Mustang vs Precision pickups difference

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by IgorRomanovsky, Dec 20, 2020.

  1. IgorRomanovsky

    IgorRomanovsky

    Sep 25, 2019
    I have a MIM Mustang PJ bass. I tried different p-style pickups in it, and I want a brighter sound, with more upper mids and heights. I learned that real Mustang (rounded) pickups would sound exactly that way versus precision style pickups. I’m thinking about getting Duncan custom shop Mustang pickups. A couple of questions

    1. Am I right about my sound assumptions about mustang vs p pickups?
    2. Can I fit mustang pickups under covers from p pickups?
    3. Any possible issues with string spacing, different positions of screws to mount pickups?
     
    JRA likes this.
  2. Which pickups have you already tried?
     
    JRA likes this.
  3. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    1. Probably. Depends on the details, but yeah, tall and narrow pickups like Mustang tend to be more hi-fi sounding than short and wide pickups like P.
    2. & 3. If you go the custom route, just talk to Duncan about making them to fit the P bass.

    Or, if you have not yet tried them, try Wilde P46, I think they do what you're looking for really well. They're more tall and narrow type pickups, at least compared to most P pickups.

    Since you have a PJ, just get a set while you're at it. They're on sale for the holidays: Holiday Set P/J Bass
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2020
    IgorRomanovsky likes this.
  4. Bassiclees

    Bassiclees Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2020
    Dropping Dimarzio Relentless P and Model J in my MIM Mustang PJ tomorrow, will advise.
     
    IgorRomanovsky likes this.
  5. IgorRomanovsky

    IgorRomanovsky

    Sep 25, 2019
    I tried SPB-1, Antiquity 2 and EMG Geezers, all sounding pretty the same, so that’s why I want something radically different. Unfortunately I cannot find on YouTube any direct comparison of Am Perf (mustang round pickups) with MIM Player (p pickups).

    I have Traveler TB-4P bass with Duncan Designed Mustang style pickups, and it sounds much brighter than any other bass I have, even having medium scale.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2020
  6. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    Have you tried the mustang pickups from your Traveler in your other bass? Then you will know of it gets you closer before trying new pickups. It could be the bass itself. Even basses with the same designs, woods, and pickups can sound quite a bit different.

    Have you tried other strings? Different strings can make a huge difference...

    Finally, a wiring trick can help you, tho it won’t blend the same with the J pickup. If you wire the P in parallel, it will sound much brighter, perhaps too bright. But then you can add loading caps to fine tune it’s resonant frequency to your liking.

    but sometimes nothing works, some basses just sound like they do. I still recommend Wilde P46 is worth trying for what you’re trying to do, but I tried it in two of my P basses and the basic sound of each bass was still there with any pickup. The solution was finding the right strings for each bass and embracing their basic sound rather than fighting it.
     
    J_Bass and IgorRomanovsky like this.
  7. KenB

    KenB

    Jul 15, 2008
    Yellow Springs, OH
    I have seen several threads over the past couple of years where someone wants to replace a P pickup with a Mustang pickup in a P-J pickup configuration.

    If you try to replace the P pickup with a Mustang pickup in any P-J bass you will run into an IMPORTANT issue...
    The ONLY Mustang pickup that you should consider, that I know of, is the one specifically made by Fender for the American Performer Mustang Bass.

    The problem is the difference in the phase relationship between the halves of a P pickup and a "normal" Mustang pickup. They're very different, and you'll run into phase cancellation problems when combining the M with the J.

    Read this post:
    Pickup upgrade for American Performer Mustang Bass?

    and this one (with the followup posts):
    Picked up a jmj and wondering about the AweSome tone control mod

    The Mustang pickup in the American Performer is designed to work in combination with a J pickup.
     
    Valerus, J_Bass and IgorRomanovsky like this.
  8. IgorRomanovsky

    IgorRomanovsky

    Sep 25, 2019
    Thank you all guys for your input!

    I will try to find am perf mustang bass pickups and will check Wilde as well.

    And yes of course I tried different strings. So many. I probably spent a half of bass price on different strings (and probably whole bass price on pickups, which luckily found their home on my other basses). My current favourite string set is LaBella LTF. The perfect feel and pretty good tone that lacks some definition I get from the same strings on long scale.

    Here is the reply I’ve got from Duncan support:

    I'm sorry, but we are not able to fit the Mustang bass pickups into a P-bass housing. The dimensions don't match.
    I would recommend the Vintage P-bass pickups for something that sounds closest to the Mustang bass pickup.
     
  9. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    I’m surprised Duncan won’t fit a mustang pickup inside a P bass cover. I’m no pickup maker, but as far as I can tell they’d only need to use larger P-sized flatwork. I could be wrong, but I’d contact a few other pickup makers like Nordstrand and Curtis Novak. Or Sentell, he makes oddball pickups, he might do what others don’t...

    Another idea would be to get a new pickguard with proper holes for mustang pickups. But I’m not sure if Mustang pickguard are all the same size, or if you’re looking at another custom order (an expense).
     
    IgorRomanovsky likes this.
  10. IgorRomanovsky

    IgorRomanovsky

    Sep 25, 2019
    Yeah, custom pickguard is a good idea I want to explore. I usually order pickguards at WD music, need to check with them.
     
  11. SLPimp

    SLPimp An Injury to One is an Injury to All Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2020
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    So far as I know the Am Perf Mustangs aren't voiced the same as a Vintera or CIJ (or even Squier).

    Mustang pups are different from. P for sure. Have you tried an EQ or OD pedal? Something like a VT bass or an 808 style drive (Vertex Dynamic Distortion is my fav) can add some of that without switching bass or pups.

    Or try a Squier CV Mustang bass on the cheap. They're pretty great little basses for the price.
     
    IgorRomanovsky likes this.
  12. Bassiclees

    Bassiclees Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2020
    I've been making my own 'custom' pickguards by ordering adhesive paper and using an Xacto. Works super well, will be posting up in Mustang thread with a relevant build soon once I finish up installing my Dimarzo Relentless P and Area J on my PJ.
     
  13. 75Ric

    75Ric Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    Connecticut
    Have you called Lindy Fralin? I don't know if they make pups that will fit the Mustang, but they do make PJ pups and will do custom winding for different tonal palettes. Their bass pups are excellent, so might be worth a call.
     
    IgorRomanovsky likes this.
  14. 75Ric

    75Ric Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2019
    Connecticut
    Another thought: Fralin (and maybe others) will rewind other maker's pups. They might be able to re-wind your pups to get clearer mids, etc.
     
  15. PotsdamBass8

    PotsdamBass8 Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    The tone you’re describing sounds like the Nordstrand NP4A. Nordstrand also happens to make their own Mustang pickup, and does custom work all the time. I would give them a call and describe what you want. They’ll either recommend the NP4A or tell you if they can make their Mustang in a P shape.
     
    IgorRomanovsky likes this.

  16. Love the Wilde PJ set. I have them in a Warmoth unlined maple necked with GHS Tapewounds. Great sounding bass.
     
  17. kevinpmajka

    kevinpmajka Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2013
    Phoenix
    You can totally get a replacement American Performer pickguard for that and pop a traditional mustang pickup in there. I vote for the JMJ pickup. It's great. It's like a P pickup, but instead of being a giant P Bass sound that goes < and gets bigger, I find it goes like this at the frequencies =. It's punchy and big but doesn't envelop the room like a precision bass sound.

    WD = Link

    On WD - not a big fan of their tort if you are thinking about tort. Check out Pickguard heaven / chandler music.

    Or see if want more of a vintage vibe check out this place on ebay - I don't dig the shop in person - but they make some awesome pickguards. (They are local to me).

    Link.


     
  18. KenB

    KenB

    Jul 15, 2008
    Yellow Springs, OH
    Just to check... This is an interesting thread, but you guys ARE discussing modifying a Mustang PJ, right?
    One with a J pickup?

    Please re-read post #7 above, and the links:
    Mustang vs Precision pickups difference

    You need a specially designed Mustang pickup to combine with a J.
    NO traditional Mustang pickup will work right when combined with a J pickup, not even the "normal" boutique/aftermarket ones.

    The M pickup MUST have opposite-wound coils and opposite polarity magnets to work.

    I bet any of the custom pickup makers could easily make such a beast. Otherwise, the only available choice I know of is the pickup that comes in the American Performer Mustang.

    I am NOT a troll... I am NOT a troll...;)
     
    IgorRomanovsky and kevinpmajka like this.
  19. Phaidrus

    Phaidrus

    Oct 25, 2009
    The V-Mod Pbass pup is arguably the most hi-fi and trebly one. Low output but very clear and defined tone. I like it for modern jazzy/funky stuff with the appropriate strings (D'Addario NYXL or Pro Steels or similar).
     
    IgorRomanovsky likes this.
  20. IgorRomanovsky

    IgorRomanovsky

    Sep 25, 2019
    Thank you everyone for your input! Some updates from me:

    1. I've got a "Fender Mustang Bass Pickup Set, 0057829000" from eBay. Not sure about the country of origin, some people are referring to these pickups as Duncan Designed.

    I've put some foam into p-bass pickup covers to fit these mustang pickups and then installed it in my bass. Attaching pictures.

    What can I say about the sound? I definitely like it, it seems to have more punch, dynamics, clarity, comparing to Duncan Vintage (SPB-1) pickup.

    Of course, I recorded my bass before and after. When doing a/b comparison, I cannot distinguish the records, honestly. I was able to hear the difference between SPB-1 and GZR previously, but not now, and that is surprising.

    But the nice fact is what these new Mustang pickups blend much better with Fender Noiseless J-pickup. SPB-1 was overpowering it. I have a blend pot to control it, but now it works even better. I did not notice any phase/cancellation issue.

    The only issue I have, besides the ugly look, is the alignment of polepieces to the strings. I'm gonna order a custom pickguard from WD, it will cost me around $75, more than a pickup price.

    2. Here's the reply I got from Nordstrand

     

    Attached Files:

    • 1.jpg
      1.jpg
      File size:
      35.4 KB
      Views:
      73
    • 2.jpg
      2.jpg
      File size:
      30.1 KB
      Views:
      98