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PJ bass trouble...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by im2jazzc4you, Mar 31, 2013.


  1. im2jazzc4you

    im2jazzc4you

    Oct 29, 2010
    Indonesia
    Hi guys, i have a PJ Custom Bass and im having some trouble with my pickups. I have a Bartolini PJ (ex Fodera basses) and it sound greattt...but the bridge pickup is weak / less gain than the P. is there any way to make both pickps sound balance ? I've tried to put the bridge pickups higher / closer to string and the P pickups is lower / further to the string...in blend center position, it sound awesome, but if i switch it to the bridge, it sound weaker and if i switch it to the neck (P Pickp) it sound louder.

    My question is : are PJ pickup should sounds like that ? If don't, What can i do to fix it without replace one of the pickups ?
    Im planning to buy Bartolini AGDB (Gain Buffer) and hoping it can fix my problem...does anybody used this preamp ?

    Thanks all.... :smug:
     
  2. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It is a common issue with PJ setups. You should always use a humbucking J, which avoids both this issue and the hum you get on the soloed J.
     
  3. im2jazzc4you

    im2jazzc4you

    Oct 29, 2010
    Indonesia
    So i should replace my bridge pickups with the Humbucking J ? Hmmmm...what type of Barts Humb pickup that you've recomend ?
     
  4. lavmonga

    lavmonga

    Jul 27, 2007
    New York, NY
    I've experienced this on every PJ I've owned, seems like a common problem, I think some of the issue is due to pickup height. I'd try raising the bridge pickup.
     
  5. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    On my Bart PJ I have a 8S with a 9W4J but these aren't made anymore.
    There are several PJ combo propositions on the Bartolini site. Make your choice based on what P you have.
     
  6. im2jazzc4you

    im2jazzc4you

    Oct 29, 2010
    Indonesia
    I've already tried that, it works in center position....but if i soloed the Bridge and that i soloed the Neck pickup, it had huge different with the gain.... :rollno:
     
  7. GuzBaas

    GuzBaas

    Oct 10, 2008
    London
    I have a similar "problem" but I "fixed it" with a compressor... you'll still notice some volume differences but a little less noticeable.

    I use a Lace Aluma P and a Lindy Fralin Hum cancelling single coil...

    PJ rocks!
     
  8. im2jazzc4you

    im2jazzc4you

    Oct 29, 2010
    Indonesia
    Nice....thank you Jazz Ad ;)
     
  9. im2jazzc4you

    im2jazzc4you

    Oct 29, 2010
    Indonesia
    Hmmm...nice idea, i should try it sometime...
    Thanks GuzBaas :)
     
  10. GuzBaas

    GuzBaas

    Oct 10, 2008
    London
    You're welcome :)
     
  11. This is a great (for me) post. I too have a Custom PJ (Squier P Bass Special body) with Duncan 1/4 pound Precision and Duncan 1/4 pound Jazz pickups. Like mentioned above my P Bass pickup is far more powerful than my Jazz pickup. So I guess this is normal... for a PJ bass correct?
     
  12. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    They are different types of pickups (duh, I know) but by design the P ends up hotter than a J, stock vs stock or QP vs QP or whatever. Aloconsider pickups cloer to the bridge usually tend to need a little more output to balance with a pickup farther towards the neck anyhow, so with a PJ it is like a double whammy.
     
  13. For lack of better vocabulary, it seems to me that the string vibrates less closer to the bridge. The frequency of vibration is the same but it travels less. Would this result in lower volume for the bridge pickup vs. the P position pickup?
     
  14. FourBanger

    FourBanger

    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    Yes, if they were identical pickups.

    To complicate things, a P pickup is usually hotter than a comparable J, so like I said, in a PJ the issue of either imbalance is compounded by the other.
     
  15. im2jazzc4you

    im2jazzc4you

    Oct 29, 2010
    Indonesia
    Now the question is : Have anyone ever tried this "Bartolini AGDB" (Adjustable Gain Dual Buffer) ?? Did it work if i put less gain on the P Pickup and more gain on th Bridge Pickup ?? :confused:
     
  16. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It would work just fine.
     

  17. Amplitude. The word I was looking for is amplitude.
     
  18. im2jazzc4you

    im2jazzc4you

    Oct 29, 2010
    Indonesia
    Okay, I'll gonna take it... Thanks ;)
     
  19. I've also had some success with putting a resistor between the P-pickup hot, and the pot lug you attach it to. In may case, 100K carbon film resistor; it did change the tone a little, seem to bleed a little treble out of it, but I actually liked that. You could maybe compensate that with a higher resistance pot. (Also worked the other way round, when I was using a vintage-y P and a humbucking J)
     
  20. bassbenj

    bassbenj

    Aug 11, 2009
    This is the common PJ problem. It comes from the fact that a P pickup has big fat wide flat coils and a J pickup is , well, skinny!

    And Yes, the P-pickup is hum cancelling so if you don't want hum (means the P-pickup will never cancel hum in the J pickup) you MUST get a hum-canceliing J pickup for it. Bart makes some nice ones but their output if usually rather low even by J standards!

    The "cure" can be underwinding the P pickup to match the output of the J which is often done but then when you solo the P the bass doesn't sound like a true P-bass which people complain about on PJs.

    Or you can wire the P pickup in parallel and that lowers it's output, but also kills some of the bass response and makes it sound thinner.

    Or you can be like me and simply know that best balanced tone comes with volume on the P pickup at about 80% with J pickup on full.

    Or you can try to find a really hot J pickup that better matches the P-pickup.

    Anyway, that's the PJ story. I'm using a Dimarzio J (hum cancelling) and I have a push-pull switch on the P pickup volume knob that can switch it from series to parallel (though truthfully I rarely use it). Typically I simply do the 80% thing and it's fine.

    I presume you could put the right size resistor in series with the P-pickup volume control to cut back it's output, but I didn't do that because then in parallel mode the P pickup would have too low an output.
     

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