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Difference between J pickups and P Pickups ???

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by tpmiller08, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. tpmiller08


    Mar 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I think all I use is J pickups. Not positive though.

    I have a nanyo SGC 5 string passive (not sure on the model though, its a glossy black, and both pick ups are the same)
    ..and a Washburn Taurus T-24 4-string

    Both pickups, on both basses, are black, and flat. Not little metal circle looking things (for lack of a better description or pictures).

    This is what I gather, correct me, *PLEASE* if I'm wrong, but P pickups have the little round circles (2 for each string), and J pickups have nothing but just a solid color.

    I'm almost positive Washburn Taurus T-24 have J/J pickups, but then again, I'm new to this whole pick up game =)

    Thanks all!

  2. Wild_Cat


    Feb 14, 2009
    Montréal, QC
    The "little round circles" are magnet poles. They may or may not be apparent, but that doesn't matter. What you need to look at is the shape of the pickup itself.

    P-style pickups are split pickups, in a sort of S or Z shape. The Fender Precision Bass has one such pickup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precision_Bass

    J-style pickups are long, thin, single-coil pickups, as seen on the Fender Jazz Bass: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fender_Jazz_Bass
  3. J pickup = [​IMG]
    or will be something very similar(maybe with a cover over the dots/magnet poles)

    P pickup=
    or again a variation on that
  4. Disraeli Gears

    Disraeli Gears

    May 29, 2007
    Those are J pickups. The round things are called the poles- the magnetic ends that pick up string vibration. J pickups are single coils- basically each pickup is 1 set of poles with wire wrapped around it, as opposed to a Humbucker which is 2 sets of poles, each with opposite windings and polarities (which cancels hum, hence the name Humbucker). The J pickups are generally a bit brighter more growly sound than a P-bass, and is generally more versatile.

    That's what a P-bass pickup looks like. The split-coil P-bass pickup is wired like a humbucker so it cancels hum, but 1 coil serves the E and A strings while the other serves the D and G strings (as opposed to your standard humbucker where both coils serve both strings), giving it a single-coil like sound. The P-bass pickup is known for its unmistakable FAT thump.
  5. kyral210


    Sep 14, 2007
    P and J pickups have two very different and distinct sounds due to how they are wired. It goes further though! Depending on the kind of pole pieces and the kind of wring you chose, there are one hell of allot of variety in P and J pickups. Basically there are lots of sound possibilities from both P and J pickups, and neither one is 'best'; just 'best for you'.

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