replacing EMG P-pickup (DiMarzio? EMG GZR?)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by iplaythatfunk, Mar 22, 2018.

  1. iplaythatfunk


    Mar 22, 2018
    a long long long long time ago
    before the ice, before the snow
    a teenaged iplaythatfunk wanted a more powerful sounding pickup for his Squier p-bass, (which had a duncan designed copy of the Seymour Duncan "vintage" p-pickup) and he decided on the active EMG p-bass pickup that EMG so eloquently calls "P". And even though I've had it on for many years, I've never really liked it much. It's got this really unpleasant, kind of scratchy high-end to it that causes me to use really old dead strings on it. Other than that I can only get rid of it by rolling the tone all the way down, so between that, and using dead hard-to-play strings, I'm really bored of the EMGs and am looking for a replacement.

    I'd really like something with high-ish output, and a punchy midrange, or otherwise good ability to cut through the mix, without being hissy or scratchy sounding. I've heard that the DiMarzio Split P is, like, super articulate and has a hard, edgy sound, but can anyone comment on how it sounds, particularly the top-end (and hey, why not compared to the EMG, if anyone has experience of both?) The Will Power Middle P-pickup also seems interesting, since the DM website claims that it has as much bass and treble but with more midrange. I don't know how far charts like that can be trusted though, so any experience of both these pickups would be much appreciated.
    The Geezer Butler pickup also seems interesting and from what I've heard it's not a lot like EMGs active pickups. So uhh... help?!
  2. slagheap


    Dec 23, 2011
    that basic EMG P active pick-up, the one that first put them on the map, is still one of my very favorites for rock. they record great, too, real throaty. i know they've been out of favor for a long time. never noticed the sounds you mention. the dimarzio you mentioned is real good, i've had a P with one of those, too. good luck on your search, you'll find something you dig.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  3. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    The Dimarzio Model P DP122 may be the Dimarzio you’re looking for.
    TN WOODMAN, mbelue and SJan3 like this.
  4. ctmullins

    ctmullins Dominated Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    MS Gulf Coast
    I'm highly opinionated and extremely self-assured
    Wilde P46. Boutique, slightly hi-fi tone at a bargain basement price.

    Bass Pickups
    TN WOODMAN, Clark Dark and MattZilla like this.
  5. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    second vote for the Model P, but if you want the high output get the Split P
    for extra mids wire it in parallel (vs. the traditional series)
    mbelue likes this.
  6. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Duncan SPB1 vintage P pickup......i had the SPB2 hot P but it had way too much mids, a weird EQ balance.

    I'm sticking to vintage P types.
    TN WOODMAN and Zoobiedood like this.
  7. MattZilla


    Jun 26, 2013
    Why not the beloved Fnedre CS '6x percision?
  8. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Model P DP122 is a Great pickup! Just put a set in a MIM P Bass and it really brings it!
    But there's still a sweetness that makes me really like this pup. Backing off the volume on you bass yields different nuances.
    I can see this pup being used for a variety of situations. And, yes, it will bark if you want it to.
    TN WOODMAN, mbelue and Slater like this.
  9. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    I would do a DiMarzio Model P; it does exactly what you want and it's less expensive than your other options. It's an easy re-sell if not your cup of tea.
    SJan3, TN WOODMAN and mbelue like this.
  10. I had the active emg pj in my main Precision since the late 80's and always love the tightness of the e string and how they had a nice hi fi sound across the spectrum. I decided to swap out the split p earlier this year with the geezer butler passive emg and can say there is a more focused midrange with a slightly looser bottom end with the pickup compared to the active set.

    The passive geezer has a reasonable output and will snarl if you dig in, almost too much for my liking, but it does react to your touch and volume control quite differently than the actives.

    I'm still flipping pickups on the bass, and next up is the DiMarzio model p and model j.

    I've found each bass will react differently to pickups (and everything else) so finding the perfect combination is a hunt.

    I have a 94 mim p bass with a badassII bridge I installed the geezer emgs in that is the best sounding p bass I've ever had, and I've had quite a few. My red one (mentioned above) really doesn't like them as much.... Hence the search continues for the perfect pickup.

    Good luck with your quest.
  11. mbelue


    Dec 11, 2010
    Will echo what others have said.
    Model P.
    I had a set of EMGs in a cheap PJ. Had the same problems as you. Did not like the high end.
    DiMarzio Model P was what I swapped it for. Great pickups.
    Strong mids high output dual coil. Can be wired in series or parallel. Or with a switch you can swap back and forth.
    Series is the powerful strong mid sound I love. Parallel is more balanced and less powerful. I don't much care for it.
  12. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Thinking about it a second time, I'd get the Split P & wire it up to a push/pull volume for series/parallel.
    You'll have the mids in parallel, but also the high output & lows in series.
  13. chadhargis

    chadhargis Jack of all grooves, master of none Supporting Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    DiMarzio's are great pickups. I had some Ultra Jazz pickups and they were nice. But after listening to hours of pickup samples on YouTube and other resources, I found I consistently preferred Nordstrand pickups. Cary seems to have the same type ear I do and therefore I love his pickups. I also like that he'll custom make you just about whatever you want.