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Refinishing a bass... Starting with the Pickups! (P/J suggestions)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Din Of Win, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. Hi all,

    So i got a nice project bass in the works. It's a mid-2000's Squier P Special... It's essentially a P/J with a jazz neck.

    I am not really happy with the stock P/J setup, nor the V/V/T controls.

    Can anyone suggest a good pickups that have a vintage (i love 60's P's and J's) tone, but maybe a bit more modern (loud/clear/resonant) sounding kick to them? Is a control layout like a "3-way-switch(neck; neck&bridge; bridge)/master Volume/Master Tone" just a matter of wiring?

    I'm preeeeeeetty lousy at the whole wiring part, so unless i have SUPER clear instructions, if anyone knows of a P/J set that's solder-free... i'd be very into it.

    Thanks, so much, for the help!
  2. Dan80sMan


    Mar 8, 2011
    I am in the same boat as you. I am wanting to upgrade the pickups in my Squier Jaguar SS.
    I have never attempted this before an NO knowledge of electronics and am wanting they same vintage tones you describe. After reading threads for a couple months now and decided I wanted to go with the Wilde Bill Lawrence P/J set. I emailed them Wednesday March 13 and called them Friday March 15 and left them a message saying I was ready to buy from them....no response so far very dissappointed, read quite a bit on how friendly and helpful they were. I just had a couple of questions to ask before ordering. But not turn this into a complaint thread. I am leaning towards the Dimarzio DP126 set now. Most sites have them listed at $99.00 and with the sales the BIG guys (GC, MF, etc) regularly run you could get a new set for about $89.00.
    Emg sets require no soldering tho. I replaced the pickups in my Steinberger Spirit quite easily finding a used set on Ebay. I also want to keep a vintage look so NO EMGs in my Jag.
    On the controls I am leaning towards a V/T/Toggle switch for pickup selection. I think that may be easier for a newb solder-ist(?) and should keep things simple when playing. I'm not twiddlin' around with my sound much anyway when giggin'.

    Love the "I put the POWER in powerpop" sig that's my specialty, that and 80's new wave.
    Is that line a quote from someone? or your own? I may have to steal that...on second thought :bassist: yeah I am.
  3. fjadams


    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    I'm a big fan of the Lace Alumitone bass pickups. Great sound, big lows without being boomy from the "P" and good mids and highs to blend from the "J".

    As far as tone controls. In one of my Jag SS's I went with VVTT, and the other one is using the StellarTone DuoTone in a VV/DT configuration. This is a dual pot that uses different caps for the neck and bridge. When you order them you pick the caps you want for each pot so you can get as much bass/treble/mid as you want from it. Not on their website, but they have them in stock for about $20. In my Thunderbird SS I'm going with their new ToneStyler Dual 10 and V/B/D10 for controls, more money, but for me it's worth it.

  4. Oh, i'm so glad i'm not the only one! Haha!

    I was looking at the DiMarzio Model P/J... also in that ~$100 range. Luckily, i do have friends that can lend a soldering-hand if i need it. In fact, that might not be a terrible idea if they'd be willing to SHOW me at the same time!

    Have you heard anything from Bill Lawrence yet? I'd be interested in hearing any followup!

    I was also looking at the EMGs for their ease of use... but i don't think that they have the sound i want. :(

    Haha, i'm glad you like the Power-pop thing!! Graham Maby (bassist for Joe Jackson) was one of the bassists that single-handedly inspired me to play bass! I've been doing all sorts of pop-related (powerpop/noisepop/dreampop/tweepop/indiepop) bassing for a while now, and i love it! :D
  5. kbakerde

    kbakerde Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2012
    I would go for either a set of Seymour Duncan vintage or use the Fender Original '62 Pbass pickup with a Fender Vintage Noiseless Jazz Bass Bridge Pickup.

    For the wiring, I would do a Master Volume control, a Pickup Blend knob and a Master Tone.

    Redoing the wiring on a guitar is really pretty simple. Might take some trial and error, but you can get the hang of it.
  6. Dan80sMan


    Mar 8, 2011
    I still have NOT heard back from Bill Lawrence. I'm gonna try to call one more time tomorrow. I REALLY want to try them.

    Graham Maby is a FANTASTIC bassist and inspiration of mine too. Living proof that using a pick can be COOOOOL!
    I must admit tho John Taylor of Duran Duran was the one who lead me to bass....being a guitarist first.

    The suggestions you have recieved so far all sound good.

    fjadams has done some awesome mods to his basses and the Alumatones he suggested I bet sound great. But I'm on a budget and they are just a teeny bit out of my smallish budget... maybe another day tho.

    kbakerde's suggestions sound interesting and I will do some research on them too. "Seymour Duncan vintage or use the Fender Original '62 Pbass pickup with a Fender Vintage Noiseless Jazz Bass Bridge Pickup"

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