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Split Coil P-Bass Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by iriegnome, Mar 15, 2005.

  1. iriegnome

    iriegnome Bassstar style Supporting Member

    Nov 23, 2001
    Kenosha, WI 53140
    For years I have seen split coils on hundreds of different basses, including several of my own. Here is my question ~ Every so often, The front coil is on the bass end and the back coil is on the treble end. Some, however, have the split reversed. What difference does this make? Can the coils still be tapped? Do the magnets work differently? Is the tone that much different?
  2. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    The photo below illustrates what you're talking about...although from behind a chrome pickup cover! :D You can see just enough of the pickup to get the drift, though. One of the thoughts behind the "reverse P" arrangement is that some guys like the difference in balance you get between the lows and the highs. Is it a significant differenct? I suppose it depends on who you are, what you hear, and what type of music you're playing. But...at least in theory, switching the two pickup pieces could give you more bite and definition in the low-end and warmer, thicker highs. That seems to be one reason why someone would opt for the switch.
  3. MichaelScott


    Jul 27, 2004
    Moorpark CA
    +1 My next bass will have two reversed P's on it.
  4. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    This bass kicks major butt. It's an '82 BC Rich Mockingbird. Besides the reversed DiMarzio P arrangement there's a parallel/series switch for each pickup. I rarely use the boost and varitone - these do it in spades running passive.

  5. ive seen some warwicks with the neck p pickup regular and the bridge p pickup reversed. that would deffinitely make a bigger difference between the two pickups on the lower strings.
  6. The electronics are identical, the only difference is in tone. Personally, I don't like the standard P configuration as the highs are too bright compared to the lows at any given EQ setting - this is a deliberate imbalance that give a P much of its character.

    Check out Spector, they started with a standard P setup on the NS1 but rapidly moved to a reverse P on the NS2 and have never gone back. In many ways the reverse setup partially compensates for the difference in string tension encountered from the lower tension E to the higher tension G and thus balances the tone.