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The biggest problem with SB2's....

Discussion in 'G&L Bass Forum' started by GaryLC, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. GaryLC


    Apr 6, 2006
    Scotia, NY
    ....is that I can't find a traditional Precision bass that I like!!! I've become addicted to that SB2 (well, actually those wonderful pickups), and I just can't find a P bass that I like the sound of!! And I'd like a P-bass in my arsenal.......I've had a few different ones, an MIA with Quarter Pounders, an MIM P Bass Special with Lightning Rods......but they all lack the "oomph" of the SB2! Should I try one of the active Deluxe Precisions? Or maybe I'm just not meant to go back to a Fender....(although I love the Jags!)
  2. ljazz


    Dec 10, 2002
    Cookeville, TN
    I love Seymour Duncan Antiquity pups. To me, they make newer Fenders a bit more usable. I have a '92 American Standard Jazz with them installed. I've also tried a mid '90's American Standard P with the Antiquity P pup installed.... in both cases, they sound absolutely vintage. If you're accustomed to running with the Split MFD wide open, then I doubt you'll find a traditional P to your liking. However, if you run it rolled off a bit, which, IMO sounds very vintage P, then maybe a reissued P with the Antiquity pup installed may be your thing.

    All of that being said, I absolutely adore my '87 SB1 (with the stock MFD). Roll off the volume to about 80-90%, roll the tone back to about 60-70%, and I'm in early '60's P bass land. It's more Fender P than any post Leo Fender P around. I do the volume roll off thing with my SB2, and add just a touch of the J pup, and I'm again in P bass land.... only much sweeter!

  3. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    An SB-2 isn't a P ... and that doesn't pose an issue for me. I prefer that my basses are dfferent from one another. I can put down a PJ, pickup a J and celebrate that. Either will do the job ... just differently.

    If I wanted a spare that would be exactly like numero uno ... then I'd buy another one just like numero uno ...

    So buy the P, don't try to make it sound like an SB-2 and dig what it does differently from the SB-2. They're both good basses .
  4. GaryLC


    Apr 6, 2006
    Scotia, NY
    You're right 4Mal, what I wrote sounds kind of stupid in retrospect! I know they're two totally different basses, but was just turned onto G&L's last year (after almost 40 years of playing Fenders etc.) I find I can almost duplicate the P sound on my SB2, but not vice versa. Guess it just boils down to me diggin' the SB2 right now...
    I've never had an "active" P, what's the consensus on them?
  5. earlgray


    Jul 12, 2005
    Raleigh, NC
    The American Deluxe Precision is farther from a traditional P-bass sound than an SB-2. I've owned one for about 4 years and I say its the most overrated (& underperforming) bass I've got.

    The materials, fit & finish on the AM-Del-P is top-notch -- Fender's best IMO, but the sound is just not there. And, since the bass is active-only, so you can't get away from it.

    I'd stay away from one of those basses if you want the traditional P sound.

  6. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I agree with earlgray about the American Deluxe Precision. Seriously, don't bother. My experience mirrors his.

    If you want a more traditional P-bass tone, and really dig the SB-2, try a Lindy Fralin pickup. It has much more punch, clarity, and grit than a stock Fender pickup. It's not as big, thick, and deep sounding as the SB-2, but the gritty texture is there, especially with the treble on full. You might go for an overwind for a little more punch, but I've been happy with the stock wind.
  7. Bassist01545

    Bassist01545 Supporting Member

    Jun 30, 2006
    I've owned several in the past--for quality and playability, far exceed any precision out there, including the 70's vintage (IMHO junk)

    To be honest I was not overly pleased with the sound. Picked one up a few months ago with the tone modification--totally different beast--I never understood the term P bass on steroids until I played my new SB-2. The G&L can do anything a Precision can, but far better.
  8. Horny Toad

    Horny Toad Guest

    Mar 4, 2005


    I've got a Fralin in my CIJ P and it's phenomenal.
  9. spideyjg


    Mar 19, 2006
    San Diego
    Bah! Just buy a SB-2 split coil and drop it into your favorite Fender P and be done with it. :)

  10. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005
    How about try the passive preamp mod on the SB-2...

    My SB-2 has the preamp mod that has concentric knobs for both pickups...vol. and tone for the Split Single Coil (P Bass pup) and a vol. and tone for the Single Coil at the Bridge. I love the setup...leaves me the ability to solo the P bass pup and use the tone control to get that P Bass thump...while also blending the neck and bridge pup...or soloing the bridge single coil to get that mid-burp/Jaco-esque attack.

    The preamp mod made my SB-2 my favorite bass and an easy go-to for anything! I dig it so much that I sold my 30th Anniversary Musicman Stingray because the tone just wasn't there like what I was getting out of the SB-2.

    Stock G&L "magic" pups...versatility...and full on traditional SB-2 tone!
  11. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    There is no preamp in an SB2.
  12. stingray56funk

    stingray56funk Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2005

    Yes Chef...I know...I own one too. To change the VOCABULARY then I will say "PASSIVE TONE AND VOLUME CONCENTRIC POTS" instead of the single VOLUME and VOLUME option given with a factory SB-2.

    I think I clearly spelled out in my first post that it was a PASSIVE preamp mod with Volume/Tone concentric pots for each pickup. Call it a preamp...or call it tone controls...or whatever...we know it isn't active by reading everything else I wrote about the mod.
  13. I would leave the SB2 the way it is and shape your amp if needed.
    No other bass comes close to the sound of my sb2 live. Really hot pickups and I back off on the bridge one slightly for a little deeper tone and it's good enough for me.
    Personally "I love the simplicity of just two knobs".
    Sounds dirty sorry....
  14. I tried a new back door approach with my SB-2.

    Bridge pup wide open, splitter blended in just a bit.

    Switch the contour buttons on my iamp.....and presto...solved a scooped issue I was having with it.

    Only took 6 years to dawn on me! :eyebrow:
  15. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Agreed! I love the one in my '98 Am. P. Also, since you asked about actives, I put a Steve Rabe preamp in that bass too... fits into the stock cavity... and that adds a really nice range of tone bandwidth while staying pretty transparent.

    It is a different sound from an SB-2 though. Since picking up the SB-2 a couple weeks ago, my P sits in my double gig bag most nights... and just stays there. :)

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