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J-Bass Neck vs. Single-Coil "Tele" P-Bass pup

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by JaySeeDoubleYou, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Disclaimer: Honest, I did a forum search before starting this thread because I had figured that a subject like this would've just had to have come up long ago. Not seeing one, I'm starting a new one. I'm sorry if there was one, and I just missed it.

    Okay, so my question: Anyone who's had extensive experience with both J-Basses and "Tele" basses with the old single coil "51' P", what are your thoughts on the 51 vs the Neck pup on a J?

    I know from casual listening and even more casual playing (without yet being able to put them to a true 1 to 1 comparison test) that they sound very similar. To my ears a 51 single coil P sounds far more like a J-Neck than a more conventional "Split-coil" P-pup, which, of course, makes perfect sense because we're comparing two single-coil pickups versus a glorified humbucker.

    But what I'd be curious to know is how they differ tonally. How would you describe the differences in nuance and tone between the two, comparative strengths and weaknesses and all of that.

    I'd be curious to hear your thoughts!


  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    the early P has that spiky attack (which blew the flimsy '50s speakers back in the day, leading to leo's patent of the pickups with two polepieces per string to soften the transient a little).

    the J (as well as the later P) thus has a little smoother tone.
  3. Chrisk-K


    Jan 20, 2010
    Maryland, USA
    The 51 P pup has more bite and is more aggressive.

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