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Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by slowpinky, Jul 31, 2010.
My fingers aren't vintage yet......but if I relic them no one will know the difference!
It's kind of a question of What does a real P-Bass sound like. To my ears the Fender CS P Bass pickup is really harsh and not smooth at all... Go play one of the 62 Ri AV basses and you'll get a sense of what I mean - or not depending on the rig/DI you run it through.
If we're talking playing down at the local watering hole through the house amp, just about anything upscale of a stock Fender MIM P pickup will work fine. If you're recording or working in more critical listening environments, then maybe some tweaking is in order. For me, I want my basses to sound as good as possible. So I work with a pickup builder that can translate what I want into a finished product.
For $70 bucks you can get off the shelf - which might work for you - or might not. For $96 you can get spec'ed by you, hand built to order, fully custom. I might ask for $26, why not ?
To me it's a matter of balancing variables. Wood is a variable, the bridge, the nut, strings, pickups - all wariables as a Turkish economics prof I had would say.
It's really just a matter of what you are trying to achieve.
I certainly hope not!!!!!!!
I'm not a bass player, but anybody ever use Bartolinis? I'm about to put a used set in a strat, but they are more famous for their bass pups.
I've heard some of the Fralin bass pickups and they sounded great. I know they make a split coil tele bass pickup so they are bound to make a split coil j-bass pickup as well.
Oh yeah, I've had Bart experience. Mostly replacing them... not my cuppa tea. Very modern, very quiet, quite compressed. Definately not anything like punchy ... for what they do I suppose they are fine - I used them back in my smooth jazz days and I sort of thing that's where they fit.
Actually there are very few split coil J's on the market. Nordstrand and Vintage Vibe would be about it AFAIK. Fralin bass pickups are all over the map from my experience. He's a great winder no doubt but bass is a real small part of what he's doing... I've had two Laklands with Fralin's. Neither kept the Fralin's long...
I was talking to a guy who said his rig was so good he doesn't even have to play anymore!
For a weekend hack, like me, who pretty much just plays down at the local watering hole - although I have my own, fairly nice bass amp & cab (I've never seen a local bar that had a house rig of any kind ... guess I'm just sheltered & inexperienced), my FrankenBass (86-87 Fender MIJ PBass body & bridge, CTS pots, AllParts maple neck w TUSQ nut, Fender Original Vintage pups, D'Addario roundwounds) does just fine.
I also do my own bass tracking in my home project studio. This is where I can see that the gear starts to make much more of a difference - when I'm writing a song, or more to the point, a bass part, I start thinking, "Man, I'd like to sound like that XXXXX record I love on this one ... how do I get that sound?" It's usually that deep, modern country bass growl, BTW, but there are times when I want something else. Of course, I think it's also very important to realize that mixing the electric bass is a fine art more than any other instrument, and virtually every electric bass you hear on a recording has been heavily processed via EQ, compression and other studio FX after the sound has left the player's gear.
Now, if I were a professional bass player, like 4mal or some of our other members here, I could see being much more concerned about the finer subtleties of bass pickups.
I have Duncan 1/4 pounders in my P Bass. They cover everthing from country to rock to funk slap... It prints great in the studio as well.
I had heard that the Quarter Pounders were more aggresive than classic PBass pups, so I made a "rock monster" - my alternate P, a red 20th Anniversary Squier body with the old rosewood neck from the MIJ. When tracking, it does have more bite than my #1.
Those QP's are nice pups. With the tone knob rolled off a bit, they actually sit real nice in the mix for blues. My daughter plays in her high school jazz band, and loves the sound of the QP I put in her bass when played fingerstyle with the tone rolled off. When she sits in with my soul/blues band, and her bass sounds great. Of course, tone full open and played with a pick, she gets that Mike Dirnt tone, too. I was surprised how versatile the QPs are.
Your daughter plays with your band ... man, that is frickin COOL!
It is very cool. She finally did a full night with me a month or so ago, very nice.
She wouldn't play guitar, since I do, so she took up bass. She's almost 16 and can read and play fretless, so I told her she'll never starve
With the QPs, we ended up with 300K linear pots (out of one of my Gibsons) and an Orange Drop cap. I spent a couple of days swapping around different combos, and she liked the sweep of the linear pot on the volume and the sound of the Orange Drop.
as mentioned early on in the replies, Lollar is a great choice for vintage-sounding pickups, ime...i've had 2 sets of his Jazz and now have a Lollar Precision in my '62 P clone, and it sounds fantastic...i'm actually sort of pondering routing for a J to make it a PJ setup, and I plan to call Jason to ask about whether his stock J bridge pairs well with the stock P or if he suggest a very slight overwind to balance better
I have a set of PJ Fralins in my bass and they sound fantastic. The Jazz that I have is the split coil so it has no hum.....
I highly argee with Tim. I have is old P-Bass. It's greasy and low and sounds just like you'd expect an old P-Bass to sound.
I just got a jazz bass w/ Aero Instrument pickups w/ alnico 5 magnets and I'm just blown away with how aggressive these pups are. I'm getting this HUGE bottom that rivals my G&L L2000 in active... and it's kickin' my P bass's hiney as in total . I'm thinking about Aeros for the P now.
Aeros are not cheap, comparably priced/slightly less than Fralin's. I believe they have a P and a P-J set as well as the J set. If you want a super-aggressive rock-thing happenin', Aeros (IMO) are "the kind"....
Another plus for the Voodoo Pbass pickup! I've used the Fender 62RI pickup with reasonable success, but also have to add Mel is right on with his assessment/experience.
though a guitar player by nature, im a bass player at heart... here's my 1 cent worth.
i hear a coupla things going on between the lines here.
1 - the type of pups may be determined whether youre playing out or recording.
2 - it might depend, greatly, on the style of music... funk or prog jazz vs. classic country or blues... or rock, even soft folk or mellow jazz.
3 - also what amp, tube or solid state, and size speaker... 10" hartke vs. 15" stock fender. (big differences here, too)
i would think any bass pickup, similar to a guitar pup, would react differently in these 3 environments... or in various combinations of the above. (again, some big differences)
obviously, makes the decision(s) more complicated, to me. personally, id want something that can do a little of everything as i like all of the above to varying degrees.
A little late to this party...
I know there are people out there
who will think I'm bonkers...
I have a 79 MusicMan Sabre Bass.
I bought it new, it is the two hum-
bucker model, a little different body
than the beloved Stingray.
After 11-12 years of playing it
professionally I got bored with
the sound...started stripping the
nasty, yellowed, cigarette smoked
finish off of it with a Blockbuster
Video card...then took it to a guy
who pulled the humbuckers out,
stuck an EMG P/J set in white in there.
He then made the maple neck fretless,
and put some smaller Gotohs tuners on.
I sanded the body down real smooth,
and put a simple MinWax ghost white
on it. Strung it up with Maxima Gold
I think it sounds better with the EMG s in there.
I do miss the frets, I don't have large
hands and the fretless started giving me cramps
while I was playing.
I still have the humbuckers...in a box.