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Pickup issue on a PJ bass

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Michael Eisenman, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    I just replaced the neck pickup on my Fender JP-90 (a PJ bass) with a Fender Pure Vintage ‘63 Precision Bass pickup. The wire on the original pickup had broken off at the base; someone had been inside before I bought the bass, and the wire must have been barely hanging on. I’m amazed at how thin the original wires are. Individually each pickup is nice and loud. (Surprisingly for the same volume, the neck pickup is closer to the strings than the bridge pickup.) However, with both pickups selected the sound is weak and thin, unlike before the swap.

    We wired the white lead to the switch as before and as specified in the instructions that came with the pickup. Both white wires are at the switch, and both black wires are grounded. Could it be that the the pickups are now out of phase, like when speakers are out of phase? Any other ideas?

    I will take it back in on Monday to experiment with with reversing the wires, but first I wanted to appeal to the group mind.
  2. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    It is possible. Is the J-bridge pickup a single coil? If so, I would suggest swapping the leads on that one as it is simpler to get a single coil pickup in phase than the P-pickup with two coils wound in opposite directions and magnets with the different poles up to make it humbucking.
  3. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Thanks for the tip. Must be a single-coil; hums like the dickens. Can one find a J pickup wound like a P pickup to make it humbucking, and that will fit in a standard route? If so, are there any disadvantages?
  4. bigtone23


    Dec 10, 2014
    Denver, CO
    Most likely out of phase.
    There are many hum canceling J pickups out there. It comes down to what sound you like. The Dimarzio model J is a popular choice and great in the bridge position of a P/J. Just make sure to get the right pickup size, J pickups have 2 lengths to choose from.
    Michael Eisenman likes this.
  5. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Swapped leads on the J pickup; all is well.
    ctmullins likes this.
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