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Best Replacement Pups for MIM Precision

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tapehead, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. tapehead


    May 27, 2008
    Just trying to get a few ideas on the best pickups to put in my MIM Precision.
  2. Tom Cileski

    Tom Cileski Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2012
    I'm looking to upgrade a MIM too. From basses I've played, sound clips I've been able to find, reading lots of reviews and within my budget, I've narrowed it down to (in alphabetical order):

    Bill Lawrence (Wilde USA)
    Joe Barden
    Lindy Fralin
    Seymour Duncan

    And all of the above have at least two models to choose from (coils, wiring options etc.)
    Just a few ideas I've been tossing around. They all make great pickups.
  3. tapehead


    May 27, 2008
    thanks man...I'll dig into those and check em out as noone seems to know the answer to this perplexing question! :)
  4. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Depends on the sound you want. I like Duncan SPB-1. They sound like a classic P-Bass is supposed to sound.
  5. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    This. It's hard to say anything without knowing that.

    I personally like the DiMarzio Model P for a hard rock tone and the Fender 62' RI for a good all around P bass tone. I've got one in my MIM P right now.
  6. Boot Soul

    Boot Soul

    Feb 10, 2009
    Man, this raises a long-standing question for me. I bought a brand new MIM P bass from GC out in El Cerrito, CA in '95, and it was my first bass. A guitar and bass playing friend helped me pick it out from the eight or so that they had.

    Found a good playing basic white/rosewood one (on sale for $239, as I recall) and started to practice. Took the bass to my same friend's studio and he and everyone else there were liking the cool vintage (their description) sound of my bass. My friend even used the bass to record a couple of reggae style songs he was recording. I left it stock except for a Schaller bridge that I put on it.

    A few years later I found a good deal on a 1968 Telecaster bass neck in great shape (which I really like 'cause I have big hands), and I put it on that MIM body. I thought that I had better upgrade the pickup at the same time, and I put in some Fender '62 reissues in it. I left the rest of the pots and wiring original MIM stock. The '62 RI pickups were fine, but had a lot more high end and were more clanky, so I had to compensate for this by adjusting the tone knob on the bass and my amp, and I didn't like that sound as much as the original pickups with the bass tone full open and the amp set more flat. It seemed that having to turn down the treble on my amp, I lost a lot of my midrange presence, so to speak. So I put the original MIM pickups back in, turned my treble back up to 'flat' and left the tone on the bass wide open, and was happy again. It seemed silly to be compensating by turning down treble with the new pickups when I had just the spot I wanted with everything set flat before. The lows on the MIM pickups are a little tamer (tighter) as well, which I find suits me better through tube heads especially where lows can get really boomy easily.

    So, what I have always wondered is, what is supposedly "wrong" with MIM pickups anyway? Why do many of us feel the urge to get rid of those supposedly cheap stock pickups? Do they use cheaper magnets and poorer quality copper wire? Are they wound with less precision or quality? It seems like the components used in making a P bass pickup would be pretty inexpensive to begin with. And the construction and assembly doesn't strike me as rocket science either. I just don't think the MIM, or probably the CIJ pickups are notably worse than the MIA ones. Anyone agree?

    Here is the bass I refer to, and it is my favorite (it is very quiet too, no hum, even with what seems like barely enough shielding). It's got some pretty old Fender nickel rounds on it now, and I just really like it:

  7. LDonnie


    Aug 3, 2008
    I like Dimarzio's for their price to quality ratio. I would first check out David Schwabs (SGD) stuff, though since he is such a helpful guy and makes nice stuff.
  8. Boot Soul, that is my dream bass! That neck is to die for. I have a white P bass with black pg loaded with Dimarzios and it sounds killer.
    The MIM P basses have hotter pickups, hence the stronger mid presence. Rob Wright has been playing these basses since around 2002. He's been playing vintage 70s P basses for over 20 years and after retiring them he picked up some MIMs and loves the pickups on them. He's the bassist/vocalist from Nomeansno.
  9. Boot Soul

    Boot Soul

    Feb 10, 2009
  10. Oh yeah, they are still playing and putting out albums. Rob is one of my favorite bassists.
  11. DingoBlues


    Dec 17, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I'm curious about this as well. I've heard people refer to these MIM pickups as boomy or muddy. I think they sound alright and they are LOUD.

  12. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005

    Sure, they sound "OK", but to *my* ear, not as good as Fender's '62 Originals or SD's SPB-1 pups - to each their own, though...

    - georgestrings
  13. Aussie Player

    Aussie Player

    Apr 20, 2011
    That, my friend, is the whole point.

    Bass guitar is very, very, personal.
  14. That's because there is no definitive answer.
  15. srvmojo


    Aug 30, 2011
    I like the GFS (guitarfetish.com) p-bass pups I put in my MIM.