Can I use just half of a pbass pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by guitguit, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. guitguit


    Jul 9, 2013
    I play mainly guitar and plan to install half of a pbass pickup in my guitar and wire it up to a separate jack to allow me to essentially play bass and guitar at same time.

    Scott Lucas from a band called Local H does it and a few others have done it as a result.

    The pbass pickup is angled so that it covers just the bottom 2 strings and wired to another jack input. This extra signal goes through an octave pedal etc.....into a seperate amp, the normal guitar pickups work as normal.

    My problem is...I only need to use half of a pbass pickup (as it is only for 2 strings).
    pbass pickups seem to be wired together. How can I use just half?

    From searching it looks like dimarzio split bass pickups look to be individual (ie not wired together but i could be wrong).

    anyway, hope that makes sense, i just need to figure out how to use half of the pbass pickup before i order the parts.
    how to wire it etc....just need to go straight to jack most likely

    For info:
    pic of guy from local h..

    video of him explaining how it works (but not how to only use half)

    thanks for any help.
  2. Yeah, that works fine.
    The wiring is the same, just don't use two coils.
  3. guitguit


    Jul 9, 2013
    cool, thanks for the reply.
    the split p from dimarzio is the only one i could find that were not linked together.

    Are there any others?

    if i got a split p, could i use 1 in a guitar and use the other in another guitar?

    one has black and red wires.
    the other has white and green wires.
    what's the difference?

    would I just solder one wire to a pot to ground it and another to the jack?

    i'm clueless when it comes to bass pickups, only ever installed guitar pickups.
  4. Wild Rice Chris

    Wild Rice Chris

    May 7, 2005
    Palatine, IL
    Rice Custom Guitars (retired)
    Any P pickup will work. Just separate the two halves by desoldering the connecting wire and adding a new lead to each half in the same place. A P pickup is essentially two single coil pickups side by side.
  5. guitguit


    Jul 9, 2013
    each half of the split p is a humbucker apparently, i figure that will sound better with dirt?
  6. Why not take it a step further and wire up BOTH coils, in whatever available space is left?

    That way you could have essentially a two-pickup bass side, and normal guitar.

    Kinda go Bridge/bass pickup 1/guitar/bass 2/guitar 2 --

    You could wire tone for the bass side too if you wanna go totally nuts with it.
  7. guitguit


    Jul 9, 2013
    i had thought of that rip but i need to angle the bass pickup to accommodate for it being on a guitar instead of a bass and so it only covers the bottom 2 strings.

    the guitar i'm gonna do it on already has 2 guitar humbuckers in it.

    good idea though if it could work.
  8. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    You might want to check out krappy guitars. He makes crazy basses with 2 strings etc. He might make something that looks exactly like what you want, without having to angle the pickup.
  9. Blargh


    Apr 16, 2013
    Cookeville, TN
    1)buy baritone guitar
    2)string top strings as Bass (E & A)
    3)string bottom as per usual (DGBE
    4)Replace the pickups for 4-string ones as opposed to 6 six-string.
    5) Fill any gap with a P-bass coil :p
    6)Be the guy with the electric Bass/Baritone ukulele :bag:
  10. Mudcat35


    Feb 21, 2009
    Austin, TX
    Sure you can. I have an electric mandolin that uses half a P- bass pickup.
  11. Bill Lawrence P-46's come separately wired. If you ask really really nicely, he might even make you just half the pickup.
  12. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    I know this doesn't answer your question, and I apologize for the derail, but I saw something similar, and very cool, on youtube once. I wish I could find it again. A guy had taken a P-bass and wired it (somehow) so that each half of the pickup went to a separate output. He strung the E and A strings with regular bass strings, and D and G with piccolo strings (up an octave). The D and G string pickup was routed through a guitar multi-effect, and the overall sound was like a guitar and bass playing together.
  13. What do you mean by "not linked together?" All split coil P bass pickups consist of two coils, connected together. In most cases, for passive pickups, you simply have two leads from each coil. One goes to the control cavity, and the other is usually wired straight to the other coil. You will need to desolder one wire from the pickup and solder in a longer length of wire to run to the control cavity.
  14. The dimarzio split p is a rail type pickup. It has blades in stead of pole pieces. So you can essentialy put the pickup anywhere as long as the strings are above the blades. You don't need to angle the pickup or center it under the strings.
    Each halve is humbucking as mentioned. This would be handy if you want to proces the signal without adding too much noise I think.
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    i can only guess that he's referring to how dimarzio P pickups come in the box with the two halves not jumped together yet, unlike a typical vintage P pickup from duncan or fender.
  16. Doesn't it take both halves to be humbucking? For phase cancellation, similar to how Gibson humbuckers for guitars work?
  17. guitguit


    Jul 9, 2013
    thanks for all your help people. I thught you all should get your own little reply!

    smeet - checked out krappy guitars, not what i'm looking for but thanks for the heads up. I'd never heard of them. Nice to see someone doing lofi stuff!

    blargh - sound interesting. i'm gonna try it with a standard guitar first but maybe sometime down the line this would be something to look into!

    mudcat - did you just snip the wire connecting the 2 sides? how exactly did you wire it?

    bassist4eris - that sounds cool, i'll try find it on youtube.

    line6man - most pbass style pickups seem to be linked together like

    But the dimarzio split p each have their own 2 wires and are not wired together

    Dimarzio say "Each half of this unique double-blade P-style pickup is a complete humbucker".

    i was hoping i could do it without soldering extra wire etc, i'm clearly not an expert!:meh:

    lowerthetone - great point! i measured the space between the guitar i plan to do it in and there is roughly 2.5 inches (nearer 3 inches to be honest).

    The split p is 1.1 inches across

    so i could sit them both side by side straight up and down and jus make sure they only cover the bottom 2.

    the only thing is, if each half is a complete humbucker I could use each in a separate guitar to keep as a spare for gigs.

    tn woodman - i thought so too but apparently each half of the split p is a complete humbucker.
  18. guitguit


    Jul 9, 2013
    eeek, sorry, missed out bassic playing....i'm in the uk so it would probably end up quite expensive.
    i'll check out his site though, cheers!
  19. topcat2069

    topcat2069 Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Cathedral City Ca.