Precision Pickup with Tight Full Bottom ?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Modern Growl, May 19, 2012.

  1. I'm kinda new to the P world - Jazz guy mostly.

    I'm wondering of the popular P pickups out there, which have a tight full sounding low end? I'm looking for fat, warm, thick & tight.

    I have my tone control rolled 75% back if that gives you an idea of what I go for. Not into the wide open rock sound.

    Whatcha think? Nordstrand NP4? Fralin? ...others?

    ...for some reason, I think the NP4's have the tighter bottom, no?
  2. colcifer

    colcifer Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Do you realize just how great a post this is?

    I have no idea what pup you should get, btw.
  3. John D

    John D Guest

    Dec 27, 2009
    I'll bet he spent at least an hour on the composition of the third sentence.

    Oh...I don't know about the pup either.
  4. I'm not quite sure what your getting at here? :eyebrow:
  5. John D

    John D Guest

    Dec 27, 2009
    Poor attempt at a joke, I guess. Don't worry about it. It isn't important. :meh:
  6. Problemchild


    Apr 9, 2011
    Can't go wrong with the Nordstrand NP4. I would also suggest
    using 250k pots- linear for volume and audio taper for tone.
    I like the tone rolled back 100% and have found that a .015
    cap sounds best for what I am looking for. I would try experimenting with cap values to suit your needs
    "Super-The Best !!"

    FWIW, I am using DR Low Rider EH50 SS strings

  7. Fender Original Series '62 P-Bass pickups combined with La Bella Deep Talkin' Bass flatwould strings should get you that tight full bottom you're looking for.
  8. geckoman1220


    Jan 23, 2012
    once you play these pickups with a drummer, guitarist, and singer, they all sound the same. ... :bag:
  9. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    IME, every precision pickup can sound just like that! In fact, pretty much any (bass) pickup can sound just like that :)

    The bigger factor will be the strings. I like how flats play with P-basses (in fact, I like them on pretty much any bass). They bring what I consider "tightness" to the sound, and work really well with passive tone knobs.

    I think it is essentially all in the mids. But then again, people perceive sounds so differently...
  10. NOVAX


    Feb 7, 2009
    Ceramic magnet will tighten up your bottom-DiMarzio model P
  11. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    Those are tight, but didn't sound very warm in my 2004 P. Whenever someone asks for thick, phat, and juicy P-bass tone, I recommend Duncan's SPB-2 Hot. That's exactly what it provides. The phatness can get boomy, but I wouldn't call them muddy, and it's easily addressed via EQ. I think the lows have more clarity than those from a stock MIA Fender pickup.
  12. It kind of sounds like the Bill Lawrence pickup I have in my p bass. Here's a video demoing it:

    Like others, I would also suggests a string swap to flatwounds. For your sound I would recommend Webstrings flats, Labella flats, DR flatwounds or Pyramid flats in a medium or heavy guage.
  13. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles

    I have a 1960 P bass, I've played a bunch of P's. Obviously it also has to be there in the bass but the Nordy's just kill me.

    I have a Nordy P5. I think the staggered poles really help give a richer, more complex sound and mine has a ton of punch on the low end, and very articulate. Maybe more than my 60 P. Plus, whatever volume pot or components they use "under the hood" I can seamlessly turn the volume and tone up and down with no drops in volume or abrupt changes in tone.
  14. OP Here - after some thought, I probably should of mentioned that I'm looking for a tight low end (which you know), but an overall smooth / fat tone. Not an upper mid grind. I believe the Nordy has a lot of upper mid grind. Anything else out there that has a thick & tight tone, but without an aggressive grind?
  15. jschwalls


    Sep 4, 2007
    Savannah GA
    D.Allen pickups

    I had a custom bass built recently and I tested 8-10 top of the line P pickups to go in it..

    I settled on the D.Allen set

    You will not regret it.
  16. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I'll throw in a nod for Aero.

    I can't say I've tried 'em all. Since my search usually seems to end with Aero I figured I'd go ahead and start there and save myself some time & money. ;)

    IME no one frequency range sticks out. But it's definitely all there whenever you want it. FWIW I have never been more satisfied than I am right now with the low end from my P-bass.

    (BTW I think geckoman was joking but I will just say, with a loud drummer guitars & vocals, IME that's when I really feel the difference the most! :bassist:)
  17. "Q"


    Feb 9, 2010
    Sacramento, CA
    Bartolini 8S or 8SU is made for you. Don't mind what Bart's are "supposed" to sound like.
  18. I just... I think every man is looking for fat worm thick and tight.
  19. I use Bartolinis with Fender flats - 9050.. A bit midrangy but clear and clean. I used D'aD Chromes - nice for jazz work, like walking bass. Full and warm, but not a lot of definition, and the tone was muddy in the higher register, like for soloing. A piece of foam under the strings helps too. La Bella Flats were good, but they lacked that clarity I like. They were warm and thumpy strings, and I liked the feel, and the recorded nicely. But I settled on the Fenders, because they have that Fender bass sound, but cleaned up, for lack of a better description. More articulate, and more focused at the bottom end. I can do fast jazz walking bass, funk, and Tower of Power 16th, and jump swing, Finger style and with a pick, and they work great in all settings. And they sound nice above the 12th fret, too.

    BTW, I have a 5 string. Out of the three sets, the Fender B is the best, but don't let it's small size (128) and taper wound throw you. It is very well balanced with the rest of the set, both in tone and sustain, and is not floppy or dull sounding. My gripe about the Chromes was the B degraded into a dull thump, quickly. The Labella B was better, but not by much.

    The Bart is a clean pick up. Not much coloration that I can hear, just more or less hi fi, smooth and articulate. My Bart has this thing where you can back down on the VC a bit and it changes from a more modern Fender P sound to the old P bass sound- I can sound very close to Duck Dunn, and Bob Babette like that.

    In sum, I think you'll have to match a pickup with strings, to get want you are looking for
  20. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    The Duncan I suggested, SBP-2, lacks an aggressive grind. In fact, that's largely why I ditched it. If you want fat, thick, and smooth, it's the ticket.
  21. Primary

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