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Which pickup configuration?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Jason Hale, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. Precision

    7 vote(s)
  2. Jazz (jj)

    25 vote(s)
  3. Precision/Jazz (pj)

    13 vote(s)
  4. 2 Soapbars

    18 vote(s)
  5. MusicMan (mm)

    6 vote(s)
  6. Jazz/Musicman (j/mm)

    20 vote(s)
  7. Pickups don't change tone, it's all in the bass and the player.

    7 vote(s)
  8. Other

    6 vote(s)
  1. Which pickup configuration do you feel sounds best or is most versatile?
  2. MM/J ( not J/MM)
  3. I have three basses , one PJ, one J/MM and one JJ. All three serve the needs of most gigs. The JJ is a fretless so it gets most of the blues/jazz gigs. The J/MM has flatwound strings also so it can go along on the blues/jazz gigs too. The PJ has all Alembic pups and electronics with roundwounds so it is primarily a funk , R&B machine but I have also done blues gigs with it. I think tone is mostly in the fingers anyway. Just my opinion!
  4. it's all in the technique, baby :)
  5. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    J/J is probably the combination most people think of when you say "versatile". But I think your question is incomplete, or possibly even impossible to answer as written. There's no absolute "best", possibly you could vote on what's best if you add "for style X".

    As mcrracer I believe you need more than one bass to cover different sounds and styles, even if you can do a lot by varying playing technique and EQ. No pickup combination can for instance give you both fretted/fretless sounds.
  6. Three basses.

    A Precision for P tones (with flats)
    A Jazz for J tones (fretless, with rounds)
    A Musicman or G&L L1500 for Stingray tones

    Each has their pickups located in the sweet spot for their unique tonal qualities. Some say the passive P/J won't nail the P tone accurately due to impedance interaction between the two pickups. I have no experience here, only what I've been told.
  7. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Two MM's?:eek:
  8. why not two MM's/why :eek: ?

    Edit: Spelling error :rolleyes:
  9. lamarjones

    lamarjones Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    I have wondered what are the major differences in a lot of pickups. I personally hate the shape of a precision pickup, but don't know if tonally it offers something sweet.

    So, my question is, how different are MMs and soapbars. I got an R bass with 2 I believe soapbars, that has a coil tap. What is the real difference in this thant the MM besides size?
  10. P/J/J, with a selector switch allowing P/J/J, P, P/J, J/J, and JJ as a humbucker.

    Well, that's waht I'VE got...:D

    Rock on
  11. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Well I own three basses with a Jazz configuration (two Fenders and a Smith). So I guess that's my opinion on it...
  12. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    I didn't vote because I don't think I really have a favorite.

    This post would be massive if I talked about all of the options so I'll talk about some observations about my favorites one at a time....starting with the P pickup.

    A P pickup is very sensitive dynamically because of the coil configuration and location (a high excursion area) . The sound a fretted note has less of an "on and off switch" characteristic. There's a lot degrees of loudness / tone between "no sound" and "full sound" depending on attack, hand position, fretting pressure, etc...

    Because it's wired in series it's got deep lows and a lot more highs than people accredit it. Harmonics explode out of it. A lot of people don't associate that characteristic w/ a P but it's true. I still think that a lot of people associate the muted, flatwound, bass amp w/ no tweeter sound with it. That's understandable because for decades, that's exactly the context in which P's were used.

    I often marvel at how ingenious the pickup design is in regards to adjustability. You can tweak it for perfect string balance regardless of fingerboard curvature or playing preference.

    To my ears, the P pickup has a natural distortion to it - esecially present in the upper mids. This distortion gives the sound thickness and presence but also robs some clarity. It gives the P more of a signature sound and that's why it's not associated w/ a 'hi fi' sound.

    Once your familiar w/ the naunces of a P. It's easy to work around it by using different playing techniques, EQ settings, pickup height, strings and instrument set up. The P sound is a lot more flexible than people think. You can make it snarl or thump, click, bark.. whatever.

    In my opinion the signature sound is one cool ass tone. One of the cool things about it is that it's a full range voice - lows, mids, highs, they're all there. That gives a nice pallette to work with because it's easier to take something out of a pickup's sound than it is to artificially add it in.
  13. Funkster

    Funkster Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2000
    Wormtown, MA
    I had to vote for it's all in the fingers because I own 4 of the choices PJ, JJ, P, MM. and it always sounds like me playing them all.
  14. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    How about p/mm, like on the MIA deluxe P?
  15. That's not quite an MM is it? That's a Texas Humbucker, sounds quite a bit different.

    Rock on
  16. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    I think they are more like two J pups together
  17. Two musicmans .
  18. This post is long , but it makes a lot of sense :cool:
  19. I don't know about versatile, but I think the one big humbucker at the neck (i.e. gibson EB-O) is the coolest, and the coolest sounding! (ride the mud!)
  20. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    two musicman pups as long as each one has its own series/parallel/single coil switch. still trying to get that rigged up on a project bass.

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