What do you think of this P sound?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cjazz50, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. Here's a clip of my Fender/Warmoth fretless P. I'm thinking about replacing the pickup and I would like some input.


    I like the low end fullness of this sound, but the pickup seems to a add a metalic clanky quality that is not present in the acoustic sound of the bass. Is this typical of P pickups? I'm looking for something smoother and more natural sounding.

    Models I'm looking at are:

    Bartolini 8S
    Lindy Fralin
    Kent Armstrong
    Fender Original '62
    maybe Seymour Duncan (which model?)

    Which of these do you think will give me the sound I'm looking for?

    I also have a piezo on this bass. It sounds like this. I like the smoothness of this sound but it is a little thin down low. Presently I don't have any way to blend the two pickups.

    For anyone interested, the bass is a '72 Fender Precision body with a Warmoth all rosewood fretless neck. The piezo is Graphtech. The bass is passive and I have a switch to select between the magnetic and piezo pickups. I recorded the samples through my Demeter VTBP-201s into my soundcard.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Actually, that sounds really good as is. I would think that the vintage-type pickups (Duncan SPB-1, Fralin, Fender, maybe Armstrong) would sound pretty similar to that. You might get fatter lows and mids from the Duncan SPB-2, but the SPB-3 is pretty clanky IME. I have found EMG's to be absolutely thunderous, but they have a lot of top end, and maybe not such strong mids.

    I haven't tried the others.
  3. I like that fretless P sound you have too - the characteristic
    P-bass high-mid edge would have a nice presence in the mix with other instruments ie. not be abrasive.

    maybe your answer would lie in having a blending preamp - Rick Turner uses one in his electroline basses to blend a passive p/up (in roughly the P spot) with a bridge piezo, with a treble roll-off pot.
    that way the depth of the P could be combined with the thick low mids of the piezo, and any harshness in the high mids and highs subdued.
  4. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    i like that sound.. nice full sound.. nice bass line as well ;)
  5. pmkelly


    Nov 28, 2000
    Kansas City, MO
    I thought the sound was pretty cool.... don't know that you would really want to change it around!

  6. LA


    Oct 17, 2001
    I'm not hearing anything metallic, but maybe that's just my ear. What kind of strings are you using?
  7. Sounded nice to me too... nice taste of mwah in the background.

    I'd guess roundwound strings, but please post the exact string type. Inquiring minds would like to know.
  8. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Sounds good to me.
  9. Thanks for all the replies, guys.

    I guess I like that sound, but I like the acoustic sound of the bass more than what comes out either pickup. If I could, I would put the Lightwave pickup on this bass. I might try some other pickups just to see what they are like. I also think I’ll take Mock Turtle Regulator’s suggestion and get something to blend the two pickups.

    BTW, the strings are Thomastik-Infeld Jazz Flats.
  10. I'm similarly dissatisfied with the rubbery piezo tone of my Hohner TWP600B defretted acoustic- I've been experimenting with mixing a mic'd signal with the lows rolled off with the piezo signal with the highs rolled off.
    (I use my Tascam 4 track as the mixer, but Fishman do a mic/piezo blending preamp)

    since Warmoth are now doing a semi-hollow Jazz body I wonder what the results would be of using that with a fretless neck, fitting a transducer or microphone in the soundhole and mixing that signal with the piezo and/or magnetic signal.
  11. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Like most of the other folks, chris, I just don't hear "metallic clank" at all and I'm not using PC speakers. Maybe it just doesn't come through on the recording

    Well, that's what Bartolini is known for - "natural, clean, woody."

    If you have the bucks, Duncan Antiquities II deserve consideration (plus, if you don't like them, you can return them; I don't know if Barts have a return policy).

    Aero's are a toss-up because they're custom made. It depends on how well you express your desires to Larry Pollack and how well he executes them. Again - $$$

    Unfortunately, I've never played Fralins or Armstrongs. But if you look at them, you might check out Jason Lollar's P pickups, too, too.