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Fender P-bass With EMG pickups

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by papjason, Mar 11, 2008.

  1. papjason


    Jan 22, 2006
    Hi everyone!
    I have an American P-Bass and i'm thinking of
    changing my pickups...
    I don't like the sound of my bass so i was thinking of
    replacing them with an EMG PJ set.
    i want to add a J pickup.
    what do u think of that??
    any suggestions???
  2. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    Listen to bass players who use EMGs for that high end sizzle like Victor Wooten. I personally am not a fan.
  3. I wouldn't do that to a P
  4. no not for a P
  5. mccartjm


    Oct 10, 2006
    It will make you p sound louder and brighter. I think it is an improvement if louder and brighter is your thing. One thing you might want to consider is this. By putting a j pup at the bridge you are basically going to increase your high end and defenition. Now if you think about, just putting an EMG in the P position will do that for you already, so it would be pointless to add the J. plus you dont have to rout a finshed bass and risk chiping it. I have done this mod and i thought it improved the bass (g&l lb-100). I would just get the P pickup and put that in, EMGS come with the prewired harness and they dont need to be grounded or shielded so anyone can install them basically. Later maybe you could add a BTC (bass treble control that slides right into the pickguard with no mods) for even more flexability than the P-J config would have given you.
  6. papjason


    Jan 22, 2006
    ok.. but what pickups are you suggesting?
    so i can have more variety of sounds.
    my bass has only one sound......
  7. mccartjm


    Oct 10, 2006
    i am saying put an emg p bass piickup in, then add an emg btc, the j pickups is not really necesarry unless you think it will make that big of a diff. but from my experience it doesnt
  8. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    +1 on passing on the J, just install the EMG P. They sound great but they're not for everybody. Currently I don't own any basses with EMGs in them, but I have owned a P with a PJ set.
  9. Slowgypsy

    Slowgypsy 4 Fretless Strings

    Dec 12, 2006
    NY & MA
    My main instrument is a MIA Precision... I get lots of different sounds depending on where I pluck (neck or bridge) and then again if I use fingerstyle or a pick. Not saying you shouldn't make your mod, it's just that sometimes folks mod their instruments thinking that's the only way to a different sound when simply practicing a different technique would easily get you there. Not preaching... just a thought...
  10. BassBob185


    Oct 25, 2007
    Rocking Chair
  11. Thunderitter

    Thunderitter Bass - the final frontier! Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2007
    I'm very happy with my EMG P - I'm using it with flats and I'm loving the sound I get; everything from really bright and punch to good low down bass.

    Unless you know what you are doing stay away from routing - on slip and your bass will look like sh1T! If you really feel you need to go down this track then and you haven't tried precision (accurate as opposed to the bass!) routing before, have a professional do it

    I think and EMP P looks cool too!

  12. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I've had a love-hate relationship with EMG pickups, because sometimes they sound great and sometimes they don't. Depends on the bass. I will say that one of the coolest sounding basses I've ever owned was an '83 Fender P-bass that I put an EMG in. Very aggressive tone.
  13. origami


    Jun 26, 2005
    Big D TEXAS
    unless it is vintage, i'd do it (add emg p). but if going EMG p/j. get a bass that's already routed for p/j.

    i love the EMGs in my p-basses. i own three basses with emg p's. switching to them is one of the best things i have done!

    adding an emg definately does rob the bass of some personality, but in return the tone is more even across all frequencies (not a bump or dip in this or that range like passives).. this will give the perception of the emg pick-up adding more highs and lows. also the output is slightly hotter, and definately a lot quieter. emgs do like active EQ, but i still keep all my tone knobs passive. so it's not to radical of a change in tone.

    the emg j pick-ups sound quite a bit different than passive j's. emg js are very nuetral sounding, i think they have less mids. the upside is that they are dead quiet when soloed. bye bye 60 cycle.

    a good idea EMG p+j sound is a spector. on a fender bass this sound will be a bit different as many spectors are neck-though and body wood is maple.

    i put EMG p/j in my fender duff bass and the sound is night and day different (not really better, different) than the stock PU's. i liked the stock PU sound, but they were noisy and slightly nasal. the emgs stops that cold.

    plus the emgs don't have exposed pole pieces which rough up your fingertips.
  14. Rob Mancini

    Rob Mancini Guest

    Feb 26, 2008
    I wouldn't do it again, but I did it to my Precision in the mid 80's because there weren't near the choices for pickups these days and EMG's were kind of unique and widely available. I liked it and I still like EMG's. Except for the battery.

    I prefer passives in Fenders, but EMG's are pretty cool.
  15. Mr_Dave


    Mar 11, 2005
    Melbourne, Australia
    Employee - Basscentre Melbourne
    I put EMG PJs in a mexi precision special i had and i didn't like it much. it definitely changed the character of the bass. if you don't like the sound of your P and want more variety i'd sell it and buy something else.
  16. joenemzer


    Sep 12, 2007
    Pointless to have a EMG PJ set instead of just a EMG P? Where is the logic there? Are you saying the J doesn't change the sound? That doesn't make any sense.........all my basses have P/J sets, and I often solo the P pickup to get a P-Bass sound, or boost the J to get a Jaco-ish sound, or both evenly to get a Wooten sound! How is that pointless? Unless of course you just prefer the P sound, then sure, but the original poster never said he strictly wanted his bass to sound like a P-Bass only. Routing is not as big a deal as people think. Of course if your worried about changing a vintage bass, destroying the value that's a different story.
  17. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    The Precision is not the most flexible bass by nature when it comes to tone. A one pickup bass like a Musicman or Precision usually does one thing, though it does that one thing very, very well. Big tone flexibility usually comes with a two-pickup bass.
  18. Rudyboy98


    Jan 25, 2008
    South Bay, CA
    I put EMG's in my MIM P-Bass and it worked out great. I miss that bass.

    I did hear from a couple of people that it had a bit of a "Zappa" like sound at times. It's dependent on your strings and playing style too.

    If I bought a brand new bass, I might not do it. But for a used bass like mine was, if I had the chance to do it again, I'd do it in a heartbeat!

  19. GreaserMatt


    Sep 4, 2004
    Seattle, WA
    No need to put the j in there; the p pups will be fine. Just change 'em back if you don't like 'em...
  20. markorbit


    Apr 16, 2004
    I would look for another bass that you like the sound of before wildly experimenting with the one you have.

    Personally, I don't think a P pickup in the standard P position will replicate the sound of a J pickup at the bridge.

    By all means try the EMG P replacement... but I'd stop there. In fact, I'd go with quality passives such as Fralins, Nordstrand etc.

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