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Backwards P type configuration?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Cornbread, Aug 30, 2000.

  1. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    I have a cheap Ibanez P-bass, but the pickup is split so that the left one goes towards the bridge and the right one is closer to the neck. How much does that affect the sound? Would replacement pickups work the same with this backwards split coil thing?

  2. pkr2


    Apr 28, 2000
    coastal N.C.
    Dave, this is just a wild guess, but it sounds like you could have a right hand neck on a left hand body.

    The stagger with split coil pups is a compensation thing and it seems to me that the arrangement of your pups is backwards. About like having the bridge rollers adjusted so the low E is longer than the G string. You can put a left handed nut on a right hand neck, reverse the strings and reset the intonation and and it will be a left handed guitar. The problem will be that the split coil pups will be staggered backwards.

    Just a thought for whatever it's worth.
  3. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    It's not THAT weird... :)
    The Ibanez GSR100 has a split coil, but it's backwards compared to a Precision Bass. I'm sure there are other brands that flip the pickup. There's nothing wrong with this bass (maybe there's something wrong with Ibanez though..) I'm just wondering if replacement pickups will work the same way if they're split the opposite way. Thanks



    May 29, 2000
    hooksett NH USA
    I too have seen many basses like this. In fact, I think I still own one- I'll have too check.
    Anywho---- I dont thik it makes any difference when you're choosing replacment pickups. The manufacturer decided to arrange them like that, probbly because they sound better there. Or maybee they just want to be different from fender.
  5. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    P-style pickups have each coil in a completely seperate housing, so it shouldn't matter which coil is closest to the bridge if you want to replace them.

    As JHMAVRO posted, there are many basses that have a P-pickup configured this way. The Fender Rocco Prestia model has a "reverse" P-pickup.

    Also, if you're not happy with your "cheap Ibanez P-bass", don't sink money into it with up-grades. Save your cash and buy a bass that doesn't need up-grading (at least not right away. ;)) (Just my opinion on the situation.)
  6. Cornbread


    Jun 20, 2000
    Lawrence, Ma
    Thanks, and you're right about not upgrading. It's hard to justify upgrading when the pickups would cost at least half the price I paid for the bass! :)
    BTW, on the pickup closest to the bridge, the polepieces fall back into the casing all the time. It seems like an easy fix, right? I guess there's some foam under there?

  7. dmaki


    Apr 29, 2000
    I have an Ibanez GSR 200 bass with a reverse-P/jazz configuration. The passive stock p'ups sounded pretty bad so I upgraded them to EMG's. Thats right, I put $200 pickups in a bass that started off costing only $200, so it now costs twice as much but sounds SOOOOOOOO much better... I was considering getting rid of it and just getting a new bass, but I'm glad I didn't... If your pickups sound like crap, regardless of everything else, your bass will sound like crap.

    Just my $0.02,
  8. my understanding is that this is just a subtle way to improve tone, making the lows sound tighter and ballsier and the highs sound smoother.
  9. I think Lee Sklar's Gibson signature model had TWO P-pickups that were "backwards". My guess is that the tonal difference would be slight, based on the position of the coils, sort of like bridge versus neck pickup, but less drastic cause they're so close together.
  10. Roger Sadowsky has that reverse-P configuration as an option on his PJ5 series basses. What he says about the reverse setup is this:

    The reverse P offers a "tighter B" string and also improves the "pop" on the G string when the bass is in the
    "combination pickup setting."

    See: http://www.sadowsky.com/whats_new.html
  11. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    I built a 4-string bass with a Warmoth body with two P-style pickups in the standard configuration. The E and A on the bridge pu sound much darker than the D and G. If I were going to make this bass again, I would definitely order the body with the pickup configuration reversed. I'm sure it would make the E and A tighter and imrove the overall string-to-string tone balance.


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