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"Bad" distortion from my P-bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassplayertom77, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. bassplayertom77


    Sep 24, 2008
    I have an American Fender P-bass. It's passive with Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound pickups. When I dig in, I get distortion. It's more like an artifact. I've checked my amp with different basses, used a brand new cord, even stood on one leg. Could it have something to do with pickup height? I'm stumped. Please help.:ninja:
  2. JFace


    Apr 17, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    What amp are you using? Your signal might be too hot, overdriving the preamp.
  3. bassplayertom77


    Sep 24, 2008
    SWR 2x10 combo. I've tried turning the pre-amp down to bare minimum, still no luck. Also pressing the active pad -10db was no help.
  4. kjs


    Sep 13, 2008
    I have no experience with those particular pickups, but from what I hear, they are pretty hot. You might be right about it being the height...I would definitely try lowering them.
  5. bassninja7


    Mar 1, 2008
    Napoleon, OH
    i get some nice (at times) tuby-breakup when i dig in on the upper strings. my treb side is up a little bit more (as it should be) but it may be too far up....
  6. badboy1984


    Mar 27, 2007
    United Kingdom
    if you play really hard or dig really hard then try lower your gain/input.
  7. jongor


    Jan 11, 2003
    Have you figured out what this is?

    I'm having a similar issue...I get a top-end sizzly distortion from my bass, I know it's not the amp or the cords.

    Could it be the capacitor? Something wrong with the pu's?
  8. NorCal Dog

    NorCal Dog

    Nov 28, 2005
    BINGO brah,, it has EVERYTHING to do with pickup height

    i a/b'd a couple of p pickups & i actually couldn't get the quarterpounder far enough away from the strings to get them to stop distorting when i dug in

    my suggestion,,, dump 'em they're WAAAYYY too hot

    ( when i first read the thread title, i knew you had quatrerpounders before i even read your post )
  9. jongor


    Jan 11, 2003
    I have Fender CS 60's single coils, does the same thing.
  10. Metania


    Oct 15, 2011
    I hate food!
    I have a MIM Fender P bass 50s classic with Seymour Duncan SPB-1 vintage pups. They're supposed to sound subtle? Not so - I get the same distortion issue! I tried lowering the pups to ca 4mm to the strings, and I've tried different strings, amps - does the same. And the original Fender pups also distorted when you dug in, which was why I changed pups. So - perhaps there's a meaning to the madness? It's one reason why I am a JB guy! But the PB is cool - I'd love it not to distort.
  11. If digging in produces unwanted distortion, lower the gain on your amp. If you can't get a better amp. The pickups are not to blame :)
  12. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    If you listen to old recordings from the 70s, everyone got that distortion when you dig into a P bass. It's part of the P bass tone IMO. Try lowering the pickup a little farther from the strings.
  13. I had the same issue on my E string. I lowered the pickup(Bill Lawrence P-46) and raised the string a bit and that worked.

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