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Pickup wiring preferences.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Rockin John, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. Good afternoon, friends and learned colleagues......

    Assume you're going to replace the pups in your bass. You're replacing P at centre and J at bridge. You decide on 4 wire humbuckers for both P and J. You've then got in phase / out phase and series parallel on both units.

    How would you prefer to wire the pickups on the P and on the J? You play rock, no slap / pop.


  2. Bonafide

    Bonafide Rodney Gene Junior Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Artist for: Nick Silver Pickups, Free The Tone Effects, Carr Amplifiers, PG Music BIAB, Ethos OD +
    Hey John,
    If you go with series/parallel switching on both pickups, then THAT IS your wiring. Understand?
    Typically a P-Bass pickup is wired in series though occasionally you will see them with S/P switches (Like on older Yamaha's with double P's) Though most likely you will use series wiring the most.
    A stacked J pickup or 4 conductor J pickup is great for hum-cancelling but a virtual loss to wire in series/parallel. 1 coil of a stacked J pickup doesn't do anything. The idea isn't for wiring options and tonal variation but for noise reduction. Parallel wiring of that pickup will be thin and weak.Again, not's it's intended use.

    As for the phasing, you don't need 2 phase switches. You only have 2 pickups so all you need to do is reverse the polarity of 1 to be out of phase with the other. 1 Switch. Again, in all practicality, a thin nasally out-of-phase bass tone isn't that desireable or practically useful, even for the tone tweaker. That is why you rarely ever see them on basses.
    Wire it up to and let us know how it comes out.
    Best of luck to you.
  3. I think I mightn't have put enough info in the original post................

    I'm considering replacing the pups in my Bass Collection that's the thrust of this thread. I must, therefore, directly replace the P and J, hard and wire them without switching. I just wondered if there's a prefered combination for the P and the J.

    Perhaps series & in phase is best for the P. But how about the J.

  4. Bonafide

    Bonafide Rodney Gene Junior Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Artist for: Nick Silver Pickups, Free The Tone Effects, Carr Amplifiers, PG Music BIAB, Ethos OD +
    Series and IN-Phase is typically best for all types of pickups. Thin out-of-phase tone is useful as a coloration on a certain song or such though it is usually done with guitar not bass.
    The stacked J-pickup should be wired in series period IMO. A Standard J pickup is a single coil anyway. Normally you don't have any wiring options.

    I assume the J pickup will be in parallel to the other J pickup as in a standard Jazz bass wiring.
    Good luck.
  5. justBrian


    Apr 19, 2002
    Kansas City, MO
    I just got some jazz barts for my MIMjazzV and wanted to run them to a push/pull switch for series/parallel operation. Will I be losing anything donin this? I thought it sounded like a cool way to get an interesting tone/sound.
  6. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    you can wire a stacked J in series/single coil/parallel with a on/on/on DPDT switch. I did that, and allmost always use the single coil sound, unless I am in a room with crazy flourecent lights or something like that. (schematic came with my basslines stacked J pickup)
    for those not in the know,
    series usually gives a fatter lowend empasis with slight trebble loss and a more powerfull output ( I think it has something to do with lower impedance), and parallel sounds more even with lower out put.
  7. Still none the wiser....not really, anyway. Still don't know whether the pups are the problem, or not.

    I've completely removed the active unit to take to work to give it a thorough checking out. I've connected the 2 pup wires are together and taken them straight to the jack socket. There's really no difference between the sound now, and when the actives were set to mid point (= flat response). No surprise there, I guess. But it does show the actives work to some degree, and that both pups work.

    The top and bottom, therefore, it seems to me, is that either:

    a) The pups are designed and or wired to give a thin sound with little bass.

    b) The body construction won't allow the true bass frequencies to come through.

    Both above points are outside my field of knowledge!!!

    I seem to have two alternatives, therefore:

    1) To speculate about £120 on a set of Seymor Duncans, or whatever, and hope for that killer tone when fitted.

    2) To sell the bass and save the money to put to something else.

    Unfortunately, in some respects, the Bass Collection is a great bass to play, it handles beautifully, there aren't any dead spots on the neck and it balances well on the strap.

    Well, the wise old owls out there might, I hope, shed some wisdom on my dilema.


  8. SMG

    SMG Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2000
    metro Detroit
    If you use Dimarzio or Schaller pickups, you can get a wide variety of sounds. They (both the P and the J) are set up with as 4 wire humbuckers. The P is a normal split pickup AND the J is a split pickup within the single housing. These are made so you can add a series/parallel mini switch for duo tones. In fact, they usually come with a mini switch and connection instructions. If you don't want to add switches to your instrument, you can accomplish the same by installing push/pull pots. If you only have two vol. and a single tone, then replace the vol. pots, if you have two of each, then change out either the vol. or the tone pots. By doing this you add a lot of cool, usuable tones to your bass!

    Both Dimarzio and Schaller in series are deeper then Fender pickups...almost like a Duncan "hot". In the parallel mode you get a more vintage, sound that almost becomes bright, but still has a really nice bottom.


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