What basses have a good versatile pickup arrangement ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by topo morto, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    What basses have a good versatile pickup arrangement (I'm thinking : better than J/J or P/J)?

    For most of my playing... ahem... 'career', I've used a P-bass. At the moment I have a couple of basses with a P/J arrangement and although I like having two pickups, I'm finding a bridge J is a bit weedy and uninspiring. Any suggestions for something with a couple of pickups, both of which give a nice meaty output? I guess I want 'further away from the bridge'.

    I would be intending to send the output from the pickups straight to jacks on the bass, so don't care about blend, onboard EQ or preamps, or any of that stuff.
  2. d_town


    Jul 2, 2013
    Stu hamm j/p/j
  3. d_town


    Jul 2, 2013
    Or the fender h/j
  4. myetcetera


    Apr 23, 2010
    It's tough to beat the G&L L2000/L2500 basses for versatility. You can go from a deep thump to a smooth warm tone right to a treble heavy slap. It's all in there.
  5. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Think about the switching options as well.

    I have a P/J that's better than a P/J - well, better than the standard VVT or VBT setup. It's got a 4-way rotary switch with the added option of both pickups in series. If that's not a meaty output I don't know what is - much meatier than the P solo.
  6. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    First basses I thought of.
  7. RED J

    RED J Lol Supporting Member

    Jan 23, 2000
    All P-J's are not created equal. I'm with you, I find most bridge J's insipid and thin. I have a Peavey Foundation S that is anything but. I've also found that a double coil hum cancelling J pickup like Dimarzio Model J has more meat. Also , the combo needs to add to and expand the other, not take away, which often seems to be the case. Like you said, spacing makes a difference too. Don't necessarily give up on P-J. Though I've dumped most, I wouldn't take anything for my Foundation S. They're out there, just keep looking.
  8. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    A P/MM type of setup could be interesting as well, particularly given series/parallel and coil-split options.
  9. Probably gonna get blasted for this, but Ibanez basses, given a decent setup...can handle anything from happy slap jazz too doom metal...one thing about Ibanez bass (especially the btb range) is that the bridges have some much clarity & sustain...better than some fender models!
  10. Ibanez humbuckers are prerty damn versatile IMHO.
  11. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    Dual soapbars is the way to go, with series/single/parallel for each pickup. Something like a Lakland 55-01 with upgraded pickups. That way you get your Jazz, Precision, Stingray, and everything in between.

    Could do it with soapbars like the 55-01, or with dual MM pickups like the Warwick DoubleBuck. The dual soapbar setup is what folks like MTD, Brubaker, Fodera, and many others uses.
  12. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA

    Dual humbuckers. Active/Passive. Series, Parallel, and Single Coil (if it has that option).

    IMO, the most versatile basses that I know of.
  13. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    Those BC Rich Mockingbirds with the two "P" pup's and active circuit.
  14. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY

    My most used bass has a 4 way rotary that I like. It does, neck pickup solo, bridge pickup solo, both in series, both in parallel.

    I also have switches for each of the pickups, so I can switch between parallel or series within the coils. While they look like soapbars from the outside, they're actually more like P-bass split coils.
  15. Doctor_Clock

    Doctor_Clock The Moon Machine Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY
    I just got an Aria Pro II TSB-650 it has a cool pick up config. ( believe a lot of Aria Pro II have this as well.)
    It's got two pick ups (Neck and Bridge) with Series/Parallel selection - stacked controls, which
    means you can blend in each pick-up and adjust the tone individually. So it can do P, P/P, P/JJ, JJ/P, JJ/JJ. I think its pretty cool. Also a mention to my Peavey T-40 that can do a whole bunch of fun as well with all it's seemingly endless tone options.
  16. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    My split-coil is under a soapbar cover too (it confuses people). I'm guessing that's one of your Dingwalls - it was from playing a few in-store that I discovered the 4-way rotary, then I was very happy to find it was the standard when choosing the options on my ACG.
  17. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Yes. I find if I want a 'Jazz-like' tone (extension both in the highs and lows but fairly flat to a bit scooped in the mids), I run the pickups in parallel and the 4 way in parallel. If I want something that's more Precision sounding, its neck pickup in series, soloed. Although I often run everything series which gives a bigger thicker deep-with-low-mid-bump tone.
  18. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    G&L L-2000's are pretty darn versatile as are the Fender Roscoe Beck basses if passive is your thing.
  19. SoVeryTired

    SoVeryTired Endorsing nothing, recommending much

    Jul 2, 2011
    Milton Keynes, UK
    Good descriptions. I don't really play slap but when I'm messing about I find the parallel setting is the best. That slight scoop works well for higher melodic lines. For pick playing I tend to favour the P but the fatness of the series setting is hard to beat for fingerstyle.
  20. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    It depends on the band setting. I can get away with series/series/series in my band because there's no one down in my range, and I'm looking for big filling lows and low mids. If we add a second guitar player, extra keys or hand percussion for a gig, I may move my 4-way to parallel to clear a little room out in the mix and extend a little deeper.