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Tony Franklin P5

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BryanB, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I have a 2012 Fender Precision 5 that I really like. I am considering modifying it to be a sort of 5 string version of a Tony Franklin fretted. This means installing a pickup in the bridge position and adding a three-way toggle to select neck, bridge, or neck+bridge in parallel. The main issue is getting a jazz-type pickup that balances well with the P pickup. I talked to Nordstrand about this. They recommend thier P pickup plus thier big split. From what I could find on youtube, the Nordstrand P pickup has more range than the Fender and is smoother in the mids. To me the Fender pickup is a little shy in the deep lows and extended highs, and has a distinct low-mid puch and hi-mid gank. Not smooth at all, but a great classic Fender sound. I am not against replacing the P pickup, but I may not like the Nordstrand as well. I use this bass for modern rock, so I am pretty happy with the sound. If I don't change the P pickup, what jazz-type pickup would you recommend? Do you think I can get the same punch and bite out of the Nordstrand P as the stock with some eq?
  2. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Has anyone added a jazz pickup to a 5 string precision?
  3. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

  4. I just bought this bass:

    You can read about the Nordstrand pickup he put in.

    He bougt it here. This owner had a single coil in it.

    When I get the bass, hopefully next week or begining of week after, I can report back.
  5. punkrocko


    Jun 18, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    I can’t help with your J pickup question, but I did have the Nordstand in my P5 briefly. You description of the two is pretty spot on in my experience. The Nordstrand sounded beautiful, but I missed the barky quality of the original Fender and swapped it back in. Have you considered a stock Fender Jazz 5 pickup?
  6. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yes, I did. As you know, the issue is getting the output levels even.

  7. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yeah, I saw that. Nice grab! I am looking forward to your review.

  8. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

  9. So I got the bass, swapped out the existing strings for LaBella flats, set it all up and played for a few hours through my headphones (ATHM50's).

    The bass has the stock Fender P5 and a split Nordstrand in the back. I like my PJ's where the P is still the star, and the J can ease it an growl things up a hair when needed. I never, ever solo bridge pickups except on my fretless. There are no plans to replace the Fender pickup as I want that sound.

    This J pickup works well for me in this setup. When it came to dialing in the sound I was after, I turned up both volumes all the way, then adjusted the J pickup height until the sound I wanted was there. It still retains the overall P flavor (can I say P-ness?) but the J growl and it's frequencies are definitely adding a cool, different thing. It seems to go together fine.

    You could always get the Nordstrand J pup, the add the P pup later if you want. I'm keeping this one as-is. There won't be a chance for me to play it at band volume for another week or so and that will be the real test.
  10. BryanB

    BryanB Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Great review, thanks. Is the J pickup in the 70's position? Would you describe it as modern, vintage, mellow, aggressive? How was the volume compared to the P? Were you able to set the pickup height for good volume match and still get optimal tone?
  11. Based on these measurements (31 7/8), it seems to be '70's.

    I'm not a good judge of vintage/modern when it comes to bridge pickups as I just don't play them soloed much. Plus, I'm using flats, so that's going to take away some high end nuances. I was able to set the pickup to blend in great with the P wihthout it seeming unnaturally low or high.



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