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Will Re-magnetizing a vintage pick improve low end?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ampegfuzz, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    I have a vintage 74 P bass that has a healthy 10.5k pup but lacks some lows. Would re-magnetizing help?
  2. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Hello. Though I am not an expert, I would say no, that won't help. Pending any expert opinions, this:

    What is the body wood in this instrument?

    Did you try adjusting the pickup height?

    Were the low frequencies there previously and now are diminished?
  3. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    It's a ash/maple 1974 p bass. I have played with string height. Lows where never their but The bass is older then I. People have been in the guts already so I wasn't scared to swap pickups. I put in a dimarzio and it was to flubby in the mids but had the lows. Then I installed a lollar and it had lows but kinda dull in the highs. The stock pickup seems weak and is light on low end. But I didn't figure that should be the case with the meter reading 10.5k. If it was just a bit stronger with a tad more lows it would be perfect. And it's something I can't really eq with a amp.
  4. JGbassman

    JGbassman Supporting Member

    May 31, 2011
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    You might check out Prima Guitars. They make custom hand wound pickups to the specs you want, for a very reasonable price. I'd say give them a call, tell them what you are wanting and let them recommend something.

    I've not used any of their split coil pickups, but I am absolutely sold on a custom wound '51 single coil I just put in a '55 replica P bass I built from parts. I had another pickup in it from a reputable main brand builder, and it just lacked any character. Middy but no warmth or punch.

    I went on their site and listened to different sound clips of the pickups he has their (yes, individual sound clips of the pickup you are buying). And was sold on an overwound model called "dirty Harriet"

    It was quickly shipped and once I got it wired up it sounded amazing. Even better than the recording, but close enough to recognize it was the same pickup. It just killed with chromes.

    Fast forward to last night. I'm doing a sub job for a 50's-60's show band this weekend in Topeka KS. For a showcase, and was rehearsing with the band for the 20 minute piece they have put together. The other bassist was there, and I was using his amp. After the first run through the set, he comes into the rehearsal area and says, "what the heck are you running for a bass? That is punchy as heck, that amp never sounds that good." (I didn't touch a setting on the amp, just plugged in and played)

    Turns out he had a fender 51 reissue with flats as well, he plugged it in and it was dull and lifeless.

    I know there were other factors, but I can't help but to tip my hat towards the pickup I have in that bass.

    I don't endorse products, as I feel this boxes you in on the replies you make. I have no motive besides letting you know about this awesome company that makes some really cool custom hand wound pickups.

    Sorry this is so long winded, but I wanted to give a good description and the reasoning behind why I'm recommending the company to you.

    I know how frustrating it is to chase a tone in your head, and how satisfying it is once you find it.

    Good luck on your journey.

    Edit to say he has a money back guarantee if you don't like it.

    Last edited: Jan 5, 2017
  5. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    I guess a guy locally will remagnitize pickups do I might give it a shot. Then maybe I will have a custom pickup done.
  6. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Just for comparison, my 1973 Precision Bass is heavy ash and maple. It is a P/J conversion that I re-wired like a VVT J/J.

    Its low end is a warm, focused, but somewhat distant pillow of bass with some punch. Definitely it is not like a typical alder body Precision Bass in that way, which would tend to have a big, fat bass underpinning. After trying several different P pickups in this bass, including a 1976 Fender, I settled on a Lollar. In this bass that Lollar P has fine high frequency detail, if not prominent, and stupid nuance in harmonics and midrange.

    As for the DCR measurement, I have never heard that there is a reliable correlation between a pickup's measured output and its bass frequency response. There are too many other variable factors that can affect spectral response, so we can't pin it on DCR alone.

    For current production pickups, you might try any of these:

    Arcane Inc. 65 Experience P

    Florance P

    Klein Epic 1962 P

    Nordstrand np4

    O.C. Duff P

    The Pickup Wizard split coil P

    Van Zandt Vintage Plus P
  7. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    I know that DCR isn't everything but I just notice that less then 10k are usually pretty light on low end and then vise-versa. I had a np4 some time ago and it was great with the p/j combo but I never fell in love with it solo. I've never heard of any of the others on your list other then the van zandt. Interesting
  8. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    I have a pickup that has a DCR of 3.598 K Ω that has a very deep, extended bottom end.

    I have never heard a P Bass pickup that has really deep bass, the above pillowy description is pretty apt. Good solid tone but more focus a bit higher than some other excellent pickups out there. But, this is probably what folks are looking for when the P.

    Hope this helps.
  9. bassboysam

    bassboysam Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2001
    Ottawa, Ontario
    i remagnetized the pickups on my 73 Ric. i got a bit more of a focused sound and maybe a little more output. didn't notice a huge change in low end. it kind of went from a little flubby to more solid.
  10. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    id probably be happy with more output
  11. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    This...my new to me MIM Jazz has the lower resistance (5k or so) but the strong ceramic magnets not the alnico rods as in vintage J bass pickups.

    I would be inclined to try something as simple as a Duncan SPB1 vintage P pickup but NOT the SPB2 which is overwound and too hot in the mids.

    I quite like the SPB1 in my Peavey Fury which is a P body with a J neck.

    Not sure about recharging the magnet in that vintage Fender pickup myself....I swap magnets all the time in guitar humbuckers and P-90s and it works quite well for me...too bad you cant do the same with bass pickups!
    chris merrill likes this.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    unless the magnets have been somehow de-gaussed by something over the decades then no. they should already be at their full strength.

    take a little metal ruler or screwdriver, lay it on each magnet then lift it off. you'll be able to feel whether it still has the normal pull or not.
  13. chris merrill

    chris merrill Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Endorsing Artist for: GHS Strings, Lakland Basses
    Yep, the SPB1 is such a great pickup. Average in all the right places, not hyped or lacking in the wrong. Sounds how a p bass should sound!
    DavidEdenAria likes this.
  14. DavidEdenAria


    Dec 13, 2013
    On a Hill
    Good way of describing it...I don't even know what the wood in my USA Peavey Fury is, but the SPB1 makes it sound almost exactly like the P basses I have compared it to several times, even with a J style neck.

    Its not 'modern sounding' its not 'too hot' in any area of the EQ to my ears.
    chris merrill likes this.

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