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P/J pickup set for a big fat low end

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by davidrxz, Oct 29, 2017.


  1. davidrxz

    davidrxz

    Oct 29, 2017
    Chicago, IL
    Hi, I'm new in the forums and recently started to play bass, I've got myself a Squier Jaguar bass short scale, it's an awesome bass and really enjoy playing it.
    I've been considering modding it and I really like fat low end bass tones, so I'm looking for some advice here, I've been reading some old threads and the Seymour Duncan quarter pound set seems to be a popular option, but many people say that these are more 'punchy' so to my thinking these are focused to get more high end tones (?). Also for changing the pots, I'd like to know which pot value should I consider to get more fat low end.
     
    PawleeP likes this.
  2. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Welcome to TalkBass, and welcome to the best instrument on the planet! :)

    There are many different pickups sets available that have vastly different tones. But for a beginner, I recommend trying out a few different types of strings first. They’re much easier to install, and cheaper (somewhat) than pickups. And just like pickups, there is a vast array of choices, all with different tones. For “fat low end”, consider a set of flat wound strings, such as from La Bella. For a deep tone with a bit of high-end sparkle, nickel-plated steel (NPS) roundwounds are the ticket. And for in-your-face sizzle, stainless deliver. These are broad generalizations, there is much more discussion over in the Strings forum.

    Www.bassstringsonline.com is run by our own TB member @SLaPiNFuNK , he and others can comment further.

    Since your Jag is short-scale, be sure to purchase short-scale strings.

    Lastly, practice different plucking techniques - plucking nearer the neck yields a rounder tone than nearer the bridge, and using different fingers/thumb or different fleshy sections of your fingers/thumb can make a big difference too.

    Edit: also read through Squier Jaguar Short Scale club. (and parts 2 and 3 of the thread).

    Have fun!
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
    PawleeP likes this.
  3. I tried the SD SPB-3 with matching J-pup in my Jag SS.

    They didn't seem imo a good match for the Jag. Took them out and went back stock for now.

    Also tried the Geezer Butler set in the same bass.

    Wasn't good imo either.

    Thinking maybe Nordstrands..
     
  4. MAJOR METAL

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Supporting Member

  5. Can I ask what amp you are using?
     
    Big Shrek likes this.
  6. 99% of the "I want a fatter tone' threads originate from people using under powered, under-cabbed, cheapo amps. Before you do anything to your bass, take it to your local music store (if there is still such a thing) and try a nice big amp. Then, I predict you'll realize that it was not your bass but your amp.
     
  7. sikamikanico

    sikamikanico

    Mar 17, 2004
    Don’t get hung up on words, punchy means different things to different people. As for getting lows, QPs should in theory do, but it depends on what exactly you’re looking for, and as others have said it may also depend on strings and your amp... different models of the P or PJ pickups also don’t sound that different, as they share some key design characteristics.

    So I agree with figuring out strings first (flats, maybe tapes?). Also, did you try EQ the amp differently?

    Also, how are you playing it? I find it that a lighter touch closer to the neck produces nice fat lows. You may need to adjust your action too... while you’re at it, pickup height can influence the tone - it’s easy to mess with and see what you like.

    If you mess with the electronics, get higher value caps, like .1 or .068 uF (or is that nF? I never get the units right). But that’s not necessarily the kind of fat tone you’re looking for...
     
  8. groove pump

    groove pump

    Oct 24, 2006
    Uh-oh...

    Gotta ask - have you compared the sound of this bass against others that you've used when playing with a band or are you thinking you need more lows based on the solo sound you've heard in your own practice space?

    I ask this because I was playing a Jazz bass for several years that gave me a boatload of lows, but not enough audible mids that cut through the mix very well when gigging with the band. This was a passive parts Jazz with DiMarzio Ultra J humbuckers. Big, warm, and smooth with a slap sound that could put me at least in the neighborhood of Marcus Miller (I ain't no Marcus!!), but I eventually found some better mids when I solo'ed my neck pickup.

    Later on when I added a different bass to my gear, I got a custom P/J with active EMG's and a two-band preamp on board. This bass got everyone's attention because my sound had a LOT more authority in the mix. Our guitar player actually asked me to turn down at one gig - this was truly a first!

    The active P/J was the band's favorite, but I didn't like its tone when I'd play it at home. Too much of that midrange "honk" that didn't sound so smooth or pleasing to my ear in the woodshed compared with my Jazz. I've thought about swapping in a passive set of pickups and maybe keeping a preamp on board, but considering how well this bass "plays with others", I'll probably leave it alone. Pickup swaps seem to be a gamble and I've been disappointed with a couple of adventures in the past.

    So that's where I'm coming from on that front. As far as adding pure low end is concerned, I found an Aguilar DB-924 outboard preamp some years ago which offers boost only in the bass and treble freq's, along with a volume control. This thing is essentially sonic fatness in a box. While it's not THE solution to your problem, I think that something like this could be a consideration. I like this gizmo because I can fill out the low end of anything I plug into it - and it worked great on the P/J I mentioned above. So there's a thought... or three.
     
  9. BassLife77

    BassLife77

    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    wire pickups in series and hear how it sounds. If you like the sound add a switch. When I want a thick bottom I switch to series mode
     

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