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P bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DreamJazz, May 9, 2003.

  1. I have a fender american p bass and I was just wondering if it would be easy to add a jazz pickup or even a humbucker to the bridge so I can get a bit more snap and growl for my metal tone ?

    If this can be done then would it be easy to make the added pickup an active one seeing as how the bass itself is currently passive ?

    and also could another dial be added on for the seperate pickup so that it could be turned off when not required ?

    How expensive would somethin like this be to have done ?

    Sorry if these questions are dumb, I just figure that having an american P-bass I'd like to expand its range further without getting another bass.
  2. mikgag

    mikgag Guest

    Mar 25, 2002
    Buy a G&L SB-2;)
  3. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Instead of butchering up your bass, why not just trade it for somethig that you want.
  4. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I agree. A single pickup USA Fender P is classic bass, but if it does not give you the tone you want, it's time to shop around for another bass.
  5. Despite the negative view point of the previous posts I have added a Jazz pickup to my bass as it was over £200 pounds cheaper than buying the hot rodded P bass, which in my opinion was a rip off. It cost about £125 pounds sterling including the cost of a Seymour Duncan 1/4 pound jazz pickup and a Gibson style three way selector switch. Fitting active pickups will get more difficult, you are probably better of adding a preamp, like the raven labs unit designed for the P bass. You have various options for the wiring, you could add a pickup selector switch, like i did, a second volume dial or a pickup balance switch. Another idea i have seen is to wire them completely seperately and have a stereo output connected via a Y lead to two amps. Nice if you have two amps! The pickup selector switch will not require any control cavity routing if you use a micro switch. Alternately add another dial where the output jack is and have the guy move the jack on to the side of the body. It is all possible and in my experience most guitar tech's can do it so just decide what you want and speak to your local tech.
  6. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    That's what it cost you now. No matter how professionally done, these kind of mods cost you twice, once when you do it and again when you try to sell it.
  7. adding a J pup is a sort of industry standard now as a variant on the P
    mine is a californian series which already had the J pup
    the vols and tone fit ok into the scratchplate but you would need either to
    A fit a side jack
    or as the forumite from the midlands did put a switch in
    personally the switch is the better solution giving one vol and a good source for the tone cut on the hot lead into the vol pot. elsewise you end up with the disastrous loss of vol you get with jazz basses on part vol and using tone cut.
    as for active..put the electrics outside the body either on the floor or nearby on your rig...its cleaner and saves a lot of routing and battery access procedures...
    thats just my opinion..if i had bought a ready made active model i probably would back that as the way to go:)
  8. DreamJazz, I'm assuming you'd have to have all the work done for you. I'm also talking New York City prices. To have your bass routed PROFESSIONALLY and the price of the pickup and all hardware, etc. could run you up to $300. Unless you really want to customize your present bass, I'd suggest selling it and looking into one of these three basses:
    http://www.fender.com/gear/gear.php?node_id=2535 About $500

    http://www.fender.com/gear/gear.php?node_id=2543 About $600

    http://www.fender.com/gear/gear.php?partno=0195262 About $1,100

    There have been a lot of discussions here about customizing stock basses. Most members agree that unless you really want your own bass done exactly as you want it, it's cheaper and less frustrating to buy a bass that'll give you what you want stock. Many members have put hundreds of dollars into customizations and said most of the time they lost money when they eventually sold the customized bass.

    Good luck.

  9. I have a Ibanez P/J combo bass...

    and to tell you the truth,I get a nicer metal tone from just having my P all the way up,and my J all the way off...

    it's nice and punchy too...

    putting both on full,kinds of mellow out the sound,and doesn't give it that nice "attack" I want for my tone...

    so...it's your decision,but for me...the J is crap for metal :p

  10. thats strange
    i have a pan pot for the P/J and seldom do i bring in the J
    i sometimes feel its degrading what a P should be..
    its in my mind but i play P all the time..occassionally experimenting with a J added then quickly switching back to the P
    my P/J however has a J neck and that is a value added piece of design
    P body J neck P/J if needed and a brushed ally plate..
    the colour is vomit yellow and i think you know that colour with the tobacco stained edges..:cool:
  11. well I'm kind of leaning toward getting a mighty mite humbucker put on the bridge, this is why I don't want to sell the bass. The P certainly has its own sound that I love to use alot, but I also want the sound of that humbucker available.


    May 7, 2003
    go play a few fender jazz and p-bass specials,they have 1 of each pick-up and they sound great(especially the japanese ones)and there are some called the "POWER SOUND" model that have active p-ups. so befor you trade or butcher your bass go shop around and get an idea of what your ideal bass sounds like and go from there.:bassist:
  13. Could someone explain the definition of "forumite"? I am not sure if I am supposed to be insulted or not.....

    Also with regards to reselling my bass, I had already done mods to it before adding the pickup, so i wasn't bothered about adding it. It is also only an issue if you plan to sell, I don't. I love that bass and have several others that will be sold long before that one.
  14. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Wow. I actually agreed with you on something, Turock!

    Mods aren't really that great a thing, unless you're keeping it, and chances are, if you're throwing mods into it, you probably don't want it. I found I did that to a couple basses before I realized I was just trying to save a corpse.

    Get it all the first time. If you want more snap, get a G&L L2000 or something simmilar.
  15. I just have a different view point on this.. I don't like having a bass that anyone else could have, I like to have something that represents me. So adding a different pickguard, a ashtray etc and making a great sounding bass a little more versatile seems like perfectly reasonable thinking. If i don't want to make a bass mine THEN i think i should sell it, but if i love it enough to not even contemplate selling then why not make it truely mine, not just another bass i could see down the local shop? As I said i am not arguing with the viewpoint that modifying is a bad idea if you are going to sell, but if you are not why not make it a statement about you.
  16. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I completely understand. I have that same glitch "I want MY bass!" but when you say "I want a P bass, with new tuners, new bridge, new pickgaurd, rout in two new pikcups, replace the pickups, put in an active preamp, defret it and refinish the bass"

    Well...shoot, why'd ya buy it? Something like some cheap ashtrays or a a pickgaurd, sure, but when you overhaul the bass from the get-go, that's when you're in trouble.

    Not that I'm opposed to stock basses, though, not at all.
  17. I agree, I would not start adding preamps etc my list of conversions consist of an ashtray, pickguard, knobs, D tuner, and routing and adding the second pickup. Thats it job done. I now have a bass that offers everything i wanted and could not find in a production bass. I wanted two pickups but did not like blend or two volume controls, I wanted a fourstring that i could easily detune, and I wanted an ashtray without having to spend the £500 pounds extra of getting a 50's or 60's MIA reissue. Not everthing is available on production basses and I do not know about you but i can not afford Custom Shop basses quite yet.
  18. Personally, my bass isn't going to be getting sold I love it too much and its my first bass of my own so it has that sentimental value for me. It is the bass for me and I love the P bass sound, I just want to expand its range even more.
  19. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    How about a new body from Warmoth (or similar)?

    I would guess the cost of a new body wouldn't be much different than the cost of modding your Fender. Plus, you could get a rear loading control cavity that would leave room for a preamp.

    The popular J Retro (John East) preamp is also available without the J plate and is called a U Retro. Contact Dude at Vintage Bass Trading Co. for more info (or visit www.thedudepit.com).
  20. Mattski


    Jan 6, 2003
    Cleveland, OH
    Before you route your favorite bass, try a Raven Labs P-bass reamp. It's easy to install, it's only a hundred bucks (from the dude) and it requires no modifications to your wood:D !

    It will expand the sounds of your P while maintaining the current sound as well. (And you can always yank it out and sell it if you hate it.)