What makes the EMG GZR P Bass Pickups so special ?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by p12bassnut, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. p12bassnut

    p12bassnut Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2009
    After reading several posts regarding p bass pickup preferences, these pickups come up so often now I think they must be in the top 3 in popularity. Generalities abound about how good they are.
    So, I would like to hear from users what Specifically it is about these pickups that makes them special and popular ?
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  2. I fitted a Geezer Butler PJ set to a Jaguar I built last year.

    Immediately found the tone to be growlier in the mids & with much more upper range "bite" than I had expected ( even with the P p'up solo ) which suits the genre I'm playing really well.

    Definitely cuts through the mix more than the Seymour Duncan p'ups I had in it previously.

    Great to install with the EMG plug system and no issues with buzz etc
    imabuddha, cataract and stuntbass77 like this.
  3. dwizum


    Dec 21, 2018
    They've done a good job of making a retro P/J tone we can all instantly relate to, putting it in a modern package (durable potted coils with plug and play wiring) yet giving it vintagey looks, selling it with a no-brainer wiring/controls harness, associating it with a recognizable music celebrity, and slipping in a noiseless J design when you get a p/j set.

    Pretty much no one else is checking all those boxes, hence the popularity.
  4. KK Jale

    KK Jale

    Nov 4, 2010
    I have noticed the same! As a frequent reader (and i am ashamed to say re-reader) of P-bass pickup threads, the amount of EMG mentions on TB is high. I personally think it's not impossible that one poster's long-term support for this pickup, over many years, has had a noticeable effect on the number of times it is mentioned. Of course, I am sure that the poster in question genuinely loves the pickup and that it's an honest personal recommendation, ie. not a shill.

    oh, and I never tried them.
    Trabeen, stuntbass77 and JimmyM like this.
  5. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    @JimmyM wasn't it designed around Bobby Vega's pickup in one of his famous P basses? I may be remembering that incorrectly. But I know you'll know.

    All I know is that I installed one in my Fender E Series MIJ P bass and it came to life. The tone with the stock pickup was simply "boring". And, as others have said, they're just stupid simple to install. Why other companies haven't adopted that plug-n-play system is beyond me.
    imabuddha, DJ Bebop, VitoMB and 3 others like this.
  6. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Yes, but although I don't know how famous it is, the P pickup was based on the stocker in a 1960 P that Bobby has. Bobby's famous bass is his Shark Jazz Bass.

    Gee, I wonder who you're talking about...


    Well you're right that I genuinely love them. Even kept using them for the year my guy left EMG and I thought that meant I was dropped as an endorser :D And I do endorse EMG so I try to participate in discussions about them when I think I know the answer to something. But I can't force anyone else to like them or want to talk about them on here.
  7. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    So I "kinda" got it right. I'll take it!!!
    stuntbass77 and JimmyM like this.
  8. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    EMG took a carefully selected original vintage Fender '60 P pickup (back then no 2 pickups were made exactly identical) that happened to be slightly hotter, much clearer, and exceptionally well articulated and defined compared to most other vintage voiced pickups out there, overall being really well balanced, dynamically sensitive and lovely open, yet tight, sounding, and with a slight emphasis of the upper mids, which beside contributing to its extraordinary clarity also gives it a slightly biting aggressiveness, though being easily tamable and capable of warmer rounder tones when utilizing the tone knob, however still retaining a rather unique clarity, definition and articulations, rather than getting poorly articulated and defined, sounding muffled and blanketed, as is often the case with other vintage voiced pickups when you turn down the tone knob, cloned all the essential parts, needed to replicate it's tone, meticulously, but then had it shielded internally, as well as using wiring with the ground connection running as braided shield all along the insulated hot wires, making additional shielding of whatever bass it is installed in redundant and meaning that it will be dead quiet even in a bass that hasn't been properly shielded, then added solderless plugs to those wires, as well as to the pickups, pots and output jack socket, included in the stock package, making them dead easy to install without any need for soldering or any other additional parts for that matter (the foam used in the package makes for the perfect foam to put under the pickups, all you need is cut it to the desired size).

    In other words EMG took what might had been the absolute greatest original vintage P pickup in existence, cloned it meticulously, and put it in a practical modern improved packaging, and thereby creating what might very well be the ultimate vintage voiced P pickup, or at very least something that already seems to have become a modern classic.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
  9. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Maybe they should change their name to OMG.
  10. NoiseNinja

    NoiseNinja Experimental-psychedelic-ambient-noise-drone

    Feb 23, 2011
    Or how about:

    +5W4G U17R4 B0BB33 G33Z3RR P1UZH+ by ~0MG~
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2021
    mngnt likes this.
  11. rickster4003


    Feb 15, 2013
    Erich Bruning likes this.
  12. Holdsg

    Holdsg Talkbass > Work Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2009
    Alta Loma, CA
    it sounds damn awesome...that's why
    mikecd1 and stuntbass77 like this.
  13. Clark W

    Clark W Just Say No To Tort! Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2018
    To me there's nothing that really makes them special or stand out. They are great pickups, I have a GZR P pup in a 1985 Epiphone Accu Bass. But I also have a Fender Custom Shop '62 P pup in a 2019 Player Precision that I like better. And I also have a set of Aguilar's Hum Cancelling P/J set in a 2019 American Performer P/J Precision.

    I like all of them, the EMG, the FCS, and the Aggies.
  14. burpgun


    Jun 29, 2015
    I stuck a GZR in my '75 P bass and it's great. The original pickup died some time ago, I had some sort of American Fender P replacement in there that was fine. The GZR was super easy to install and just seems to deliver the "best" sort of Precision sound you'd want. Not too hot, mid-focused and works well with pedals, but I'll allow the difference is subtle. I've got an American Jaguar bass I'd love to put the GZR P/J set in to gain the noise free Jazz but the wiring in that thing with the all the switching is like something from a space ship, so I have not crossed that frontier.
    stuntbass77 likes this.
  15. stuntbass77


    Nov 6, 2007
    They sound really good and they are really reasonably priced. I chose them after several YouTube videos doing an A/B comparison. I didn’t get them because they had Geezer’s name on them. They have nice mids and good output. They sound nothing like the active EMG’s.
    imabuddha and Clark W like this.
  16. Marc DLarosa

    Marc DLarosa Supporting Member

    May 29, 2017
    Oooooooooooooooorrrrrr... GMG.
  17. Marc DLarosa

    Marc DLarosa Supporting Member

    May 29, 2017
    I've been contemplating the exact same thing. DO IT, so I can pick your brain/ears about it. :hyper:
  18. Father Gino

    Father Gino Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2018
    Farthard, Connecticut
    Took the words right out of my mouth
    I finally bought a P bass (a FSO actually) and it just happened to come with one of these in it. I have no experience of any other P pickup but I absolutely adore the Geezer. I want to know an equally impressive pickup set for a J bass.
    NoiseNinja likes this.
  19. drumvsbass


    Aug 20, 2011
    One word, Clarity.
  20. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe What will you be remembered for? Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2018
    Jax, Florida
    They sound great on my 96' American Standard P.
    Better than the stock pickups by far.
    Clark W likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Oct 28, 2021

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