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vintage PJ pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by williamk, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    Hi all
    I have a P I'm about to convert into a PJ, I wrote a thread about this a while back and it was strongly suggested to me that I forget about the idea and buy a PJ instead...but that's not an option and I found a super talented luthier that was recommended to me by many people and he'll take care of the procedure.
    Now I have to go pickup hunting and I need advice. My bass is a fender AVRI '57, very vintage sounding, and I'd like to keep it that way. Now I don't really know if I should keep the existing P pu and add a new J pu or get a new PJ combo pu altogether (I know P pu's and J pu's have a hard time balancing volume-wise). Which option is the best? Any good quality vintage-sounding PJ set I should be looking into, not to pricey if possible?
    Thank you!

    ps: I've used the search engine and found some info...but am still looking for new input!
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    forget "balance", that's right out, unless you paired a weak underwound P pickup with a dark overwound J pickup.

    if the P pickup you have sounds good, keep it. the J pickup is just there to "season" the P pickup, adding treble and scooping out mids as it's dialed in. as such, it doesn't need to be as loud as the P pickup.

    i recommend the dimarzio area J as having a close to vintage J tone with no hum, and complementing vintage-style P pickups nicely.
  3. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    thanks, I'll look into that. I DO want to be able to use the j pu soloed though, without hearing a def decrease in volume if possible...
  4. audioglenn


    Jul 14, 2012

    a big +1 on this comment.
  5. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    the dimarzio ultra Jazz is louder, so the imbalance will not be as obvious.

    P pickups are in a whole 'nother league, though, so you get to choose between "P-J with each pickup sounding like it should" and "P-J where the J isn't weaker than the P".

    (this is why i don't care for the combo, it was always a thrown-together thing; it's the 4x10+1x15 of bass pickups :spit:)
  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I've been through two iterations of a passive PJ setup on my 78 Precision.

    V. 1 was was a DiMarzio in the neck and a Duncan Quarter Pounder J at the bridge. Not so good. The DiMarzio was big and boomy, the Quarter Pounder was noticeably quieter, and too nasal and thin for my liking. There was a pretty broad range of tones to be gained by blending the two but a lot of them weren't real pleasing or useful.

    V. 2 happened just a few weeks ago with a Nordstrand PJ set... soooo much better and I am really loving it. The range of tones isn't quite as broad as it was the first time around but the tones I do get are VERY musical and there is hardly any dropoff in output between the solo'd bridge and neck. I have to think having a matched set with both PUs from the same manufacturer has a lot to do with it.
  7. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    dimarzio model p and j in creme.

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