"Blade" type P-Bass pups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Mustang Surly, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Who makes a good one? I have an older SX P-type bass (short scale). It has the narrower string spacing (2" E-G at the bridge) and the pole pieces of the stock pups don't line up up all that well under the strings. I'm thinking that that could be why I'm having trouble getting even output string-to-string. I thought maybe blades might do a better job.

    I e-mailed Bill Lawrence Pickups several weeks ago with questions about their P46 (which seems to have lots of fans here). Was thinking that maybe the 2 extra pole pieces on them might give me more even coverage, but I got no response, so I'm still searching for possible options.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

  3. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Here are some more bladed P pickups:

    Joe Barden

    Another option you might consider to help with narrower string spacing is having oversized single pole pieces.

    You can find some examples on the Sentell site, and here:
  4. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Thanks, mmbongo and BlueTalon.

    BlueTalon, your Delano links functioned but the other 3 were dead. I'll try them again later, in case their sites are down for maintenance or something, but all I got was a "server not found" message when I clicked on your Barden, Sentell and M&V links.

    In the meantime, I'll just Google 'em.
  5. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    The Bardens look like the ticket. Unfortunately, they cost more than the bass did!

    Oh well, guess it's one of those "pay me now or pay me later" situations, eh? ;)
  6. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    I'll never buy another thing from Joe Barden. He refuses to stand behind his product, I've never seen worse customer service than Barden. Choose a different pickup and avoid possible headaches. Trust me.

    If money is an issue, go DiMarzio or Bartolini. If you don't mind spending more, go Delano. Any would be a better choice.
  7. nshuman


    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    Partner - CCP Pedals
    I apologize in advance for not actually answering your question. However, if you want to go a slightly different way and possibly do a bit more modding (pickguard and possibly routing), you might want to consider a TV Jones or Rio Grande Pickup to make it into a sort of short scale Cabronita. In the TVJones realm, all three of their bass offerings would work with a 2 inch spacing, not just their blade pickup.

    Again, sorry for being off topic.
  8. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Thanks for that headsup, mmbongo. That's good to know, especially given how expensive those are.

    Main thought that's always come to my mind whenever Barden's name is mentioned is Bill Kirchen and Danny Gatton playing his pups in Telecasters. Word I've heard is that those are so articulate that you'd better have squeaky-clean technique, or else. Of course a bass strung with flats might be more forgiving if the tone is rolled back about halfway (as I like it).


    No apologies necessary.

    I love Gretsch's Filtertron and Dynasonic guitar pups, but have zero experience with their bass stuff or anything by Rio Grande. TV Jones certainly has a good reputation, to my knowledge. Thanks for the suggestion, but for now, I think I'd rather avoid doing a lot of body routing, though I do have the tools and skill to pull it off without perpetrating butchery. Would also rather not have to buy another scratchplate. The Thunder'Blades do look interesting, however.

    Anyone with further options, please step forward...
  9. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    Yes, the Lawrence P-46 would work. SGD also uses blades in his design, as does Bill Lawrence USA.
  10. BlueTalon

    BlueTalon Happy Cynic

    Mar 20, 2011
    Spokane, Washington
    Endorsing Artist: Turnstyle Switch
    Can you elaborate? I got a set of J pickups, which I haven't installed yet. If you already posted your story somewhere, I'd really appreciate it if you'd post a link here.

    Personally, I wouldn't go with the Barden P pickups, just because I don't like the single blade design. I'd either go with DiMarzio double blades or the oversized single pole approach.
  11. [​IMG]

    Hard to beat these for the money
  12. TimboZ


    Jan 4, 2009
    South of Buffalo
    I think the EMG Select are blade pickups. Should be able to find them for less than $50.
  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    It's a long story and it happened years ago...the internet was in it's infancy...before Barden went out of business the first time. I vowed to warn everyone of his practices at the time and neither one of us probably had no idea it would still be mentioned almost 20 years later. But, I was ripped off by him and I have no remorse for anyone who does that so to this day I have not forgotten what he did to me.

    Long story short, I bought a set of Strat pickups that had no protective wrap on the coils. I had no idea they weren't supposed to be made like that. I'd never seen Bardens in person before. Of course the coils all broke due to exposure during installation and he basically told me to pound sand because I installed them and broke them, even though he admitted that he forgot to put the protective wrap on them. He said he couldn't repair them and would not replace them or even offer me a new set at cost. They were mine. Enjoy.

    I'll never forget that. He went out of business not long after that. I was not surprised.
  14. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Sounds like even if he knows how to make great pickups, he's clueless about running a successful business...or at least was at that time.

    That was shabby treatment of a customer. I tend to have a long memory about stuff like that as well, so can't say I blame you.
  15. rubendlr


    Mar 10, 2012
    Austin, TX, USA
    Ah. Ok. MMBongo. I messaged you about this but this sums it up. Again happy birthday and hope you've had better luck with pickup vendors since. Thanks for your feedback.
  16. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Yeah it was a long time ago and hopefully the latest incarnation of his company does not have those problems. Joe Barden will never get another dime of my money though.
  17. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Thanks man! Yeah I replied to your PM this morning.
  18. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Just to update:

    I wound up sticking in DiMarzio DP-127 "Split P's". Saw a new, unopened set on d'Bay for $65 shipped and jumped on 'em. They went in easy, though the mounting screw hole spacing doesn't match that of the original pups. They are also not quite as long as the original pups, so there's a bit of a gap between the pup and the pickguard on each end of each pup, but nothing too unsightly. It's mainly a question of the mounting "ears" being a bit smaller.

    Sure is easier to get all the strings balanced with these blades than with those misaligned pole pieces of the originals. My initial response to the tone is favorable. I'd say that they offer significantly more clarity and articulation. Less of a fan with the treble in the direction of cranked: EQ-ed that way, they start sounding a bit wooden and boxy to me through my amp (TC BG250 1X 15"). No biggie, since I generally roll back the tone on all my basses til I find what sounds to my ear like "the sweet spot" anyway.

    For $65 and 20 minutes work, I'm quite pleased and feel like the bass sounds much better.

    Tip 'o' the hat to member Snakeman1066 for the suggestion! Thank ya, sir!


  19. Mustang Surly

    Mustang Surly

    Jul 10, 2013
    Just spent a couple of hours with these DP-127s and am gonna have to revise my opinion of them upwards.

    Dialed back the mids and boosted the treble a touch on the amp, then recalibrated the tone on the bass (guitar) to find that sweet spot. Wow...much better. I'm REALLY liking what these pups do to tighten up the lowest notes on the E string: way more "punch" AND more clarity than the stockers. Other than the lack of balance due to improper pole piece alignment, my main complaint against the stock pups was that those lowest notes were a touch muddy and undefined.

    Happy, happy...joy, joy...