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Reverse P - What Does It Sound Like?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bgavin, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. Anybody own one of these?

    If so, I'd like to have the measurements from the 12th fret, to the center of the pole pieces on each pickup.

    This will tell me if the E-A or D-G is located in the customary position.

    I'd really like to know how this sounds compared to a standard P.
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Honestly, I can't notice a difference. My Ibanez Soundgear has the reverse P (using the same Dimarzio Model P as my P-bass) and they sound the same to my ears. I prefer the reverse purely for the thumbrest position.
  3. Would you mind posting the measurements from the 12th fret to the center of the pole pieces, on each pickup?
  4. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Sorry, no can do. Pulled the pickups outta the bass and the body's in the basement somewhere.
  5. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    I don't think either are but instead they just swap positions keeping the same centerline.


    Well I got curious and nabbed two photos from the Sadowsky site, he swaps positions.
  6. Meaning the E-A is closer to the bridge in Reverse, than it is in Standard?
  7. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
  8. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    Hey Bruce,

    I just got my long-awaited Sadowsky PJ 5 with reverse P. You can see a pic of the bass on the Sadowsky site - it's one of the pics illustrating the passive tone control. Note that (at least on the Sad) with the 5-string P PU, the B/E pole pieces are grouped and the A/D/G are on the other split.

    My 24F fiver will be on consignment soon on the Sad site. They're both fantastic but the PJ suits this old fart to a T.
  9. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Ibanez puts the D-G 12 inches from the 12th fret. Jackson puts the E-A 12 inches from the 12th fret.

    Either way, the low strings sound tighter and crisper while the high strings sound thicker and less twangy compared to a standard P.

    The best thing you could do is try one for yourself. If you like it, once you get used to it you'll never want to go back to a standard P. I'm a "P-bass guy" and the standard P on my Fender sounds totally unnatural to me anymore. :meh:
  10. MetalMitch, any MP3?


    A Sadowsky... wow. How about taking some tape measurements and telling me where the pole pieces are, relative to the 12th fret.

    I'd like to hear it, for sure.

    BTW, Chelsea is still pounding hell out of your old D410XLT. Aroarah just finished up tracking a 6 tune EP at the David Dunn and DeluxeRecording studios in Los Angeles. They logged 80 hours studio time in just over 4 days. The highlight of the trip was an invite to the VIP Room at the top of the Roxy on strip. They were guests of Shavo, of System of a Down.

    She also has a Cort reverse P/J, but doesn't play it anymore. I'll probably borrow it from her, and restring with a set of TI Flats so I can hear what it sounds like next to my standard P and TI Flats.
  11. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    Pole piece distances from the 12th fret on the Sadowsky reverse P are 12 inches to the B/E split and 10 3/4 inches to the A/D/G split. These distances are not exact but very close.
  12. Metal Mitch

    Metal Mitch

    Jul 14, 2003
    Sorry, no recording gear here. In all reality I don't think it would help you much if I did, different basses with different strings, tunings, body woods etc probably wouldn't illustrate the difference as well as playing your own familiar lines. It's literally all relative on this issue, the whole point of reversing the pickup is simply to change the relative sound between the two halves.

    Let us know your impressions after trying the Cort. If you have time to get out to a retail store, you could also try one of the Czech Spectors... they've also been using the reversed P for many years. I don't like EMG's, but Spector's new preamp with no treble or bass boost and the J pickup turned off actually sounds almost like a bass. ;)
  13. Skips


    Feb 19, 2003
    From my 34" scale BC Rich Ironbird:
    30" and 31.5" from the nut.

    oh..from the 12th fret it's 13" and 14.5"
  14. The standard P measurements on mine are:


    That tells me the BC Rich puts the D-G where the stock E-A is, then moves their E-A closer to the neck.

    Howz it sound? Like a P, or more like a Gibson EBO?
  15. My old Yamaha BB1200s are reversed P (and closer to the neck than standard at 12 1/8" and 10 15/16", supposedly from input from Sklar). I love the full sound of the EMG equipped fretless, while the stock fretted model is very thick and "honky".

    Comparing the EMG equipped 1200 to my EMG outfitted BB3000 (standard P/J config, with the P at 11" and 12 3/16"), the soloed P pickup on the 3000 does sound thinner on the D and G strings. There are some construction differences, but the basses are similiar enough to infer that the reversed P config helps even out the sound of the strings.
  16. Which leads me to ask that same ol' question, "Why didn't Leo do it?"

    I find it very hard to imagine the thought didn't cross his mind, let alone that he didn't at least tinker with it. Too bad Leo didn't leave notes...
  17. I've wondered that for years! It's amazing that Fender got everything right on...on virtually the first try. BUT, on the P-bass he overemphasized the nature of the strings with the pickup placement? I had an early SR800 w/the reverse scheme and the P pup was very well balanced and roared! I've got 2 older Fender p basses that I've always wanted to try that out with, if they were reversed they would probably sound perfect. Currently I try to balance them w/an old Furman Parametric EQ.

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