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Fender American P vs. 62 Original P...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JimmyM, Mar 10, 2013.


  1. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I want opinions from folks who have tried both in the same bass, please. Comparisons, contrasts, etc. My new-to-me 09 AmStd Precision is coming across as brighter and a little more punk rock than my 76 Precision, which has a late 90's Fender CS 62 Reissue P, the equivalent of the 62 Original they sell today. Wondering if it's the pickup. Would swap them out if I were more skilled with a soldering iron, but I'm not, plus the 76 is all settled in and I don't want to disturb it. So I'll take opinions...thanks in advance.
     
  2. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    I've played both, and IMO the '08-'11 pups are a little brighter than the '62, but I also think the maple fretboard and pups&wiring(extra pup) of the '76 are contributing to the differences, too... You could probably narrow the differences a little by swapping out the '09's pup for a '62 or a S-D SPB-1, but I think there will still always be a slight difference there, regardless...

    FWIW, I've used both the '62 and SPB-1 in the same bass, and the SPB-1 has slightly better lows, and is a tiny bit less trebly, IMO/IME... Hope this helps,


    - georgestrings
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I was afraid of that ;) Thx George!
     
  4. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Hey Jimmy, try futzing around with that knob between the volume and the input jack and see if that helps.

    JK, I tried the '62 in an 08 MIA P that I owned and ended up liking the Rio Grande Vintage better than either of them. But YMMV.
     
  5. uOpt

    uOpt

    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    "equivalent". Not.

    Sorry but you have to start at least swapping the pickups so that you listen to both with the same pickup. I understand you don't want to mess with the 76, and that's good. The fastest way to do this is to test both the 09 and the 76 with a new pickup. Remove the pickguard with the original pickups in both, then wire up a SPB-1 or whatever with crocodile clips.

    There's no other way. The pickup plays a major role. And ruling out the pots and cap as a source of difference is a good idea, too.
     
  6. RCCollins

    RCCollins Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    San Diego, California
    Jimmy, your assessment of the difference sounds about right. A pickup swap will get an American Standard closer to the classic P-bass tone you're looking for, BUT before spending the money I'd try swapping out the tone capacitor - vintage fenders had a lot lower cutoff frequency and that alone might get you close enough.

    As far as vintage-style alnico pickups go, I see no reason to spend more than the price of a Duncan SPB-1.
     
  7. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    No prob, bud - if we were closer, I'd solder your stuff for you... I could do a pre-wired sort of thing and ship, if you were interested - no charge other than shipping and parts... PM me if that's something you want to consider...


    - georgestrings
     
  8. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Agreed on the cap - an '09 might have one of those 503Z(.05) caps - if it does, a 104K(.1) might help "warm it up" a bit...


    - georgestrings
     
  9. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Jimmy - you know that I generally go on experience and feel vs. technological analysis in such matters, so in my parlance the sonic differences you've described sound absolutely attributable to the instrument/pickup combinations you are listening to. In other words, normal and predictable, and clear to my hearing anyway in the clips you posted the other day. The 09 p/u will be a bit more aggressive and the maple neck reinforces a bit of bite. The '62 p/u and rosewood board, blah blah.

    Here's my tried and tested workaround for p/u soldering issues: clip the wires, twist corresponding new p/u wires in place, cover with heat shrink tubing, proceed to not care much. :rolleyes:
     
  10. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    Actually, I'd say that little blue wirenuts like used on thermostat wiring is a better option...


    - georgestrings
     
  11. Lowbrow

    Lowbrow Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA!
    Tee hee.
     
  12. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    I have an '08 AM STD Pbass as well...thin, bright sounding pickup...terrible. I was torn as to what to put in it as well. Came real close to pulling the trigger on an Original '62, but wound up going with a Fralin 5% overwound. A little hotter, more lows and low mids, less treble. Doesn't sound 'too hot' to me. Still a very dynamic pickup...only have a couple practices, one session and one gig under my belt with it but so far so good :)
     
  13. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Really? Wouldn't happen to know what changed? And what would you recommend in its place to cop that sound? The SPB-1 is looking like a good candidate.

    So I'm now fully convinced that it's the pickup. No question. Same thing happened on my gig tonight in a different venue. Had a long soundcheck, and jammed for a while with only my B-15 and no PA (PA guy was very late), and the bass does sound great, but not in the way I want. Sounds downright scooped on a gig. Those differences that I didn't pay much attention to on my recordings make a world of difference live. Hate to do it but it's gotta go. I don't even necessarily want the basses to sound the same, but it's got to have that meat on the high notes like my 76. Even the P Lyte will do that if you throw EMG's or overwound passives on it. I'm wondering if this American P is underwound. Has to be, right?

    Well here I go violating my "Never mod a Fender again" rule, but at least I can do this one without being invasive. I think it has to be done, though. I think I'll call my repair guy and see what he might have in the pickup bucket. Scored a killer old set of DiMarzio Model J's for $40 once.
     
  14. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    There was that brief period where Fender Pbass pickups just sucked...I have one of those basses :(

    Found myself never playing til I put in the Fralin...and I don't dig the super hot pickup thing, just got a tip about them...kinda spendy though...
     
  15. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    My 06 Am Std P doesn't sound bright at all to my tin ears. I get all the classic thump out of it that I would want. I have a 96 Am Std P coming in tomorrow so I'll be able to compare. My blues trio has a gig on the 16th so I'll get to crank up and do a good comparison.
     
  16. JimmyM

    JimmyM

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Ya Mark, not looking to do the spendy route ;) But as always, your contribution is appreciated. Nice to know it wasn't just me who felt that way. The bass plays awesome, though. And it comes across very well by itself, just not in a band where it counts ;)

    Hsech, your 06 also has the S1 switch, and I believe it has a different pickup than the 09. I once had to play a borrowed Precision with the S1 because the airline lost my bass for a few hours, and I thought it sounded really good, despite not being in love with the S1 switch itself.
     
  17. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    yeah, the S1 series/parallel switch on the P basses was little more than a "suck button". (it was great on the 5-string jazz, though, it brought those B strings to life.)

    yours doesn't have the weird no-load tone pot that clicks on "10", does it? that takes it out of the circuit, which would indeed make things brighter.

    anyway those are great basses in need of better pickups; the stock-wind fralin i put in my '96 P just rules over everything, but a duncan would still be a nice upgrade.
     
  18. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    Though I'm glad I took a chance, I bet I coulda got an SPB1 and would've been perfectly happy
     
  19. f.c.geil

    f.c.geil

    May 12, 2011
    '62 Original is a great sounding pup. Very much a true P Bass. Best mod I ever made to my P. I've been through the SPB-1 (too dark for me), DiMarzio Model P (spent over a year on my bass, so it's good, too, but a little muddy), 2010 American Standard (too scooped), and a couple of others. My P will spend the rest of it's time with me wearing a '62 Original. Sounds right to my ears.
     
  20. dukeorock

    dukeorock Owner BNA Audio Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Authorized greenboy designs builder/Owner of BNA Audio
    You're not alone in that opinion...really want to try one at some point :)
     

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