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Trying to liven up my P

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by mrcbass, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    This weekend, I swapped out my fender Pbass pups for some Quarter Seymour
    Duncan Quarter Pounds, hoping to wake up the bass a little. I found that the SD's actually deadened it a bit, so I pulled them and returned.

    I thought I saw a blurb somewhere that a higher Ohm reading meant a stronger pup. When I pulled them to un swap, I measured and found the Fenders at 12.2 and the SDs at 13.2, so a little perplexed that the SDs actually sounded worse - or at least didn't fix what I was trying to.

    FYI - this spring I realized that have more oomph - especially on the upper range - on my Squier than I do on my AM Pro Fender. So trying to do something to liven up the Fender.

    It's a little hard to explain what I'm looking for, but I'll try:
    I generally like the tone to be mostly rolled off (10-20% - think Jamerson, old school Motown), but in some instances I like to roll it up a bit (70-80%) to boost the highs. When I do this on my Squier, I get a real growly tone and all the strings are just generally livelier. I'm not much for slap, but on the Squier I can actually get some noises that begin to approximate a slap tone, but not at all on my Fender - just thud, thud, thud and the pops are worse. For some time, I though I just could not find the technique at all; turned out in this case, it was the tool. I play flats, so not especially looking for slap tone - I'm just using this an example of the difference I'm perceiving - I'm missing the growl on my Fender.

    I'm going to try a fresh set of strings just to rule that out (using same strings on both basses - not a huge amount of age difference - they're flats, couple of years old so not expecting there should be a tremendous difference - the fresh set is to rule a dead set of strings.

    Assuming new strings does not solve this, does anyone have any ideas as to what else to try:
    Do the pots have anything to do with this?

    Any other pups I can try that may be more lively? (5 string, passive P)

    What should I be looking for when browsing to get an indication of the pups' liveliness?

    Is there anything else on the bass I'm not considering that would contribute to a pretty big difference in tone?

    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  2. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    I like my Schuyler Dean custom, but you gotta know everyone here is gonna have 2 words for you: Lindy and Fralin.
  3. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    Different strings (halfwounds maybe)? I don't think anyone would claim flats to be known as "lively" strings.

    Pickup height? Were the Duncans too far from the strings?

    If you like the tone you're getting from the Squier, maybe try it's pickups in your Fender. I'm sure some people will gasp at that suggestion, but if it gets the sound you're after, who cares? Good news is, if you decide you like the Squier pickups in the Fender, you can probably get a used set for pennies.
  4. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    Lindy and Fralin are pickups?
    sonojono and TinyE like this.
  5. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I like the flats - been set on those for some time. I'm not looking for the zing of rounds, just want to get the
    growl that I know I can get.

    I had the pups up very high and did play with that as I was testing = they had no high end at all - I had the tone rolled all the way up and sounded like my Fender pups at 10-20%.

    I'm not a brand snob - whatever works is what I'll do. I'm not too interested in taking one bass apart to test the other one, but if I could figure out what the pups are, I'd have no problem using those in my Fender - how do I ID? On site, they look exactly like the pups in my AM Pro.
  6. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    gvbassman, bebi, sonojono and 4 others like this.
  7. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
  8. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
  9. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Info is on the website I linked you to.
  10. mrcbass


    Jan 14, 2016
    Sacramento, CA
    I hope their pups work better than their site.... no response when I tried to click on that stuff.
  11. Dragan


    Oct 5, 2009
    Nordstrand pickups helped me to juice up my fenders more than once.
    gvbassman, djaxup, Outbush and 8 others like this.
  12. TinyE


    Jan 31, 2013
    it's all been said. Fralin or Nordstrand will change your P all up... strings will make a huge difference too. have you tried DR Hi-Beams?
    gvbassman and 1960jbass like this.
  13. iiipopes

    iiipopes Supporting Member

    May 4, 2009
    Add a J-bridge pickup.
  14. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    Man, you're like my boss. When I HAD one of those...
    • For an era-authentic 50’s tone, use our “Stock Wind”, or, choose “N/A” under output preference
    • For a thicker midrange and fewer highs, choose +5%. This will reduce the highs by 5%, and increase the lows and mids by 5%.
    • For an even thicker tone than the +5%, you can opt for +10%. This is perfect for anyone looking for an aggressively strong midrange and dark tone. Perfect for balancing out a bright sounding bass.
    • If you’re looking for a little cleaner tone, use our -5% wind. This will increase the highs by 5%, and decrease the mids by 5%.
  15. Pickup height could make all the difference.
    radapaw, djaxup, dune and 11 others like this.
  16. This is an American Professional P 5 string? I have a 4 string and I found the V-mod pickup to be pretty lively.
    Rabidhamster likes this.
  17. Peteyboy


    Apr 2, 2018
    Los Angeles
    This is good advice - and costs nothing to implement!
  18. Bob Clayton

    Bob Clayton My P doesn’t have flats or tort Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    My go to are Bartolini or Nordstrand
    wmhill, HardNHeavy and Ggaa like this.
  19. Bruiser Stone

    Bruiser Stone Supporting Member

    Dec 7, 2017
    I swapped out the original pickup on my ‘78 for stock-wound Fralin and couldn’t be happier. Sweetness, a little more low end without losing clarity, and paired with TI Jazz flats or Sunbeams and a modest amount of compression from a Diamond Bass Comp Jr...lordy lordy. Lively but still warm, woody, and growly.

    And pickup height could be the fix, too.
    Madhouse27 and Thegrandwazoo like this.
  20. 39-Bassist


    Jul 7, 2010
    Endorsing Artist for: Brace Audio; Duncan Pickups; Line6, Hipshot, GHS Strings, Somnium Guitars
    Well first off, If you want a bit of growl....use the SPB-4 SH....NOT the 3's as you found out.
    If you like solid full sounds I would have went SPB-1....LOVE this pu.
    For a bit of a mid growl form a different brand....EMG GZR's
    Just my 1-1/2 cents...

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