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P-Bass Pickup & wiring questions

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Turtle71, Apr 12, 2015.


  1. Turtle71

    Turtle71 Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Madison, WI
    OK, so here’s my question, I’m hoping it makes sense…:)


    I have a 2008 AmStd P-bass, totally stock, and I’ve got a Franken P-bass with a set of Quarter Pound pickups.

    I’ve fought with making them equal in volume many times in the past, but obviously the Quarter Pound equipped bass is notably louder, and yes I could just use the volume knob to balance the two, I’ve even tossed around the idea of putting some Quarter Pound pickups in the stock bass…up to this point, I’ve been using a MXR Micro Amp to boost the quieter bass up in level to match.

    Well, after playing both basses for over a year now, I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer the sound/tone of the stock bass.

    So, here’s the question, I’d like to buy a set of “real Fender” P-bass pickups (and cap & pots if needed) to match my stock ones.

    -What year/s will sound similar to my AmStd 2008?

    -What pots did Fender use in 2008? (I’ve got a pair of CTS 250k pots already)

    -What tone cap did Fender use in 2008? (I’ve got an existing .047mfd cap already)

    Thanks in advance for any help! :)
     
  2. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    Did you try lowering the QP PICKUPS
     
  3. Turtle71

    Turtle71 Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Madison, WI
    Yup, that was the first thing I tried!
     
  4. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    Try Seymour Duncan SPB-1's
    CTS 250k ohm audio taper pots .047uf Polyester cap
     
  5. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    The QP's are going to have considerably more output by their own nature. Tonally, they kind of undo all the best things about a P bass pickup, sacrificing mids for massive lows and output. If the pots and cap are working and are presumably 250k and .047uf respectively, I'd leave them alone.

    For pickups, Fralin, Lollar, Seymour Duncan (SPB-1) and Fender all do fantastic versions of the classic design with subtle differences between them. The QP's are great for those with a specific tonal goal in mind, but a more traditionally spec'd pup will be more versatile, IMO.

    For excellent versions of the basic P design, I can personally recommend Lindy Fralin (give them a call for a great discussion on your goals, I prefer the stock wind), Fender Original (formerly 62RI), Fender CS 62RI, Lollar (similar to the Fender Original with more subtle high mids), Duncan SPB-1 (the most basic and utilitarian of the bunch, but classic P sound and definitely no slouch) and EMG makes the GZR.

    Other notable makers of the classic design are D Allen and Curtis Novak.

    Any of these would get you closer to what you seem to want and would make a great replacent/upgrade to any traditional Precision bass, IMO.
     
  6. Turtle71

    Turtle71 Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Madison, WI
    Fantastic!

    Thanks for all the suggestions!
     
  7. Turtle71

    Turtle71 Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Madison, WI
    Thanks! I had looked at those pickups!
     
  8. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    Somebody correct me if I am wrong but the Fender AM pickup changed in 2013. To make matter more complicated Fender is not always super clear on what pickup they use in their instruments. The new Am Standard pickup is a little different but not radically different in tone. I find it a little smoother in the mid-highs.

    If output is your problem, a standard wound pickup will get you close to your Am Standard output. Your statement "match the tone" is a complicated issue. Having the same pickup will get you close to output and tone between the two basses but each bass still has its own character so you might never get 100% close. Strings will make a big impact as well.

    I would not worry too much about pots and cap, they can make a difference but it should be small provided that the value of the cap is the same. And yes, it should be standard. What brand of cap should not make a difference in the tone but note however that caps do fluctuate in value even within the same style, batch and brand.

    I would question your motivation of having two basses sound the same. I can see how that might be desirable to have a similar output. But I believe we get the best out of a bass by matching it to the most suitable pickup to get the most tone. Another idea for you would be to get the EBS Bass preamp pedal. This pedal has an A and B channel that lets you adjust the gain between instruments. There are other pedals that do the same thing.

    If you still want to proceed with your plan, I would search Ebay and Talkbass classified for a pre-2013 American standard pickup. They come up all the time and they are generally under $50.
    Install it and see how close you are, if you still have tone and volume difference look at changing the pots to CTS audio tapers 250K and the cap.

    Looking at other pickup makers will be tricky. Fender pickups have a certain tone that you cannot find with Lollar, Fraling, SD, DiMarzio or Aguilar. All these pickup makers make superb pickups but none exactly sound like Fenders, particularly modern Fenders. The SPB-1 suggested aims at reproducing a 50's pickup and will have way too much highs compared to the Am Standard pickup. It's a nice pickup but it will not get you close.

    I happen to own the very pickup you are looking for but it's not for sale. I am keeping it should I resell the bass one day, I prefer turning back the instrument in its stock condition.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  9. Turtle71

    Turtle71 Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Madison, WI
    I totally see what you're saying here, but it's not so much "sound the same" but be the same overall output.

    The basses are quite different despite the fact they are both basic P-basses...one is alder bodied, the other is ash, one has a maple board, the other is rosewood etc...They are definitely different creatures for sure.
     
  10. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    OK if output is the issue, you have a wide range of pickups you can try. Stay away from Ceramic pickups (DiMarzio model P, Bill Lawrence P46) and hot pickps SD SPB-2, Lollar Overwound, Aguilar Hot.

    I would look at a Lollar or for a really nice budget option a DiMarzio Area P (that's a really nice vintage sounding Alnico II pickup).

    In general you want the pickup to compensate for what the bass lacks. If the bass is high shy you want a pickup with lots of highs for example. That in itself is difficult to hear unless you try different pickups. Good luck in your quest.
     
  11. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    Any post 2012 American Standard is going to have the CS 62 pickup. These are available aftermarket but may as well go for something voiced a little differently if that's what you have already. The 63RI is wound slightly hotter at 12k and has rich low mids.
     
  12. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    +1 on the 63 RI (Fender call it the P63 True Vintage Pickup) I have this pickup on a AVRI 63P and it does sound like a Fender pickup (that family tone) but it has huge bass and it's quite hot. The fundamental is pronounced and the overtones are limited. It sounds really different than the Standard AM Standard pickup from the Am Std pickup and you would have a significant output discrepancy.
     
    LoveThatBass likes this.
  13. LoveThatBass

    LoveThatBass

    Jun 28, 2004
    This is the pickup I liked the most. Just couldn't justify putting it in a Squier VM special Jaguar
     
  14. I personally have had the same issues with the quarter pounders. I thought they would boost my sound but it just gets too loud and messes up my amp settings.

    I am considering the custom shop '62 from fender. I have the CS60s from fender on my jazz bass and I love them. I hope the p bass pickup will do the same
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Apparently Fender doesn't make that pickup anymore since I couldn't find it on their website, but it was called the American Standard pickup. Honestly, though, I'm trying to take into consideration that people do have different tastes, but that pickup is very mid scooped, and IMHO, you can do way better for a vintage-style P pickup than that. EMG Geezer Butler and Duncan SPB-1 come immediately to mind. But if you have your mind made up, here's one on Ebay (no affiliation with seller):

    2008 American Standard Fender Precision P Bass Pickups USA | eBay
     
    Ross McLochness likes this.
  16. Turtle71

    Turtle71 Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Madison, WI
    Thanks Jimmy, I do like to hear others opinions! To my ears, they don't seem scooped, but to be honest, I'm no P-Bass connoisseur, I just know that IMO I like the tone I get from my stock AmStd bass.

    That being said, I am looking closing at the SPB-1 set, that eBay set, and a set right from Fender too (The CS '62 Set).
     
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't trust Fender for pickups anymore ;) Love their current basses otherwise. Haven't tried any of their newer ones but I hear the 63 is the one to get if you go Fender (don't go by me, though). SPB-1 is a sure thing, though.
     
    LoveThatBass likes this.
  18. Turtle71

    Turtle71 Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Madison, WI
    I'm leaning that way.

    Ya' know what would be cool? If Seymour Duncan were to install every one of their P-bass pickups into the same bass (do the same with other bass models), and recorded a sample finger/pic demo for each one...time consuming yes, but it would really cut down the guess work IMHO :).
     
  19. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    I got 63 pup in my cheap Squier CV 60P, love the tone more over than original 62 & CustomSHop 62 (American Stock).
    But CS 62 easy mix with anykind of music style ~ versatile.
     

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