Help me identify vintage-ish chrome HBs in a '71 Pbass, please

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Josh Thatguy, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. 20180809_012636.jpg

    I just picked up a '71 P last night, from a non-musician who inherited the instrument when the original owner passed. It's been in the (perfect) OHSC for 22 years until very recently when he took it out to photograph & advertise it.
    "Weird" is the only way I can describe the electronics: two input jacks (both work), one Volume control, a mystery pushbutton switch that does nothing, and these two chrome p'ups with surrounds. I bought this bass as a keeper/player. It's got a killer neck profile and actually still had a great setup, almost in tune, from over two decades ago. I'm thinking I'll probably leave the bridge p'up, get a new pickguard (of course) and a '70s or '80s DiMarzio P p'up to fit the vibe. I'll pull the neck pup out and just cover the chasm with the new pg.

    So what am I looking at here? Googling "vintage humbucker chrome bass pickup with hex adjustable poles" took me everywhere but anywhere I needed to be.

  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    First thing that pops into my head is Dimarzio Model One
  3. That was fast, thanks! I just looked up some Model One threads here on TB, and it seems the chrome versions hit the scene around the mid-to-late '70s before the covers started being produced in black in the mid-'80s. My p'ups are *similar* to the Model Ones I'm seeing in photos, but not exact matches. I'll keep looking... maybe mine are way-early versions, or knockoffs?
  4. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Could be knock offs, I’m not an expert.

    I took note of the adjustable pole pieces and the form factor, so I threw Model One out there.

    How do they sound to you? You didn’t comment about that
  5. The neck p'up was dead, and the bridge p'up sounded very much like a Ric 4001. Which would be great... if I wanted that trebly, grindy flavor, but this is a P BASS! That's why I'll get a vintage DiMarzio and put it in the factory position (which is currently empty under the chrome cover). I don't think it's a stretch to say I'll have a bass with two phenomenally different voicings. A schizophrenic '71.

    I emailed DiMarzio a little while ago and sent pictures and information, and I should hear back in a day or two as to whether these are any versions of Model Ones.
    yodedude2 and charlie monroe like this.
  6. UPDATE: word direct from DiMarzio via email reply is "...definitely not ours. Possibly Guild from the same era, based on the mounting configuration?..."

    Very cool of them to reply quickly... but now the mystery expands further, as I'm not finding identical Guild p'ups on a Google search. Similar, but different.
    9mmMike likes this.
  7. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Guild is a decent guess. Sorry, I can’t help any further.
  8. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    The 2+1 mounting screw arrangement is Guild-style, but those aren't Guild pickups.

    From the Dimarzio family they look closer to Model Gs than Model Ones, but Dimarzio say it isn't their pickup. The coax hookup cable isn't really a Dimarzio thing. They aren't the Schalled 'Bassbucker' version of the Model G either.

    My total, out-there guess is that these are Carvin pickups. I think you could do the 2+1 screw thing with Carvins, and the flat top, hex-bolt poles and slightly DIY vibe makes me think Carvin.

    This looks like the guitar version: Vintage 1977 Carvin DC150 Stereo APH-6S Chrome Covered Humbucker Pickup • £50.51

    From the Carvin museum: The Carvin Museum - 1977 Basses

    EDIT: I reckon these are Carvin APH-8 pickups, which were APH-4N humbuckers, revised in 1977 with chrome covers.
  9. You say the neck pickup is dead .... are you sure the two output jacks aren't wired separately to the two pickups? See if the other output jack doesn't give you the neck pickup ... sort of like a ric-o-sound?
  10. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Man, I would get that working as-is, personally. I love customized monsters like this. There's a billion P basses out there, who needs another one? You've got something totally unique that someone put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into.

    If the neck is truly shot (and not just being silenced by some esoteric combination of output jack/toggle switch), replace it with something epic like a mudbucker or quadcoil.

    Try using a stereo insert cable in one of the jacks, it's possible they wired it like a Ric so that one of the pickups is silenced when a mono plug is inserted. Something like this will do the trick: (one pickup comes out of each of the dual mono ends).
  11. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore? Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    I am impressed. The train of thought explanation was awesome. (BTW I am being TOTALLY serious.)

    You sir, are an awesome human being!!
    Axstar and EatS1stBassist like this.
  12. redwingxix


    Oct 21, 2015
    Heck yeah. I'd definitely want to figure out what that thing can do before trying to "fix" it.
    mech and Axstar like this.
  13. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Thanks man I appreciate it!
    Mktrat likes this.
  14. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
  15. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Are you sure the neck pickup is dead? With no pickup selector, it may be configured with one input for one set of pickups, and the other input for another.

    EDIT: Doh! @AndyPanda beat me to it. That's what I get for commenting before I've read the entire thread.
  16. Drucifer

    Drucifer Not currently practicing Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    Houston Heights, Texas
    Endorsements: your name could be here, Mr. Sadowsky!
    Yes, good thought!
  17. ... yes, I thought of that too, about 10 seconds after I plugged into one jack and found the bridge p'up working, so I tried the other jack and it too worked for the bridge p'up. The neck pickup had zero output as it was wired, and I've already got the bass apart now for a full cleaning and refurb. I'll measure both pickups' output when I get my meter back from a friend this weekend, and I'll see if the neck p'up is functional or not.
  18. Also, I realized today when I disassembled the neck pickup, the "chrome" pole cover I've been referring to is ... surprise ... plastic!
    It was one of those "doh" moments, like when I took the huge handrest cover off a Ric 4003 for the first time, thinking I'd lighten the bass by 6 or 7 ounces of metal.
    Then realizing it's a shiny piece of plastic that weighs maybe a half an ounce.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  19. Aaaaaaaand AXSTAR and his insight and wisdom for the WIN! Based upon his Carvin logic, I did some Google searching, and came up with information on Carvin "stereo basses" from the '70s. The one in this photo is a '77, from a for-sale page, and has the absolutely identical pickups and surrounds that my P-bass has. Mysteries solved!

    I'm guessing the original P owner wanted the tonal varieties of the stereo-capable, phase-reversible, coil-splittable 'buckers and he just ditched the original P pickup & wiring entirely and swapped out some (but not all) of the guts from this model of Carvin. Somewhere along the way, wires got loose or crossed or otherwise and didn't perform as intended or functioned when everything was still in the Carvin bass. I must admit that when I was disassembling the bass yesterday and looked at the pots and harness today, I noticed the soldering looks a lot like old battleship welding.

    I've decided on a modern DiMarzio DP122 for the P position, and I'll leave the Carvin bridge p'up. When it's done by next weekend, I'll have a killer "A" neck '71 with a flexible P+HB (HumBucker or Huge Balls) setup that I'm thinking will cover a lot of basses/bases!

    Thanks to everyone who checked out this thread and chimed in.

    DrewinHouston and Matt Liebenau like this.
  20. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    So that confirms you'd need a stereo insert cable like the one I linked to run both pups. I'm sure the wiring is also suspect, but might be worthwhile to try that before you scrap the harness altogether.
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