EMG GZR vs SEYMOUR DUNCAN vs DiMarzio vs (your recommendation ) for p bass in versatile cover band

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Eedwards7891, Mar 10, 2020.

  1. Eedwards7891


    Dec 11, 2017
    Hello all! I know this thread has been done to DEATH, and I apologize. I had trouble shifting through every type of info available, and thought it might be better to just ask in a new thread.

    I just got a Squier Classic Vibes 70’s Precision (mid 2010’s model, Chinese, not Indonesian) . It’s the black one with the maple neck with block inlays.

    I LOVE IT. It’s my first legit p bass, and I see why countless others have used this as their main bass.

    Anyways, I’m wanting to upgrade the pickups. I’m going with flats (something like chromes, just because I’ve used them before , and I like the brightness that comes with the thump of those.)

    For this bass, I’m using only fingerstyle and very minor amounts of slap. I am going to gig it in a cover band, who plays everything from the Beatles to Kelly Clarkson to Bon Jovi to Guns N Roses. I am running it straight through a Fender Rumble 500, with no pedals .

    I have been pushing a little low mids and high mids, with treble and bass neutral, gain set to a little under noon.

    all that being said, I want to go with a pickup that complements a finger style sound , with a moderate ability to have brightness on some parts, to push some mids, and to have thump when the tone is dialed down.

    Of all the clips and things I’ve read and researching I’ve done, it seems(to me, being uninformed ) that it comes down to the EMG GZR , the Quarter Pounds, or the SPB2, and whatever the dimarzio one is that everyone gets. Since I don’t have a way to play any of these before purchasing them (I’m about to finance some stuff, and want the pickups in the same financing), I kind of need to throw them in the cart without hearing them with my own ears in person. I would greatly appreciate some recommendations.

    I’m completely new to precision basses , as I usually have played my Ray34 and a myriad of non precision basses, so any and all advice is helpful.

    Attached Files:

  2. Zoobiedood

    Zoobiedood Commercial User

    Sep 1, 2015
    Writer/Ambassador/Artist/Resident Bass Expert for Seymour Duncan
    Keep in mind tht the Quarter Pound and the SPB-2 are higher output pickups, which might not be a great choice for a versatile cover band. Great for heavier music, but maybe not as much for the pop stuff. I might go for something more traditional, and just boost it with a pedal for the heavier stuff.
  3. Eedwards7891


    Dec 11, 2017
    I’m in a doom band as well, running an active ESP LTD B4e. Using my same settings and e q , I threw my p bass on it, just to see how it took distortion, and of all my stuff on there, my absolute favorite tone was the DOD250 by itself , with the p bass tone all the way down, lol.

    I agree with you on the keeping it more traditional, and that’s my goal. What would your recommendations be for that ? Something like a Willis ? Maybe the fender 63?
  4. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    The DiMarzio Model P also has high output. The pointy bass in my avatar came stock with a clone of that pickup and had a snarly, mid-forward roar through a smallish combo. I never should have swapped out that pickup, haha; it’s going back in.

    @Zoobiedood knows Seymour Duncan best, and you’ve probably read a bit about the Quarter Pound P already, but I will add that while it may not be as mid-focused as a lot of P-style pickups, that doesn’t automatically mean Marcus Miller levels of scoop. I use my 4- and 5-string Ps w/QPs about 90% of the time. Thick, aggressive tone, just like the name suggests.

    I have no direct experience with Geezers.

    My experience is entirely with roundwound strings and mostly with a pick, so make of it what you will.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2020
  5. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    A regular Fender '57 or '62 P-bass pickup?
    dregsfan, bassdude51, Jazz Ad and 3 others like this.
  6. Eedwards7891


    Dec 11, 2017
    That’s also on my radar. Not knowing much about them , they are alluring. But, I plan to run chromes (bright sounding , but still flats), and I don’t want it to sound like hitting a log with a stick, lol. I’m afraid it will be too woody.

    I guess I’m looking for a decent balance of snarl and thump, if that makes sense or is possible.
  7. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    It's not the pickups. It is the Chromes that fade from zing to thump. Try Fender 9050L flats instead to get some growl and definition.
    cataract and Eedwards7891 like this.
  8. Eedwards7891


    Dec 11, 2017
    Nice, I’ll try them . Thank you .
  9. Riff Ranger

    Riff Ranger Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    Bigfoot Country
    I should have added that I can understand why you would replace the stock pickup. My limited experience with the stock pickups in Squiers has been underwhelming (the rest of the build, and my particular tastes requiring particular pickups anyway, makes them otherwise worthy instruments for me). They have all had harsh highs; one P was otherwise good, but the other P and the J sounded anemic.
    bhendrix and Eedwards7891 like this.
  10. Eedwards7891


    Dec 11, 2017
    for me, the pickup is just “ok”- it sounds pretty good, a little growl, but not a lot of low . Even with e q pushing the bass up, it’s not “punchy”, or thumpy. It’s just kind of thin.
    Monterey Bay-ss likes this.
  11. tb4sbp


    May 9, 2017
    North East
    My only experience is with the QPs
    And it was on a J bass
    FWIW, the original pups were alright, kind of 'eh'
    The QPs are awesome! The bass sounded great for all types of music and for fingers, pick or slap

    I hope you find what you are looking for
    Best of luck
  12. BurtMacklinFBI

    BurtMacklinFBI Degen from Up-Country

    Apr 3, 2018
    Never used the Duncans. Between the Geezer and the Dimarzio, they both sound very good but the Dimarzio has a more aggressive sound with more bite. The Geezer is more of a well rounded pickup, IMO closer to the "traditional", old school P-bass sound. For what you're after I imagine either one could be made to work well, but I'd go with the Geezers.
    imabuddha, mikeyjm2, BOOG and 2 others like this.
  13. leonard


    Jul 31, 2001
    GZR is good. Lollar is another favourite of mine. Very full but still cuts.

    I’d buy the GZR and be done with it.
    imabuddha, mikeyjm2, bcbckr and 2 others like this.
  14. I put a Fender Pure vintage 63 in my recent P build. I chose it because I wanted a thumpy funkmachine, which it does quite well with LaBella LTFs. I was however pleasantly suprised with the clear and articulate highs with the tone cranked.
    JMarkD likes this.
  15. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I've used the EMG GZR , the Quarter Pounds, the SPB2 and the DiMarzio DP122 pickups (I like to experiment).
    I didn't like the QP's or the SPB2's (but I like the SPB1) the DP 122 is a good pickup but my fav right now is the Geezer. In my mind these are all good pickups, but you have to know how they will work with a particular bass. I have a Fender P bass with a rosewood fingerboard and I wanted just a little extra top so I used a Sadowsky P bass pickup in that bass. (I think Dimarzio makes Sadowsky pickups). I have another P bass with a maple neck and I wanted some extra punch for it so I used the Geezers. I got a little more of everything with that pickup. I also have a Yamaha Attitude II bass with stock pickups. I did a blindfold test with some bass player friends where they listened to each of the basses mentioned. They all picked the stock Yamaha pickups as the best overall. Personally I still like the Geezers. The split P bass platform is a good pickup design, you just have to find the one you like and fortunately there are a lot to choose from.
  16. TemplesOfSyrinx


    Sep 8, 2013
    I always land on the EMG Geezers. Great tone & versatile IMO. I also like the fact that it's a set. (Pickup, volume & tone pot).
  17. Jackcrow

    Jackcrow Supporting Member

    Jul 10, 2017
    North Dakota
    I know I’m in the minority here but I have not liked the GZR’s. I thought they sounded fine in standard tuning but sounded like a muddy mess when tuned to D Standard.

    I’ve never played Quarter Pounders but I think the Model P is a great all around P pickup. High output also if that’s what you like. I’ve also played Dimarzio Split P pickups and they are extremely high output but also
    kind of muddy in my opinion.

    I also really like the G&L SB-1 pickup. If you don’t want a high-output pickup I would look elsewhere but I think it’s a very clear sounding pickup with plenty of bottom end and crisp highs.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  18. I've got the Seymour Duncan "Steve Harris" Split-P in mine and looooove it. He likes a mid bump and so do I. Highly recommend.
    4sight, imabuddha, Crackle and 4 others like this.
  19. nilorius

    nilorius Inactive

    Oct 27, 2016
    Riga - Latvia
    mikewalker and DJ Bebop like this.
  20. I have seymour Duncan SB-1 in 2 of my Precisions. Good versatility, fine tone and response. In my other P' I have Fender Original ('62) pickups. The Fenders are far and away the best Precision PUPs I've tried regardless of make or cost. These can be had for about $50 with careful shopping. Remember higher output (overwound) is usually not an indicater of better tone.
    imabuddha and 39-Bassist like this.