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Fretless with P/J setup

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by JTGale, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    I have a chance to put my hands on a nice walnut body that has yet to be drilled for pickups. I have always wanted a fretless and wonder, with the darker wood-tones the walnut will have, if I should go with a P/J pickup setup as opposed to a J/J setup.

    Any thoughts? Would P/J be too "bright" for that fretless mwah?

  2. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    ... oh, and one other thing. I am considering a neck made out of wenge with an ebony fingerboard, unlined. The walnut with the ebony and the wenge should make a nice, dark tone, right? :eyebrow:
  3. You can always go with a set of bartolinis, dimarzios, or seymour duncans. They all make replacement j's that are dual coil, basically a skinny p pickup in a j casing. I think the sound matches better that way. ive never been a big fan of p pickups, but my present bass came with a set of bartolini p/j's and they sound amazing (first good sounding p pickup ive ever heard). bartolini also makes bright tone and deep tone versions. i got a set of bright tones and if you turned down the tone, i think you could get whatever sound you want. p's are a bit deeper and more open sounding, if you go with a p/j, i would get a dual coil j to match the p better. dual coil pickups are more growly anyway. well im no pro about fretless but i hope my rambling helped you out.
  4. This week, I put a Warmoth maple neck with ebony fretless board on my old Warmoth walnut P-bass body, which has EMG P-J pickups. This bass has the Carvin LaBella black tapewounds on it.

    NICE combination. I actually prefer the tone of the P pickup, with the treble rolled off a bit, or a lot. Very warm and enchanting fretless tone.

    However, various combinations of P and J yield a lot of nice, and usable, tone variations.

    I will be using this bass for an upcoming musical theatre production, rehearsals for which start Sunday.
  5. JTGale


    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Thanks for the response, guys. My first choice for pickups are Bartolini's. I have them in my Renegade and in my Lakland. They are really, really nice. But, I am considering buying Nordstrands this time around. Maybe if I went with a fatstack, then I could have the best of both worlds. Then again, the P rolled off in combination with the walnut and ebony sounds nice, too.

    Decisions, decisions, decisions ... I will get there ...

    (GAS is an awful, awful thing! :scowl: )