P Bass pups: American Standard Vs. Pure Vintage '58 Vs. Pure Vintage '63

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Juani Vitale, Nov 8, 2021.

  1. Juani Vitale

    Juani Vitale

    Jan 27, 2018
    Good morning lovely bass people!

    Let me sum up my story: I've got a 2010 Fender Road Worn 50s P bass. Great bass. Used it on a few records and gigs, but I've always been a bigger fan of 60s style P's (rosewood fretboard, tort pickguard, and such) so I decided to build a partscaster 60s style PJ bass to complement the RW 50s and use it as my main gigging bass, since I can also benefit from the p+jazz pickup combination for a few songs.

    I Already ordered a neck and a body from Warmoth with the correspondent 60-62-ish specs but I'm a little lost on the pickup choice... The RW P is a MIM bass but according to Fender it comes with American Standard pups (they do sound great). Originally assuming it came with texmex pickups I bought a set of Pure Vintage 58s for replacement (They were also more period correct, since the RW is based on a 57 P Bass).

    The Question is: Should I be fine using the American Standard Pickups on my 60s style partscaster PJ? should I invest on a set of Pure Vintage 63s for example? should I use the Pure Vintage 58s on my new bass and put the American Standards back in the RW P? How much difference in quality/manufacture is there really between the American Standards and Pure Vintage pups?

    Just for reference, the Jazz pickups I've got to match it with is a Pure Vintage '74 (bridge)

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    American Standard pickups are plastic bobbin instead of fiber, but they're built OK. I personally am not a big fan of them as I find them lacking in mids with a somewhat thin sound in a band mix. The Fender PV '63 is a really nice pickup if you want a big sound with a lot of low end. My personal favorite is the Duncan SPB-4. It is wound like a vintage pickup(same construction as the SPB-1 with fiber bobbin/alnico V magnets), but has more mid range and sounds FANTASTIC in a mix. Its the closest I've heard to an early to mid 60's Fender(I've owned 2 Pre-CBS). The PV '63 is a good pickup too and Im sure you'd be happy with it.
    Btbp likes this.
  3. The 2012 P Standard I picked up recently came with QPs, and they don't have the sound I want for this flatwounds bass, and from what I've read the 63s were what I thought would do it, but your comments about the SPB-4 sounds compelling.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    It’s a seriously great sounding pickup. There are a lot of really good pickups out there including the ‘63 AV, so I can’t say the SPB4 is necessarily the best for everyone, but as a pro player needing versatility it’s definitely up there for me. It’s got a tighter bass response than the Fender so I find it really balanced with flats.
    Btbp likes this.
  5. DavidBassista


    May 21, 2014
    The Custom Shop '62 P Bass pickup is very good.
  6. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Yah, good in scoop way compare to both PV 58 & 63.
  7. If limited to those options, then '63

    If open to potentially better options;

    Kline Epic '59
  8. vinnydbass


    Feb 4, 2008
    FWIW, in my experience the Fender Original '62 and the PV 63 sound similar, the 62 having a bit more highs. I prefer the 63, but the difference was minimal and for the money the 62 was 40$ cheaper.