Choosing the right Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Enzo88, Jun 21, 2020.

  1. Enzo88


    Mar 22, 2018
    Hi everybody,
    I'm in the search of finding the right pickup for my Pbass (MiA pro). I don't really like the Alnico II of the V-mod pickups and what i was looking at is a tone which is similar to the late 60's early 70's Pbasses, a more Snarl/growl oriented pickup with open highs which is not really found on the early 60' aswell.

    I've been browsing the net extensively and there are many choices, the one pickup which i fell in love is not avaiable sadly (the David Allen 1088p) it had the perfect characteristics for my taste. Here's a link to a demo of the pickup

    What do you guys suggest? What pickup would be close to the David Allen one?
    Seymour antiquity II?
    Steve Harris signature?
    Fralins stock/5% overwound?
    ...the list goes on.

  2. Enzo88


    Mar 22, 2018

    Apparently the Lollar split-p sounds vintage yet has more high-mids than the Fralin stock-wound for example. I'll try to find more comparisons for now
    Killing Floor likes this.
  3. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    I’d get the Antiquity 2, because it’s built to the specs of late 60’s early 70’s P basses. Has grey bobbins, plain enamel wire just like early 70’s basses. Plus they sound really great with flats and rounds. I installed mine in a bass I no longer have, and could easily dial in a Geezer Butler tone. It’s not like other vintage voiced pickups where it’s hard to get an aggressive tone, these things can do anything you want em to do.
  4. Enzo88


    Mar 22, 2018
    Nice to hear, did some comparison and yes this Ant II sounds enough aggressive as far as i can tell
  5. P Cheen

    P Cheen Alembics and parametric mid knobs scare me.

    Apr 4, 2015
    Southern Oregon
    If you want versatility or if you play more old school maybe don’t pick the SD Steve Harris. I have that on my PJ and sometimes I wish it wasn’t so dark sounding. Personally i’d go with an SD SPB-1. But if you don’t mind shelling out the extra $$$ then by all means go for the SD Antiquity II, NP4, or Lindy Fralin.

    The way I see it the Fralins are the end-all be-all in P bass pickups. Ha!
  6. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Yes, the list goes on. Here on TalkBass, it seems that the 3 most popular P pickups are the Fender Original, Seymour Duncan SPB-1, and the EMG Geezer.

    Hang me at sunrise but I've messed with a bunch of P pickups and they nearly all sound the same to me. Just very slight variations. I'm talking about the so-called vintage type P pickups.

    I like the Duncan SPB-1 a lot!

    JimmyM is one of TalkBass' most knowledgeable bass players. A pro player with tons of on stage experience. If I may say, he is a strong advocate for the EMG Geezer! It seems to be in the ball park of your wanting a late 60s early 70s kind of sound.

    Good luck. Keep us informed.
  7. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Totally a fan of that Fralin. Lollar is equally great. Can't go wrong with Lindy or Lollar.
  8. Enzo88


    Mar 22, 2018
    I ended up buying the SANT II yeah, it was a very close call between SPB-1 the stock Fralins and the SANT II. Well damn the difference is subtle tbh but the SANT II had that little bit of more brightness which i liked actually. i Don't know, to my ear it sounded open in the top end.
    Bass4ThePublic likes this.
  9. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Before you go switching pickups, try this, which others have tried to good results: swap the two halves of the pickup, so the alnico V is under the E & A strings for more definition, and the alnico II is under the D & G strings for better tone.
    Enzo88 likes this.
  10. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Your present pickup will move in the direction you want by wiring it in parallel - in fact, it'll likely go too far for your tastes, but a loading cap can be used to back it up, and tune the amount of snarl you want - try something between 1000pF and 2000 pF (you can buy a lot of values for a couple bu ks from Mouser) wired across the pickup. The reduced impedance of the pickup wired in parallel will give you a higher upper mid peak, which also helps you get what you're looking for.

    Randomly changing pickups to get the tone in your head is a complete crapshoot - (and it costs $100 or more per experiment). What I'm suggesting is an approach that will get you there in a few simple, cheap steps.
  11. Enzo88


    Mar 22, 2018
    Yeah indeed you got a point, going random and spending here and there isn't a real solution in the first place. Kinda late for me now tho as i got the new pickup and i must say i got what i wanted, but your solution with the wiring in parallel could have done the same result probably more or less.
    I still have the original pickup and if i ever get another bass i'll probably follow your suggestion