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Recommend p bass pickup for flatwound strings.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by MurphyWang, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. MurphyWang


    Apr 14, 2019
    I have a wilkins p bass with alder body&rosewood board equipped with hipshot A-style bridge and SD SPB-1 pickup.
    I changed the round string to EB flatwound string. The bass and the strings both are awesome.
    Now I want to change the pickup. SPB-1 sounds okay but I hope to get a more live , dynamic and clear sound without loss of the meaty, warm and fat characters.
    I have some choices:
    1. Lindy Fralin vintage p
    2. Nordstrand np4v, np4 or power blades.
    3. Aero p type 1 or 2.
    4. Delano PC4 AL or PC4 HE

    Please give me some suggestion! Thank you!
    By the way, I'm very interested in Delano Pickups if there any one who have used Delano pickups. How their pickups compared to Bartolini & Nordy's?
  2. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    A Wilde P46 is a good choice for increased clarity and really good tone. It’s a pickup designed by the late Bill Lawrence. If you know who he is then not much more needs be said. Gets a lot of love on TB. ($72 direct)

    Another good choice is a David Allen CS-P pickup. Keeps the traditional PB vibe but has a better tonal range and a bit more clarity. Kind of a cross between a 60s and 70s PB tone. Lots to like. I’ve got one installed on one of my PBs. ($99 direct)

    Yet another good choice is an Aguilar AG-4P-60. Again it keeps the 60s vibe but improves on it with better note definition and a pleasant touch of additional clarity. This is my goto pickup for a PB whenever I decide I don’t really care for what it came with. Got one of these curently installed too. ($119 average street)
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    wraub, BassBuzzRS, lazycat93 and 3 others like this.
  3. MurphyWang


    Apr 14, 2019
    Actually, I just consider aguilar 4p60 but the Wilde P46 sounds interesting and I will find some demo on youtube.
    Thank you so much!
  4. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Quite welcome. :)

    FWIW They’re all good. The P46 is the clearest sounding of the three IMO. But you really can’t go wrong with the Aguilar AG-4P either. The Allen CS-P is a little more “bluesy” sounding for lack of a better word. Richer sounding but not as clean as the Aguilar or Wilde.

    Happy pickup hunting! :thumbsup:
    MurphyWang likes this.
  5. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Since you already got some good recommendations on pickups, I'll play the devil's advocate: how did you determine that the strings were awesome if you found the pickup somewhat lacking? ;)

    In other words, finding a different set of strings could be just as effective (if not more) than finding a new set of pickups. And cheaper.

    Though, Wilde P46 is nice and almost cheaper than strings...
  6. MurphyWang


    Apr 14, 2019
    Thank you so much!
    How do you think those P pickups with blade(like bart, nordy's power blade p & delano pc5 HE) rather than pole? Through Carey's description for his blade series pickups, I guess that pickups with blade are more clean and balance. Is that right? I'm very curious about that.
  7. MurphyWang


    Apr 14, 2019
    You are absolutely right! I cannot agree anymore.
    I hated the sound when I first got my Sadowsky NYC with soapbars in 60s location 21 frets. It's too thick and dark(Alder, roasted maple, amazon rosewood). And I have changed the pickups with bartolini p2 classic and aguilar dcb. But finally, I installed back the sadow soapbars. Then I change a set of string. It's solved! And I think setting is also important.
    In fact, I have changed many flatwound and spent much money T_T then I think EB flatwound suits my bass best for other strings are much more mellow in low end(lack defination). The reason why I didn't mention other brand of string is just that I don't want to mislead others as this brand is better than other brand. So now I decide to try some different pickups.
    Thank you!
    sikamikanico likes this.
  8. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    Most blades I’ve tried seem to be hotter wound. And that’s something I don’t much care for as far as sound goes. And so far I haven’t met a blade bass pup I liked. But that’s me. Many players swear by them. And Nordys, Barts, and Delanos are well respected players in the bass world. You have to go by what you like in that department. I’ve tried many different pickup brands over the years. And my preferred PB bass pups come from: Wilde, Aguilar, Dean Allen, and Klein. Most recently I’ve ordered some pickups (models F1 and F2) from a new (to me) place called the Epic Custom Shop. Be interesting to see how they work out once I get them.

    Maybe some blade users could chime in on the what’s and why of their choices? Because I don’t have enough experience to offer an opinion one way or another - other than to say I didn’t care for the ones I tried.

    It’s unfortunate that pickup makers won’t tell you what the impedances of their pickups are. Because that would tell you a lot about the sound you might expect to hear. Instead they give you the resistance measurement, which is pretty much a useless piece of information other than to give you an idea of how many wraps of wire they used and roughly how “hot” (i.e. loud and easy to overdrive) the pickup is.

    Blades are great when you can’t find a pickup whose pole pieces match the string spacing on your bass. Or you want to try slanting a pickup. But you give up having individually adjustable the pole pieces with a blade design. So like everything in music, you get something and lose something. It’s always a series of compromises.

    Only way to know for sure is to try different things. And if they don’t work out, sell them to someone who can better use and appreciate them, and then go try something else. It’s a fairly inexpensive education as long as you don’t keep everything you buy.
  9. I would highly recommend the Wilde P46 too, regardless of what you are using for strings.
    BassBuzzRS and PawleeP like this.
  10. EmaTheMirror


    Oct 9, 2009
    London, UK
    Hi, a few days ago I did a thread (with samples) of 3 pickups compared:

    Fender/Duncan SPB-1/A. Pribora - P. Bass split-coil comparison

    One of them is the SPB-1, another is a Pribora (from Russia) which I read is in the ballpark of standard Fralins tone-wise, although I have never verified it in person so I cannot comment any further.

    I hope it will help you. Fralin are of course great peace of mind - personally I can't recommend enough the pickup Alexander Pribora did in Moscow. The only drawback is shipping times for customs (mine took around 3 weeks), but I got a very good sounding hand wound product for an incredibly honest price tag.

    I agree with the SPB-1 being a softer pickup with tamer highs and lows, scatter wound formvar pickups (like Fralins, Priboras, Lollard...) tend to have a broader, livelier response and cut through a bit more. More on that in the post and the sound samples. Not that I don't like the Duncan, it's just more focused on a narrower range.
  11. MurphyWang


    Apr 14, 2019
    Thank you! Your video are awesome!
    I'd like firstly try the wilde p46 as others' recommendation(so cheap&quick shipped). If it doesn't satisfy me, I will buy a A.Pribora!
    EmaTheMirror likes this.
  12. MurphyWang


    Apr 14, 2019
    Thank you! Got it!
  13. MurphyWang


    Apr 14, 2019
    Thank you so much! I benefit a lot from you!
    PawleeP likes this.
  14. sikamikanico


    Mar 17, 2004
    Yup, there comes a point where trying a new pickup rather than more strings makes sense. Though two more recommendations for strings, if you haven't tried them yet: TI Jazz flats and GHS Pressurewounds. TI flats cost more than most pickups (new), but really work well, though they're not for everyone. Warm, yet clear flats, with lots of mids for definition. Trying a used set gives you a good idea, and if you don't like them, you can sell them. Pressurwounds are not technically flats, but have most of the qualities I like on flats, plus some of the crispness of rounds. Not cheap, but much more affordable than TI...

    But yeah, a set of Wilde pickups is a good bet for clarity.
    PawleeP likes this.
  15. MurphyWang


    Apr 14, 2019
    I know that TI! So shaging expensive hhh. About 100 bucks i remember. Maybe I can try one in future hhhh.
  16. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    The P-46 is amazing. Got one now in my ibanez sr1000. Super sweet and full and clear and even.
  17. I would leave it alone, I like the Duncans, and all my basses have flatwounds on them.
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  18. MurphyWang


    Apr 14, 2019
    Thank you!
    BassBuzzRS likes this.
  19. MurphyWang


    Apr 14, 2019
    Yeah, I admit that SD pickups are awesome. I have my spector Euro4 installed with SPJ/SPB-3 and sadow's pus also produced by SD. But in this bass, it doesn't satisfy me. I'm not a captious man but I need the "right" sound!
    Thank you!
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Captious? Good word.

    Pickups are all about tradeoffs, just remember. You gain in one area and lose in another, so read up a little.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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