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P-bass pickup distorting?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cjazz50, Feb 23, 2002.


  1. I have a '72 P-bass and the pickup on it seems to distort when I dig in. I like the sound overall, but it gets ugly when played too hard. It this a normal characteristic of Precision pickups? I like the acoustic sound of the bass when played hard, but the sound is not making it through the electronics. Are there any reaplcements that would eliminate this problem?
     
  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    What are you plugging it into, and have you plugged it into another amp. P-bass pickups should not typically overload the first stage of a preamp designed for bass guitar. If you are plugging it into a contemporary amp, try the active or padded input, whichever provides the less gain. If it distorts no matter what, it is probably either a pickup or wiring problem. I am assuming there is no preamp retrofitted into this bass.
     
  3. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have anything to do with what I plug it into. The sound is not at all like solid state clipping. It is more like the string is vibrating partially outside of the pickup's magnetic field. Also the sound doesn't change when I turn down the volume on the bass. I've tried raising the pickups. That has no effect. There is no preamp in the bass.
     
  4. MAybe get the bass professionally set up, so that the pickup's polepieces are lined up correctly? Either that, or get pickups that do not use individual polepieces. But, If that bass were mine, I dont know if i would want to modify a '72 P.

    First, we do know that the pickup isn't distorting because of its high output. As far as I know, fenders, especially older vintage ones, DO NOT come with high output pickups. This to me suggests that maybe the pickup needs to be checked to see if the wiring is faulty. Even though the electronics aren't active, that doesn't mean they are the reason for your problem. A '72 P shouldn't distort very easily, at least not like a Basslines or something.

    I'm a newbie so I dont really know, but I'm just trying to think of things that could help. Hopefully i helped. Good luck.