the series p for sure, I had played with the ones with the s1 switch years ago, and it definitely does not sound like parallel.

    Does the bad pickup reputation go for the j as well as p? My 98 jazz is absolutely slammin, not a whole lot different than the geddy lee, and I think those are 62's, with the beveled pole pieces. I can swap between both jazz basses and don't have to mess with eq, so the standard pickups on that are a/ok!

    I suppose I could google it, but does the geezer LOOK like an emg? I want pole pieces, and not the old school hex key ones either!
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
  14. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    Will
    Consider that if money gets better. Someone might be donating a used quarter pounder! That should probably tide me over for a while, and at least answer the question of if it is a bass shy guitar or bunk pickup. The late 90's guy buried deep insided liked quarter pounders on other basses I tried but didnt own, maybe it will be the ticket.
     
  15. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    LA
    my 2009 highway one p had uneven and lowish output compared to the hanson neopunch pickup in my skyline bob glaub,
     
  16. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    I'm guessing pickups started heading downhill around 2000, my 98 jazz as mentioned absolutely rocks, and another guy I knew had a 97 p bass that sounded great. I am hoping that offer I got for the quarter pounder comes through since I am strapped right now and will be for a while. Should be an improvement, if not a classic sound, I know they can be pretty aggressive and ballsey, might make the p bass the favorite rock/punk bass and give the jazz a break, it is getting pretty beat! Highway one is decent, more vintage style in that it has older bridge and tuners, and probably no graphite rods in the neck. I personally like those features though, but I bought mine before a few fender price hikes, $600something for the jazz back in 98, and $500 for the pbass in 2000 at a store closing sale. Can't even touch a highway one for those prices these days, and mine are USA standards. I plan on holding onto them, in a few more years they will be vintage, lol
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya, the 98 MIA Jazz I used to have had great pickups in it, too. I think the downhill slide started when they started making the MIA's with that S1 switch. Blech!
     
  18. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    Well the p bass was from JUST before the s1 came out. It was a good idea in theory, but the p bass sounded weak in parallel mode, not quite like a jazz bass for obvious reasons, putting a p in parallel may simulate the scoop, but can't compare to 2 spread out jazz pickups. And the jazz in series, damn that was an obnoxious boost, I wonder how many speakers fell casualty to that button push? At first I wished I had that feature on mine, but quickly got over it. How long did s1 last, I haven't seen one in years? Can't wait for that qp to arrive, courtesy of Tim Watkins, and the emg geezer being more to his liking. Guess I am going to have to check that one out someday should the opportunity arrive. I'm sure the qp will be a big improvement, thanks again Tim!

    And to make Jimmy AND Linnin happy, it's going through a rumble 200 and an ampeg 210 (well half for Jimmy since it is a mix of 10s and 15, but I like it). I'm sure it will also sound good with the micro CL (which is the source of my 210, the poor mans micro vr).

    I'm sure it's going to be like having a new p bass
     
    JimmyM likes this.
  19. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think the S1 was from like 2003-08, but don't quote me on the start year. I know they got rid of it starting in 08, though.
     
  20. ubernator

    ubernator

    Oct 30, 2004
    lost angels
    Also, pre 95 American standard fender basses were the same as mex basses but with better pickups and hardware. When the graphite reinforced neck, string through body bridge and new tuners came out in 95, it was a world of difference, fender had a good bass again, it made no sense to buy USA in the early 90's when Mex was just as good, but that 95 change, man good stuff. Another thing, my 98 is actually less corroded (bridge, pickup screws ect) than my 2000, so maybe they started cheaping out in 2000 in other areas. But still the 2000 is not a bad instrument overall, solid neck, same finish as 98. Can probably clean off the corrosion, I just hope I don't hit snags with the pickup screws on the p, one looks stripped just from anchoring on it while playing. Probably a cheap replacement if I have to plier it off.

    What do you think about Warwick from the same era? Before the rockbass, when ALL were made in west Germany?
     
    JimmyM likes this.

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