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P-pickups NP4 vs. Fender '62 (soundclips included)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nemo, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. Fender stock

    13 vote(s)
  2. Fender Original '62

    59 vote(s)
  3. Nordstrand NP4

    55 vote(s)
  1. nemo


    Mar 19, 2004
    Ok, I think this deserves a separate thread. When I was buying my CIJ PB62-78US I thought about changing the pickups. Although I found that their standard pickup called "US Vintage" is the pickup Fender gives to their American Standard series, I felt the replacement pup could do good to the bass. The main contenders were Fender Original '62 (which is standard in US RI62 models) and Nordstrand NP4.

    At first I bought the NP4 from bestbassgear.com and then in a couple of weeks in the local ad the '62 pups appeared so I bought it as well, just to make sure I did not miss anything with going first for NP4.

    When I was in deciding phase I was desperately looking and could not find the direct comparison between the two, so now I made these soundclips to help the others in the same shoes...

    So the bass is CIJ PB62-78US, strings are DR Sunbeams 45-105 deadened a bit after several gigs, recorded direct to computer just with a compression, no eq or amp sim.

    Soudclips are without and with drums and using various techniques - fingerstyle, palm muting, pick and slap. Enjoy. ;)
    fender stock-new.mp3 - 2.43MB
    fender 62.mp3 - 2.43MB
    np4-new.mp3 - 2.43MB

    I know each preferences are different so I will not go to raving about one and dissing the other. Let you decide what you like.
    At the moment there is a '62 pup in my bass which I put there yesterday first time for the soundclip recording and I will keep it there for couple of gigs to see how it works live. Until now I liked the NP4 very much, but I will try the Originals for some time as well.

    Edit: Added the new soundclip for stock Fender pickup.. Now things get interesting.. :)
    Added the poll too.
  2. SUNNyday r.

    SUNNyday r.

    Oct 17, 2006
    Bay Area
    Fender 62 all the way! The other one sounds gutless.
  3. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    They sound so similar. The NP4 is a little more full range. The 62' sounds more subdued. But I like both. Hence my reason for wanting the NP4 for rounds and the 62' for flats. :) I'm going to be a 2) P kinda guy.

    Thanks for the clips!
  4. Sound of both pickups is equally great.

    Sound of CIJ pickup in your other post is somewhat dull and weak when compared to NP4 & 62 RI.

    To my ear, NP4 is slightly more hi-fi than 62 RI.

    But 62 RI is also freat sounding.

    BTW, I use NP4 on my Fender 9050ML strung MIJ P.
  5. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Splitting hairs big time! I like the stock (for a big round rock sound) and the nord (for a more hi-fi sound thats still thick and fat) best. The 62RI pickup sounds slightly dry/airy/clacky to me. They wind those pickups for tons of top end extension, which is cool, but the execution doesn't have a lot of personality.

    I have the RI pickup in my '71P and I often think of swapping it out for a nord or an eBayed '70s pickup.

    Too bad there are no Duncans in the poll ... those sound great too.
  6. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I wish they'd make a P for 5ers
  7. Some pickup makers take cutsom orders. I'll be making a set for myself in a few weeks. I can't speak for Nordstrand, so don't quote me on this, but I have heard that they do make custom pickups for customers who request for extra strings and so on.
  8. They're all pretty good, honestly, and not as different as I was expecting. One thing I do know is that I yell "UNH" and start bobbing my head everytime the drum loop comes in...
  9. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    I think I like the 62 best, but I really can't tell. None of them sound like my P though. Is yours ash? That might be the difference, mine is alder.
  10. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I liked the NP4 the best. Best overall tone and I imagine it both shaking the room AND cutting through the best.

    Of course, the 62 and the NP4 were EXTREMELY similar in tone. I would imagine a SLIGHT tweak in the tone knob would drastically alter the tone, even moreso than changing the entire pickup from 62 and NP4.

    The stock pickup isn't even in the running for me.

    Either way, great sounding bass!
  11. Sean Baumann

    Sean Baumann Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Livin' in the USA
    Ok, relistened with my decent headphones. The NP4 and 62 are pretty close, I decided to go NP4. Other sounds samples I have heard mirrior what I think about the current sound of my P. It is muddy in the lows. It is actually kind of out-of-hand with my Aguilar rig. It gets mushy and undefined. Plays great though :) I'm guessing I will dig the NP4.
  12. eljaydub


    Sep 24, 2007
    Webtroll, you know there's a nordy NP5 for 5 strings right?
  13. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Late to the party (just saw this linked from another thread).

    Splitting hairs between the 62 pickup and the original (IMO, no need to change from the original). I much preferred both of these over the NP4, especially on the picked and slapped sounds.
  14. man why did I sell my fender p all those years ago ..
    I think the 62 is the p'est sounding .. big fat round .. possibly lacking a little deffinition it just oozes all over .. which is a great thing

    np4 is great a little more definition a little less ooze .. by that I mean you can hear every little thing thats going on there . fingers strings etc and its a little less round

    both really great sounds .. excellent clips too
  15. To my ear, there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between either fender pup with the exception of the 62 sounding just a hair warmer. A little more presence I guess. Purchasing the 62, would be more of a thing just to say you got em'. A little tweak of the pre gain would recreate the same warmth that I am hearing.

    The NP4 makes it sound more midranged and more top ended. It accentuates the notes more, though, it does loose some bottom. I feel like you can really hear your playing style more. Your technique is more audible. If the 62 is the butter, the NP4 is the hot sauce.

    YMMV. IMO.

    Sorry, I am getting excited about possibly owning a P. I'll find out in a couple of days. Nice licks by the way.

    For what I would do, my vote goes to the stock pup. For you, the Nordie.
  16. Lately, I have been feeling like the thread killer.
  17. FatCity


    Apr 30, 2002
    Lexington, SC
    Endorsing Artist: Howard's Crispy Fried Chicken Skins
    The 62 jumped out at me- bite and bottom. The stock would be my second choice, nice and round. The NP4 was a distant third, IMHO.

    BTW, Nice groove.
  18. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    anyone knows if there is a difference between the "62 original" and the pickup Fender currently markets as "original P Bass"?

    to further complicate things:

    the picture shows a 62 original but what is "Original (standard)" supposed to mean?

  19. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Interesting thread. I have a NP4 in my current P. But, I thought long and hard about getting a 62 RI. The high regard on TB of the NP4 pushed me in that direction. One day I would like to try a 62 RI set.
  20. madmarvin

    madmarvin Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    Ontario, NY
    Wow I was totally shocked. To me the fender stock sounded the most natural and were much more interesting than the other two clips. Total opposite of what I thought going in...

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