Questions for the P Bass pickup aficionados...

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by rojo412, Nov 25, 2013.

  1. rojo412

    rojo412 MARK IT ZERO! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I'm currently working on an MIJ P bass for a friend of a friend. He's thinking about changing the pickup out because the sound isn't what he's hoping for. From what I can gather, it sounds like he's looking for something smoother and mellower than what comes stock.

    My personal experience with P pickups is kind of limited, as I gave up on using straight-up P basses long ago.
    I've got personal experience with Lace Sensors, EMG, Duncan QP, a number of stock Squier pickups, and these MIJ ones.
    I've had PJ configs with Dimarzio, EMG, stock Fender and Squier.
    From what I've owned, I know that EMG and Duncan QPs are probably the exact opposite of what he's after, if that helps.

    So... if this cat is looking for something smooth, balanced, mellow, what should I be leaning towards?
    Or if there's a tone map/chart of every P pickup, showing how they all compare, I wouldn't mind seeing that as well.

    And just so you know, I'm going to be putting flatwound strings on it to help mellow it out in general.
  2. 9mmMike

    9mmMike Would you happen to have a cookie for me? Supporting Member

    Aguilar P60's are smooth and mellow. Pricey though.
    Fender "Original" pups are also quite good and smooth and mellow in my opinion and good deals can be found on these.
  3. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    The Fender "Original" '62 reissue Precision pickup is about as good as any of them out there as far as traditional sounding P pickups, IMHO ... only cheaper. I've managed to get a couple of them off of eBay for $55 from some camera store ... probably some kind of close out situation. I've also managed to get a few really cheap used Fender Custom Shop '59 Precision pickups off of Fender Mike Dirnt sig basses ... also a wonderful traditional sounding P pickup ... similar to the above '62 reissue pickup, only "on steroids".
  4. Jefff


    Aug 14, 2013
    I have a Lindy Fralin. It is wonderful.
  5. PJRL


    Mar 27, 2010
    greenfield center NY
    I like the original Vingate 62 also, it has that sound. Another very good choice is the Duncan SPB-1. Two very good choices IMO.
  6. Haven't played one, but I used his J pickups. They were good.
    My p basses are all Nordtrand NP4 (one is under wound). Some people find them a little to aggressive so there is also a NP4v which will be smoother/more vintage.
  7. mrb327


    Mar 6, 2013
    Nobody Knows
    +4 on the "original" fender p pup, has that mellow sweet vibe. Quite a bit smoother than the stock MIM pups of recent years.
  8. georgestrings

    georgestrings Banned

    Nov 5, 2005
    S-D's SPB-1 would be a great choice...

    - georgestrings
  9. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    The Fender vintage reissue pick ups are the way to go.
  10. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the curmudgeon with a conundrum)

  11. +1....... been using one for almost 10 years and love it. Sounds identical (or so close it's hard to differentiate) to Fender 57 P-bass. Loves flat's. For an after market pup they're inexpensive as well.
  12. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
  13. bassfreakah


    Mar 26, 2011
    Endorsing Artist Ernie ball strings
    I have used emg's, dimarzio, fender and seymour's. I think p-46 is the smoothest phatest best pickup out for little dough.
  14. petrus61

    petrus61 Supporting Member

    I wonder how many people order that P-46 and send it back because they think the extra pole piece means it's for a 5 string?
  15. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    +1, great pickup
  16. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000

    It has a huge sound, RIP Bill Lawrence.
  17. Beltdrive


    Jul 16, 2008
    I have been using custom handmade pickups from Sullivan Music Equipment out of Austin Texas. Every good Pbass pickups and not too expensive.
  18. bassfreakah


    Mar 26, 2011
    Endorsing Artist Ernie ball strings
    their are lots of great pickups for p bass, i bet what ever you pick will be a good choice.
  19. dvlmusic


    Jul 24, 2010
    Alameda, CA
    Yes yes - P46 is the way to go. Amazing sounding P pickup - just review the thread posted above and you'll be convinced.