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Dimarzio Model P: series vs. parallel?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Sergi, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. Hi!
    I want to change the pickups of my p-bass and I have decided on the Dimarzio DP122. I have seen that they can be connected in series or in parallel, and now I have some doubts. I have searched but not found much information about it. I read that in parallel the sound is thinner and the volume lower, is that right? Is there any more tonal difference? And the most important question: if I connect it in parallel, I have to install a switch, right? What is the function of this switch, to change from series to parallel? That is, if I do the parallel installation, automatically I have the bass with the two interchangeable options? Sorry if these are stupid questions, but I'm just don't know how it works.
  2. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    The standard and most common way to wire the DP122 (and any other Precision pickup) is in series. I believe most people that want a DP122, want it for the way it sounds in series. When the pickup is wired in parallel, it will sound thinner and the output will be lower. You do not need a switch to wire the pickup in parallel. The pickup can be wired in series, parallel, or a switch can be used to switch between the two. The most common way to switch between series and parallel is a push/pull pot (volume or tone). A mini toggle switch is also frequently used.
    Sergi likes this.
  3. Thanks Slater. Is the thinner sound of the parallel wiring usable and nice, or is it too weak?
  4. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    It’s useable. I had a Model PJ set with the s/p switch on the P and in parallel, it matched the J pretty well. The volume was lower, but not thin or tinny or weak. It wasn’t the velvet hammer that series was, but certainly no slouch.
    Sergi likes this.
  5. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    As stated above, @rojo412 seems to find it useful. I don’t really care for any P-Bass pickup in parallel, so I’m probably not the person to ask. ;)
    Sergi likes this.
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    Great information above! I will just add (since nobody has said it explicitly) that most people with the series/parallel mod are doing it on two-pickup basses (like Jazz basses).
  7. Domespeed


    Oct 7, 2010
    I use the DiMarzio in parallel mode in a PJ Bass and that way, the output of the P and the J pickups are matching quite well.
    To tame the additional treble of the parallel wiring, i added a 1nF capacitor to the DiMarzio which brings the resonant frequency back to where it usually is with P pickups.

    With the tone knob rolled slightly down, I will say it sounds pretty much like the series wiring; only lower in volume (which is a good thing for me in this case).
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I had a B.C. Rich bass with the original cream DiMarzios, with a series/parallel switch for each pickup (it was P-P rather than P-J). I always left it in series because I've always gravitated to the fattest tone possible.
    Slater likes this.
  9. Primary

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    Apr 18, 2021

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