Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

The best set of P. Bass Pickups?

Discussion in 'The BASS Place' started by slowpinky, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Frankjohnson

    Frankjohnson Tele-Meister

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dover - Delaware
    My fingers aren't vintage yet......but if I relic them no one will know the difference!:D

  2. 4mal

    4mal Friend of Leo's

    Mar 18, 2003
    The Gorge
    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.

  3. Tim Armstrong

    Tim Armstrong Super Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Admin Post
    I certainly hope not!!!!!!!




  4. drf64

    drf64 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 24, 2009
    Ada, MI
    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.


  5. randysmojo

    randysmojo Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 19, 2005
    Austin, TX
    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.

  6. 4mal

    4mal Friend of Leo's

    Mar 18, 2003
    The Gorge
    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...
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2010

  7. KCKC

    KCKC Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 10, 2008
    Hingham, MA
    I was talking to a guy who said his rig was so good he doesn't even have to play anymore!:eek::D:D


  8. mudbean

    mudbean Friend of Leo's

    For sure.

    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.


  9. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

    Jul 25, 2006
    LaGrange, GA
    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.

  10. mudbean

    mudbean Friend of Leo's

    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.


  11. LawDaddy

    LawDaddy Tele-Holic

    Dec 14, 2009
    Auburn, CA
    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.

  12. mudbean

    mudbean Friend of Leo's

    Your daughter plays with your band ... man, that is frickin COOL!


  13. LawDaddy

    LawDaddy Tele-Holic

    Dec 14, 2009
    Auburn, CA
    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.

  14. heath

    heath TDPRI Member

    Sep 17, 2007
    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

  15. Steve McGinnis

    Steve McGinnis Tele-Afflicted

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Worth, Texas

    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.....

  16. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Fort Collins, CO
    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.

  17. 4string

    4string Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2010
    Central California
    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...:eek: and it's kickin' my P bass's hiney as in total :oops:. 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"....;)

  18. tom grossheider

    tom grossheider Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Mar 4, 2003
    Mokena, IL
    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.

  19. rand z

    rand z Friend of Leo's

    Feb 19, 2004
    trumansburg, ny
    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.

    rand z

  20. h2otorched

    h2otorched Tele-Meister

    Jun 15, 2010
    San Diego, California
    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 a box.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2010

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