Review: Bootstrap Palo Alto '51 P

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by timeconsumer, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. timeconsumer


    Jul 1, 2020
    I haven't seen anyone mention Bootstrap pickups here, so I thought I'd talk about the new Palo Alto single coil P-bass pickup I recently installed in my Japan made Blue Flower P-bass.

    Bootstrap has been making the rounds in other forums for its great tone and low prices. The Palo Alto was $34.99, so even with the import tax to the UK it was still only half the price of a Fralin '51 P. I can easily say it's my new favourite pickup brand and I currently have them installed in both my P-bass and my Telecaster.


    The pole pieces are evenly staggered as opposed to original which has staggered A and D strings. This changes the tone character slightly, more on that below. The construction feels reassuring with vintage style pushback cloth wire and a thick baseplate (thicker than the original) with the brand and model name handwritten on the back. I opted for black string wrap, but you can also get white or without. At this price I expected to see some cut corners, but it turned out to be better constructed than the original pickup.


    If I could describe the sound with one word I'd call it musical. To my ears the sound is a bit more modern, but that's not a bad thing even for a vintage reissue instrument. Where the original pickup had a bit more thump, the Palo Alto has more projection and clarity. The low end is nice and tight with each note ringing clear, and it's a bit louder than the original. I find that I can dial in a multitude of tones just by playing with the tone knob (.0047 Orange Drop replacement) and it works equally well played finger style or with a pick.


    At £34.99 the Palo Alto is one of the cheapest single coil P-bass replacements out there. I honestly ordered this pickup and a Telecaster set on a whim, thinking I'd simply give them all away if I didn't like them. (Sadly no giveaways this time!)

    I wouldn't hesitate putting this pickup in a more premium instrument than my Japan reissue. For a Squier or used instrument it's a no brainer.


    I'm very happy with this pickup. It sounds great, costs next to nothing and I got excellent customer service from Ryan. Interestingly Bootstrap doesn't currently offer a split Precision pickup, so if you're a Precision guy the Palo Alto is your only option.

    The only reason I'd get something more expensive was if I absolutely needed a hum-cancelling pickup and was willing to pay $130 or more for a Nordstrand, Novak or Fralin. For all other purposes I highly recommend the Palo Alto.

    The Palo Alto together with the Palo Duro Telecaster set:
    Matt Liebenau and ColdEye like this.
  2. ColdEye

    ColdEye Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    I had their pickups on a Strat and it was amazing. Just ordered a set of their Jazz pickups, too bad no split precision pickups.
  3. kevmac


    Mar 17, 2019
    Rhode Island
    I've heard very good things about this company.I was looking for one for a Harley Benton pb 50 and @kodiakblair suggested this as he's got experience with it.The web is full of good reviews for them. And at the price how can you say no?
    kodiakblair likes this.
  4. ColdEye

    ColdEye Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    Never actually got the pickups, it was about 2 months so I just canceled it. Might try again.
  5. 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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