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Is there really much different between the Model P and the SPB-3

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by prater, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    I'm modding a Squire Affinity P for use as a drop tuning bass for a couple of songs. I plan to keep it tuned to BEAD.

    I'm trying to select pickups and have been doing extensive research but can't seem to come to a solid conclusion.

    Initially I was dead set on the Dimarzio Model P.


    After some more research I became convinced that the Duncan SPB-3 Quarter Pound would be more suited for what I am doing.

    Today I am at a brick wall between the two.

    I play in a 90s rock/alternative/nu metal cover band. I would use this bass primarily for dropped songs that require the Low B like Staind or Cold.

    I play nickel rounds through a GK 400RB IV into a 2x10 and 1x18.

    I want something that cuts, while retaining a clear tone, with attack and clear rumbling lows, occasional chords and a combination of pick and fingerstyle. I rarely slap or pop.

    I want something that will enhance the sounds of my instrument but still retain the distinct P bass sound.

    Both of these pickups are in my price range and I can't really afford more than that at this time, however I am open to other ideas as long as they are affordable.

    Am I just over thinking it or is there really a distinct difference between these two pickups?
  2. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    Also does anyone know what the pots on the Affinity are rated at? Will they be compatible with either of these pickups?
  3. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    I think the EQ curves of those pickups point in different directions. Model P pickups are quite mid-heavy, to the detriment of extreme highs and lows. For this reason they work really well in a band setting, but probably don't sound too good for bedroom playing. I say this because the couple of times I've encountered Model Ps, and their clones, I really loved them.
  4. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    This is a great response. While I do love the sound of a mid scooped bass, I understand that it just doesn't cut as well in a band setting. I find myself boosting my low mids more and more often these days.

    One thing I did notice about many famous players who use the SPB-3 (Hoppus, Der Maur etc.) is how much less they have to compete with due to the nature of the bands they play in.

    I've also never heard them in dropped tuning.
  5. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    Yeah, the SPB-3 is most often mentioned as a 'pop punk' pickup, where the player guns the treble and cuts the bass. I think Hopper et al actually have some pretty good P bass tones personally. The SPB-3 is also in the Roger Waters P-bass. I don't associate Roger with that tone, but I guess times change.
  6. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    Nick Oliveri used the SPB-3 when he was in QOTSA. He tuned down to C natural and always sounded awesome.
  7. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    That is very interesting. I do like his sound but it is not really me. At least not for my current project. I'll be playing more nu-metal type stuff with this bass.

    I'm leaning towards the model P right now.
  8. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    Agreed on the Roger Waters thing, I saw that but his tone always seemed more like a Vintage P bass sound. I was surprised they used those pickups in his signature bass.
  9. True with Waters . Seems with Duncans the better choice would have been the vintage or vintage hot wind versus the 1/4 lb er .
  10. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    The Quarter Pounder is a real heavy-hitter. It has both fatter magnets and a higher wind. It is complete overkill, IMHO, and needs serious reigning in with the tone pot. If you want more than vintage class then the SPB-2 is better.

    I also very seriously question how many Roger Waters recordings or shows have been done with the QPs.
  11. There´s no major difference between.. Both are high gain, boomie, dark, mid boosted sounding pups...
  12. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    I have no idea which one would work better for me, I'm thinking perhaps I should try to find some Fender Standard P bass Pickups.
  13. extreme


    Mar 20, 2000
    I personally love the Model P, but based on everything you said in the original post I would highly recommend the SPB-3...it's really a great pickup and does what you say you want.
  14. wcoffey81


    Feb 3, 2012
    S/E Michigan
    off topic, but is it possible that your tonal goals might fight the 2x10+1x18 cabs?
  15. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Both are good pickups, but I prefer the Model P because of the mid scoop in the SPB-3. To my ears, both roll off equal amounts of treble, though.
  16. prater


    Aug 4, 2011
    Not at all, I've played my rig with a borrowed P-bass and have the sound I want with it. If the bass I got was a higher quality bass I wouldn't even bother with a pickup swap but the squire pickups are just lacking in every area.

    Honestly if Fender sold the pickups from their MIA Standard P bass I'd probably buy those.
  17. mike koers

    mike koers

    Dec 24, 2013
    Steve Harris uses spb3 aswell.. probably since for ever ..
    Just to have somthing to compare ;-)
  18. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    No he doesn't.
  19. Actually he uses SPB-4s which I have. They are super hot mid oriented pickups, basically SDs take on the model P but with alnico magnets and slightly hotter.

    Edit: before the spb4 he used the spb1 custom wound which became the now purchasable spb4.
  20. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    Still waiting for some good evidence that Roger Water used a Quarter Pounder for extended periods.