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P vs Reverse P, what’s better?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BassAndReeds, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Split coil pbass pickup design is octave matter, respect to Leo Fender theory !

    But, the main problem is thin string on D and G.
  2. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    I don't have a preference on 4 string. If I were to have a 5 with a split coil P, I would reverse the orientation. Preferably have a BEA coil and DG coil. This way if there is any extra articulation to be had, it will be on those lower strings.
    Nedmundo and ctmullins like this.
  3. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    Have been a little interested in doing a mod that includes the Bartolini 2CBJD-type (passive) single pickup in the traditional P location. From what I gather, if you get the 6 wire quad coil, you can put in a 3-way switch, and have P, Reverse P and all 4 segments. From reading this thread, consensus seems to be the P/Reverse P might be a negligible difference. Although - I am imagining all 4 coil segments at once being more in the MM territory. That sound about right?
  4. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    If the 4 coil segments are in parallel, it will sound more Stingray-esque, if the coils are in series, it will sound more Pbass. A G&L L1000 or Peavey T45 are basses with dual coils in the P sweet spot, which will still have much more low end and low mids vs a pickup in the tighter, punchier Stingray sweet spot. The Stingray pickup location is about 2 inches towards the bridge compared to a P spot. The SR pickup is centered at about 30.5" from the nut, a P is centered about 28.5".
    Wfrance3 likes this.
  5. Wfrance3

    Wfrance3 Supporting Member

    May 29, 2014
    Tulsa, OK
    Wow. Was not thinking about 4 segments series/parallel. I was all thinking about the 4 segments in terms of splitting two of the 4 segments via 3 way toggle.

    classic p shape
    reverse p shape
    all 4 of the segments simultaneous

    Did not think about the series/parallel aspect. From what I gather, the consensus is that the p/reverse p is a negligible difference. The positioning of the pickup would be a bigger difference. And I am sure the series parallel would be a big difference.

    Might be more useful to have:

    Classic p shape
    All 4 series
    All 4 parallel

    And then locate the pickup as would be appropriate. I’m thinking classic p in the stingray spot might be an interesting choice...
    PawleeP likes this.
  6. ctmullins

    ctmullins fueled by beer and coconut Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Within the Stingray milieu, reverse P is more historically correct.

    Peter Weil and sikamikanico like this.
  7. GBBSbassist

    GBBSbassist I actually play more guitar... Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2010
    I doubt I'd hear much of a difference unless they're being A/B'd right in front of me. Additionally, I doubt I'd hear a difference in a full mix.
  8. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    I think there are clips somewhere around here of JohnK with his "jazzmaster" bass - he did this with a quad coil musicman pickup. I remember liking the two P options (classic and reverse P; and they DID sound very similar), but not so much the parallel or series options of all four coils. But, the devil may be in the details - such as pickup location, strings, EQ, technique... there's a lot one can mess around with!

    Also, as you move the pickup towards the bridge, the reverse P might work better than the classic P (if you chose one over the other), like that prototype Stingray ctmullins posted above... Then again, if you have a quad coil, why not try all the options, see what you like?
    Peter Weil and ctmullins like this.
  9. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    I listened with headphones and with the basses used considering the fact one was mahogany and the other ash, it seems there was more midrange apparent in mahogany Mockingbird. The difference between the two examples is something a good EQ could make negligible.
  10. BassAndReeds


    Oct 7, 2016
    Sorry. I don’t agree at all. A reverse P doesn’t sound like a P. And you can’t get there with EQ. The wood type is having minimal effect.

    It’s the placement of the pole pieces (due to reversing them) that is making a majority of the tonal change. Regular P senses the string further toward the neck than a Reverse P. Resulting in a deeper “burp” in the lower 2 strings from the position. You can’t EQ in that “burp”, it’s just there or not.
    Peter Weil and PawleeP like this.
  11. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  12. PawleeP


    Oct 8, 2012
    East Coast
    umm, confusing.
    Mushroo likes this.
  13. imurrx


    Jul 12, 2019
    Personally, pickup hight is more a factor than the P vs -P.
  14. Amalgam


    Apr 3, 2016
    Like others have mentioned, it evens out the balance, and to me it's very noticable, and a lot better sound wise in my opinion, but this comes at a big cost as the range of sound is severely limited. It's great when you just love the sound of the bass, but otherwise, it can give you a limited range that you won't like.
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