Double P's...A great way to be :-)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by reel big bassist, Nov 8, 2000.

  1. reel big bassist

    reel big bassist

    Mar 27, 2000
    I have owned a precision elite II, for about a year now.
    It's an awesome bass, and it comes equipped with
    2 precision pickups, and active electronics.
    I really can't get over how good the two precision pickups
    sound. They have a nice warm tone, and blend very well.

    To be honest, I am not a big fan of P basses. I just don't like the way they sound. It seems they have a
    good thump in the low end, but the high end seems to fall off.This could be due to the way the pickup is postitoned, but
    I have played many P basses, and have noticed this characteristic in all of them.

    However, When I played the P bass Elite II which had two precision pickups, it was totally different. The sound seemed to be very well balanced, like that off a jazz bass.
    The Elite II also had nice warmth, a little thump in the low end, and it also reproduced the highs very well. To describe how it sounded using one word, I would say "smooth."

    I honestly don't know why this configuration isn't being produced that often. I mean, how much would it cost to
    put an extra pickup on a p bass? A jazz bass has 2 single coils, why not equip a P-Bass with 2 spit coils? Now, I've only played one bass with 2 p-bass pickups, so maybe it's just that the pickups are really nice(which they are) but I think more basses should be equiped with 2 p-bass pickups.

    My thoughts,
    -Greg P
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    B.C. Rich and S.D. Curlee sold basses with dual P setups in the 70s and 80s, I had a Rich Eagle and it sounded fine.

    The reason for P-J I think is more of expediency. In the "old days" players would just get a hold of a J pickup and add it to their P bass; after MANY years instrument makers started doing the same (interestingly, Fender didn't try it themsleves until the late 80s with the Precision Plus).

    Of course, the P-J setup inherently has lots of problems, volume balance for one and hum another (most J pickups are not humbucking but all P pickups are).

    Probably the biggest reason a second P pickup never caught on? Because it doesn't sound like a J pickup!

    By the way, there were prototypes of the Elite II bass made with a P-J setup (see the Klaus Blasquiz book for a picture) but it was abandoned. The pickups in the Elite are very different than other Fender P pickups (they sound more like EMGs to my ear) whcih may be the other reason you like the Elite sound so much.
  3. eli

    eli Mad showoff 7-stringer and Wish lover Supporting Member

    Dec 12, 1999
    NW suburban Chicago
    When i built my dream bass (at the time), I went with the 2P arrangement because the J pickup didn't allow string-to-string volume balancing. Since it was a fretless, the string height had to be the primary adjustment to get the tone, and the 2P was the only way to get string volume adjustment independent of saddle height.

    After having built it, the only thing I would do differently is to reverse the pickup halves -- that is, put the E/A coil closer to the bridge than the D/G coil. I found that on the bridge PU, the E/A tone was MUCH darker due to its greater relative distance from the bridge. And since the D and G strings were plenty bright, I believe the tone would balance much better across the strings.

    [Edited by Eli on 11-08-2000 at 09:16 PM]
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Apart from the pictures, the Klaus Blasquiz book is pretty terrible. I agree with Reel, though, that the Elite II is a great instrument. I think it was created as a direct competitor to the G&L L2000 which I think was introduced around the same time. I use dto own one but sold it to get my '69 precision. I wanted a more traditional P-sound and now I got it.:D

    Will C.:cool:
  5. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Wouldnt the more beautiful sound come from the fact that it actually has a bridge pickup? I mean, imagine playing a j bass always on the bridge wouldnt sound as good. Right? And then, obviously, the fact that you guys said that it has better quality pickups. What do you guys think?

    Or was that the "blonde" obvious statement? :D
  6. On my new bass I have two P's. It's still in pieces so I'll tell you how it sounds when I'm done building it. It's kind of different than what you guys are talking about though because it has the split P in the middle and a single coil '51 P in the bridge. I got a Fender '62 P pickup for the middle and a Rio Grande vintage '51 P pickup for the bridge. I don't think I'll be using both pickups together, but I'll see how it sounds.

    Kenan Sugar O'Brien
    The Sound of the Police
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Actually I think a lot of J players do "solo" the bridge pickup for the majority of the time - they might blend in a little of the neck pickup occasionally, but the distinctive J sound comes from the bridge pickup. I know with the Roscoe Beck bass that if I wanted it to sound like a classic J bass, I would just use the bridge pickup - using the neck pickup made it sound more like a P or Musicman.
  8. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    On my jazz for 99% of the songs i use the bridge p/u full open with mid @ around 4-5. the other 1% is when i run it full open on both. thats all
  9. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Whoaaaa, sorry, i meant with only a NECK pickup it wouldnt sound as good, because thats all a P has! Make more sense now?
  10. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    Don't ask why I remember this,but...

    back when Elite P basses debuted I played one in a store thru a crummy Sunn Beta Bass amp.Before I played the Elite,I tried a bunch of other basses,they were pretty boring.When I plugged in that Elite,it brought that amp to life.I cant descibe the sound in terms of low end or treble,more like texture.It gave the sound a three dimensional quality.

    If these were more available,I'd look around for one but I'm lazy and dont want to buy a bass without playing it first,they vary too much in responsiveness.