Bridge Pickup for a P bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bdplaid, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    So, if you were adding a bridge pickup to a P bass, what would you put in, and where would you put it? Double coil, single coil, close to the bridge, close to the P-pickup?

    I'm looking for a bridge pickup that adds some growly midrange to the P pickup, not looking to get some super-snappy Jazz bass tone out of it. My thinking is a dual coil nearer to the existing pickup, but wanted to hear some ideas. Thanks.
  2. sprag


    Sep 15, 2011
    Melb Australia
    Musicman or another p pickup. Either close to the existing pickup
    bassdude51, patrickj and bdplaid like this.
  3. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Double P
    /\/\3phist0 and sprag like this.
  4. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    They answer you're probably looking for: A soapbar, closer to the bridge or around the 70s position. Then experiment with different pickups in a soapbar format. Maybe start with a Nordstrand's Big Split...

    The answer you're probably not looking for: I'd reverse the P (move DG on the other side of EA), then add another reversed P in the bridge.

    The truth is, I find it that the way P is oriented, it tends to work best by itself. It IMO pairs much better when it's reversed... But it's also a matter of finding a good match for it, hence my soapbar recommendation.
    bdplaid likes this.
  5. okabass


    Mar 19, 2005
    I recommend not to mod a P Bass. Try to found different sounds by playing technique. If you need some other type sound use another type bass.
  6. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    This is a new build. And, I have P-basses out the wazz... Plus, I'm not a purist.

    I like the P-bass sound and won't monkey with that, but my P-Js and similar others I have played have a bridge p/u that just doesn't get it when added to the P tone. I want something that adds midrange in the same way the Jazz bass does with its two pickups when they are both full on.

    I was originally thinking I would use a MM as close to the pickguard as I could, because I wanted a wide string sensing area, but that combo looks kinda bad to me. So my next step is to use a dual coil placed as close to the pickguard as possible, which puts the back coil more or less in the Jazz Bass 60's position, and the other a little forward of that.

    I've used a P + DC in 5 string builds before, and they work OK, depending on the pickups. See my Avatar. But I never pushed the DC bridge p/u that far forward. I have pushed it back to the bridge and didn't like the thinness, so right now I'm thinking to move the DC as far toward the P p/u as possible.

    I was just wondering what other folks would do.
  7. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    I have done that before on an experimental bass, simply moving the bass side of the P-bass pickup to the other side, and it does sound great. Very tight sound. But then that meaty low end from the P disappears. But it's a good sound.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
  8. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    I meant the other way around - move the treble half (DG) towards the neck, leaving the bass half (EA) in the same spot. If it’s a new build, then for sure this would be my recommendation.

    That, or switching to a different set of pickups altogether... like two DCs or two BigSplits etc...

    But then again, some have had success pushing a Bridge pickup to the edge of the pick guard, so go for it if you think that might work... or perhaps build a mule with a large pickup route and place pickups I various spots to try...
  9. PeaveyPlayer

    PeaveyPlayer Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2014
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    Dimarzio model J
  10. bdplaid

    bdplaid Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2007
    Yes, I knew you meant that, and I did that on another build. I didn't like the outcome, it was very thin and I didn't care for the treble it added to the P p/u. And I may very well do a pool route under the pickguard area. Part of me wants to put a MM pickup in the P spot to see what happens.

    As for using a J pickup - I want a larger string sensing area.