I found that a short clip of a pickup in identical situations helps tremendously when looking at the strengths and weaknesses of a pickup. I'm going to add in the SPB-3 and Bill Lawrence P-46 at some point soon, but for right now, I'm just doing the stock pickup and my current favorite aftermarket. SPB-2 Hot for P-Bass Pickup Stock "custom shop" pickup, 2012 Am. Std. P bass I'm actually surprised they ended up sounding as different as they do - I did this same exercise when I put Model Js in my jazz bass, and the differences when I did that comparison were quite a bit more subtle, even though a lot of people say that Model Js are a big departure from the "standard" J tone. According to the sticker that was on the bass when I bought it, the stock pickup is a "custom shop" pickup, whatever that means. It probably is a little different from what was stock on the American Standards before 2012, but I doubt the difference is huge. I could be wrong, though. Anyway, I recorded these direct through an Apogee Jam into GarageBand on my MacBook. No effects of any kind, just a slight attempt to normalize the volume, though one clip might be a touch louder. The bass is a 2012 MIA Standard P, the strings are broken in (but not dead) DR Low Rider SS in gauges .40 .60 .80 .100. Tone and volume up full, nothing fancy. I haven't decided yet which of the pickups I have is going to stay in the instrument. The SPB2 has a nice middy profile, and the slightly rolled-off treble sounds really good when I add a little grit from a pedal or overdriving my amp. The stock pickup is certainly more open sounding and seems to have both more lows and highs, at least relative to the mids. I didn't expect that - I figured the SPB-2 would have more low-end, but the mids are just so much stronger. The stock pickup has a more versatile sound, but it is a tad hollow, and doesn't make it's presence felt in the (live) mix quite as well, but I might be able to address that with some EQ. The stock pickup is poorly grounded, though - the pole pieces in particular are a problem - touching them while playing, even if I'm touching the strings, results in audible hum and I get "pops" when I play over the pickup and my finger comes to rest touching one of the poles. On the SPB-2, this is much less noticeable, possibly due to the treble roll-off, but also partly because the poles are recessed a bit rather than sticking up out of the covers. The pole piece issue my have affected the clips very, very slightly as it forced me to move my hand a touch farther toward the bridge to record the clip with the stock pickup cleanly. Anyway, this is fun and I thought it might be useful to others. This would have been a better comparison if I had a stock MIA Standard pickup from before 2012 - I'd love to know if there really is any difference between the old pickup and the new "custom shop" pickup. The one I have has a metal baseplate (the ground wire from the pickup goes to the plate, and the plate itself is grounded) as well as cloth-covered wires, things that were not part of the pickup I took out of a MIM P-bass a few years ago, but I've never seen the pickups out of any other MIA P basses. Next time I'll do more pickups and re-record everything - it's pointless to do these comparisons unless the other variables are fixed, in my opinion, and by the time I do this again I my strings might be a bit more "dead", which would skew the results.