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P Bass series-parallel switch?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by frits51, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. frits51

    frits51 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    Heath, Texas
    Hi, everybody.

    Using info and schematics I found here, I installed a series-parallel switch (push-pull on the vol knob) on my MIJ Jazz and wow, what a difference! New sounds available.

    I now own a P bass as well. I'm installing Bill Lawrence's P46 pickup, CTS pots and tone cap switch per this TB thread - http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f38/multi-capacitor-tone-control-737912/

    Wondered if series-parallel switching would get me anything.

    I don't have any sound in particular I'm looking for.

    Anybody done that to a P bass before?

  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    on a J, series gives a big fat boost and a new, chunky sound.

    on a P, parallel just gets you the same sound but weaker.

    the one exception i've run into is with super-hot pickups like the dimarzio split P, where each side is itself a little humbucker; that one sounds great in parallel, almost as strong but a lot clearer.
  3. frits51

    frits51 Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    Heath, Texas
    Thanks Walter!

    That's all I needed to hear.

  4. JTE


    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I had my Jazz Bass Special (P/J bass) wired with a S/P switch on the P coils, using Duncan Quarter Pounders. Switching the P coils to parallel worked nicely with the J coil, but I never cared for it with the P coils soloed.

    When I went to a Duncan Steve Bailey preamp, I discarded the S/P switching.

  5. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    I'm still using the S/P on my P/J but I agree with the above only being perhaps a bit less impressed with it. I put in looking for new tones, but really never found anything I liked. It's still there but basically never used. So all I can say is what JTE said.
  6. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    I'd tend to agree with Walter. Wiring a JBass for series makes some sense as far as adding some tonal options but when you wire a PBass for parallel I think you're subtracting rather than adding.

    Those split coils in series in the "sweet spot" are almost all of what makes it what it is.
  7. Angel LaHash

    Angel LaHash

    Aug 24, 2012
    well i was thinking of making adding a Jazz/MM pick up to my P-Bass
    i know the pickups are a lot differnet and was told not to mix them as too much out
    Maybe put in a 2P2T (on-on-on) or a 3way switch .

    i got another filter switch to make tho i am a bit scard
    as i think i would have to cut in to the guitar to make space
    (i got exam coming up so have to put back doing it)
    {i could make it outside the guitar, wire it in and see how it sounds before putting it in tho}
  8. soulman969


    Oct 6, 2011
    If you're not certain how well you're gonna like it why not just stop by a music store and pickup a bass with a P/J pickup configuration and try that first before you start experimenting.

    If you like the combination then you can do the mods or better yet simply trade your PBass in for a P/J model and save yourself all of the headaches involved with the mod. Especially since you'll need to rout the body for the Jazz pickup and add a volume and tone pot for it.
  9. Angel LaHash

    Angel LaHash

    Aug 24, 2012
    oh no sorry .. not the mm P/J pickup
    its a MegaTone Switching what im worried about cuttign in to the guitar
    I dont mind about the P/J thing as its normaly so i know it works
  10. Steve Dallman

    Steve Dallman Supporting Member

    I put a series/parallel switch on my 64 P bass back in 1976. Parallel was slightly thinner, with a little less volume and quite like a J pickup, but still humbucking. If I added a J pickup between the P pickup and bridge, I'd add a push/pull pot and wire the P pickup in series/parallel.

    In a headless, zeebrawood Explorer bass I built in 1980, I had a Dimarzio J pickup and P pickup, but I reversed the order. (why put the weaker pickup by the bridge?) For switching I put a Series/off/Parallel switch for each pickup. I used both series and parallel with both pickups and loved the tone of each.

    Attached Files:

  11. iunno


    Dec 16, 2010
    It could be useful if you need a thinner tone, it pretty much sounds like a Jazz neck pickup. Some songs don't work as well with a thumpy tone.
  12. -Asdfgh-


    Apr 13, 2010
    I think one of the switching options in a Westone Thunder 1A (Single P pickup, but later versions are under a soapbar like cover) is series-parallel. But that is also combined with an active-pass switch and a filter-type EQ in active as well as standard tone so those additional options cloud the picture a bit.