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P-Bass Pickups That Distort Well

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by DanGouge, Jun 11, 2012.


  1. DanGouge

    DanGouge

    May 25, 2000
    Canada!
    Wondering about suggestions for something that distorts well especially when played with a pick but without having a overly high-output "modern" sort of feel. Know what I mean? Looking to drop in a replacement for my HWY 1 Precision.
     
  2. Craig_S

    Craig_S Inactive

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    I'm a fan of Duncan pickups. You'll probably get a bunch of votes for the Duncan SPB-3 (quarter pounder). My vote is for the Duncan SPB-2. They have a nice midrange output without being too hot to sound good clean.
     
  3. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I found the stock Fender MIA pickups to be quite good, as well as the 62' RI and 57' AVRI pickups.
     
  4. redstrand

    redstrand Supporting Member

    May 18, 2007
    Saint Louis, MO
    Fool For Four Strings
    Dimarzios...especially with a tube amp
     
  5. cnltb

    cnltb

    May 28, 2005
    Isn't it the amp that distorts and not the Pickups anyways?
     
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    And in particular it is the amount of output from a pickup that determines how much it tends to cause distortion in the amp. So saying "but not with high output" is missing the boat completely.

    Now, I have owned a couple of older active basses where it was possible to make the onboard preamp distort, regardless of the amp. So that could confuse matters.
     
  7. DanGouge

    DanGouge

    May 25, 2000
    Canada!
    Well no, I'm going to disagree here. OD/distortion can occur with out high-gain pickups: turn up the gain on the amp, use a dirt pedal, really "dig in" when you hit the notes. Perhaps I should clarify here, I don't want pickups that distort regardless of gain settings or other factors, I want pickups that, when they do distort, sound good. Put another way, I have Antiquity IIs in my Jazz, if you know those pickups, you know they are definitely not high-output, but I can adjust my amp or use a pedal to get decent drive tones with them. See what I mean?
     
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I agree that the gain knob on the amp is key, but it's still not the pickups themselves distorting. I guess you're talking about the tone of the bass and amp together overall sounding better or worse when the amp is clipping, and yes that makes sense--I'd just caution that most people have not actually A/Bed different pickups in the same bass to hear how it affects the tone of their amp's distortion. And among the few that did, I'd really question whether they knew for sure whether it was the tone of the pickups causing a change, or their output levels.
     

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