P + MM 5 string. Opinions?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Waabs, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. Waabs

    Waabs Employee, Musical Instrument Retail

    Aug 1, 2004
    I've got a 5 string G&L neck that I'm making a body for and am considering putting in a Bartolini P in the neck and a Bartolini MM in bridge. Does this sound like a good idea? General opinions?
  2. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    i think a P and a RioGrande Powerbucker or somethign similar, something that you can coil tap the real pup to get a good P+J sound to it, or switch to full on and cut the P to get a nice funky MM type sound.
  3. bluzmakr


    Nov 20, 2003
    What would you use for the p-style pup? Bartolini? Sadowsky? I don't think anyone else makes a 5-string p-bass pup. The sadowsky comes in a set with a j for $300. Thats a bit steep.
  4. dcr

    dcr Supporting Member

    I've got a Bart P in my 5-string Frankenbass. LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! Did I mention that I like it a lot? I'm using a Basslines MM5 in the bridge position.

    This bass is a work in progress. It started out with Volume only, and I've now wired it V/V/T. Next phase will be active electronics (probably 2-band Bart pre). After that, I'll replace the Bassline p/u.

    I realy love the sound of this bass, even as a passive instrument. The Bart P gives it a decent old-school tone with treble rolled back and cuts fair with treble up.

    Not sure what the Bart P runs price wise, but probably in the neighborhood of $125.00. The Sadowsky might be a better pickup, but I'd recommend the Bart in a minute!

    Hope this helps!

  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I don't do 5's so I'm not familiar with your pup options, apparently, for P's, it's very slim pickings. But having bought lot's of different 4 strings pups of various configurations, from a practical standpoint, you might give some thought to installing a neck pup configuration that maximizes your options - whatever that might be for 5's. I've probably had about 30 sets of pups and I found one set for sure and maybe two or three sets I really like. If I only had two pups that would fit the bill, there's no way I would route a bass for that configuration. Even if you knew you liked a given pup, the acoustic properties of a given bass can change that. Unless a 5 string P routing will fit within the confines of an MM 5 then you're going to be stuck if you're not satisfied - unless you throw a custom pickguard over a reroute.

    Personally, I'm a J tone guy but I like a good P sound and I haven't ran across a P yet I would use alone, which to me is the main appeal for having one. That's with Barts, Dimarzio, and SD so far. I've got a Fender coming so I'll find one eventually. So far, I've gotten better P tone out of some J's than a P. In fact a good P tone - but I want to find it in a P pup. I've also gotten a good P tone out of a Carvin MM pup set in bridge position (closer to bridge than standard MM) in an acoustically dark bass.

    Another thought if you're really up for a P pup and want to get a little crazy, to my knowledge, the only thing that makes a 5 string pup such is that it's wider. I see no reason why you couldn't just take a 4 string P and spread them to cover 5. You're outside strings are normally only covered by a single pup on a 4 so what would it matter if it were 3 strings instead of 2. And there are lots of 4 string P's out there. And yeh you have the wrong number of poles in a 4 with poles but, aside from moving them, you can be off considerably and it will still pick the strings up fine - ie Ken Smith and Fralin J45's for 4 or 5 string basses. And once you get one set to work, other 4 P's would work as well. Probably would look wierd but you could get an idea of that by just laying them out.

    You could also throw a bridge with lateral adjustment to lend some flexibility for string width. I have Schallers on all my basses since I might have an MM in the bass one time and the next a set of Rics or EBO.
  6. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    Bill calls his offering the p 4,6. His reason behind the name is that it can be used on four to six-stringed basses. The pole pieces will only line up normally (one pole on either side of each string) on a sixer. I have one on a four string mexican Fender. It is a very good sounding pickup and very reasonably priced. Tone? Fat & clear, no mud that I can hear.
  7. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    Actually it wasn't Fralin but Lawrence I was thinking of - those I heard about from Dharmabass. A pair of Smith J45's I have. There's not many 9 pole pups around but I ran across another set of 9's on ebay the other day by another manufacturer - Fender or Dimarzio come to mind.

    By the way, are those Lawrence pups single's? The Smiths are stacked HB's. Don't remember much about them but there's a review on them at Dimento's J pup experiment if you're interested.
  8. spiritbass

    spiritbass Supporting Member

    Jun 9, 2004
    Ashland, MO
    I think they are single coil but am not positive. Ken