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I know my tone but help me find my P pickup!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by HangryBassMan, May 28, 2020.

  1. HangryBassMan


    Aug 20, 2019
    I’m still trying to find the right pickup for my modded squire. I want a pickup that has undeniable P bass tone. I want punch and growl in there and it MUST be sensitive to dynamic changes in my right hand! I need it to be versatile enough to dial in a hard hitting sound playing rage against the machine style riffs to muted funk and silky smooth Motown b lines. I’m probably leaning to a hotter sounding pickup that has a bit more low end bass to compensate for the lack of it in the body of the bass.

    I have a set of GHS Pressurewounds which are staying on. Also I have a 0.001 orange tone cap which I might swap out for a 0.047. Would that help?

    currently I have some Aguilar ag4p-60’s in there. Whilst they’re perfectly fine the sound just doesn’t do it for me. It’s too tame. Output is too low, lacks bass, punch and growl. It’s not sensitive to right hand dynamics and I don’t really enjoy the sound or enjoy playing with it. I prefer the stock squire pickups. It lacked bass but had some growl and dynamics and sounded more like a p!

    So the pickups I have in mind are:

    Lindy Fralins
    Aguilar ag 4p-60 HOT
    nordsrtrand Big Blade / NP4 / NP4A
    EMG geezer Butler

    which pickup is for me? I want that p bass grunt
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  2. I'm always partial to Lindy Fralin because until a recent cross country move they were a local business, and I prefer to support local smaller companies.
    That being said, Fralins. You want a P Bass sound only hotter, try something closer to the old Fender P Bass pick ups only hotter. Quarter Pounders are a good price friendly option as well, I've dropped them into lower end Fenders with good results.
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Wilde P-46 comes to mind.

    Also, there is a huge difference between an 0.001 (presumably uF?) cap and a 0.47 (presumably uF?) cap. A 0.001uF cap will be barely detectable, while a 0.47uF cap will take you straight to dub-town in half a shake.

    Perhaps you meant 0.1uF and 0.047uF? Or maybe 0.01uF and 0.047uF?
    H2okie, TN WOODMAN and slobake like this.
  4. HangryBassMan


    Aug 20, 2019
    I have edited my post. It’s a 0.001uF in there and thinking of swapping it for a 0.047uF. Both orange capacitors
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  5. HangryBassMan


    Aug 20, 2019
    I can’t say I’m sold on the quarter pounders. It seems everyone has them and they appear to have a scooped sound
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  6. _jaxon5

    _jaxon5 Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    I just recently got out of this hole myself. I ended up with a Seymour Duncan SPB-4 Steve Harris set, but to be completely honest the stock ones on my MIM FSR Deluxe PJ is very good. The Steve Harris set has that low mid grunt that I like without being obnoxious like the QPs.

    To make suggestions for you:
    Fender Custom Shop ‘62
    Seymour Duncan SPB-1 Vintage
    Seymour Duncan Antiquities II
    Fralins or Lollars
    Any P pickup from American Fenders

    The reason i’m recommending these and not “hot” versions is because you really get the quintessential P-bass sound and more. With hot wind pickups the treble and bass tend to be boosted and more often than not that tends to make them one-trick ponies.
    I learned this from almost 15 years of playing P-style basses.
  7. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Often not. In fact, typically, simply adding more winds will deemphasize the treble and bass, and overemphasize the mids. The Duncan SPB-2 is a good example.

    The QP has a bit of a scooped profile due to other changes, like larger magnets (and perhaps different wire gauge? I don't know...).

    Well, we are talking about P-basses, so "one trick pony" is the name of the game here.... :cool::bag:
  8. Cracker7

    Cracker7 Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2016
    Ballston Lake NY
    I’m a big Lollar guy.
  9. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone. Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
  10. HangryBassMan


    Aug 20, 2019
    Interesting how no one has mentioned any of the pups I’ve been looking at apart from the Fralins.

    Anyone got any experience with Nordstrands or EMG GHZ?
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  11. fermata


    Nov 10, 2015
    Mountain West
    .001 uF is what G&L uses to load the pickups on some models; tiny value caps have quite interesting effects, but they're not what's used for a tone control. My guess is you have a .1 uF cap. Moving to a smaller .047 uF cap will allow some more mids through when it's turned down all the way. If you don't turn it down below about 2, the value of the cap doesn't matter--parallel resistance is changing the circuit impedance and damping the highs, and the cap isn't playing a role.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  12. FantasticFour


    Dec 14, 2013
    I don't know if I can't give you advice, because I usually love Fender precision pups. Like the Custom Shops from the now defunct Standard line. We do agree in our dislike of the QP though.
    Not too fond of the EMG, especially not as a standalone Precision pup. May be a bit better in a p/j config.
    From the Nordstrands, I'd pick the NP4A. Still precision-typed but a bit more open, in your face.
    detoxxx and TN WOODMAN like this.
  13. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    Honestly...I would choose an SD SPB-4....
    Do not go for a SPB-2 or 3.
    Oh and the SPB-1 punchy and full but not a growling type of pickup.
    Geezers are more growl.
    So of your choices and what you are saying...EMG's
  14. landrybass


    Oct 23, 2011
    Fender Custom Shop ‘62

    I have these in a Mod Shop P bass and its pretty much my perfect passive P pickup. pppp
    TN WOODMAN and Kro like this.
  15. _jaxon5

    _jaxon5 Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2015
    Sacramento, CA
    Didn’t mean to work you up good sir. It’s just in my experience that every time I use hot wind pickups, be it guitar or bass, it’s no coincidence I have to turn down both treble and bass knobs on whatever amp i’m using. It’s also evident on, say, Duncan and DiMarzio website when they show the tone profile (bass-mid-treble) that hotter pickups tend to raise treble and bass. Mostly bass though.

    and as for one-trick ponies... the P bass being the cornerstone of electric bass guitar sound since its inception in the 50’s and found in thousands if not close to millions of songs spanning countless genres. I hardly classify that as a one-trick pony.
    I was just implying that hot pickups are more difficult to make sound more versatile than their normal wound counterparts.
    MDBass, uwrossl and TN WOODMAN like this.
  16. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
  17. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    There are loads of TalkBass members who use, and plenty of threads about, the EMG GZR and the various Nordstrand P pickups.

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  18. BobKos


    Apr 13, 2007
    I'm a Jazz Bass guy that owns a few P / PJ basses. The Nordies are all different. NP is more traditional. The blades come in clean / clear and warm / wooly. Sounds like you're a good candidate for warm & wooly. They're ceramic and so the Dimarzio DP122 will do pretty much the same thing for you. I have a set of Geezers and I don't like them. Here's the catch about them and I think this applies to alot P-Bass pickups you will encounter. Those that are amazing in the home rehearsal environment will get lost in a live band mix. Those that sound great in a band mix will be overly aggressive and middy when solo'ed in a home rehearsal room. The geezers are a band mix pickup. I think most of the popular ones are. I'm a hobby player so what works well for me might not for you. Just keep that in mind. Good luck in your search.
    dannnnn, TN WOODMAN and son_of_mogh like this.
  19. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Dang. I gotta get me some beer & coconut.
  20. Kukulkan61

    Kukulkan61 Supporting Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Northern Arizona
    How about just putting some Flatwounds on with the pups you already have, I’ll bet that will get you there, I have pressure wounds on my Lakland P with Geezers and it’s awesome but the PW are not as thumpy as I would like...

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