SD SPB-4 vs Wilde/Bill Lawrence P-46

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Trimshaw, Nov 13, 2021.

  1. SPB-4

  2. P-46

  1. Trimshaw


    Nov 13, 2021
    Yes ANOTHER pickup comparison thread haha but I don't think this one has been done (at least I couldn't find one).

    Im looking to upgrade my MIM Fender P-Bass, I prefer the late 50s split coil P-Bass sound than the 60s. But I would like them to be a bit louder with some more "clang" as it were. I have been debating on getting a SD SPB-1, but I find its just a little too quiet and polite for my tastes. I like the SPB-4 because it has that "clang" and "punch" without losing much clarity or distorting under 100% volume. The few clips Ive heard and reviews Ive read of the P-46 seem that it has excellent clarity and has that extra "clang and punch", but my concern is that it'll be TOO clear and hi-fi sounding. Ive read LOTS of people swear by them, that they are the one of the best P-Bass pickups out there.

    Both pickups are close to the same price which is why its a toss up. Also I have considered the EMG GZR, but ultimately I don't think its for me. Pickups I also liked are the Fender Pure Vintage 58 and the Seymour Duncan Antiquity I, but as they are out of production its a bit harder to find and more expensive.

    What do you guys think?

    Not really looking for other suggestions unless its within the same price range.
  2. FRoss6788

    FRoss6788 Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Olympic Peninsula
    Have you actually tried the Geezer?

    I ask because everything that you seem to want out of the pickup is what the Geezer delivers, with all the wiring components and pots included.
    Excellent value.
    REV and DeepHz like this.
  3. Trimshaw


    Nov 13, 2021
    I haven't. After listening to probably all of the sound clips containing the SPB-1, SPB-4, P-46, and the GZR, there is something about it that just doesn't sound right to me. I think its something in the mids, a bit too warm for me, I prefer it slightly scooped.
  4. FRoss6788

    FRoss6788 Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Olympic Peninsula
    Be careful of judging a pick solely from online reviews, a lot of variables affect what you hear that may not produce a true representation of the pickup.
    It's been my experience that a hotter pickup, what you're looking for, is going to be a bit mid forward. If you're looking for a "scooped" P pickup, not sure one exists as P's are all about mids, I would be looking at standard winds.
    The Duncan SPB-1 is an excellent choice, just turn up the volume and EQ to taste:bassist:
    bassdude51 likes this.
  5. 6326A56B-3C6B-4FF2-9B04-737AB162DB5C.jpeg I have a P-46 hooked up to a varitone.

    I like how expressive it seems to be; I can play very quietly with my fingers or dig in hard with a pick and it sounds good either way. Notes sustain for a very long time.

    Changes to pickup height make a lot of difference with the p-46, more so than I’ve noticed with any other pickup I’ve used.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2021
    dkelley, Trimshaw and Kelly robinson like this.
  6. Trimshaw


    Nov 13, 2021
    Oh for sure you can't trust audio samples, that's why I listened to just about very sample of these pickups haha. I have strongly considered getting the SPB-1 as it'll be a significant improvement already. As for the "mid scooped", I just don't like mid heavy pickups.

    Never even considered a varitone on a P-Bass! Would you say that it's too clean sounding, or does it still retain some vintage sound?
  7. David76112


    Feb 19, 2012
    The only real test is to try them out. I avoid artist products because of hype and marketing and what works for so and so is usually far removed from what I like and need. It is confusing and mind numbing and everyone has an opinion one way or the other. You could just say the hell with all this and get a G&L.
    jastraw and CTW68 like this.
  8. Trimshaw


    Nov 13, 2021
    I wasn't buying the Steve Harris pickup because it's a Steve Harris pickup. I listened to Seymour Duncans P-Bass comparison video of the SPB-1 vs SPB-3 vs SPB-4 vs Antiquity I vs Antiquity II and liked it the most. Well actually I like the Antiquity I as good but it's a bit pricier and harder to come by.
    FRoss6788 likes this.
  9. Kelly robinson

    Kelly robinson

    Dec 30, 2014
    I'd vote for the Wilde - I have one and it's excellent - very responsive to picking style and hand position . Couldn't ask for more as far as I'm concerned . ...Kelly
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  10. On the brighter settings it gets a really nice aggressive tone and it gets really dark on the other end. I think mine has 10 different cap values in it.

    I got it from a seller on eBay named KellingSound. He makes all kinds of wiring harnesses; I’ve bought several from him and liked them all.
    Trimshaw likes this.
  11. Sponson Thrisby

    Sponson Thrisby

    Feb 15, 2019
    I can't comment specifically on the P46, but I have several other types of Bill Lawrence pickups (guitars), and they're wonderful. I'd expect their bass pickups to be as good.
    And they're not expensive.
    And Becky and Shannon are great to deal with.

    If and when I built a parts-bass, I'll be getting Wilde pickups for it.
    ctmullins likes this.
  12. shoulderpet


    Sep 24, 2015
    The SPB-1 is pretty scooped sounding, the SPB-3 is also said to be scooped and the Dimarzio split P (not the model P) is also scooped
    Trimshaw likes this.
  13. Roxbororob

    Roxbororob Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2015
    I second the P46 vote. Amazing pickup. Clarity yes, deep tones yes.
  14. gidbass

    gidbass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I've had both, and I preferred the SPB-4.

    Good Luck!
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  15. J-Bass RMR

    J-Bass RMR Supporting Member

    I have the Wilde.
    I've not used the SPD-4. (I do have the SPD-1 & Ant II)

    I used the P-46 in a fretless P-Bass that I previously had an EMG model P in for many years, but I wanted to go back to passive.
    The Wilde gave me what I wanted and fit that bass very well; Balanced and clear, with the extra bit of high-end clarity I needed from the fretless. Slightly extended range without being HiFi or scooped. Plenty of output.

    Getting the sound you want ultimately will come down to finding the right pickup and the right strings for that particular bass.
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  16. J-Bass RMR

    J-Bass RMR Supporting Member

    from the thread: Ultra boutique P bass pickups

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  17. KJMO


    Feb 6, 2015
    I think the quarter pounders are "scooped" as they have extended lows and highs. You don't want the geezers or the spb-1, as they are about the mids. The Dimarzio Blades are scooped. I've never actually heard the Steve Harris pickups, but I think a lot of his sound is his strings, plucking style, and setup (low so you get the clank). I bet they accentuate more the high mids.

    I have the P46s in a bass, and they are a great pickup. Extended highs, but very balanced. They don't accentuate anything. I would think you could get any sound you want out of them, because it's all there. I can't think of any pickup I've had that requires less eq, etc.
    Trimshaw likes this.
  18. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Don't quite know what the definition of "clang" is but you mentioned that you like the sound of the late 50s P pickups. Based on that, the SPB-1 is supposed to be made like the late 50s P Bass. $89 eBay.

    A pretty big jump to go from the Fender PV '58, Duncan SPB-1 and Duncan Antiquity I to the SPB-4 which is kind of a hot wound pickup. Hot pickups usually have less high end. The Fender PV '63 might be a better transition than the SPB-4.

    I know nothing about the P-46 but it does have a low henry rating which kind of means bright.

    Just my advice, strings are the most critical factor in sound. Perhaps a different brand of string will give you your "clang".

    Good luck!
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  19. tvbop


    Mar 11, 2021
    'Mid scoop' is born of bedroom mentality., all lush, rich and soft....that tone will go nowhere in a band. You need mids so you can be heard. SPB-1, Dimazio or the like will be fine.
    DJ Bebop, jastraw and FRoss6788 like this.
  20. I never tried the P-46, but have tried many of the common aftermarket p bass pickups including the Geezer P that everyone suggests. The Geezer wasn't for me, I forget why I wasn't impressed.
    I have had the SPB4 for at least 2 years now. In my opinion they are perfectly balanced in tone and perfect for any style.
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