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P/J Pickups to cut through

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by USAOwnz, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. USAOwnz


    Sep 7, 2008
    I love the low end of my P, love that shaking, but at the same time I love how the Jazz bases cut through a track. Is there anyway I can have both with a pickup replacement? I have the stock pickups.

    I like it to basses cut through clearly like with the Kooks or Arctic Monkeys (always where I need to be, When the Sun goes down, and View from the Afternoon).
  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    There are a lot of basses out there with a P pickup in the neck position and J in the bridge position including models from Fender. Mixing in the J pickup on all the ones I've tried have given the bass a more present sound with extra top end bite. That may be what you want. Try a few out and if it seems like it's what you want consider adding a J pickup to your P bass. There are a lot of good pickups out there.

    If you have to pay someone to route out an opening for the added pickup and wire it all in, the cost might be higher than trading in your current P and buying a new P/J equipped bass.
  3. USAOwnz


    Sep 7, 2008
    Heh, should have been more clear, sorry. It's a already a P/J, but I still want a little more cutting through. Like you hear in those tracks, I want to be heard and felt :D
  4. USAOwnz


    Sep 7, 2008
    Would ceramic ones be too harsh?
  5. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Only if you try eating them. Ceramic pickups aren't naturally harsh. There are good and bad ones the same as alnico magnet ones.

    Take a look at the pickups Bill Lawrence makes. They sound good to me and his prices are excellent. His P46 P type pickup is about $56 and the J45 J type pickup about $60.

    Best thing is to call them during business hours and talk to Becky Lawrence. She knows the pickups well and is very helpful.
  6. USAOwnz


    Sep 7, 2008
  7. Nope! That's not Bill Lawrence, but an old business partner who uses his name as a trademark :( Those are not the pickups you would want. The designer Bill Lawrence can be found at www.billlawrence.com.
  8. dimarzio model p and model j I have played quite a few basses with this combo they always sound great and really cut through
    and they are even cheaper than chips
  9. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    Yes, don't buy from the fake one. Get them from www.billlawrence.com

    Go to the site and find their phone number and give them a call.
  10. The kind of sound you are talking about, (Arctic monkeys and other generic indy rock bands) can be achieved perfectly in only one way:

    A P-bass, no j-bass pickup needed, into a hard driven tube amp, playing with a pick, with a hard touch.

    What you hear that makes the bass cut so well in those recording is the overdrive, i'm not talking full on distortion here, just a mild overdrive that really adds up a lot of higher mids to your tone while retaining the foundation.

    You can switch pickups, you can add a J-bass pickup to your bass, but you won't get that tone, it'll cut better but you won't get that tone.

    Aclually, with a PJ bass, when you have both pickups on, due to the frequency cancelations of the pickups you'll loose mids and you'll cut less, unless you favor one of the pickups wich wouldn't get you very far from where you are. You'd either get a P-tone or a jaco bridge pickup tone.
  11. USAOwnz


    Sep 7, 2008
    I see... so I should stick to using just the P pickup with a little overdrive?
  12. ibnzneksrul


    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal
    That is not the case. If the pickups are wired correctly (in phase), there will be no cancellation, the signals from both pickups will just be combined, and you'll hear the characteristics of both.
  13. On a jazz bass, you can clearly hear a drop in output and the loss of some mids when you combine the two pickups, that is due to some frequency cancelation. I wasn't talking about out of phase pickups, that is frequency cancellation but it's far worse and extreme.
  14. pretty much, Every band I've seen where the bass player has that kind of tone plays through overdriven SVT's. I also can very easily achieve that tone with mine.

    I'm sure that by putting some agressive sounding pickups in your bass it'll cut through better, but the tone you are chasing is the sound of an overdriven SVT.
  15. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    I have several P-J's with the SD SJB-2/SPB-2 Hot's and they cut through very well without being honky sounding.

  16. ibnzneksrul


    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal
    There is less output with both pups (vs. neck pup only), due to the naturally lower output of the bridge pup (because of where it's placed) being combined with the neck pup. There is NO frequency cancellation of mids taking place. I don't care what you think you are hearing, your claim is contrary to the electrical characteristics of a two pickup system. Find me one reliable source that supports your claim. If what you are claiming was true, guitarists and bassists everywhere would be having their mids sucked out every time they used both pickups.
  17. ibnzneksrul


    Feb 2, 2007
    So Cal
    +1, except with the SPB-2 I'm running the STK-J2 stacked humbucker in the bridge position. Good pickup combo that has no problem being present in the mix.
  18. Try this: http://www.till.com/articles/PickupResponseDemo/index.html

    It's a real phenomenon, because the pickups are at different points along the string. They pick up the various overtones differently. Some will be stronger, some will be weaker.

    In phase, you do lose some of the mid-range, while out of phase, you lose the fundamental.
  19. Ok, first I'll say that I don't want to turn this thread into a big argument since it is not at all relevent to the subject.

    That being said, what I said is based on experience and my hearing, I would gladly plug my jazz bass into an oscilloscope to record traces but I don't own one, it would however be quite intersting.

    The tone of your post seems a bit condescendent, if I'm mistaken then, I'm sorry, it's what I get from it. I didn't post to offend anybody.

    I searched a bit on the internet to find guitar pickups frequency curves and found this:


    while the article does not speak about midrange response specificaly, you can se that, when comparing the solo'd neck pickup, bridge pickup and the 50/50 combination traces, there is a big gap around the 500 hz region in the 50/50 curve, that gap is the midrange cut I am talking about, that cut is not present in the solo'd neck or solo'd bridge pickup curve.

    For the lower output of the bridge pickup, usually manufacturers wind the bridge hotter to compensate, and even if that is not done, you can balance by adjusting pickup height.

    Again, I'm not saying anything to frustrate you, it's just a discussion.
  20. Looks like i'm not alone :D

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