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Vintage sounding P pickup..which one?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dave120, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Hi guys,

    I'm about to purchase a new SX P bass that I want to turn into a "vintage machine" and make it sound as much like a classic rock bass as possible. I figure the woods are already good being Alder. I know I want flatwound strings on it, probably Fender ones. I'm unsure as to what pickups would be best suited to it.

    I've been a fan of Seymour Duncan pickups for a while and have a Hot P bass pickup in one of my Washburns and I love what it added to that bass. Is the SPB-1 "Vintage" one a good choice to look at? Or are there other models/brands that would fit the bill better? I'm looking for Beatles-era classic "thump" rock sound. I'm going to first wait till it gets here and see how it sounds with some good flats on it first, and then upgrade the pickup later if needed, but I'm starting my research now.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. The 0x

    The 0x

    Aug 24, 2003
    Timonium, MD
    I like the Fender Original 62 pickup. Vintage, gutsy, and wonderful sounding, but really shines with a tube amp (or two!).
  3. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    How vintage do you want to sound? For a good '60's sound the Original 62 is nice, for a '70's the Dimarzio Model P is my weapon of choice.
  4. dave120


    Jun 27, 2005
    Central Florida
    Well I want it to be fairly 50's and 60's sounding...For an exact tone I'd say the way the bass sounds in "That Thing You Do!" is pretty good.

    Basically anything I can throw some flats on and jam to Beatles music and stuff with, to get some versatility since my other bases are geared more towards modern stuff and don't sound good for that kind of music.
  5. Nedmundo

    Nedmundo Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2005
    I'm sure the Fender Original '62 pickup is great, but so is the Lindy Fralin, which Lakland uses in its Bob Glaub models. I've played a Glaub, and it captures a classic P tone. Others have raved about Nordstrands. Seymour Duncan claims its SPB-1 produces a vintage P tone, so if you like your Hot for P-Bass, that's probably worth a try. It will have less output and mids, and more treble.

    If you can find one, an old MIJ Fender pickup might fit the bill. I've seen them used for about $20, and I have one in a '94 MIJ Foto Flame that NAILS a vintage P tone. If price matters and you can find one, give it a shot.

    I like the DiMarzio Model P, but view it as more of a hard/punk rock pickup, not vintage. But this depends on your definition of "vintage," because many players have used these since their introduction in 1977. If by "vintage" you mean that warm, fat '60's sound, though, you don't want the DiMarzio.
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I haven't tried the SD SPB-1, but I can say the the Nordstrand is the best vintage+ P pickup I've heard.
  7. I also use and love the Original 62. With flatwound strings, it absolutely nails the 60's vintage tone.

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