More of a P-Bassy sound on an Ibanez SRX?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by gupjek, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. gupjek


    Oct 3, 2012
    I was really hoping that I just have some first problems with the handling of my SRX 360. But after some months and a lot of trying, tweaking and so on, it seems that I just don't like its sound too much.
    Everytime when I think that I found an okayish sound, I compare it to my SR 300 DX ("reversed p-bass"-split-coil & single coil-pj-setup). And in direct comparison it is clear that the SRX' sound lacks a certain "something". (Both have maple necks, the SRX has a mahagony body and the SR has an agathis body.)

    But I really dig the look and playability of the SRX and I at least wanna try to make it work for me.
    I think I'm looking for more of a P-bass-styled sound. I searched the board and found quite a few posts about exchange PUs, but not with the P-sound angle to it.
    I assume it is not possible to enlarge the carving (dunno the correct english term for this) for the PUs without damaging the finish so I was only looking for soapbar PUs with matching dimensions.
    Couldn't find any off the rack PUs that could fit my needs except the EMG 35P4, 35PX and 35P4X. Those are split coil PUs in a soapbar housing, correct?
    Seems like the "X" stands for the advertised "increased headroom". But what is the difference between the 35P4X and the 35PX then? Are all of the three mentioned EMGs active?
    Seems like I'd have to exchange the electronics as well.
    What can I expect from the EMGs? Is that a good way to go for a P-bassy sound?

    It doesn't necessarily have to be a split coil PU anyway. I played a Squier 50s Classic Vibe P-Bass with a single coil PU and it sounded frikking awesome to me. So I'm open for any other recommendations that might fit the description and will fit right in there :)

    I also read that some users just kicked the electronics and play the SRX' stock PUs in a passive wiring. Could that maybe do the trick already?

    (If that is relevant - I play mostly hardcore punk, punkrock, noise rock and 70ies stonerish stuff)
  2. Bass Growler

    Bass Growler

    Jul 10, 2015
    Just go get a P-bass, you know you want it...;)
  3. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    The 35P(X) is for narrow 5 strings with the 'split' for the coils offset so that the center string is over a coil.
    The 34P4(X) is for 4 strings with the 'split' centered, so 2 strings go over each coil.
    They're all active. It would be nice if EMG offered the Geezer P (passive) in a 35 Series housing...
    AFAIK only the 'Select' series were passive soapbar shaped.
  4. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    The Alnico SRX pickups are more full range IMO than the ceramic ones (same shape/size) and are in the SRX 600 and SRX 700 series.
    With those, the 2 band pre is ok (you can add a push-pull bypass switch) and to get more mids, cut the bass and treble some and crank the amp gain and volume to compensate.
  5. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    BTW: You may be able to find the Alnico SRX pickups in the catalog at '' but you'll have to search for 'Ibanez pickups', then scroll thru them if you don't have the part numbers.
  6. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    I would call up Nordstrand and ask what they recommend. You could simply get a big split in an emg size casing (which is fairly standard product for them) or do something semi-custom for a very close P-like sound, such as putting an inline split jazz coil into the emg casing or even doing a custom split P setup, inside the casing. I think they even have a special pickup wind called "El Camino" which gives sort of a snarly midrange, in Jazz type coil. Kinda like an a Dimarzio Model J, which is often said to sound like a P-bass.

    Or you could try an an Alnico III product, which will give a softer edge to the upper mids. Depending on which P bass tone you are looking for....

    They don't charge a bunch extra for their custom pickup work, provided they aren't winding an entirely new pickup design.
  7. gupjek


    Oct 3, 2012
    Thanks for the answers.

    I'm from Germany so maybe Nordstrand isn't the best option for me (customs fee and such), but yesterday I found an enthusiastic recommendation for a bass PU-winder in Germany.

    Two days ago, I also talked to the bass guy at the big local music store and he strongly recommended not to change PUs. He said, that he did this with an Ibanez bass way way back (changed to Barts) and that in his opinion he got very little improvement in sound for a lot of money.
    He said that the overall construction and the materials used influence the sound way more than the PUs.

    Well, I am aware that the materials and construction are a very important base for the sound of an electric string instrument, but the major parameters for the sound are the PUs, electronics and placement of the PUs, aren't they?

    That store clerk made me doubt the whole PU-exchange-thing. Because with two PUs, maybe electronics and the installation (don't know squat about soldering and PU adjustment), I'd probably be at least at $300.
    That would be fine if it works out like planned, but that's a whole lotta money for a mod-fail.

    Is it unrealistic to expect the SRX to sound like a proper PJ-bass (in the vein of the SR300, but, you know...better :D) after I get a PJ-PU-set in soapbar housings installed? Or is that all just a huge waste of cash, because the sound characteristics are determined by something else...?

    (And yess, I'd glady save up for a proper PJ-bass, but I can't find any with 24 frets and a nice lean neck. Seems like Fender doesn't even have 22 fret 4-strings available for the european market at the moment. There are interesting 22 fret J- and P-basses by Sandberg and Sadowsky, but those are waaay out of my financial reach. Ok, there is one Sandberg J-bass with 22 frets for approx $650, but then I'd still have to change the PUs for a P-bass(ish) sound.)
  8. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    I have swapped around a lot of pickups in about 4 different basses.

    Changing pickups can make a very large change to your tone. That bass will never sound exactly like a P-Bass. But with a P-style pickup in an EMG soapbar shape, you could get pretty close. The SRX pickups are very different from a P bass pickup. You can make a large change ; )
  9. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    The SRX pickups are wide aperture dual-coils, and high output, passive.

    A 'P' style pickup in a soapbar shape will have split-coils like a split P, but in one case.

    An EMG 40P (X) may fit, tho it's active.

    Bartolini may have a split-coil in that size that's passive, but the output may be considerably lower.

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