Currently using Duncan Vintage PBass pickups, and need a recommendation for new ones

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Sean775, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. Sean775


    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    I love the classic P Bass tone that I get from these, but I’d like something with a tiny bit more modern tone to it, if that makes sense.

    The Quarter Pounders are a little too modern for me and the Vintage are a little too vintage for me; is there something in between? I don’t care what brand.

    I’ve tried the Duncan Hot P Bass before, but I felt they were a little too aggressive sounding.

    For what it’s worth, I play classic rock and alternative rock. Some of the more semi-modern alt rock bands whose music I play is the Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, The Cure, and Alice In Chains.

    Then the classic bands are Pink Floyd, The Police, The Beatles, and Eagles.
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
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  3. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    I'd actually suggest the Steve Harris set here.
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  4. Sean775


    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    That’s what I was actually thinking
    I’ll look into the specs again listen to audio
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  5. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    From my limited experience and listening to clips, I thought the SPB4 (Steve Harris) pickup was more between SPB1 and SPB2, not SPB1 and SPB3. But then again, it might be just what you're looking for :)

    I'd echo the Wilde P46 suggestion. That's where my mind went first...

    You can also try adding a small cap (say, 680-2200pF) in parallel with the pickup, which will shift the resonant peak down. I find that this is another way of shaping the tone passively (aside from tone control, which is mostly resistance). You can also buy a cap-selector circuit online, which gives you options to dial in the exact sound (Tonestyler is popular, but more on the expensive side; there are others, or you can make your own).

    Edit: just realized you have the SPB-1, I thought you had the SPB-3... in that case I'd try higher value pots, as suggested below.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2019
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  6. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Same here.
  7. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    the duncan is an excellent pickup, so my first thought is to put 500k pots in the bass; that will open up the sound to be brighter and more aggressive, something i think of as "modern". a little bit of grit and compression in the signal chain sounds great with that kind of sound, and it stands up better to effects like chorus without losing the note in the mix. you'll want a linear volume and an audio tone to get the best sweep from both controls.

    if you want to go right back to old-school just nudge your 500k tone down to about "7".
    PawleeP, sikamikanico and Zoobiedood like this.
  8. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I recently discovered these and I absolutely love them. Not "vintage" to me. Just a clear great bass sound. Don't know if it's what you're looking for though.


    Here's a quick sound clip:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  9. Sean775


    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    Can you show me a link that shows the pots? I’m not really familiar with them and how they work. And does that mean a new knob has to be installed to control it?
  10. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    The “pots” or potentiometers are simply your volume and tone controls. You more than likely have 250k ohm pots in your bass. @walterw is suggesting that you swap out to pots that have a 500k ohm value, which will give you a brighter sound.
    walterw likes this.
  11. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Higher value pots can work well. You can test if you like that sound by wiring your pickup straight to output, bypassing both pots (brightest sound). If you don't want to solder, you can just use alligator leads.

    If that's not bright/modern enough, you can also try wiring your pickup in parallel. Most people find that sound wimpy, but if you then boost the volume a bit (on your amp), you can shape the sound nicely with capacitors. If you then use a capacitor switch, you have several flavors available... That's a bit more involved and requires some experimentation, but quite cheap.

    And don't forget strings. I'm always amazed how much they can change the character of the bass... What strings are you using now?
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  12. Sean775


    Mar 19, 2015
    New Jersey, USA
    GHS Bass Boomers
    giacomobass likes this.
  13. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Well, one option would be to try stainless steel strings...
  14. giacomobass


    Dec 30, 2011
    Hi. Have you tried the DiMarzio DP122 a.k.a. "Model P" pickup? I think you might like it.
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