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Passive P + P... What do you think?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by RBrownBass, Dec 14, 2004.

  1. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I'm working on a project bass (P body w/replacement J neck). This all came about because I found a translucent blue P-bass for real cheap, and saw the kit/project potential immediately. While waiting for my Mighty Mite J neck to arrive, I have become reacquainted with the P-bass sound. Most of my electrics have been J-style (either single coils or model Js), and I'd forgotten just how nice a P-bass can sound.

    Anyhow, I think I'd still like to be able to get a bridge pup sound, and since the bass doesn't yet have a bridge pup rout I have the option of going with a bridge P rather than a bridge J. The Fender Precision Elite look has always intrigued me, so I'm considering going P + P. But the etronics will be passive V/V/T or stack knob VT/VT. Has anyone tried this combo? Can I expect to get a good tone with a P pup in the bridge, even tho the bass will be passive?
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I used to own a BC Rich bass with a DiMarzio P-P setup. The bridge pickup sounded fine, fatter than a J bridge and no hum.
  3. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    That's what I wanted to hear. I know the BCRich was probably reverse P (where the D/G coils are closer to the neck than the E/A coils), but I think I'll be okay anyhow. My bass is a P-bass copy, with standard P in the neck. I'm going to have a standard P rout done for the bridge pup over the holidays. Thanks!
  4. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Warwick Buzzards are a dual P setup...
  5. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I love P+P.
    Very underratted pickup configuration.
  6. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    In the Motley Crue biography, there is a picture of Nikki Sixx holding a P+P bass which is covered with blood. :)
  7. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Okay. So we all agree that P + P is a good thing. Now, my next question is, is standard, passive P + P a good thing?

    Some of the replies I've read refer to basses that are reverse P, IIRC. My concerns may be unfounded, but I'm worried that the D/G strings may be too thin with a soloed standard P in the bridge position.

    I bring up the standard/reverse issue only because I'm no longer prepared to pay for two routs -that is, a re-rout of the neck pup cavity to match the bridge rout if I were to go with reverse P- and a new pickguard. That's because the neck doesn't fit as I thought it would (see rant below), so I can't install it myself. If the neck had fit, my budget would allow for two routs, so I could choose between standard and reverse P for both pups. As it is now, I can afford only one rout. And having a standard P in the neck with a reverse in the bridge is ugly, and therefore unacceptable. So my options are:

    1- A standard P in the normal place, and a standard P in the bridge V/V/T (additional hole drilled in pguard for the vol pot)

    2- A standard P in the normal place, and a standard P in the bridge with stack-knob V/T + V/T

    3- No bridge pup at all (leave the bass as is). This will be my choice if the consensus is that a standard P bridge pup will thin out the D/G strings too much.

    Which of these sounds best to you? Thanks again for answering all these questions.

    [Rant] The J neck has arrived, and the heel is a few mm wide for the neck pocket. That puts me at risk of going over budget because of the extra cost of having a luthier widen the pocket to accept a neck I assumed would fit without any mods other than drilling and alignment. I was prepared to install this neck myself. Now, I'm going to have to pay someone to do it for me. Message to the gods of replacement Fender-esque parts- standardize the CNC coordinates (or whatever they're called) for this stuff, please, regardless of who makes it or where it's made. There's absolutely no reason in this day & age for neck heel, pickguard, or pup cavity differences from one damn Fender-style four-string component to another. Any kit bass' parts, whether from Fender, Warmoth, Mighty Mite, Guitar Parts USA, Saga or wherever, can and should be made to match like Legos. This has cost me time and will now cost me money. Make it so. [/Rant]
  8. Nocturnal

    Nocturnal Abuser of Thunderbird Shaped Objects. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2002
    Chandler, Arizona

    This bass has the same layout that you are talking about doesn't it? The original owner was looking for it in the "gear wanted" section. I guess he was sorry he sold it and was trying to track it down again. He seemed to really like it.

    I was planning on doing a similar project early next year, so I'd be interested in what happens with yours. Keep me posted.
  9. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    Yeah, that's exactly what I'm planning. Thanks.

    But if I don't manage to get rid of this "wolf tone" (this is the same bass I'm talking about in that thread), I may just leave this one as is and build yet another J-bass, or get a J body with two P routs from Warmoth and go from there. I'll post a pic of whatever I end up doing.
  10. Larzito


    Aug 1, 2000
    Dallas, Texas
    I've never tried the double P config, but recently started playing a Fender P Deluxe with the P/Double J config...I like it a lot. The double J is fatter than a single J. Just another option you could consider. I do suspect the D and G would be thinner in the bridge position...but I've never played this config, so I really wouldn't know...anyone ever played one who could enlighten us on the sonic character of a P in a bridge position?
  11. What about a reverse P in the bridge position?
  12. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    He already covered that he thought standard/reverse was ugly. standard/standard or reverse/reverse is what he wants but due to his budge standard/standard is his only option. I think standard/standard with concentric (stacked) controls would be the best.
  13. Offbase


    Mar 9, 2000
    I had Michael Dolan build a custom 32" P-Bass with a standard P/P configuration a few years back. We used a SD Hot at the middle and a SD Quarter Pounder at the bridge. No problems whatsoever. Everyone who heard that bass commented on how phenomenal it sounded. I say go for it!
  14. Missed that, sorry.
  15. I am intrigued by the way the Warwick Buzzard has the 2 P pickups configured. I suspect that configuration wasn't developed just to look cool. I'd do a little research in that direction if I was in your shoes. It looks to me like that configuration was used to optomize the response over the whole frequency spectrum.
  16. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
  17. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
  18. mgmadian


    Feb 4, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Just remembered an old Bassplayer magazine interview with Leland Sklar, in which he was holding up his favorite recording bass at the time: his tried-and-true beat up Precision bass that had been heavily modded with 2 reverse-P pups.

    One comment he made in the article was that he'd tried the pickups both ways, and preferred the reverse-reverse orientation, IIRC.
  19. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    Interesting, so both sets of P's had the E & A string pups closer to the bridge then the D & G pups?
  20. RBrownBass

    RBrownBass Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2004
    I used to have that issue, but lost it in one of my last two or three moves. I did see the comments from Mr. Sklar. IIRC, the bass in question was routed for both configurations and had a metal plate covering the unused portion of each rout.

    I'm still on the fence as to whether to do this at all, or just let this bass be and use the new J-neck for a straight Jazz copy. I'm beginning to lean toward the latter.

    I almost wish I hadn't bought the bass or the neck at this point, but I seem to suffer from a different sort of GAS than most TBers- mine's a lust for 'hos. Creating something myself at a reasonable cost (read: the tone/playability of the sum is greater than the price of the components). I have yet to own an electric bass that I haven't modded in some form or fashion, and more often than not, the mod hasn't gone as planned. That's why I don't put much $$$ into gear- I know I won't be able to keep from doing something to it that may lower the resale value or eliminate it altogether. Simpler to work with stuff that has no resale value to start with.