Pbass: pup upgrade, better amp or what to have more definition and presence?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jpaulo, May 15, 2019.

  1. jpaulo


    Aug 18, 2018
    Sao Paulo / Brazil
    As a beginner, just starting to play in a small room with drums, guitar, keyboard and a singer, I am finding it difficult to hear myself in the mix.

    If I just pump up the amp volume, I start to get way too loud and thumpy...
    In addition to fiddling with the amp (it is not mine, a rumble 200), I wonder if upgrading my pickup would help.

    I am thinking of a Wilde P46, but don’t know if my untrained, beginner ears will notice any difference: it takes me hifi headphones and a lot of attention to notice differences in youtube comparisons of pickups...

    Bass: Squier Precision Bass CV 60s
    TI Flats (like flats better than rounds), stock Alnico 5 pup, CTS pots (250/500k), 47nF cap

    PS: would like to resolve this w/o compressors or other pedals...

  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Sounds like an EQ situation, not a reason to swap out hardware.
    jpaulo likes this.
  3. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    As a rumble 200 combo pre-owner, I suggest 10.00, 11.00, 1.00, 1.00 on your 4 band EQ setting.
    jpaulo likes this.
  4. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Wilde P46 is a great pickup, but EQ should do. Bring out the mids. From what I remember, Rumble's sounded scooped to me when controls were at noon (I'm not sure if that's "flat").
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  5. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Yes, you are right, rumble flat EQ are scoop.
    That's why I move to Hartke KB15 and Tech21 VT bass 200 combo.
    jpaulo likes this.
  6. jthisdell


    Jun 12, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    Controls like the contour, etc tend to give a great bedroom tone when you are alone but do not work in the mix.
    jpaulo likes this.
  7. Always EQ first before tossing geet around in the search for the homey grail...

    If I switch from one bass to ANY of my other basses, I am probably gonna do some knobbery... I don't have any two basses that sound the same and don't want to....

    Some P pickups out there are brighter and cut through well....some not so much.... I've played two stock P basses and they weren't even close in tone shape... One was unusually bright. (Loved it)...

    Flats are gonna attenuate some of the 'cut through'....unless you jank with the EQ...and then it may not be enough, depending on which flats, what music you are playing, amp, pickups, moon phase, whatever...

    Jank with the knobs...that's why they are there.... There ain't no universal 'right' EQ..... Find your OWN right EQ for YOUR bass....
    jpaulo likes this.
  8. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    The stock Squier CV Precision pickup is fairly decent. The TI flats tend to sit well in a mix as well. There’s no reason to change anything on your bass. As others have already posted, adjust the EQ on that Rumble.
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  9. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Yep. Adjust your EQ to boost the mids.

    You might also need to ask your keyboard player to go a little lighter on the left hand. Keyboard players have a tendency to want to play everybody else's parts as well as their own. If there’s a bass instrument in a group, the keyboards need to go easy on the bass end
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
  10. What everyone else said. But...if you do want to get a pickup with a more aggressive tone for your P-bass (I did for my Squier), I suggest the Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder.

    Zoobiedood and jpaulo like this.
  11. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    Alternatively, a compressor that adds a little sauce (e.g. Ovinfx Smoothie) or a mild OD like the Southampton Fifth Gear can beef up your sound and punch and give you noticeably more presence in the band mix without getting overly pushy or obnoxious about it.

    Better yet might be an outboard EQ that packs some extra features like the Barber Linden EQ Mini ($99 direct) does. It has a baxandall tone stack that’ll give you far more control over you mids (despite not having a dedicated midrange control) than the normal shelving type FMV EQ found in most amps can. There’s also two switches on it that take it into an entirely different realm than your basic EQ. In particular, there’s a “tight” contour setting that really shines in a live band situation. Lots to like for not a lot of money. Highly recommended. Mine is almost always on.

    Also, if your amp doesn't have a built in high pass filter, you might want to eventually look into getting an outboard one. They’re inexpensive and a good way to clean out any subsonic garbage in your signal chain that muddies up your sound and saps the efficiency of your amp. If you need one, they run about $70-$90. And it’s money well spent.

    You’ll find the Linden EQ, various compressors, and the occasional HPF showing up in the TB classifieds for less money than buying new. So look there first when shopping if money is tight.

    One good thing about outboard gear is it requires no mods to your bass. And pedals are easy to audition - and to flip if they don’t work out for you.

    Luck :thumbsup:
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
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  12. bass40hz

    bass40hz Cigar smoker, scotch drinker, American Patriot Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Richlands, NC
    You want definition and presence dump the flats and get a set of Stainless round-wound strings.
    Rock on.
    jpaulo likes this.
  13. Also raise the amp up closer to ear level - put it on a chair or something.
    jpaulo likes this.
  14. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    1. EQ.
    2. Different strings.

    3. Start spending more money.