Deluxe American P-Bass vs. MusicMan preamp/humbucker

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by EthanTheHeathen, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. Hey all, I've got a Fender Deluxe American P-Bass (the one with the P pickup with a humbucker at the bridge), and I'm a little disappointed about how wimpy the humbucker sounds by itself. I was wondering if anyone has any idea if replacing it with a stingray pickup (I realize I'd need to do some routing) would make any difference, or if the difference is really in the preamp?

    I dream of having a bass that can be a Precision and a Stingray and everything in between, but I'm not sure if this is possible. I haven't had any luck finding the specs about the pickups and the preamps, so if anyone has that information it would be much appreciated.

    Another thing to mention is that the P-bass humbucker is closer to the bridge than the Stingray humbucker is, which certainly accounts for some of the wussiness. Alright everyone, thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
  2. Uncle Amos

    Uncle Amos

    Sep 3, 2004
    I'm going to be watching this thread for replies as I'm also interested in a project like this.

    I think that, in theory, a bass equipped with a P pup as well as a MM pup (with coil switch) with a good active 3-band preamp would be all I'd ever need.....
  3. wombolombo


    Nov 29, 2003
    Raleigh, NC
    I had the same problem when I bought one of those basses...ended up just selling it.

    I think you might be better off buying a Stingray and having someone put in a Pbass p'up.

    Or, better yet, MM is coming with dual pickup configs on the Stingrays soon...a Stingray with two humbuckers would probably get you what you were looking for. As long as they don't mess too much with the electronics when they're doing it.
  4. craigb

    craigb Supporting Member

    I had one, sold it for a Carvin with bridge humbucker, sent that back after 3 days and got a G&L L-2000. And that's what I was looking for. YMMV

    I think a lot of folks dream of the Precision and Stingray combo. But you can't get the exact pickups in the exact same places (they overlap a bit). You can cheat (flip one of the P pickup coils up closer to the neck, shift the Stingray pickup towards the bridge) but then things aren't exactly where they should be and then they don't sound the same.

    So my opinion is that pickup position has a big influence on the sound - so swapping out the pickup & electronics on your P Deluxe is still not going to sound the way you want and you'll have hacked up your bass, dropping the resale value without achieving your sonic goals. I'd suggest keep trying different basses (G&L L-2000, Lakland MM+J, Bongo, Musicman dual-pickup Stingray/Sterling, MM Sabre if you can find one) until you find one that gives you the sounds you want.
  5. cgworkman


    May 14, 2004
    What he said.
  6. Yeah, I saw the schematics for the dual pickup Stingray on the MusicMan website and got confused, as I've never seen one before (except for the Sabre, if you count that). If they're coming out with those, I think that's a brilliant idea.

    And while we're on the topic of other MusicMan basses, what is up with the Bongo? They have to be about the ugliest basses I've ever seen. Why didn't they just make the HH Stingrays instead of the HH Bongos? Seems like a no-brainer to me. Whatever though.

    Anyway, back to other basses, I've been interested in most of those mentioned (G&Ls, dual pickup MMs, etc.), but no stores in my city really sell them. I actually still haven't even tried a bongo, they're so damn ugly. But I should just to check out the pickups. The preamp/electronics are different than the dual p-u Stingrays though. Those Stingrays look awesome. Go look at this diagram and check out the kick ass 5-position switch.