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PJ-Bassist

P Bass - Pickup Dilemma

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To be honest I’m quite excited to try out some different pick ups in the particular bass and I’ll know form testing and listening which will work best. Plus the bass can accommodate a reverse p so even more fun to be had. 

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Found myself at Bass direct this morning, hadn't heard back from Jaime @ The Creamery (it is the holidays so wasnt expecting too) so after a good chat with Mark about what I was after and what he had in stock I ended up driving home with this:

20191228_130345.thumb.jpg.d064422812ee83676b9b6f560863094d.jpg

 

Edited by PJ-Bassist

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The beauty of trying out p pick ups is that Tm you can always easily move them on/find alternatives to try out pretty easily. 
 

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It's a bit like the blind leading the blind. I've been guilty of this myself, buying pickups on other people's say so. When what I should have done, and do now, is find the sound I want, then find out what pickups etc that bass player used/uses, and get those. Now I don't get 'sound' gas anymore. 👍

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Good call, that’s how I settled on my faves, the Fender Custom Shop 62s, heard a clip on here and it was the exact sound I wanted.

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57 minutes ago, hooky_lowdown said:

It's a bit like the blind leading the blind. I've been guilty of this myself, buying pickups on other people's say so. When what I should have done, and do now, is find the sound I want, then find out what pickups etc that bass player used/uses, and get those. Now I don't get 'sound' gas anymore. 👍

After watching a number of YouTube videos comparing P Bass sounds with different pickups I could hear very little difference in the ones that were 60s voiced.  After all they are all trying to recreate the same 'Fender' tone so this is to be expected. 

I fitted the NP4V this afternoon, I need to go back and do it properly as the Delano's that came out had rear covers with wax sealing the pickup in, there were no foam or springs either.  The Nordstrands had loose covers and no back plate, so I cut down some acoustic foam panels to fit behind them as a temporary fix, my soldering wasnt up to much either.  Again to be re done when I have a bit more time.

For those that do this often what is the correct way to fit pickups like the NP4V and how do you set appropriate pickup height?

In terms of tone, it still sounds like a P Bass!! The tone is a little warmer and perhaps sounds a little more hollow if that makes sense but it's a definite improvement over the stock Sandberg pups, both visually and sonically.

20191228_150449.thumb.jpg.7dd7cd3cd856f0cb1c124b82648d8e83.jpg

I've just noticed the E string is slightly off centre, seems to be mis-adjusted at the bridge.  Another thing to tweak when I go back and do the job properly.

Edited by PJ-Bassist

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On 14/12/2019 at 00:49, Jean-Luc Pickguard said:

I recently installed an EMG GZR passive P bass pickup into my '81 precision which has made it much more enjoyable to play due to the rich punchy tone that wasn't available with the original pickup. It has alnico magnets and was voiced to emulate the pickup in Bobby Vega's 1960s Precison.

Plus 1, great PJ set

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30 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Good call, that’s how I settled on my faves, the Fender Custom Shop 62s, heard a clip on here and it was the exact sound I wanted.

Absolutely agree, I love them

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The Fender CS 59 I’ve used before and it’s just a really solid pick up. As with most decent pick ups depending on the tone control it does all the classic p sounds from thump to clank.

Heard the Schecter in the MA bass - The Circle record ‘live in the room’ and while I known there’s gonna be amp and eq etc  the bass sounds great and on paper at least might do the trick. 

Final one is a bit of a punt but again has some good press but again on paper has potential.

Sometimes it’s good to take a chance as some of the words used to describe tones can end up being ridiculous! Try reading a Nordstrand blurb about their pick ups. Complete nonsense and this is from someone who has some NJ4’s in a jazz! 🤣

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6 hours ago, PJ-Bassist said:

Found myself at Bass direct this morning, hadn't heard back from Jaime @ The Creamery (it is the holidays so wasnt expecting too) so after a good chat with Mark about what I was after and what he had in stock I ended up driving home with this:

20191228_130345.thumb.jpg.d064422812ee83676b9b6f560863094d.jpg

 

Good call. I like that pickup enough that it’s in my 64 Precision. 

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3 hours ago, PJ-Bassist said:

After watching a number of YouTube videos comparing P Bass sounds with different pickups I could hear very little difference in the ones that were 60s voiced.

I meant a band or song the bass tone you want to emulate.

The 60s (like any decade) is so broad, if you can nail it down to one song, genre or band it will help you no end. 

I play anything from rock to blues to Motown, I use one pickup for all three (alnico), just changing the strings, and settings on my amp enables me to get the tone(s) I want. 👍

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57 minutes ago, hooky_lowdown said:

I meant a band or song the bass tone you want to emulate.

The 60s (like any decade) is so broad, if you can nail it down to one song, genre or band it will help you no end. 

I play anything from rock to blues to Motown, I use one pickup for all three (alnico), just changing the strings, and settings on my amp enables me to get the tone(s) I want. 👍

Ah with you.

I've spent a few hours with the new pick up playing a mix of Motown and John Mayer Blues.  I have another Sandberg P, a VT4 with a Delano PMVC P pickup.   Playing them side by side through the same amp and EQ'd settings I can hear quite a difference.  The NP4V has more clank in passive mode, but rolling off the tone a bit tames that.  The lows are just lovely through my valve amp.

I'm already considering a NP4 / NJ4 upgrade for the VT4 now :).

I wish I'd done a better job installing it but I can go back and correct that later - I just ordered some pickup foam so I can do a proper job with it.

Edited by PJ-Bassist

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As I mentioned I’ve some NJ4’s in my jazz and they’re good. I was after Aguilar 60’s winds but very happy with Nordstrand’s. 
They made a very affordable bass sound great and for not very much money used via the for sales on here. I’m in no rush to change them for anything else. 

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On 13/12/2019 at 22:53, PJ-Bassist said:

Question 1 would be what are the tonal differences in the P Bass era's; a lot of the pickup brands seem to offer 50's, 60's and 70's voiced options?

Question 2 general recommendations for a p bass swap ?     

Any advice greatly appreciated

IMO for Precision basses the various year options are probably driven by the marketing department rather than for any other reason.

I replaced my Precision pickups with SD's, which were then replaced with Bartolini. Which are still in place.

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It’s difference in the manufacturing of the pick ups as the materials changed during the switch over to CBS ownership- I’ve alluded to it earlier in the thread. 

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31 minutes ago, krispn said:

It’s difference in the manufacturing of the pick ups as the materials changed during the switch over to CBS ownership- I’ve alluded to it earlier in the thread. 

Yes, many moons ago I took a 70s P Bass to Kent Armstrong who was rewinding pickups using a breadboard with a rotating arm and clock to count the windings. He took my P bass pickup(s) off, uncovered them and used a blade to cut through the black magnetic cotton type windings. They immediately frayed up as they weren’t potted in wax or other stuff. He explained what was happening with Fender pickups at the time using cheaper materials and how they weren’t producing good tone. He rewound the P Bass (and a subsequent jazz pickup) with proper job wire and potted it in wax. 

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1 hour ago, krispn said:

Let the fun begin! 
 

 

BA6F2A13-81C7-4460-AFC0-8DD30094BB03.jpeg

Where are these from krispn ?

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49 minutes ago, krispn said:

Makeshift reverse p pick guard made and all is sounding well! 

5DC21566-EA9E-48D9-A355-C342EDD23F64.jpeg

Did you watch a lot of Blue Peter as a child? 😉

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