New PJ pickups and matching output levels

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by FenderLiborBass, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Hello everyone,

    I'm considering buying some new pickups for my squire PJ bass.
    My main concern is, I want them to have the same output level as the stock pickups in my MIM 70's classic Jazz Bass.
    The sound I'm going for is the vintage 60's/70's Fender P (J) growl, like the first Black Sabbath albums, and Deep Purple live in the "Burn" era.

    I'm having difficulty choosing between these two sets:
    Geezer Butler signature PJ EMG pickups
    DiMarzio DP 126 pickups

    Or, this might sound crazy, put for instance the geezer signature P pickup in the middle position and put a DiMarzio J pickup in the bridge position?

    I'd love to hear your suggestions, because I'm pretty lost in this...

    Thanks in advance!

  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    jimmy M has been apparently having success with the geezer set. (wait, i meant the pickups, not his audience banana.gif )

    no point in mixing, the J and the P from that set should work together like they're supposed to. besides, the dimarzio "model" pickups are gonna be a little further away from the classic '60s-'70s vintage fender thing you said you're looking for. now a dimarzio area PJ set, or even just a nice vintage-style P from the likes of fender or duncan, alng with the dimarzio area J bridge, would do very nicely as well.

    also, i would let go of trying to make the two basses "balanced", P pickups are just louder.
    Arvin likes this.
  3. acebase62


    Jun 29, 2010
    X2 on the Dimarzio Area P+J set.

    Vintage sounding, Alnico II magnets, hum cancel J, and the 2 pickups are very well matched, IMO.

    (Area P J set is DP 251)
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    I have a bass with DP126 PJ's and one with Geezer PJ's. The DP126's have a sound for sure, but they are way hotter than your typical vintage style pickups, and have an overly hyped low mid and reduced highs. Good for some things but not what I like to use on a regular basis. Based on your description, the Geezers are way more up your alley. Vintage style output, fantastic tone, very even.
  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I am not familiar with the Geezer signatures, but I would caution against mixing pickup sets. My PJ uses a Fender P and a Dimarzio J (Modded by me).

    They are NOT balanced! They are only balanced when the P-bass coils are hooked in parallel (which generally you do NOT want ...series/parallel is wired on a push-pull volume) When P is in series (as is normal) the P is about 80% hotter than the J. This means you have to pull the volume (it's vol/vol) on the P back about 80%. Not the end of the world or anything but just a bit of a pain. A matched set would be much better. The advantage of using a real P-bass pickup is that when the J is turned off it really sounds like a P-bass. Sometimes in getting PJ pickups balanced in level, tone suffers and then people say the PJ with P soloed doesn't sound like a real P-bass.

    Sounds like as Boomy says the Geezer set are just what you want.
  6. MothBox


    Oct 25, 2010
    I use a mixed PJ set of Bassline P and DiMarzio J.

    The reason I set it up like this is because it came stock with Semours but the J was a single coil and gave noise when soloed.

    I put a blend in so I can get some treble from the J mixed in with the thump of the P, as the P is the dominant sound I want.

    Set the pickup height so the P is pretty low and the J is close to the strings and although there is a difference in volume its not really that noticeable and its definitely nnothing a slight volume knob adjustment won't fix.

    Even with the Duncan set the P was louder. I think its just the nature of the P bass. Thumpy and loud.
  7. divetone


    Jun 25, 2012
    I have a Geezer PJ set and the P soloed is louder than the J soloed but it doesn't bother me as my primary interest is in the P tone. If I want to solo the J pup I just turn up the amp volume. I play my Jazz bass for J bass tone.
  8. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I had the Geezer PJ set for a while. Great pickups but the P way overpowered the J. Went with a Nordstrand set for better balance because I use a 50/50 mix a lot. If I used the P solo more I'd have stayed with the Geezers.
  9. Hi everyone,
    Thanks for your responses!
    To clarify, by balanced, I meant the total output level of the PJ bass shouldn't be much higher than the output level of my Jazz Bass.
    Anyway, I've ordered the Geezer signature pickups, as I've gone through the entire 70 pages on the thread on them, and after reading all the reviews, and especially after hearings Jimmy's recordings, I'd made up my mind.

    Thanks for all your input!

    I'm already looking forward to playing "A National Acrobat" with these pickups...:bassist:\m/

    JimmyM likes this.