Sell me on your favorite PJ pup set!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Mycomancer, Jan 24, 2022.

  1. Mycomancer


    Jan 15, 2022
    Getting a custom PJ bass made, deciding on what passive pickups I want to put in.

    Some things I want:

    - VERSATILITY.... if the pickups try to sell themselves to a very specific genre clique, it won't work for me. Sometimes I want to dial in ultra dark Reggae and hiphop tones, sometimes I want to have 2 delays on playing crisp chords and sliding leads, sometimes I want to play the entire neck for jazz.... and pretty much everything in between. I need this to much as possible a "one bass fits all" situation for a guy who wears a ton of hats

    - I especially don't want something with an excessively hot output, or a very bright/modern tone

    - Preferably, I don't want a super wimpy J-pickup just because its a PJ configuration

    - I don't want something that it sounds like muddy doodoo in the highest register, I play above the 12th fret all the time - and am in fact getting a 24 fret bass specifically because I use all of them

    I tend to look for a darker more vintage tone most of the time, especially with P all the way up.... but I like to dial up and even solo the bridge J every now and then and do really whacky stuff.

    Right now, the top of my list is The EMG GZR's, as it seems they are a faithful vintage replication that seemingly offer versatility and a surprisingly affordable package.

    However... am willing to be sold on another set before I pull the trigger! Please give me your opinions!
    johnnynitro, BOOG and GroovyBaby like this.
  2. Needenaneden


    Feb 22, 2011
    The EMG Geezers are incredible. You already have your answer. :)
  3. Do you need to be able to make these tone changes on the fly? If so, I would suggest that what you actually want is a straight up Jazz. I've never found a PJ that allows switching from solo neck pup "thump mode" to solo bridge pup "shred mode" without having to futz with knobs to maintain constant output.
  4. simongpaez

    simongpaez Supporting Member

    Feb 28, 2005
    The Woodlands , Texas
    I love quarter pounders,
  5. landrybass


    Oct 23, 2011
    Just the regular run o the mill EMGs are probably my favorite. I imagine a P J set of the Aguilar DCBs would be killer, I like ceramic mags.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  6. JW56789

    JW56789 Guest

    Feb 18, 2017
    Who knows what sounds good to you instead of me, but I always suggest buying a matched PJ set from a manufacturer rather than picking out two pickups at random.

    If I were really fussy about it, I'd prefer a stack or split coil humbucker for the Jazz pickup, I'd gladly give up just a bit of single coil honk to eliminate any single coil noise. And I always (even passive) recommend a balancer instead of two volumes, if not a neck/both/bridge 3-way switch with volume and tone.
    Lowendchamp, sonojono and Plectrum72 like this.
  7. cavemanbass


    Nov 5, 2010
    Another vote for EMG Geezers. Not only do the pickups sound great, the included wiring harness is fantastic. Never had a scratchy pot or noisy jack with EMG, and really easy to install.
  8. Mycomancer


    Jan 15, 2022
    I have a blend knob on my current PJ, and was considering doing two volumes for this bass. Sell me on why you would suggest I don't please, I need to hear different takes!

    Thanks for your time
  9. wintremute

    wintremute mediocrity at its finest

    Oct 16, 2014
    Endorsing Artist: Langstrom Carrot Farms
    1. Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounders
    2. EMG Geezers

    Very close, but for me I prefer the Quarter Pounders.
    DeepHz, Aqualung60 and simongpaez like this.
  10. skyline_01

    skyline_01 Endorsing artist: Nordstrand Audio, Tsunami Cables

    Nov 14, 2006
    Lebanon, OH
    I've heard nothing but good things about the Geezers, so you'd probably be good with those.

    I have to put in a vote for Nordstrand as well though. I think a set of NPJ Blades would be killer for your application, and there wouldn't be any issues with string spacing bc of the blade magnet. And they come in Warm & Wooly or Clean & Clear versions.
    JimK likes this.
  11. Jefus

    Jefus Does this amp make my bass sound fat? Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2008
    The Geezer P is phenomenal! I didn't think much of the J that came with it though; it just kind of seemed like an afterthought and was fairly low output in comparison.

    However, regular, active EMGs are incredible! They have different models that should be a bit less bright than the regular ones (CS version, for example). And with one if their preamps you can make them do anything.
    TN WOODMAN and dannnnn like this.
  12. GroovyBaby

    GroovyBaby He stole my mojo! Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2007
    Huntingdon, PA
    Sub’d. I’m curious as well as I love a good PJ. My SB-2 has MFD pus, which are hot and not what you want. I have a Tony Franklin PJ with an Arcane 65 p and the stock Dimarzio bridge. I like it but the bridge is fat sounding and less articulate than I think it could be. My favorite was probably an Aguilar pj set. Clear and clean but could dial back nice and vintage. Geezers get lots of love here but I haven’t tried them.
  13. J-Mags

    J-Mags Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Durham NC
    I have GZRs. I use them mostly for P-Bass and P-J sounds. I was concerned that the J pickup would sound wimpy, but it sounds fine to me. The GZRs didn't overwhelm me the moment I heard them, but I've generally been liking them. Just good, straight ahead PJ sounds.

    I've had a chance to play a bass with DiMarzio model P/Model J pickups, and they were high-output and slightly middy, but less than I expected, and were clearly versatile.
  14. Brich


    Nov 18, 2013
    Wilde P46 & J45
    Pops OB, TN WOODMAN, erratick and 3 others like this.
  15. Spirit of Ox

    Spirit of Ox Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Chelsea Mass
    Dimarzio Model J, Dimarzio Will Power with Ultra J bridge
  16. My Squier PJ is loaded with the Seymour Duncan QPs and I have it dressed with EB Cobalt Flats. Awesome sound/tone! I will never replace them.
    MrKpawz likes this.
  17. wardak


    Dec 3, 2001
    Geezers are good in general. I’m not sure that they are precisely ultra dark reggae hip hop though… perhaps work the EQ and effects to dial in those tones.

    Note that the Geezer pickups themselves are passive, but EMG EQ options vary. The EMG passive knobs will work. The active EMG might help with the tones you mentioned… multiple versions of EMG EQ available. I recommend getting the EMG’s ABC blend with the EQ (not the ABCX blend). More info of possible interest here EMG PJAX vs Geezer
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
    El_Charro likes this.
  18. castlev


    Mar 28, 2010
    New Jersey
    I have 2 ESP Precision basses, both have the P Quarter Pound, and 1 has the Hot Jazz, the other has the Hot Jazz Stack. I prefer the regular Hot Jazz, it has more bite that compliments the Quarter Pound, though it isn't humbucking like the Hot Jazz Stack but I don't care.
    El_Charro likes this.
  19. BOOG


    Dec 13, 2016
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Before I got to the end of your query, I was thinking Geezers. Give them a try and I’m betting you’ll be satisfied if not, enamored.
    I have them in an Aerodyne with LaBella black tapewounds and love how versatile they are. Besides, if you don’t like them I would guess that resale will not cost you much in depreciation.
    El_Charro likes this.
  20. As a person who has a bass with a Geezer PJ set collecting dust, I have to warn the OP not to get this set, especially considering he specifically mentioned wanting matches outputs. The GZR P by itself is good, but the PJ is not a good set as the J output is not high enough.

    If you can find a Tony Franklin set , that's great for matching. I also hear good things about Aguilar sets. Trust me, don't get the EMGs.

    I got my current bass (tony Franklin body with jazz neck) specifically because those TF pickups have nicely matched outputs. I use the J all the time with my TF, but could not find any use for the J in the GZR set. That J is worse than useless in that set IMO.

    My suggestion is since you are going custom on the bass, get custom wound pickups from Lindy Fralin. They will over wind the J to get it to match perfectly for you. Or an Aguilar st to save some coin.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2022
    Stage Left, DTRN, Lo-E and 1 other person like this.
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