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My New P-Bass! Pickup Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by faulknersj, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Kubicki Fan

    Kubicki Fan

    Oct 3, 2014
    I have a hunch if Bobby Vega or Jaco played your bass to you and noodled around for you for a couple minutes, you'd say: "WOW! That is a great sounding bass!"
    FunkyEel, BassmanM, retslock and 3 others like this.
  2. wraub


    Apr 9, 2004
    ennui, az
    previated devert
    I'd tell you what's in my P bass just so you could tell me what's in mine... ;)
    I really like them, but I don't know what they are.

    I think yours sounds good as-is.
    faulknersj and jhm2112 like this.
  3. dfoehr


    Jan 12, 2006
    If you really want to change the pickup, I would suggest a Fender Pure Vintage 63' pickup. I have a 57' P (with original pickup), two 1982 Fullerton 57' Precision reissues (one with the original pickup and one with a SD Antiquity), a USA Lakland 44-51M with a Geezer Butler pickup, a 63' AVRI Precision, and a 2008 USA Fender Precision with a Nordstrand. I like all of them but my favorite is the Fender Pure Vintage 63' pickup.
    4-fingers, WillieB and faulknersj like this.
  4. phillipkregg

    phillipkregg Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    The bass sounds great as-is...

    However, if you're hellbent on swapping out the pups, I'd go with either the Seymour Duncan SPB-1 or anything by Nordstrand.

    Both are the best P bass pickups I've ever heard.
    retslock, faulknersj and Zoobiedood like this.
  5. macmanlou

    macmanlou Don't push it. Just let it fall. Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2007
    Washington, DC Area
    For that kind of music, I'd leave the stock pickups alone for now and put a set of LaBella Deep Talkin' Flats on it first. Then play it for at least a month. Record it in a live band setting. Then decide if you want to change out the pickups.

    Even the stock pickups Fender uses in the VM and CV Squier P Basses sound great for Motown and Memphis Soul (Stax etc.) music.

    Congrats on the new bass! Quite an excellent choice for the music you like to play.
    FunkyEel, Youngspanion and faulknersj like this.
  6. Lindy Fralin
    faulknersj likes this.
  7. wyleeboxer

    wyleeboxer Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    I always find myself going back to the stock USA P pups in my 79 Fender P or any good P bass I’ve owned for that matter. OE Fenders or OE replicas (or even the new V-mod are close enough to the original P bass pup).. and that design just works for any style where u need the P tone to sit in the mix, imho. I’ve used Dimarzio model P and they sound great for one thing but maybe not another, same with EMG, Bartolini. OE Fender P design is it!

    Now a different string choice is where the big changes are made on a stock Fender P!
    macmanlou and faulknersj like this.
  8. Richie Se7en

    Richie Se7en Presently distractivated Supporting Member

    Throw a set of TI Flats on there and take a walk on a cloud. ;)

    TN WOODMAN and faulknersj like this.
  9. I wouldn't do a thing until I'd play it for a few months, maybe different strings. Right now, it's so new, I wouldn't really know IF in the long run it's just right, or if I really do need to change pickups. I'd buy Squiers expecting to possibly change pickups, but not an American Fender: If it wasn't in the ball park, it wouldn't have come home with me. I'd try several types of strings before I'd ever think I needed to swap pickups.
  10. zeb_bass


    Oct 27, 2007
    Berlin Germany
    I suggest you start experimenting with flat wound strings... eg Thomastik or Chromes ....you’ll stop worrying about Pickups

    BassmanM and faulknersj like this.
  11. BassmanM


    Feb 17, 2011
    Hamburg, Germany
    This definitely is one piece of good advice! Cannot be repeated enough. :thumbsup:
    faulknersj likes this.
  12. alaskaleftybass

    alaskaleftybass Will Hanbury, Jr. Supporting Member

    Mar 21, 2012
    Sitka, Alaska
    The bass is brand new. I think you haven't played it enough to really know what the bass is capable of. My friendly advice is use the bass as is for a month ESPECIALLY recording or live performance. You might find yourself liking how it sounds in the mix live or recorded. Fender has 70 years of experience under their belt and there's a reason they put those pickups in your P Bass. Try trusting them and give them a fair chance.
    faulknersj and BassmanM like this.
  13. andykeating


    Oct 5, 2016
    If you like it, and it sounds like you do, stick with it. The V-Mod in these basses is a brilliant pickup.
    faulknersj likes this.
  14. interp

    interp Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2005
    Garmisch, Germany
    If you must change I would suggest DiMarzio model P. I like them because they have great P bass sound and adjustable pole pieces, which makes it possible to get perfect balance between the strings.
    faulknersj likes this.
  15. Youngspanion

    Youngspanion Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2003
    Staten Island, NY
    I'd take the advise of letting the strings die down. I bought a MIM 50s P bass last year after reading the reviews on how great the sound was. I was hell bent on returning her the next day because I was sooooo disappointed in the tone and general sound of the bass. I decided that the strings must first die down a little, which they did after playing the living hell out of them and then before you know it, I was completely satisfied. I then switched to a GHS Flats via suggestions of talkbass residents and I never looked back. This is MY bass. I love it.
  16. S.F.Sorrow


    Dec 6, 2014
    I know what you mean, although I personally pluck close to the neck on ANY bass. That's just more my kind of sound, buy I'm more rock than funk.

    Actually, when thinking about it you're probably plucking in more or less the right position for the Willie Weeks sound. Perhaps you need to dig in a bit more but that slightly nasal "close to the bridge" sound is probably what's needed there.

    But the John Deacon sound is definitely a closer to the neck.

    Plucking position really is a rock vs funk thing for me.

    Anyway, your bass sounds really good already so I would definitely wait a while before replacing the pickup. I really like the V-mod. It's so smooooth and retains clarity very well when the tone control is pulled back. But it doesn't have quite the upper mid cut of some "vintage voiced" P-bass pickups to my ears. If you find it a bit lacking in that area after testing it IN THE MIX you might want to consider replacing it with something more vintage voiced. But make sure to do any comparisions at matched levels. The V-mod has slightly weaker output than most pickups so in a direct comparison it may come across as a bit weak. But when levels are matched it's easily as good as pretty much anything out there. Just a bit different.

    Like others have suggested you really need to consider flatwound strings. LaBellas will be perfect for Motown but probably not the best choice for Deacon. I would guess Rotosound flats for his kind of sound. This is the reason you need MORE P-basses! :D
    Kubicki Fan and faulknersj like this.
  17. NickFromNY

    NickFromNY Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2010
    Long Island, NY
    I own 2 roadworn P basses and I put a Lollar overwound in one and a Fralin standard in the other. Both great pickups that have a great vintage PBass tone with flats (Sadowsky blues with the Lollar and Rotosound 77s with the Fralin). Can’t go wrong with either. I also have a Lollar standard wind that I am looking for a bass to put in
    faulknersj likes this.
  18. Fine as is
    faulknersj and alaskaleftybass like this.
  19. WillieB

    WillieB Battling Bass Guitar Bulimia since 1975 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    Inconceivable ! :)

    first off .... your post has stirred gas pains.

    Second .... sounds great as is!

    Like lots of others have said .... let the strings wear in or try different ones.

    I've been through lots of P pups. My picks for pups:

    pure vintage '63 or Nordstrand.

    faulknersj and Linnin like this.
  20. Old Blastard

    Old Blastard

    Aug 18, 2013
    Sometimes better is the enemy of good enough.
    MattZilla and faulknersj like this.

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