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MM/P bass wiring options and advice please?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Mabrothrax, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Mabrothrax


    Dec 21, 2007
    East Sussex
    So for a fun summer project I’m gonna be butchering a few bits I’ve got to create myself a new Frankenstein’s Bass. I’ve got a cheap P-bass (defretted) that I’m gonna slam an MM style pup into.

    I’d like to get the MM pup as close to the sweet spot as possible, so the Split P is getting flipped (the section under the E & A stays put, the other half moves up on top).

    I’ve scrounged various components, got a cheap MM pup on order and have been digging up old threads on MM/P configurations for the last week or so. Next stage is to figure out the wiring set up, which is where I’d like some opinions, advice, or rude comments.

    Passive set up 1:
    Split P pickup and MM pickup (wired parallel) connected to 3 way selector switch, regular tone and volume knobs.

    Passive set up 2:
    Split P pickup and MM pickup (wired parallel) connected to individual volume knobs and regular tone knob.

    Passive set up 2a:
    As set up 2 but with 3 way toggle for MM series/split/parallel

    Passive set up 3:
    Both pickups wired to stacked volume/tone knobs, possibly with series/split/parallel toggle for the MM pickup.

    Active set up:
    Split P pickup and MM pickup (wired parallel) connected to 3 way selector switch, connected to active volume bass/middle/treble

    I’m not worried about getting the exact MM tone. The active preamp I have I tore from my 6 string (which now has an amazing ACG filter stack) and to be honest I don’t think it’s gonna be a comfortable fit under the scratch plate, certainly not without a lot of extra cavity routing and swearing. Plus it is a potential minefield of coloured wire disastrousness (being colour blind can be a bitch).


    The Passive options appeal because they feel like less hassle. Plus there’s something about doing a ‘stack knob’ that I really need to get out of my system at some point. Stack knob MM/P bass anyone? Mmm.

    What sounds feasible? Why?

    With the MM series/split/parallel switching option – has anyone got experience of using it in an MM/P bass? Passive or Active? How does it sound?

    Ta. :cool:
  2. Sounds interesting, not very many P/MM basses around. I did some searching while modifying my P with a MM bridge pup. However mine isn't nearly as intricate as yours will be.

    Wish I could offer some insight or suggestions. But mine is just passive with a Parallel/Series switch.... and even than, the 2nd coil in the MM is unplugged.
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    I like option 1, with the addition of the parallel/series/split mini-toggle for the MM.

    How will it sound? Depends on the pickups, really. But the MM in series is nice and thick and meaty!
  4. Mabrothrax


    Dec 21, 2007
    East Sussex
    Cool, thanks for that. I'm quite happy to add as many switches, bells and whistles as I can, and the parallel/series/split mini-toggle seems a no-brainer.

    Had a look at your MM/P bass in your thread about wiring it, it looks beastly!

    I'm really on the fence about active/passive electronics. Regardless, I want this to be a unique and versatile creature. I'm also largely inspired by the uber cool Musicman sabre bass with it's oddball controls and many switches.

    Any other MM/P owners want to chime in? Really would like to know how the setup fares passive vs. active.

    Cheers. :bassist:
  5. Mabrothrax


    Dec 21, 2007
    East Sussex
    I've had a fiddle and reckon I can squeeze the active preamp in with minimum fuss (alongside the two switches I have planned).

    However, I could do with some help here.

    The preamp came from my 6 string bass, which is essentially a 6 string Tanglewood Canyon III (same bass made under the name 'Hudson Project Bass'), so anyone who has or knows anything about the Tanglewood Cayon range might be able to help me out.

    You can see the preamp here:

    It has volume & bass/middle/treble (cut/boost). The mystery three wires came from somewhere and will need to go back there, I'm guessing they were connected to the output jack and/or battery clip? I also have a spare output jack already wired to a battery clip



    How do I put it all back together?

    Also it has a little gain control (?) which reads 104+5M which is in the centre position. Any ideas what effect turning it up or down will do?


    As for the project as a whole I've been gathering lots of wiring diagrams and info and am almost ready to put a complete diagram together, will need some feed back on that when I do.

  6. Mabrothrax


    Dec 21, 2007
    East Sussex
    Any help or opinions on the above preamp? Short of trying every permutation of soldering stuff together, I'm stumped :(
  7. MarkA

    MarkA *** Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    I'm curious about the MM/P configuration myself. Can't help with your pre, but I'm curious to see what came of your experiment in the last six months!
  8. Mabrothrax


    Dec 21, 2007
    East Sussex
    Hi Mark, well I do hav a build diary thread on basschat that I've been meaning to up date with sound clips and all.


    I had someone recreate a Sabre preamp for me.

    The controls are-
    Volume with push/pull active/passive switch
    Active Treble
    Active Bass
    P/P+MM/MM pickup selector switch
    Series/single coil/parallel switch for the MM pup.
    Active Bright Switch

    Took me a while to find a hot P pickup with a high resistance to work well with the overwound MM pup in it, but when I did the sound went from 'really good' to 'jaw dropping sexiness'.