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Best basic P pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by CoarseBass, May 9, 2010.

  1. CoarseBass


    Dec 28, 2002
    I'm looking to add a P pickup to my ATK700, a bass with ash body, maple neck and fingerboard.

    I'm looking for a classic, basic P rock tone. I'm a rock player, looking to add that sound to my arsenal. I plan to wire the bass with a 3 way so I can play P and ATK pickups soloed, and combine then in parallel.

    My first choice is a Nordtrand, it seems like a basic, classic pickup, that will get me a nice chunky, meaty P sound. I want to avoid the 'bwomp' that I get out of a cheap P/P clone at GC, I want the meat without the sonic stuffy nose.

    I'd also like to be able to dial in punky, thrashy aggressive tones, scooped with a lot of top end sizzle. I think a quarter pounder would do the trick, but I think I want to stay on the vintage side first.

    Any thoughts?
  2. screaminglucy


    Jul 20, 2009
    TX, USA
    anything vintage p is going to have a bit of that "stuffy nose" aka lots of mids. i'd say go with the 1/4lb
  3. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    The classic tone you seek is right here:


    Great pickup. I have one in my '06 MIM Std P. Its a big upgrade over the stock pickup IMO, the tone in the bass is much richer and a bit thicker in the low mids. Its the same pickup that Fender uses in the American Vintage series P-basses.

    FWIW, the 1/4-pounder is a love-it/hate-it pickup and I hate it. But, even if I didn't hate it, it is about the LAST pickup I would recommend to anyone wanting tones described as vintage or classic. It's has extremely high output for a passive pickup, lots of low bass, lots of treble, and a scooped midrange. Its a perfect tone for modern punk or more aggressive styles, but I wouldn't use it for any situation where you would want more of a classic tone. Just my $0.02.
  4. "T"


    Apr 6, 2010
    I'm new the the forum and I have to say I wish there was a sticky that had just clips of different pickups completely dry and nothing else.

    The Nordstrand P pickups to me when I tried them out on another bass sounded a little too clean. Almost a Musicman kind of clean. A little gritty, but in a thin narrow very non-offensive kind of way. If you want to piss people off, Nordstrands won't do it. lol

    I agree with the 62's.
  5. spaz21387


    Feb 25, 2008
    Portland oregon
    I love nordstrand np4s. I have them in my p bass. and they are perfect. they nail that 70s p sound. run them with a 1x15 cab and they are perfect. I would definitely recommend them. The quarter pounder on the other hand is absolute garbage. the stock pickup sounded better then the quarter pounder did. It spent a week in my bass and i went back to the stock pickup its still sitting around here somewhere maybe I should throw it up on ebay...
  6. johnboy65


    May 22, 2009
    Duncan Antiquity P/U's are awesome
    Lollar P's are really good to
  7. thirtypoint87


    Feb 9, 2004
    Manager/Repairman: Music-Go-Round
    Seymour Duncan Hot P-Bass is great for a rock tone. It's a bit overwound for a thicker sound than the classic/vintage spec pickups.

    good luck!
  8. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    I like the Fender Original Precision pickup linked above.
  9. mellowgerman


    Jan 23, 2008
    Orlando, FL

  10. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    Agreed! the 1/4 pounder is about as far from classic P as a split coil P can get -- put me in the hate it category... :)
  11. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Lindy Fralin, stock wind. This provides classic tone, with lots of gritty edge and punch. It can sound mellow or gnarly depending on strings, technique, etc. I also love the massive full-range whallop of the G&L MFD split-coil, but the Fralin has some of that grit with a more vintage overall tone.

    You do NOT want the Duncan SPB-2 Hot for P-bass. It's a very good pickup, but, due to the heavy overwind, it lacks the treble bite you want. It's very thick, smooth, and juicy.

    I've only tried a Quarter Pounder once, but I really liked it and almost bought one. I've heard others use it on stage, and think it can deliver a classic P-bass tone with proper EQ. It's not a vintage tone, but you won't mistake it for anything but a P-bass.
  12. MarkusBass


    Feb 24, 2008
    California Coast
    Graphic Designer: Lakland
    Favorite P pickup is the Lakland/Hanson with neo magnets. Very hot pickup, and would work killer for you. They call it the "P-4 Neopunch". You would LOVE it!

  13. Lync


    Apr 13, 2004
    +1...I like it much better than the 1/4 Pounder. The Hot P bass sits in the mix better to me (you can hear yourself).
  14. MarkusBass


    Feb 24, 2008
    California Coast
    Graphic Designer: Lakland
  15. Livewire

    Livewire Yahtzeeee

    Nov 13, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY

    I also have them in my P bass and they gives me that great 70's tone. I replaced SD 1/4 pounders in favor to the NP4's and I haven't regretted it for a minute. Once I got pass the Blink 182 stage I was in, the Duncan's didn't satisfy me anymore.
  16. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Fender or Dimarzio. Dimarzio cause pros and hobbyist alike have been useing dimarzio P to upgrade their fenders since the 1970's.
  17. SlingBass4


    Feb 28, 2009
    Kansas City
    THIS is the "Classic" pup that all others are judged by for that 50's-60's sound. *I* wouldn't consider using anything else (though I'd give DiMarzio a #2 rating). I use it, and from what the OP stated - should be the choice. Right price, too :smug:
  18. CoarseBass


    Dec 28, 2002
    Thanks for the help guys. I've got a friend who swears by the Fralin, and has an extra...I think thats the winner.
  19. Stepitup


    May 23, 2006
    San Jose, Ca.
    I like the fender 62's tone, just wounder how the Bill Lawrence P-46 compare?
  20. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    I have the Quarter Pounders. My advise is the Fender 62 P or Seymour Duncan Antiquities II

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