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P Bass build, single or split coil?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by No Coast Rider, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Hey guys, I've been wanting to do a Warmoth build for a while and I've decided to do a P Bass since that is the one tone my Lakland 44-02 can't copy very well. I like the look of the classic single coil P's but I have never seen one in person to try it out. I used to own an MIM P/J with the split coil many years ago that I gave to my brother in law and really loved the tone.

    So my question is; how does the single coil sound compared to the split coil, and which should I go with in your opinion? Will the single give me a lot of hum? I'll probably string this bass up with flats.

    Also, I really like the tone switch the Squier VM Telecaster Bass has, how can I get/wire up a setup like that? I would just buy that bass but I'm not crazy about the 32 inch scale and 1.7 inch nut width.

    Thanks guys.
  2. jsbarber


    Jun 7, 2005
    San Diego
    If you want to replicate the traditional P-sound that would be the split-pickup humcancelling pickup: James Jamerson, Bob Babbit, Carol Kaye, Wilton Felder, Max Bennett, Duck Dunn, Pete Cetera, and on and on. The only bassist that comes to mind who uses the earlier precision model (51-56) single coil is Sting, although I'm sure there are some others. So if you're wanting to play the classics with an authentic P sound you go with the split coil. If you prefer the sound of the single coil and want to sound like that, then do that. For a pre-CBS authentic sounding split pickup I strongly recommend the Aguilar 4P-60. It's terrific.


  3. Technotitclan

    Technotitclan Lurking TB from work

    Mar 1, 2012
    Rochester, NY
    I can't comment on the single coil sound too much as I only used one once a long time ago however I can tell you that to almost all the P bass sound they think of is from a split.

    If you do decide you want a single noise should not be a problem with good grounding, solder connections and copper tape.
  4. I find the single coil p to almost sound like a jazz pickup. That said, a single coil p is my next planned bass purchase, subject to change of course. I 'm covered with split ps, p/Js, Js, mudbuckers etc. Don 't have a Rick, either...

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