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Which pickup for MIM P-Bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by philthygeezer, May 22, 2002.

  1. philthygeezer


    May 22, 2002

    I have a nice black Fender MIM P-bass, and I am going to change the pick guard (boring white), knobs (strat knobs?? - c'monnn!) and most importantly, the pickup. It just sounds too hollow and electronic right now.

    I have settled on passive, since I don't want to route or have to unscrew the pick guard on a poplar body more than a couple of times.

    The choices are narrowed down to any of the three Seymour Duncan SPB or antiquity series, or perhaps a Fender antiquity pickup of some sort.

    I want the pickup to be a good general performer, but mostly suited to 70's funk, and perhaps some chili-peppers style stuff.

    Another thing (and perhaps most importantly): I got to try out a real 1965 Fender p-bass the other day, and it sounded like a giant kettle drum going off whenever I plucked a string. It made my skull vibrate and left me grinning from ear to ear. I was stunned and amazed that such a beat up old hunk of wood could sound so sweet. Would one of these pickups get me close to that sound? Which one?
  2. 1964


    Mar 26, 2002
    Too Close To Hell
    IMO none of these pups will get you close. There's more to it than the pup...the woods, the construction, the components, the aging of all components...pots, coil windings, etc. I'd look for the best complement to make your MIM bass into the best it can be, rather than aiming for the tone of another unique bass.
  3. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    If you want your P-bass to sound as much like a P-bass as possible, I would recommend the Fender Original '62. 1964 is right, your MIM isn't going to sound exactly like that 1965 P you played; there's something special about the old ones. However, MIM's can often sound very good.
  4. jwymore


    Jul 26, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Probably the cheapst way to upgrade is to look for a used Fender USA P-Bass pickup, preferably the Vintage. If you want to add more bottom have a look at the Duncan Basslines "Hot" for P-Bass.
  5. 1964


    Mar 26, 2002
    Too Close To Hell
    The Fender Original '62 is cheap and IMO as good an option as any.