Best vintage pbass pickup replacement?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Sessionguy, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Sessionguy

    Sessionguy Banned

    Jul 24, 2011
    Hi All,

    I could use some opinions on what y'all think are the best "vinatge" pickup replacement for a pbass. I have a roadworn pbass on the way and I'm looking into it. I could use some personal experience testimony, though. Testify!

    Fralins? Lollars? Duncans? Whatdaya think?

    Thanks, in advance.
  2. Lo-E


    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Well, it would help to know what "vintage" means to you.

    I'm partial to the Fralins, myself, but I think the Fender reissues and Duncans sound pretty durn good, too.
  3. Thumper


    Mar 22, 2000
    Layton, UT
    I thought I would need to change the PUPs in my RWP because it didn't come with MIA PUPs. I put Sunbeams on it and A/B'd against my CS NOS '59P (CS '57 PUPs). That MIM PUP is just fine, I won't change it until it dies.

    Just food for thought, spend some time with it, put your string of choice on it and see if new PUPs are needed before you start shopping. The research is fun but frustrating, almost no one agrees in the this versus that PUP polls. Listen to Dan Atkinson's comparison's of different brands on the same bass - not much difference between PUPs as far as I could tell.
  4. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

  5. Sessionguy

    Sessionguy Banned

    Jul 24, 2011
    Thanks, everyone! All good advice. Definitely planning on giving the stock PUP's a god run first. But it's nice to know what's out there.

    Much appreciated!
  6. Sessionguy

    Sessionguy Banned

    Jul 24, 2011
    That's should be a "good" run.... :0)
  7. RED J

    RED J Lol Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2000
    Really like my Fender original '62 in my main P. Can't beat the archetype IMO.
  8. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I used to favor the Bartolini 8S, until I dropped a Lollar in this bass.

    it isn't radio - kelp on Vimeo

    In the end, it's up to you, but I have to agree that there probably isn't a universe of difference between a lot of pickups.
  9. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    tortburst likes this.
  10. depalm

    depalm Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2004
    For the $ I'd suggest Duncan SBP-1 and Bill Lawrence.

    If you want to spend a little more than you should try Nordstrand and Lollar.

    Can't go wrong with any of these choices.
  11. lpdeluxe

    lpdeluxe Still rockin' Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Deep E Texas
    I followed the advice of a fellow TBer and installed a Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound and Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats on my Classic '50s P. It not only sounds great, but it sounds great through each of the amps that I have played it through (Ampeg B100R, Hartke HA2500/2-10/1-15 Transport cabs, Mesa/Boogie Walkabout with 2-Genz-Benz 10T speakers, and a Genz-Benz Shuttle 3.0-10T). I have played it in dance halls, on flat-bed trailers in lumber store parking lots, theaters, and at outdoor private parties. In a word, it's the ONE.

    I think my AV '57 sounds as good, but I've never A/B'd them, but I know the it cost twice what I paid for the Classic '50s + upgrades.

    I have a QP single-coil on my '51 RI, and it's the Thump King. I'm a believer.:D
  12. Sessionguy

    Sessionguy Banned

    Jul 24, 2011
    Thanks again, for all your replies! Much appreciated.

    I got the bass and I'm really diggin it. I've been running it stock thru a Tech 21 Bass Driver/DI into my amp and it's f*%kin' death defying!

    Trying to bring out a bit more volume and tone from the G string above the 12th fret, but other than that I Love it.

    Thanks again!
  13. Deedubs


    Mar 5, 2012
    This! I love my qp!
  14. Marton


    Sep 20, 2005
    I had a Duncan SPB-1 and a Fender P-bass RI pickup in the same bass, and didn't really heard any difference. I have a Fralin in another bass, and it seems a little bit more bassy. I would suggest any of these to somebody looking for a vintage sounding pickup, I can't pick a favorite in these three pickups, but I like them much.
  15. Andy_D


    Nov 28, 2009
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Put a Bill Lawrence P-46 in my Peavey Fury and Love it. I'm sure there are many good choices out there but for the money I'd say the P-46 is a tough one to beat.
  16. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Eastwood Guitars, CHC Guitars, GHS strings
    Duncan SPB-1's are the closest I've heard to my 1964 P Basses pickups.

    I've tried Antiquities, Nordstrands, Lollars, DiMarzios, Fralins, EMG's, Fenders, Lawrence, etc...and the SPB-1's were the closest IMO. (with the Fender OV62's coming very close as well)

    The others were nice pickups and would be great for various uses and needs though....
  17. At the end of the day it's all a big marketing ploy. In a rock band situation, any pickup can sound like any other pickup with a few tweaks of the knobs or sliders on your amp. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the pickups in a Roadworn.
    I've had Nords, Fralins (I have these at present), Antiquities, Barts, EMGs, Fenders and DiMarzios and the differences between them are minimal when in a live band situation, because you (and me, and everyone else) will eq the rig to suit the sound they want to hear.
  18. bassfart


    May 5, 2008
    I love the Nordstrand NP4, and the new Aguilar split P pickup is outstanding. You won't go wrong with either of these pickups.
  19. I use the Lakland/Hanson Vintage P.
    LOVE it!!!!
  20. LHbassist


    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    I concur, have one of these in my '62 Fender Japan lefty P-bass. It sounds absolutely killer. Just the right amount of 'bark' when you dig in, and a nice, smooth all round frequency response. It nails the sounds of the 'p' basses we've been hearing on the radio for the last 50 years. AND it's 65 bucks, new. That's well within the reach of most bassist/tinkerers!