1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Why do my MIJ 1996 P-basses have different pickups?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by hankhill, Mar 8, 2018.


  1. hankhill

    hankhill

    Feb 4, 2005
    I have two MIJ Fender Precision 50th Anniversary 1996 P-basses, one (Blue Bass) has a V+6 digit serial, and the other has a U+6 digit (Red Bass). I removed the necks to take a peek. Photos are attached. I now know the blue bass is a 62 reissue and the red bass is a 57. The original pickups that these basses came with are different, one has a magnet fixed to the bottom which seems to be unusual. I’m wondering if one pup is Japanese and one American? If so, which is which?

    I even found a 1996 Fender Japan brochure here - Fender Japan Electric Guitars Catalog 1996 but it hasn’t helped. I'm pretty sure both bodies are Basswood so I was expecting both pickups to be Japanese but as they’re not identical I’m not so sure now.

    If anyone can shed some light I’d be grateful.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
  2. hankhill

    hankhill

    Feb 4, 2005
    Bump with edits.
     
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Bottom magnet pickup is ceramic, the other is alnico.

    It is strange IF they switched pups for the same series of product, may have been a simple priduction error, but there’s no reason to think the alnico wasn't made in Japan.
     
    Axstar likes this.
  4. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Vermont
    I'm surprised to see that ceramic pickup on a MIJ Fender. Did you buy the red bass new?

    Not trying to cast any aspersions, and there's a lot I don't know, so I'm sure I'll learn something from others who are more knowledgeable - but I would have expected to see an alnico pickup on a reissue bass.
     
  5. hankhill

    hankhill

    Feb 4, 2005
    I didnt buy either bass new, so I dont know if mods were made. Presumably the ceramic pickuop is the on ewith the magnet on the back? I was planning to sell one of the basses, is the ceramic a better pickup than standard then? Its frustrating that neither pickup has any identifying marks, and I can't get the covers off. I dont want to force them and risk damage.
     
  6. b_carville

    b_carville

    Jun 26, 2008
    I think(I could be wrong) that they used ceramic pickups on the bottom of the line Japanese P basses.There were some models that weren't marked as specific models(like 50's/60's etc) & were just marked Fender Precision bass.I used to see them on Fender Japan dealer websites & they cost a bit less.
    I had a candy apple red Japan Fender P with the same ceramic pickup.It was just called a "standard" by the dealer.
     
  7. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Not new, there’s your answer. No, ceramic aren’t better, just different.
     
  8. tpaul

    tpaul Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2011
    Vermont
    There's a cult of alnico, but I've had ceramic pickups that sounded great. However alnico would be more correct for a reissue of a bass from a period before ceramic pickups we're invented.