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Fender P Bass special

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Joe Milo, Jan 18, 2012.


  1. Joe Milo

    Joe Milo

    Nov 1, 2009
    Geneva Ohio
    TBers,

    I have the Mexican P bass special deluxe......The bass that comes with that hideous gold PG and the PJ pups..... After a year of playing her I have come to the conclusion that I'm not a fan of the sound and tone I get from her. I was wondering if this bass would benefit from a PUP swap? The bass has the noiseless Pups.
    I have already modded her a little bit by adding a Hipshot bridge and Hipshot tuners....all in black. The bass is the silver frost color and I'm also using DR Black Beauties.Basically spent 240 dollars for these..
    I've tried every tone configuration with the onboard knobs and also with my Hartke LH500 amp.
    So, anyways what recommendations does the community have to get a better tone? Should I swap the PUPS and if so what would be a good set to get? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. finfrocka

    finfrocka

    Jul 12, 2005
    San Diego
    I think upgrading the preamp would also benefit you. I have read negative comments on the noiseless pickups as well. I recently upgraded my P special (not deluxe, mine is passive) with 100 dollar dimarzio set, i think it is dp126. I like these pickups much better than the stock pickups. They have ZERO hum and each pole piece is adjustable, which is a fantastic feature.

    If you got the money and time upgrade both and get ready for a brand new bass.
     
  3. dedpool1052

    dedpool1052

    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    what style do you play? what tone are you going for? do you have an example of a band who's bassist has the tone you're going for?
     
  4. steamthief

    steamthief

    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    I'm not a fan of Fender's noiseless pickups, to me they sound sterile.

    It would help if you go into greater detail about what you'd like to change about the current tone. I have a '97 California P Special with a stock Fender P pickup, dual coil Fralin in the bridge position, Roto 66 strings, and it sounds pretty darn good.

    I'd experiment with different strings before I started swapping pickups, though.
     
  5. LowEZ

    LowEZ Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Central NJ
    I put Schaller PBX/JBX in mine (pulled from an '86 Peavey Foundation S and similar to finfrocka's DiMarzios) and it made a huge improvement in tone. I also ditched the gold pickguard, hideous indeed.

    06pspecial.
     
  6. When I started playing one of these I was immediately struck by how I could not get a traditional or familiar P or J tone from it. So if that's your goal, good luck. It has a unique tonal quality. Preamp and pickup swaps may get you different tones, but it will still be an active bass.

    That being said, I can get a fairly wide pallette of useable tones from mine.
     
  7. Joe Milo

    Joe Milo

    Nov 1, 2009
    Geneva Ohio
    I'm sorry Fellas I should of added the music style I prefer.

    I prefer classic Rock such as Led Zepplein and Nazareth. We also play quite a bit of hair metal bands like Skid Row,Poison,Motley Crue,LA Guns,Kiss.....and the list goes on.
    I would really love to have Duff Mckegans tone from Appetite for Destruction release....But I know that isn't going to happen with the rig I use now.

    Every one here talks about Seymour Duncan quarter pounders. Is that available in a PJ configuration?
     
  8. tangentmusic

    tangentmusic A figment of our exaggeration

    Aug 17, 2007
    Reno/Tahoe
    I have this same bass in Arctic White. I too changed out the gold anodized pg.
    Mine is the passive model. All stock except for the pg.
    I think it has great tone, just like a P should, with the added benefit of the J p'up.
    What kind of tone are you after out of it? I'm sure you've played around with the p'up configuration. I can get (obviously) the traditional P tone out of mine. The J just gives it a little more bite. Solo the J, and it sounds like a Jazz with the bridge p'up solo'd. Maybe play around with pick up height?
    I use Roto Swing 66's on it. Its an all around good sounding bass to me.
     
  9. dedpool1052

    dedpool1052

    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    they do, but not as a set. you have to buy them separately. the QP Ps get a pretty bad rap. i had one in an old korean squire that was pretty damn punchy sounding. the dimarzio set mentioned is regarded as being a really good bang-for-your-buck set.
     
  10. LowEZ

    LowEZ Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Central NJ
    Plus the J in the DiMarzio set is hum cancelling. A single-coil jazz through that preamp may be noisy. I believe that's why Fender put a vertical stack J in the MIM and new MIA's while the older MIA's used the double-J pickup.
     
  11. dedpool1052

    dedpool1052

    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    humcancelling j and adjustable pole pieces are sealing the deal for me. side note, been looking at rebulding my old squier and it looks like the dimarzios are gonna be the pickups that go into it. another side note, what are all the controls on your p-special?
     
  12. LowEZ

    LowEZ Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2011
    Central NJ
    Hahaha. The knobs are stock, the two mini-switches are series/parallel for the pickup coils (the J is a side-by-side split coil). I've put this switch in every P I've owned, I prefer the tone with the coils in parallel. The J coils in parallel, um, not so good. I'll make that an active/passive switch some day.
     
  13. dedpool1052

    dedpool1052

    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    i read a post from some member who put a series/parallel switch in their p/j that puts both pickups into series, and that it was ultra beefy sounding.
     

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