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SPB-3 vs. DP122 vs. '62 Original

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by EricTheEZ1, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I have a 50's Reissue P-Bass that came pre-modded with a Seymour Duncan SPB-3 pickup, Badass II, and a Dunlop straplock set. I felt that it needed something different. I bought the DiMarzio DP122 (Creme color) and a Fender '62 Original pickup to tryout against the SPB-3. Below is my review.

    Seymour Duncan SPB-3
    The Seymour Duncan is a good pickup, but it doesn't do the gritty/ballsy thing as well as the DiMarzio and it's not very vintage sounding either. I felt the string balance was below average and the overall output was not very punchy. This pickup has a massive bottom end, but it can be a bit boomy. It lacks a lot of midrange and is a bit bright. It doesn't have much tone that I would consider tight, but it is smooth like a baby's butt, that's for sure. It's just not the right tone for me, I think

    DiMarzio DP122 (Creme)
    First off, this pickup is not as good as the Fender '62 if all you want is the finger tone. If you are in to strictly using your P-Bass for blues and motown covers, the '62 is your pickup. The DP122 is certainly worth your while and has a great and distinctively p tone. The difference with this pickup is that it does everything really well. It's got the punch that the SPB-3 lacked, but also has a great slap tone. This is a 4 wire pickup and I ended up installing a DPDT switch for Series/Parallel operation. I find the Series to be much better suited to most styles, but the Parallel can be better for Slap with the right EQ'ing. It's got a lot more mid range, in general, with certainly more high-mids than I was expecting. It's a very cutting tone and I find it to be better at rock, pick, and "The Who" style stuff, rather than Motown. It can do Motown and Blues stuff, but it's easier to remove edge than to add it, which is why I stuck with this pickup in the end.

    Fender '62 Original
    This pickup is arguably better than the DP122. I liked the tone only a hair better, but the tone was a bit uneven across the strings. It had a decent amount of punch, but the output overall was less than the SD or DiMarzio. This pickup lacks the midrange I was looking for, but it I also have a GK rig that is a bit more neutral and crisp, rather than gritty or midrangy like an SVT. The slap tone wasn't very good and it lacked the grit and overall character of tone that the DiMarzio had. It did the Motown thing better overall than any of the others. If that's all you want a P-Bass for, go for this pickup.

    Sound Clips
    The sound clips that are included are in the format.
    1st Section: It's like "Ain't To Proud To Beg", but I improvise a bit so that all the strings are touched. Tone set at 0%.
    2nd Section: Pick style with tone at roughly 20-25% where I thought it sounded good for each pickup. A quick riff that touches all strings.
    3rd Section: Slap style with tone at roughly 40-50% depending on the pickup. "Forget Me Nots".

    Attached Files:

    priced88, Johnny Crab, Bolsyo and 2 others like this.
  2. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    Adding pictures and other Sound Clip

    Attached Files:

    basslifter likes this.
  3. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    The last pictures of after the install.
    For those who want smooth (non hard rock) tone and the distinctively Seymour Duncan flavor that the SPB-3 brings, it's for sale.

    Attached Files:

  4. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    Bump. No love? :( I put a lot of time and a heck of a lot of solder in to the last couple of days to get this up and running.
  5. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I believe they are. I got my pickup from Musicians Friend. The one listed on Fender's website probably is, but they're not very good at labeling things properly.
  6. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    Thanks for the clips.

    I can't help but hear a very similar sound from my Fender Hw1 bass and think that possibly the HW1 pickup is the same without the cloth wire and the grounding plate. Are there any markings on the bottom of your Original 62' Pup?
  7. EricTheEZ1


    Nov 23, 2004
    Clawson, MI
    I already RMA'd it back to MusiciansFriend so I couldn't tell you. Fenders usually all sound pretty similar until you get to the really expensive ones.


    Mar 29, 2007
    After reading your comment I am going to try these out. I have been happy with my SD's but still felt like I could do better.
  9. Tony Gray

    Tony Gray

    Mar 6, 2006
    I really liked your clip with the Fender pickup. My 62 AVRI doesn't come close to that.
  10. I also really liked the Fender pickup the best
  11. great thread man. I've been looking for sound clips of these pups to a/b for a while.

    As soon as I got some spare $$ I'm getting me some Dimarzios!
  12. Thanks for the samples.

    I'm stringing up a new bass today with the spb3 quarter pounder pickup. From your clip it sounds very bright. Must be pretty low inductance.

    I'm calculating some varitone capacitor values for this pickup.
    I should be able to get a variety of sounds from it. On some of the varitone settings i'll go for a bit of midrange boost like I hear from the Fender and Dimarzio.

  13. tofe


    Oct 11, 2007
    thanks for the review !
  14. 5not4


    Sep 7, 2000
    Flint, MI
    +1!! Excellent 2yr old thread!

    I'm in the process of changing/upgrading PU's in a late 70's P and this helps greatly.

    Thanks for the review.:hyper:
  15. hyphen82


    Aug 2, 2010
    wow, thank you so much!

    I was looking for information on Dimarzio dp122,
    and I found your wonderful review!

    that really helps!
    especially those sound samples!

  16. reeedri


    Feb 14, 2011
    Hi, thanks for this review, is very usefull to me. Now im trying to get a dimarzio pickup and here (argentina) is hard to find quality components like capacitors and pots. I have a squier precision mij, and recently i replace the original pickups for some alnico, but i bought some orange drop capacitor and pots and i would like to know if i had to replace them too. To make it simple, What cap will go fine with this pickup (dimarzio dp 122) if anyone knows that will be good because in www.dimarzio.com i could not find anything about it.
  17. ronlitz


    Apr 20, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    I just wanted to mention that with P pickups, string balance should never be an issue - you can angle each pickup individually and put each string as near or far from the string as you need to reach even string-to-string volume.
    el_Bajo_Verde likes this.
  18. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    Thank you for your review! I've got the Fender '62 in my bass and while it is excellent, it is as you say perhaps not the best all rounder. I realise now that the p-bass sound I hear in my head is Dimarzio! Cheers.
    PawleeP likes this.
  19. Filip Burdon

    Filip Burdon

    Jan 16, 2012
    Warsaw Poland
    Bass player in https://www.facebook.com/TamamShodProg/
    So as far as I understanded the DP122 is much better if you want to play punk stuff with a pick?
    Do you know any other pickups worth trying if I want to get an agressive, growling sound in my P bass?

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