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Motown, Jamerson P tone

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by lamarjones, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Hi, I just picked up a '90 MIJ P bass. Pickups sound pretty good, but for whatever reason I'd like to get as close to a motown sound as possible. I got the LaBella Jamerson flatwounds on this, so I am looking for a pup to throw in. Granted the stock pup is not too bad, just wondering if you guys got any recommendations. I see they make a 62 re-issue pup, is that what I am looking for?

    If you got any faves on P pups with flatwounds, I'd like to hear them in general as well, regardless of if it is the Motown sounds.
  2. Texx


    Sep 10, 2004
    I installed the ´62 reissue in a MIM P-Bass.
    The stock PUs were hotter but the 62 PU defintely has that vintage thumb, i use rounds though. Love the sound.
  3. Texx


    Sep 10, 2004
    To define it more:
    Stock MIM: growl
    '62 reissue : thumb
    at least in my bass.
  4. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
  5. I have an "Original '62" in my P-clone and I love it. I also use Fender 9050 flats on that bass and it thumps like crazy. Fralins are also excellent pickups, but the '62 delivers what I need. The Duncan Antiquity is also a good choice.
  6. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    +1 on the Fralins! :)
  7. Have you tried putting a piece of sponge under the strings near the bridge? That's how you achieve part of the thump.
  8. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    smear some lard or something on your strings to "relic" them ;)

    then raise your action to about 1/2" off the fretboard :D
  9. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Seymore Duncan SPB3 quarter pounders have a nice warm round sound. Can be very punchy as well.

    ps> I'm using Rotosound66 as well
  10. Beefbass

    Beefbass Guest

    Feb 4, 2001
    Nordstrand NP4 :hyper:

    Lindy Fralin would also be a good choice, especially since he'll custom wind them to your liking.
  11. chrisp2u


    Aug 15, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    Yeah, I think a big part of the Jamerson tone was that he never, ever changed his strings and they were apparently pretty nasty from one firsthand account I had read a sometime time ago.
  12. Nighttrain1127

    Nighttrain1127 Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    Near Worcester MA
    The Seymour duncan Antiquity II is the oneclosest to the sound your are looking for of theones they make. the Quarter Pounder as the spb3 is known is the modern sounding sterile sounding pick up. If you are looking for the vintage vibeI would say either Nordstrand NP-4 Or the Frailin p pickup these will get you closre and give you some extra too.
  13. Wont the Fender "vintage" pickup do the trick? - I'd have thought a vintage pup bass and a PODXT with the Jamerson amp/cab/settings (bass on full, treble up 3/4) would be prfect
  14. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    Huh.........the PODXT Jamerson setting..........Well, I'd think you'd just need a P bass with flats. Seems strange to me that you'd mention a POD with trying to get the Jamerson tone.... :eyebrow:
  15. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    Thanks fellas. I think either I'll hit up the original 62 or call Lindy Fralin. I definitely apprecite the input! I am pretty sure I'll never change these flatwounds, so pretty soon there should be some fine grit up there!
  16. ]

    Haven't you ever noticed that the tone comes as much if not MORE from the amp than the strings? - sure flats will help, but using that pod (or a real B-15) is really the ONLY way to get exactly the same tone in my experience
  17. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Another vote for the NP4. I have one in my MIA Standard P-Bass and it has a great vintage tone. To approximate the Duck Dunn/Jamerson tone I've put a set of D'Addario Chromes flatwounds on my bass and it sounds as funky as all get out. For me, the Nordstrand NP4 does the vintage P-tone flawlessly.

    And another vote for the Fralins. I've also heard great things about Duncan's Antiquity pickups and Aero Instruments pickups as well.
  18. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    Great point Chris,
    I was just reading a fascinating article about Jamerson's Funk Machine. It said that the Funk Machine's action was set so high that it was unplayable for most other bassists, and that it's foam mute rested snugly against the strings. James never adjusted it's trussrod so it's neck was warped. For strings he put LaBella flats on it when the bass new in the early 60's. He never changed strings after that unless a string broke, and he would only replace the broken string. He never wiped down the strings or cleaned off it's fingerboard. He believed if he removed it's grime, it would "lose it's funk".
  19. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    I'd be willing to bet that if Jamerson would have plugged straight into the board (which may have been the case many, many times) than he'd get the same tone.
  20. +1

    to get the Jamerson sound, you first need a decent thumb and wrist mute technique (practice), then some decent flats that are well worked in (time and practice), and finally a decent vintage sounding pickup. IMO...the cheapest pickup you can find will probably accomplish this as well as anything. You don't need "high tech" for vintage, you need the opposite.

    Lindy Fralins will work as will Nordie NP4's as will Bill Lawrence, as will a cheapo pickup ripped out of a Yamaha RBX...

    In completing this 3rd step of the puzzle. QP's will probably not work as well, neither will any humbucking P-pickups, neither will Dimarzios, Barts, or EMG's.