Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Dr. DIMENTO'S ONGOING "PJ" PUP EXPERIMENT

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by luknfur, Apr 19, 2004.


  1. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Unless noted otherwise, all trials are fingerpick using the bass specified with TI JF 344's run true stereo direct out (no pots) from each pup into seperate channels of a 2000 Polytone Mini Brute V. I've ran pups through various rigging and the charactistics of the pup follow it just as the acoustic tone inherent in a bass follows it. My standard pup setting is as high as they'll go without driving the strings into them, maximum 1/8" as a rule. Pups mounted in standard P neck and J bridge position. Also all are played to the same tunes in the following styles: Reggae, blues, country, Rock - some Jazz, 60's R&B, and Latin, with a few Stanley Clarke riffs thrown in solo.

    Listed pups have been ran in the following order:

    BARTOLINI PJs (9J-L1, P's have epoxy backing with no ID - 8S /or brighter maybe)

    DIMARZIO DP 126 PJs (Model P Model J set 1)

    SEYMOUR DUNCAN HOT P (SPB-2) HOTSTACK J (STK-J2)

    EMG ACTIVE PJ SET

    ENGLISH REFLEX SILVER SERIES ACTIVE PJs

    REFLEX "JP" INVERSION

    Page 2

    FENDER PJ's (P from a 2001 MIA P and J bridge from 2001 MIA Jazz)

    IBANEZ GSR 200 PJ's

    FENDER PROPHECY III PJ's & GUTS

    DIMARZIO MODEL P & MODEL J (set 2 - same as DP 126)

    DIMARZIO MODEL P DIMARZIO ULTRA J

    BILL LAWRENCE EB-60P & J45

    BARTOLINI ACTIVE 8TC P & ACTIVE 9E J

    Page 3

    DIMARZIO WILLPOWER P W/ DIMARZIO MODEL J
    DIMARZIO WILLPOWER p W/ DIMARZIO ULTRA J


    - So far.

    -----------------------

    BARTOLINI PJs (9J-L1, P's have an epoxy backing with no ID but I'd guess 8S)

    Synopsis:

    Flatpicked (basic plastic thick tortise shell electric guitar pick) on an acoustically mid range bass. Output on the Barts PJs was better than average and more so than the Bart Js at equal volume settings. The J was actually thinner with lower output at the bridge than the bridge pup in the J set test but the P pup more than made up for it. Quiet, no hum. When P at all was used, very close tones to the Bart J's run but a noticeably deeper, more full tone. Independently, the J sounded like a J and the P a P but together they were very complimentary with good range of sounds. Definitely less growl than the J set but there was no problem getting a good range of solid J tone with good volume output and same with a P tone. I have an instructional cd that uses a Fender P bass and play a few Jazz and Latin riffs out of it in the routine and the Bart P solo was right there with it. Played well to all styles by using more P pup to darken the tone to compensate for the brightness of the pick. The PJs responded with volume loss and less clarity when run into the preamps so I only played through them for a couple tunes. But for the last year I've had these PJs in a bass with a hot rodded Bart TCT preamp and it had some choice tones and good variety of sounds. Except for the response to the preamps, the PJs paralleled the J's in qaulity in every respect - ie., clear definition of tones and equal volume across the board.

    I've had these pups for a year or so and they're not going anywhere soon. Best sounds and versatility I've run across to date. The Reflex actually produce a broader range of useable sounds but the quality of the tone is not consistent like these Barts.


    The Rest of The Story


    Flat pic bass is an Ibanez DX 300 2 octave, Mahogany body (oops, basswood - the Schec was mahogany), and has a very slim neck. Acoustically the bass is mid range. Stuck a Schaller roller bridge on it so I could move the strings in. This bass is only routed a bit more in length than that of the stock PJ pup routings. The design of the bass wouldn't allow any more but I wanted this particular neck for flat picking. It had this set of Bart PJs already in it before the changes so I won't know which Barts these are until I pull them, not long in all probability.

    Startup was awkward cause it'd been at least a couple weeks since I used a flatpick, since I sold my Beatle Bass and the Schec. The DX was intended to replace the Schec but was a bit slow in the making. So I wasn't used to a pick (application - and tone they put out) or to playing a bass stuck under my chin - or so it felt at first. So this was a struggle and wasn't until I jumped back on it for a while the next day that I felt it was right.

    I left the amp flat but I suspect you could get usuable tones out of the J solo with tone adjustment. But with flat settings, the J by itself was too thin. I should have checked that out but didn't think of it till now. It was just natural to dial in some P to work it to music.

    Lots of things I like about flatpicking. One is that different picks give a different tone. Thick was selected here because it more closely approximated fingerpick tone than thinner picks I had so would yield application to a broader range music styles. I think Carole Kaye (sp?) may sell an assortment of picks of different materials. I would particularly like to explore a hard felt and wood pick.
     
  2. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    GREAT stuff, Lukn... I can hardly wait,, seriously...

    Thx a ton!
     
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I see J, I see MM, I see PJ .... any chance you have done or will do P tests? And yes I did a search on dimento and there where no matches even though I can see two threads on the first page. Grumble grumble grumble search
     
  4. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Actually, I've had a similar experience with the search looking for my own thread. But whatever bugs may be in the search engine, it's better than no search.

    I'll get around to P's. I've got P's with the PJs so it only makes sense. One thread a guy talked about swapping his PJ to a JP and it working real well cause the P was too dark at the neck. I've never been much of a P player but Leo invented one and lots of people love 'em so there's got to be something to it. I definetly want to move a P around and see what happens. I've never had this opportunity before now. I wish I had routed my first bass like this. So many options is a welcome change but it takes some time.
     
  5. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    DIMARZIO DP 126 PJs (Model P Model J set 1)

    SYNOPSIS:

    Both P and J are passive 4 wire pups (P's 2 wire each) and have exposed adjustable allen pole pieces. Volume output was roughly 33% more than average. And got a proportional increase in hum - which may possibly not be the pups. Very responsive to attack. Noticably heavy on the J tone. Even the P solo sounded more like a dark J to me than a P. Including a bit of growl. The J output was noticeably more than other J's with a dark but thin J tone (flat amp tone settings) with less growl. The pups stood on their own very well. In fact they seemed better independently than together. Didn't mess with them independently much but what little I did produced useable tones to music.

    Near killer tone that was a distinct slightly dark J, vintage, Fender, with clarity, volume, cut, and tone balance across the board. Especially appealing tones on the lower register E & A strings. Some finger transfer through the pups but actually sounded desireable except was bright on the G string but was controlled acceptably by cutting the amp treble a couple steps on both pups and playing up that string. It wasn't an impressive solo tone. That was the only decent sound I could get blending the pups without a preamp. It played well to roughly 50% of the tunes. Some growl but not much.

    Ran the pups into the usual scenario with the two Bart NTMBs and got the typical volume drop and lost the vintage tone but it was replaced by a darker Hi-fi quality J sound that was very appealing and useable - and had some burp to it. Didn't seem to muddy up, just changed. Didn't mess with the settings much but seemed there would probably be a decent range of flexibility of tone in mixing the pups through the preamps - and I'd imagine running the pups indendently as well. The first set of pups that put out a very desirable yet different sound run both passively and through preamps

    Pups are definite keepers for further exploration if no other reason.


    THE WHOLE ENCHILADA:

    Second round on these pups. First time was in another bass and had a phase and series/parallel switches. Both P and J are 4 wire (also have allen adjustable pole pieces). Pretty wicked bullet-proof looking pups. If a Hummer were a pup, it'd look like these. New pups when I got them with instructions on alternative wiring. I hadn't messed with switches on passives outside of mids on preamps so I went through a few days of doing switches. The Dimarzio results with switches were nothing to get up about as it struck me. So I pulled them to run straight in the acoustically bright bass.

    Volume output was roughly 33% more than average - substantial relative increase. And I got a proportional increase in hum, which may or may not be an issue with these pups (long story but I'm working on it). These pups are very responsive to attack and in accord, just touching the strings didn't necessarily kill the hum. It was noticeable at times while actually playing.

    Leaving that aside, the Dimarzios struck me heavy on the J tone. Even the P solo sounded more like a dark J to me than a P. Including a bit of growl. The J output was noticeably more than other J's as with a dark but thin J tone (flat amp tone settings) with less growl. The pups stood on their own very well. In fact they seemed better independently than together. Didn't mess with them Independently much but what little I did produced useable tones to music.

    In using them together at about the usual 3P to 1J volume, there was a near killer tone that was a distinct slightly dark J, vintage, Fender, with clarity, volume, cut, and tone balance across the board. Especially appealing on the lower register E & A strings. Some finger transfer through the pups but actually sounded desireable except on G string but was controlled acceptably by cutting the treble on a couple steps on both pups and playing up that string. That was the only problem with the tone. It wasn't an impressive solo tone. The tone was strange in that it just sort of locked in when I got it, like tuning a string harmonically. The further you went dark or bright from that setting, the more it lost everything. That was the only decent sound I could get blending the pups without a preamp. It played well to roughly 50% of the tunes. Some growl but not much.

    Ran the pups into the usual scenario with the two Bart NTMBs and got the typical volume drop and lost the vintage tone but it was replaced by a darker Hi-fi quality J sound that was very appealing and useable - and had some burp to it. It didn't seem to muddy up, it just changed. Not your typical solo sound but appealing on it's own. Didn't mess with the settings much but seemed there would probably be a decent range of flexibility of tone in mixing the pups through the preamps - and I'd imagine running the pups indendently as well. The first set of pups that put out a very desirable yet different sound run both passively and through preamps.

    The reason for the volume drop is the amp has hi and low gain inputs, so naturally you'll get volume drop going from passive to active. But the volumes are always cranked on the preamps so I still have to raise the amp settings to bring the volume up to where the pups ran passively. And that to me is a volume drop.

    An interesting note. I dropped the P Pup into the standard Ibanez P position and when I looked at the Dimarzio instructions to wire them, I realized they had the pups staggered oppositely - that is the neck most P picked up the E & A string as opposed to the Ibanez D & G and vice versa on the bridge most pup. I just left it that way cause I'd already adjusted them for height. It would make a difference in tone. Whether it would make a difference of consequence, I'm not sure. I never noticed P's being different before. Something else to explore. I don't know which way Leo did it off hand.

    Tomorrow will do Flatwounds SD Antiquity II J's then back to the PJs.
     
  6. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Hmm, sounds like you really kinda liked the DM's. At least, the review sure has me intrigued. I can't wait to hear about the SD Hot P & Hot Stack J.
     
  7. Ajax

    Ajax

    Feb 2, 2004
    Michigan
    I had a set of DM PJ's installed on my Fender Deluxe P-Bass Special last summer, along with a BadAssII bridge.
    Using DR Low Riders and amping with a Genz-Benz ML200-115T with an SWR 210XT extension cab gives me a great punchy bottom end and super mids. The highs are adequate with both pups on full, and can be brightened by rolling off the P-Pup a tad.
     
  8. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    SEYMOUR DUNCAN HOT P (SPB-2) HOTSTACK J (STK-J2)

    SYNOPSIS:

    Passive pups. P is 2 wire single coil and J is a 4 wire stacked humbucker wired in series. Loaded in the acoustically bright bass. Output better than average. Mild hum on the hotstack and closer to moderate on the P - to my knowledge this is an exception and they're quiet as a rule. Finger transfer is pronounced and not pleasing, especially on the top end but can occur on any string depending on adjustment but can be compensated for acceptably.

    Tone is distinctly Duncaness solo but played to music is the best vintage tone I've heard in these tests. Bottom end seems mostly lower mid influenced but is very punchy. Nice warm mids and fairly rounded top end - with treble cuts. Clear definition of tone, cut, and even volume across the board. Very responsive to attack. Some growl. Good solid, flexible, useable sound.

    Pretty much stuck around a 3J - 1P mix. Distinct J tone with characteristics mentioned above, but not good solo. More useable variety in sound was had by altering tone adjustment rather than pup mix. The hotstack sounded like a fatter J and could stand alone. The P had a solid P tone and could stand alone but was also a good compliment to the hotstack and could really fatten the J tone to taste. Played well to probably 85% of the tunes. Still not quit getting the Reggae but I think it can be had through these pups.

    Fired the preamps for the sake of inspection. Volume drop was considerably more drastic with these pups. Lost the vintage character in the process, but didn't muddy and, like the Dimarzios, took on some nice hi-fi like tone. Hum and the irritating finger transfer was blatantly reduced. So another passive pup with different but useable tones with and without preamp.

    Had 'em for a year so I guess that qualifies as a keeper.


    THE WHOLE ENCHILADA


    These pups originally came with the Ibanez DX 300 (now the flatpick bass) with an OBP-1 when I bought it about a year ago. Nice fat bottom end. Some good tones just had to keep the treble down cause the attack on the high end was over the top. Before deciding to route the basses I decided to change all my onboards to outboards. When I pulled the OBP-1 I was amazed how anemic it was compared to the Bart NTBT. The fat sound I attributed to the Aggie was actually in the these Duncans.

    Loaded in the acoustically bright bass. Output better than average. Mild hum on the hotstack and closer to moderate on the P - but this has been on ongoing issue since I got the bass and to my knowledge is an exception rather than the rule. Typcially they're quiet - I understand. Finger transfer is pronounced and not pleasing, especially on the top end but can occur on any string depending on adjustment. By dropping the trebles down a couple steps on both pups most of it was controlled for the tones I selected. Playing up the neck and with fingertips on occassion pretty much removed the balance the treble cut didn't take up. Nothing like the battle with the Vintage Duncans but an irritiant at times.

    Tone is distinctly Duncaness solo but played to music is the best vintage tone I've heard in these tests. Like a common recorded Fender tone but more full. Bottom end seems mostly lower mid influenced but is very punchy. Nice warm mids and fairly rounded top end - with the treble cut mentioned, can't recall what it was like without that cut but it didn't matter cause couldn't use it anyway. Clear definition of tone, cut, and even volume across the board. Very responsive to attack. Some growl. Good solid, flexible, useable sound.

    Pretty much stuck around a 3J - 1P mix. Distinct J tone with characteristics mentioned above, but not good solo. More useable variety in sound was had by altering tone adjustment rather than pup mix. The hotstack sounded like a fatter J and could stand alone. The P had a solid P tone and could stand alone (and did for a few tunes and worked well) but was also a good compliment to the hotstack and could really fatten the J tone to taste. The P had the cutting top end just as the J had. Played well to probably 85% of the tunes. Still not quit getting the Reggae but I think it can be had through these pups. I really haven't got the Reggae settings down cause it was never a concern before. Dark was close enough.

    Fired the preamps for the sake of inspection. Volume drop was considerably more drastic with these pups. So much so I checked the batteries. Lost the vintage tone in the process, but didn't muddy and, like the Dimarzios, took on some nice hi-fi like tone. The preamps seem to basically soften and round the tones and filter the none pure tones (for lack of better description). In accord, hum and the irritating finger transfer was blatantly reduced. So another passive pup with different but useable tones with and without preamp.

    Another thought about the drop in preamp volume is that the NTMB's are boost/cut. Which is to say anything below flat would be decible cut. Would have to check the Bart site but I know the NTBT bass is 18 db boost and cut and treble roughly 18 db boost 16 db cut. So in the next test I'm going try backing off the volumes and running some boost to see what gives.
     
  9. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    EMG ACTIVE PJ SET

    SYNOPSIS:

    Loaded into the acoustically dark bass. Noticeably hotter than the Dimarzio PJ so I'd guess 40% hotter than average anyway. No problem for the P or J can stand alone volume wise. Finger transfer was noticeable but only presented some problem on the G string resulting in cutting the treble on both pups back a step. Very responsive to attack but not a problem. No hum. With exception of Reggae, didn't mess around with settings or pup mix much cause I didn't need to.

    To me the pups had, of all things, a pronounced vintage flavor. Aside from being quiet and clear, the Hi-fi image of EMG pups was not apparent. Sounded like a good recorded Fender tone but more full. Distinct J tone. Warm mid focused tones, heavier on the bottom end, thinner in the middle with more upper mid and relatively rounded top end. Noticeably less growl. Nice bulge and punch on the E & A strings especially in lower registers. Depending on adjustment the D & G strings could loose some volume, cut, and clarity but nothing that kept it from working. With the sweet setting was fairly balanced across the board. Not a solo a sound. Can't think of any tune it didn't do at least a passable or better job with. Reggae was not quite there but close. Worked well enough that I fired the preamps up for the last half dozen tunes just for the sake of inspection. With preamps, no noticeable drop in volume or change in the character of the sound. There was a definite increase in the quality of tone that I can't put my finger on but it was there.

    Had these pups for a couple of years now - and they aren't going anywhere.


    THE WHOLE ENCHILADA

    Loaded into the acoustically dark bass and had been in this bass with an EMG BTC unit for a couple of years till the recent routings. These were the first pups I ever bought. I believe these were out of a bass from the 80's. I've heard the older EMGs are hotter. I've had half dozen sets of EMG PJ's. In fact this is the first time in a long time I haven't had an extra set laying around. They just seemed to keep showing up. I always check them out to make sure they work but never made a comparison of the others with these pups.

    But these were noticeably hotter than the Dimarzio PJ so I'd guess 40% hotter than average anyway. In fact I had the amp settings so low to compensate that I actually ran about 1/3 of the tunes on the J alone - and didn't even know it at the time. No problem for the P or J to stand alone - volume or tone.

    Finger transfer was noticeable but only presented some problem on the G string resulting in cutting the treble on both pups back a step. Very responsive to attack but not a problem. No hum.

    Suprisingly, to me the pups had a pronounced vintage flavor. Whether that's due to their age, the bass, whatever, I don't know. Sounded like a good recorded Fender tone but more full. Distinct J tone. Warm mid focused tones, heavier on the bottom end, thinner in the middle with more upper mid and relatively rounded top end. Nice bulge and punch on the E & A strings especially in lower registers. Depending on adjustment the D & G strings could loose some volume, cut, and clarity but nothing that kept it from working. With the sweet setting was fairly balanced across the board. Not a solo a sound. Can't think of any tune it didn't do at least a passable or better job with. Reggae was not just right but don't think any lack was due to the pups - still working on getting the settings for it down. Worked well enough that I fired the preamps up for the last half dozen tunes just for the sake of inspection. Noticeably less growl than the other pups on any of the settings I ran.

    With preamps, no noticeable drop in volume or change in the character of the sound. Preamps were set at the detents this time and will see in the next few tests if that has been an oversight on my part or not. With the preamps, there was a definite increase in the quality of tone that I can't put my finger on but it was there.

    If I had to be stuck with one bass to play, I could handle this combo.
     
  10. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Hmm, sounds like you favor the EMG set... I think that's interesting because I kinda expected those to be tossed aside FIRST. hehe.

    I think I'll give the DM's first shot...
     
  11. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Nah, the EMG and Bart PJs are mainstays and have been a part of the rotation long enough to be well established. I never really tried to analyze them before - I just enjoyed playing them. New arrivals are tough cause the only way I know to really know for sure is to play pups at least once a week for months, which is what I used to do with basses. If I don't consistently enjoy playing on something and tend to skip it in the rotation, then I know it's got to go. I've got the basses I like for tone, feel, and play and now they're all routed. My strings and amp are set. So now it's just a pup thing. It's a lot easier to decide what I don't like.

    Playing a pup once I don't really think is a fair evaluation. It may work better in another bass or with other equipment, maybe with some bells and whistles (switching, whatever). But it's been my experience that good stuff takes the good with it wherever it goes and the difference is more a matter of variety than quality.

    What one player thinks is a great tone another player may think totally sucks. I try to work more in the framework of this I'll put to use, that I won't. And I hope the general flavor of these evaluations exhibit that. A good sound is a matter of personal taste, not so much debate. Any pup someone enjoys playing is a good pup in my book - just may not be one I choose. Blondes/Brunettes/Redheads - it's only hair, but guys typically have their preference.
     
  12. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    ENGLISH REFLEX SILVER SERIES ACTIVE PJs

    SYNOPSIS:

    These pups probably produced the broadest range of useable sounds of any pup combination run in any Dimento experiment. If you can imagine about a mid blend between Barts and Fenders, you got it. They can go deep to bright and 95% of the tones are rounded, unless treble is near maxed - which you don't need anyway. Very warm pups. Focus is on mid tones. Installed in the acoustically bright bass. The output of these pups was very low. There was mild hum from the J becoming more pronounced with trebles above a setting of 7. Finger transfer is not an issue unless it's trebled up like this. But they were quiet when installed in a bass previously. I ran them through the Bart NTMBs in the usual manner from the outset since there was no detectable difference from running them without the preamps.

    Clarity, sensitivity, volume, and cut eveness across strings can be noticeably different on different settings but the sound will still work. The pups work well together and independently. An even mix of P and J produced a very interesting P sound and provided some excitement about exploring P pups in the future. I played mostly the 6J - 2P mix and it worked for all the tunes. Even nearly nailed Reggae (little practice with adjustment should do it). I did have to jack with controls noticebly more with these pups - which makes sense when you consider most the pups had a sweet tone and the more you strayed the less workable was the tone. At the 6-2 setting; clarity, sensitivity, volume, and cut eveness across strings was fairly balanced, though noticebly less than Barts for example. Thinner than a typical solo sound but I found it appealing solo. Better than average growl at this setting. Sound like there was potential for decent sound with a flatpick and perhaps slap.

    These pups have always been enjoyable to play and are definite keepers.

    If anybody knows anything about the company that produced Reflex pups and preamps, I'd like to know more about their pups and preamps.


    THE WHOLE ENCHILADA

    This has been a couple days in the making. Won't even begin to go into the details. But a bit of an interesting series of questions arose in the process. One of which being that typically, to my knowledge, only one pup in an active set has the preamp in it to run the pair. I've been isolating the active pups and yet having no apparent problem with no adverse affects that I could detect.

    These were the second transplants pups I bought nearly 2 years ago. Previously installed in the now called acoustically bright bass. These pups in that bass had been in the rotation as long. They came with a Reflex preamp and instructions but the preamp apparently was not a Silver Series cause it had an extra wire - which I simply grounded to get the unit to work when it was in the bass. The Silver Series was a two band - interestingly mid and treble - and I thought maybe this may be a 3 band but I wired it as such as an outboard today in a manner I thought it may work and got no reponse from the bass pot. The bass with these pups was always enjoyable to play, heavy on the mids, and worked to a broad range of musical styles.

    Installed in the acoustically bright bass. The output of these pups was very low - which is what initiated the two day process. I figured something had to be amiss because if it was lower output than my other basses before the routings, it wasn't that much lower. But I had to double the volume settings to 6 and 2 to get noticeably less output than the other pups at 3 and 1. The reason for wiring the Reflex outboard today was I thought maybe it had some extra boost over the Barts that raised the volume level, but not so. There was no noticebble difference in volume or tone between preamps or not, so I ran the Bart preamps in the usual manner from the start.

    These pups probably produced the broadest range of useable sounds of any pup combination run in any Dimento experiment. If you can imagine about a mid blend between Barts and Fenders, you got it. They can go deep to bright and 95% of the tones are rounded, unless treble is near maxed - which you don't need anyway. There was mild hum from the J becoming more pronounced with trebles above a setting of 7. Finger transfer is not an issue unless it's trebled up like this. Very warm pups with focus on mids. Clarity, sensitivity, volume, and cut eveness across strings can be noticeably different on different settings but the sound will still work. The pups work well together and independently. An even mix of both really produced a neat P sound and provided some excitement about to exploring P pups in the future. I played mostly the 6J - 2P mix and it worked for all the tunes. Even nearly nailed Reggae (little practice with adjustment should do it). I did have to jack with controls noticebly more - which makes sense when you consider most the pups had a sweet tone and the more you strayed the less workable was the tone. At the 6-2 setting, clarity, sensitivity, volume, and cut eveness across strings was fairly balanced, though noticebly less than Barts for example. Thinner than a typical solo sound but I found it appealing solo. Better than average growl at this setting.
     
  13. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    REFLEX "JP" INVERSION (for the curious)

    SYNOPSIS is THE WHOLE ENCHILADA

    Bit of a twist. I wanted to run the MM Sterling pup tonight but it will require more time to install than I had so since; the P pup on the Reflex sounded appealing last night, I’ve been wanting to check out a P in the bridge position, the preamps were already set for the Reflex, the Reflex pups were already wired in the bass, and the leads were long enough to swap, I decided to swap the P and J pups around. So keep in mind these pups were not designed to work in this position. I first thought about the JP set up when another TB’r responded to one of my threads saying his P pup was too dark to be of any use so he swapped it to a JP and it worked great.

    Acoustically bright bass again and, for those interested in details, the the leading edge of the J pup was approximately 10 1/4" from the 12th fret and that of the neckmost P bridge was 12 3/4".

    Not surprisingly, the volume was even more deficient with the pups swapped, not dramatically but definitely noticeably. Add that the J was not of much use at the neck position cause it didn’t take much to darken the sound too much. The typical volume adjustment was
    7 P - 2 J. The P was sort of useable by itself at the bridge position, but tended to be too thin. A myriad of adjustments on the preamps didn’t resolve the situation adequately. Not that the tone couldn’t be used but it seemed lacking no matter where the settings were. Tone overall was definitely softer than the PJ setup. It struck me as soft, rounded, and dark but thin with trebles that tended to cut. Finger transfer was noticeably more of a problem. Growl overall was about the same as the PJs but could be noticeably more or less depending on settings. You could get a decent mid range J sound by playing back toward the bridge and I thought maybe I’d hit on the trick but it still was not quite there. On a number of occasions I experienced the JP setup working for part of a tune but not all of it. Probably actually worked for maybe 10% or 15% of the tunes. Volume, tone, and sensitivity were about even across the board but trebles were about the only frequencies that really cut so keeping things balanced when using the G string was an issue.

    Still there were some nice tones at times and I can see why a player could prefer P pups.
     
  14. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Knock knock,

    Hey Luknfur,

    I'm poised to buy the body for my first project now, which means I'll likely start collecting other parts as well. Now that you've had the chance to reflect on these tests, do you have anything to add?
     
  15. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    In the context I'm guessing you mean like whether I would do this again or maybe do it differently or is it worth it?

    No doubt I'd do it all over again and have no intent of doing it any different in the future. The versatility is unmatched by any bass at any price. Experimenting with these basses not only adds a whole new dimention to bass playing, it adds a whole new dimension to modifying a bass. Not to mention having the capacity to experience and know things often only talked or speculated about. Why wonder when you can do it.

    As to whether I'd do anything differently, it's been and will continue to be an evolutionary process. There's really nothing I would have started out doing that I wasn't able to adjust for afterwards. The only exception being that I probably would have routed one less bass and maybe not routed the GSR 300 because the neck design does not allow you take out enough meat. But I wanted one bass with a thin, 2 octave neck. Those are the only things that cross my mind.
     
  16. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I guess I didn't phrase my question properly.

    What I'm wondering is, now that its all said & done, w/ hindsite, can you summarily rate them numerically, as being your choice for rock style pickups... Having gone back & reread the whole thread, what i take away from it is, you pretty much liked ALL of them. I'm leaning towards the Barts & an NTMB, & suspect I'll absolulely love 'em.

    I guess whats really going on is, I'm basing my decision on YOUR experiences, because I don't have the time, or funds to try each set that interests me. I know, I know, its not fair, because of all the reasons we all know.... diff tastes, diff basses, etc... I'm trying to make a bullet proof choice, for an impossible situation.
     
  17. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    Yep, I avoid making recommendations to someone with few exceptions. So many variables, it just depends. I try to keep the experimental comments as objective and useful to someone as I can.

    I'll be doing a preamp comparison with an NTMB, OBP-3, and EMG BQS within a week probably. From normal use, don't think the preamps make much difference - all pretty transparent. But actually doing a conscious side by side comparison may exhibit things I'd never noticed before.

    Bart PJ's hard to go wrong with to me unless you don't like the Bart sound or the clarity. But with effects you can pretty much make any change you want. The thing is you're starting with a good, solid, quality tone with versatility and that's about as good a foundation to begin with as you can get.

    ADDENDUM: I missed the request for the numerical rating when I originally wrote this response. But I don't like numerical ratings cause it gives the prerception one pup is better than another - which may or may not be the case. There are so many variables involved that to boil it down to a number is just not an accurate representation to me. And all that leaves the biggest factor totally out of the mix - the person playing the pup.
     
  18. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ya know, its so easy to get all wound up in the whole, "which one is best" decision, that its easy to loose site of the fact state in your last sentence...

    Anxiety has been eased. Thx!
     
  19. luknfur

    luknfur

    Jan 14, 2004
    DIXIE
    I WOULD recommend you reading other Bart PJ reviews if you haven't already done so. To me, any one person's perception is treading on thin ice. By punching in "Bartolini PJ Review" (or something similar) into a general online search will get you to harmony central, active bass, and some others that have other peoples perceptions of the pups. You'll likely find some additional useful information in their reviews.
     
  20. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Knock Knock...

    Hey Luknfur, which model P & J does your combo have...

    There's apparently a couple of each... Just curious...