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P-Bass Replacements

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by and_Justice, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. and_Justice


    Jan 14, 2000
    I have a American P-Bass, maple. Im not happy as i could be with it's tone. I'm thinking of replacing the pickups with Barts, or something. Im looking for a less treblee sound. Any advice?
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Well, I got a P coming to me with EMG's. I'll let you know then, but I think I may go back toward a passive route, slapping another pickup in their and going with a V/V/T control plate like a jazz. May be letting the EMG's go cheap, I'll let ya know in a week or so.
  3. There is a lot of information in this forum that is found using the Search function.

    I've been through several P pickups and posted my observations on them.

    When you change the pickup out of your MIA P, it ain't gonna sound like a P anymore.

    Bye, Bye Thump.
  4. Mattski


    Jan 6, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    I recommend the Seymour Duncan Basslines SBP2 Hot pickups.

    High output (for passive), loads of thump, not as barky as a stock p pickup, more low end, less highs. Still has the organic P sound.

    Nice, thick tone.

    Of course this is just my opinion. Good luck!
  5. One man's trash vs another man's treasure...


    Interesting observation on the SBP-2. It was my first replacement pickup in my MIM P, and I instantly hated it.

    Zero thump and MUCH louder than the stock pickup. Loudness was very even across all strings. Tone was similar to turning the Mids control all the way up on my SWR IOD. Lots of cut-through, but the tone was not for me.

    I replaced it with a DiMarzio DP146 Will Power Middle. More lows, more grind, still no thump. I have a Duncan Vintage P ready to install, because I want the thump back. I use an L1500 when I want grind.
  6. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    P-bass tone, IME, is all about technique. I've tried a lot of pickups and have so far settled on the Duncan SPB-1. However, when I had an Am. Std. P-bass, I tried a couple of different pups and went back to the stocker. When I had my MIJ P-bass, I tried several pups and ended up with an Am. Std. pup. The SPB-1 is very similar.

    If you put a Bartolini in your P-bass, it will sound like a P-bass with a Bartolini in it. I'm not a big fan of the "Bartolini sound," especially in a P, because it's not P-ish enough. Unlike Bruce, I have a bass that I really like the SPB-2 in, although I think he is using TI flats, and I didn't like the TI flat sound with this pup. Way too middy, as Bruce points out. Sounds excellent (to me) with D'Addario Chromes however.

    The gods of the P-bass, guys like John Deacon and Peter Cowling, used stock basses as far as I know, and I really dig their tone. After years of trying, I'm getting close to that thumpy, deep, yet defined tone, and it has more to do with how you use your fingers, where you pluck, etc. and things like that than your specific pickup choice. Some pickups (like the stock pickups in my el-cheapo Washburns) won't do it. But there's a wide range that will, if you do your part.
  7. I've never had anything on my P except TI Flats. They are 'middy' sounding with the SPB-2 and with the currently installed DP146.

    Using the exact same set of strings between pickups, I noted the stock pickup had by far the most thump. The SPB-2 had none, and the DP146 has none.

    I have an SPB-1 strictly on recommendation of TB players who own an SPB-1, but have not installed it yet. Perhaps I should install that set of DA Chrome Flats I have laying around, and see how it sounds before replacing pickups again.

    The TI Flat tension is neither here nor there for me, but the flatwound feel sure is important.
  8. i have many p basses, bothe american and japenese, i've replaced them all with seymour duncan antiquity's with the raise A pole, all i can say is FANTASTIC !!! now all my p's sound like my 62 p-bass !!! thicker sound, more growl and better definition, i've also changed out all the wiring on them to the vintage cloth type as found in my 62....seems to be responsible for the the growl ? also some pots found in p's really suc, try changing out the pots and rewiring with vintage cloth, you may be surprised. ijust picked up a highway 1 p bass and changed the pots to vintage american pots and the pickups came alive and were much brighter and punchier, adding the antiquities gives it the low definition and growl of my 62 yet still has a very warm sound with the tone cut.
  9. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    The new Nordstrand single coils just came out (two models that are drop-in replacements for 4-string jazz basses), and the P model should be out soon. If you're willing to wait a bit, a Nordstrand vintage-style P would be a great way to go. Going with vintage specs (or having the pickup overwound a bit) might help you tone down a bit of that treble, as the hotter you wind a pickup, the less highs you have.

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