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what pickups for the most accurate, true to form 60s p bass sound.

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bon viesta, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    not hot, not overwound, not “beefed up”, just the most honest and ‘true to the 60’s’ p bass pickups. i’ve found some promising looking pickups from schuyler dean, but everyone seems to rage about 62 p bass pickups. which one, or maybe there’s another one out there, would be the most accurate if i’m trying to recreate a circa 1964 p bass sound?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
    EatS1stBassist likes this.
  2. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    lol not sure why i put a period in the title
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Good question. I own a 62 and the pickups are mellower and a bit lower in output than the 70s pickups.

    Since I never had to go shopping for soundalikes I can't really answer your question, but I do clearly remember the first time I took that bass into the studio. When I heard the playback blasting out of the control room monitors, I just sat there thinking, wow, that is the sound :roflmao:

    I've stated here many times I got really annoyed with Fender selling so many grades of "vintage spec" pickups and just muddying the waters for buyers looking for a pickup with the same magnets and winding. I'll leave it to others to suggest brands.
  4. vinnydbass


    Feb 4, 2008
    Thats funny, I have a 71 P and the pickups are way lower output than other P's I've owned.

    Klein pickups will tell that they have the most accurate pickup based on materials used. Do they sound true? I dont know.

    I have used the Fender Original and the Pure Vintage '63. The 63 is fatter and lacks some of the harsher highs that you get with the Original. I like them both. The Original is cheaper by about 30 bucks.

    the EMG Geezer P is supposed to be based off Bobby Vega's 62 pickup. I just dont like logos on my pup covers.
    Sparuto, bon viesta, sonojono and 2 others like this.
  5. kentiki


    May 14, 2008
    Have you checked out Lollar?
    NG51, pbass888 and Dabndug like this.
  6. RattleSnack


    Sep 22, 2011
    I liked Seymour Duncan SPB-1 pickups and always thought they were true to '60 sound, but not everyone on this forum agrees.
  7. andare


    Oct 4, 2016
    What is the 60s sound though? Jamerson? Are you using a .1 capacitor? What strings? How are you recording? Amp, DI, etc?
    You can EQ out offending frequencies and to a lesser extent EQ in the missing frequencies. For example with my Rumble 100 I can get a similar EQ profile from my Mini P with Chromes (super deep lows and harsh highs) and my Player P with Fender flats (weak lows and smooth highs). So maybe you dont need a new pickup but other pieces of gear. Just food for thought
  8. shoulderpet


    Sep 24, 2015
    I think the 60s tone I think it has as much to do with the strings as the pickup and really any p bass pickup that is designed to be vintage voiced will get you there with the appropriate strings (Labella flats, GHS flats, Pyramid Gold), also one thing to remember is that Fender where the type of company that consistently did things on the cheap so likely the only consistency with their pickups from the era is their lack of consistency
  9. Mvilmany


    Mar 13, 2013
    Upstate NY
    I get that smooth 60’s tone from my Nordstrand NP4v. Would buy again.
  10. MynameisMe

    MynameisMe These aren't the effects you're looking for... Supporting Member

    Dec 31, 2018
    I was about to agree with you that I don't like logos on my pickups and realized that only yesterday I installed Delanos with the logo displayed on my 90s Carvin jazz.
    vinnydbass and sonojono like this.
  11. johnnynitro


    Jan 14, 2012
    Nail Polish Remover takes those Logos right off !
    Coughdrops, Hop Jam, retslock and 4 others like this.
  12. I appreciate the question, but in a way I never know how to answer:

    What YOU think a 'true to form 60's P Bass sound' could be very different, one player to the next. Totally subjective as to what your ears hear next to someone else.

    IF you had THOSE pickups that answered your question, they would sound QUITE different thru a vintage fliptop Ampeg (as so many were played and recorded with) and a modern Subway or Genzler or Bergie rig. What amp?

    And the player, and the strings, with a pick, fingers, and on and on.

    I'm not trying to be difficult, but it's never JUST one thing to make tone. If only . . . . . it were.

    Aside from all that, I'd think a modern recreation of the alnico magnet pickups they used back then would be the best place to start. For Fender pickups with a little something extra that still stay in character, I'd talk to Lindy Fralin, who seems to have found his niche in just this sort of thing.
  13. Slater

    Slater Leave that thing alone.

    Apr 17, 2000
    The Great Lakes State
    Seymour Duncan Antiquity II
  14. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    May 21, 2008
    Napa, California
    There are many good options you may consider:

    Arcane Experience 65
    Aguilar AG-P60
    Seymour Duncan Antiquity II
    McNelly P

    Out of this group, my two favorites are the Arcane and the McNelly.
  15. I’m with @shoulderpet on this. I think string choice is a huge factor. Put LaBella DTFs on almost any bass with a P pickup in the “sweet” spot and it’s going to be capable of that 60’s P sound.
    LukeSlywalker likes this.
  16. vinnydbass


    Feb 4, 2008
    Unfortunately not Aero pickups or Seymour Duncan, I even tried acetone.
    johnnynitro likes this.
  17. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    EMG Geezers and Duncan SPB-1 are my two faves, though I like the little extra mid in the Geezer a bit more.
  18. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    This.....let's also factor in that no two basses are alike even if they come off the production line one after the other....I've handled and heard bright modern sounding basses from the 60s, 70s, 80s, on up....I've also handled classic sounding basses from all those decades.....I've handled lively instruments and I've handled not so lively.....I'm not sure why its assumed that a bass will sound a certain way if its from a particular time period
  19. okabass


    Mar 19, 2005
    I do agree.
    I've even compared some years ago about five different PUs to my '65 7ender P. And to my ears SPB-1 was the closest.
    RattleSnack likes this.
  20. Low8

    Low8 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Love, love, love, love, LOVE my Nordstrand NP4 with Alnico III magnets. It's not at all clangy like many Alnico V P pickups can be. The Alnico III mags make it warm and marshmallowy.

    Check 'em out.

  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.

    May 7, 2021

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