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Has anyone ever installed a second p-bass pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SullyB, Dec 20, 2005.

  1. SullyB


    Nov 22, 2005

    Has anyone ever installed a second p-bass pickup in their Precision? I am thinking of adding a second p-bass pickup to my MIM. The reason is I want to add an eighteen volt preamp for more headroom, but most preamps with this level of voltage seem to require two pickups. Am I wrong on this? Any thoughts? Thanks again.

    Sully B.
  2. No preamp "requires" two pickups. With the ones that use an external passive blend control, just skip it and connect the pickup directly to the input. With the ones that have two inputs because the blend control is part of the active circuit, there's no problem in using just one of them with a single pickup and leaving the other one disconnected.
  3. +100 as a bonus, if you ever DO decide to put a second pickup (and I'd drop in a Jazz myself) in the bridge position, you already have a blend control available.
  4. I enjoy the idea of 2 P pickups since they open a lot of tonal possibilities, but they certainly aren't required for an active pre.
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I've played some sweet 80's BC Riches with Dual P pickups and I love the tone. However, everything above is right, you don't NEED two pickups for your preamp.
  6. WovenGraphite

    WovenGraphite Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2005
    Bay Area, California
    Just as a side note, I saw a Bootsy show on DVD recently (Japan ~1994?).
    His Space Bass had 3 P-style pickups... Can't seem to find a pic though.
    On the cover of Bass Player recently, he had one with 5 J-style pickups!!!

    ... but again, it's BOOTsy!
  7. SullyB


    Nov 22, 2005
    Hello friends,

    Thanks for the advice everybody. I most likely mis-read the description of the tone circuit on the Seymour Duncan website. Boy, do I feel sheepish! :oops:

    Just wondering, what would be the advantages of a Jazz over a second P-Bass pickup? I would think that any pickup in the bridge position would help increase the output and add plenty of tonal options. But then again, I am really ignorant when it comes to bass electronics and the like. All I know is when I compared a P-bass with a Jazz bass, I preferred the P-bass. And since I choose the P-bass overthe Jazz I should just stick with the P-bass motif when choosing a second pickup. :)

    Thanks again for the feedback. Appreciate it! :bassist: :bassist:
  8. I've been thinking of a similar thing on one I'm getting sorted...

    my question, would there be any phasing problems if I had it set up like this:

    Standard P pickup
    Another P pickup (REVERSED where a J pickup would usually go)


    1 stack (middle tone/volume)
    1 stack (bridge tone/volume)
    2 series/parallel switches (one for each pickup)

    also what kind of pickup should the second one be - a "hot" or "vintage"? (I'm after a jazz KIND OF sound, but rockier...if it helps I was thinking of a hot one for the middle pickup)
  9. tiredman9


    Aug 15, 2005
    New York
    fender did something like this in the 80's with the Fender Elite Precision Bass II. I really liked it when I tried one out a couple of days ago. But two pickups aren't necessary for that preamp...plus you could always rewire the blend pot to be a active-passive push pull knob that also works the tone in passive mode, or rewire it to be whatever you want.

    Attached Files:

  10. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Advantages/disadvantages are a matter of personal preference.

    A J at the bridge gives you the J's tighter punchier bottom, but with that you also get the nasty nasally high mid tone that some people mysteriously enjoy. If you're a P guy, you'll probably want to solo the P and then blend in some J to fill out the tone and add some punch. If you're a J guy, you'll probably solo the bridge J as your basic tone, then blend in some P to flesh out the low mids and make it fatter.

    A P at the bridge gets a punchier more aggressive P tone. The blend control on a P/P works more like an active tone control, because both pickups are the same. In comparison, blending a P and J sounds more like blending 2 different basses.

    It all depends on what you like to hear. Before routing your bass, it would definitely be worthwhile to try both setups on some other basses.
  11. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    I built this one for a customer about three years ago. I used an SD "Hot" in the standard position and a "Quarter Pounder" in the bridge spot. This bass turned out sounding really great!! AS mentioned above, the bridge P-Bass pickup gives a tight & punchy tone but fuller sounding than a J pickup.

  12. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    For me it's not the sound of either pickup solo'd. The thing I like most about having a p-pickup at the bridge is the sound I get with both pickups at full volume. I liked it with the stock pickups and like it even more when I replaced the pickups with EMGs and an 18-volt circuit.
  13. The only thing im wondering, is there a big difference in tone between the E & A and D & G strings at the bridge P pup, cus one is obviously closer and at that distance its going to have a more noticable difference?
  14. SullyB


    Nov 22, 2005

    One more quick question. If I use another pickup of the same model, such as two Pro-Acitves, what phasing problems will I encounter? Can I just install the the pickups as is, or will I have to install one of thme i a reverse configuration? I hope not, because I really couldn't tell you how to ensure that the two pickups were in phase or out of phase or what each would sound like. Ha-ha. :)