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Bright sounding P pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by PricewithSalsa, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. PricewithSalsa


    Dec 25, 2016
    What pickup sounds like bass #3 in this video?

  2. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Any P bass stock with a maple board. That contributed as much as the pickup to the sound.

    Either that or shop EBay for a 70s P bass pickup?
  3. My Bill Lawrence P46 pickup sound quite similar to that. It's in an MIJ body with warmoth rosewood neck.
    Texan likes this.
  4. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I find I get a similar sound out of the EMG GZR or the Duncan SPB-4. I'm sure there are others as well.
  5. Grooveline


    Jan 24, 2012
    Ash/Maple combo of bass #3 might be contributing to the openness/brightness of the sound compared to the other basses. Pickup wise I think the Fender Original '62 (not the Custom Shop 60's) could do this.
  6. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    My first move would be a 500k tone pot. Really opened up my Precision!
  7. Wow, that 70's P really stands out, esspecially when you listen in on headphones. l wonder if the pots and tone cap are all original and the same in these basses. And I wonder if the pickup heights are all the same...

    I have a '73 P that is very nearly as bright as that brown one, (with new strings that is). It has its original pickup. It's wound to 11K, has 7.5H of inductance. Unfortunately few if any pickup makers quote inductance or capacitance for their products, but when you look around, all the hotter models seem to be overwound. If you want a bright sounding P pickup, go for something that is labelled "vintage wound" or whatever. Like duncan antiquity, fender custom shop 60's stuff. Also, make sure your bass sounds nice and bright acoustically. A passive pickup can't work miracles if your bass has a naturally warm tone.

    If you are on a budget, don't laugh, but these are great for a bright sounding P. I had one in another bass for a year or so. OK, I ended up winding my own for this instrument, but its spec wasn't far off that underwound artec cheapie. And it was well made. Fibre bobbin, alnico mags, solder eyelets, cloth wire. Not like the typical plastic bobbin, ceramic mag cheapies out of Asia at all.
  8. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone Banned

    Feb 23, 2011
    I really dig the tone of the brown '77 USA ash body bass as well, by far the best sounding in that video in my opinion, though followed by the white '95 Japan basswood body bass, even if that too lack some top end bite in comparison.

    It's like the brown one emphasis the whole frequency spectrum although slightly weighted towards a pleasant amount of punching mids and some high end bite and sizzle to top it off, while the others seems to cut off quite drastically at some point and instead emphasis the lower mids, making them slightly more rounded or soft sounding, but at the same time also slightly tame and boring, like a teeth less tired old lion or something.

    If you are not using the volume and tone knobs anyway and never cut your tone or volume you might as well try to bypass all controls and caps and hook your pickup directly up to the output plug of the bass, this should open up the pickup considerably, mainly in the higher mids/treble frequency area.

    Did so on my Ibanez Mikro equipped with a set of P/J EMG Geezer Butler Pickups, and it really did.

    Prefer the tone I got now slightly over the tone I got before, since I kind of like my tone raw and slightly aggressive with a lot of punch and a fair deal of growl and bite as well.

    Swapping strings might help too, cobalt or even steel strings instead of nickle wound should make your bass sound slightly brighter as well.

    But as mentioned by RobbieK, it will still depend on how your bass sound acoustically.

    What kind of wood is your P made of?

    Finally there's the option of you just getting a bass with P/J configuration, to add some bite from the J pickup ;)
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
  9. ThudThudThud


    Jun 4, 2010
    The stock pickups on my 2000 MIM Precision (RW fingerboard) are very bright. I'm using Fender 7250ML strings.
  10. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    I agree that a maple neck/fingerboard combo with any vintage-output pickup can get that. Someone mentioned 500k pots that is a cheap and easy mod to try on any bass to see if you like the effect.

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