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Newbie ? - Replacement pickups/tuners for Fender Mex. P-Bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jbroses, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. jbroses


    Sep 26, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I've been playing bass for 10 years, but only recently got serious about it. I got a '91 Fender Mexican P-Bass that's in pretty good shape. I'm interested in replacing the pickups, tuning pegs and possibly electronics to improve the quality. I found a TON of stuff on ebay, not sure what to get. I play indie-pop-rock kind of music, heavy at times.

    My main questions:

    1) What kind of pickups are good in the $50-$100 range (used, mabye via ebay).
    2) What kind of tuners work as replacements? I've heard they have different diameters, and you might be out of luck if you get the wrong kind.
    3) Is it worth replacing the electronics (tone & volume knobs)?

    Thanks in advance...
  2. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Hi there!

    I hope you don´t find this rude but this question has been answered many times before here.

    Just use the search function. By using the search and typing in the words: precision pickups
    I got seven pages of results in the Pickup forum alone.

    Search = Good! :)
  3. jbroses


    Sep 26, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Unfortunately, I find those posts haven't answered my question after looking through them for an hour. Too complex, and those seven pages of posts have very little content on the cost/availability of pickups. I'm just hoping someone can give me a little bit of advice for someone who doesn't know a whole lot about this stuff, but needs a place to start. Thanks!
  4. Philthy

    Philthy Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2001
    Flanders, NJ
    PICKUPS: I'm a big fan of Seymour Duncan Basslines pickups. They have the Quarter Pound P-Bass pickups (they are used in the Steve Harris Fender P-Bass). Or the Seymour Duncan "Hot For P-Bass" pickups. I have those in a custom P bass that I made. I like them alot. Check out www.basslines.com for more info.

    TUNERS: Most Fender style "elephant ear" tuners are pretty much standard size. You can get Schaller, Gotoh and HipShot....these are more expensive top of the line type tuners. They could run anywheres from $60 to $100 for a set. Places like www.allparts.com, www.stewartmac.com and www.dguitarparts.com carry these. Or you can always check Ebay for tuners. You can find alot of stuff on there expensive to no name brand tuners. I believe I have a set of Ping Tuners on my bass. I think they might carry those at guitar center. They were affordable and do the job well.

    ELECTRONICS: If the wiring seems good and the pots aren't "scratchy", then I don't think you need to change anything.

    I hope I was some help.
  5. jbroses


    Sep 26, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Excellent... good advice. From reading a bunch about the Quarter Pounders, they seem to be right for what I'm looking for (more defined mids while still getting the booming P-Bass low tones). I found a set on ebay for $70, which seems reasonable. Thanks!

    The tone pot IS a bit scratchy, so I'll definitely replace that, but maybe I should replace the volume pot and jack as well? I've soldered before, but never on a bass, so I may look for some advice, or go to a guy I know who's real talented at that kind of stuff.

    Thanks again, and more opinions are always welcome!
  6. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    As far as hardware goes, a new switchcraft jack and Hipshot hardware (bridge and ultralite tuners w/elephant ear keys) would be great for the look and performance you're going for. Also, as long as you're replacing some of the electronics, and upgrade in pots probably wouldn't hurt....as long as you don't change the value of the pots to something that wouldn't be correct for your bass. If you really want to get serious, having the control cavity shielded should also reduce noise and 60 cycle hum from your pickup and electronics (if that has been a problem you've experienced before). Good luck! :D
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Somehow i dont think www.basslines.com is the right site.
  8. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Just curious, why not? Basslines is the brand name for Seymour Duncan bass pickups. basslines.com takes you to the SD page.
  9. Don't forget to consider the DiMarzio pickups. I have the DP146 Will Power Middle in my 2002 MIM P, wired for series/parallel operation.

    I had the Duncan SPB-2 (Hot P), and did not care for the brazen mids it had. The more over wound (hotter output), the more mids it seems to have. Kind of like turning the MID control way up on my preamp. Not my sound. I replaced it with the DP146.

    I bought a new Duncan SPB-1 (Vintage P), but have not installed it yet. The reason for the SPB-1 is my P has no thump. It is starting to appear the thump is not so much my pickup, as it is choice of strings. This adventure is continuing in a different thread.

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