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Help me upgrade my P-Bass!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Hyde, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. Hyde


    Mar 30, 2006
    Well, in what I suppose is the start of the never-ending cycle of musician debt, I've decided that my American Deluxe P-Bass is being overshadowed a bit by my Spector and it's time for an upgrade or two. I'm justifying it by telling myself that if the two basses were slightly more similar tonally, it would make EQ adjustments when I swap basses during a gig easier.
    :help::help: :help:
    So anyway, I really like my P's tone, but if I go play the Spector then play the P again, the P sounds a little too muddy and a little too bland. If you realize that I have a budget of roughly $150-ish to work with here, what do you guys think that the best move would be to make my P-Bass sound a little more aggressive, clear, and powerful? Replace the pickups? Upgrade to an Aggie preamp like my Spector has? Upgrade to a Bart or some other preamp?
  2. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    You could look for a Radial Tonebone and have the levels setup so you can switch easier. The P-Bass is already a pretty good bass. I don't think I'd change anything on it.
  3. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I don't know if this would move the P's tone closer to the Spector, but a P pickup from Lindy Fralin or Nordstrand won't hurt. I used to have an American Deluxe P, and while it's a good bass, I think Fender's U.S. Precision pickup has low output and and slightly muddy low end. It works great for some stuff, but I think you would appreciate the benefits offered by the others. The Fralin will give you more output, clarity, and grit. I love it in my passive Am. Ser. P, and I bet you'd get similar results in the Am. Deluxe.
  4. +1 on lindy fralin, awesome pickups. i want to build a pbass with one of those loaded in it.
  5. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I forgot you asked about preamps too. If you have the old 9v one, as I did, a change could help, but I don't know about the 18v models as I've never tried one. Anyway, Mike Lull uses Bartolini NTMB (I think) pres with Lindy Fralin pickups, and on the Jazz clones the results are just outstanding. With everything flat, it's completely transparent, and with active/ passive operation and a passive tone control your sonic options are wide open. So that would just be awesome.

    In that case, I might go with Nordstrand pickups instead, and get one of his dual coil models to replace the Fender "dual J" humbucker. I thought that pickup was pretty weak, so you may as well upgrade it too. This would be expensive, but you'd end up with a tone monster.
  6. eots


    Dec 18, 2004
    Morris, IL.
    If your 2 basses end up being close to each other in their tones, why would you need to switch mid gig?
    I thought the main point in switching was for different tones.
    Other points being, aesthetic, out of tune, different tunings, 4/5 /6 string, vibe , mojo, whatever. A different tone is a good thing.

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