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Ricky Rioli

The tone of the Reverse P: when is it a Good Thing? when is it not?

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6 minutes ago, funkle said:

By the way I found some relevant threads on Talkbass in relation to this discussion

Reading through the first of those reminded me why I chose to start this thread on BC rather than TB ;)

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, PaulThePlug said:

@krispn  Following the Dood thread yesterday... yours, another fine Natural with black plate... nice

 

Mine is actually Dood’s old Shuker body/PB70’s neck Queen inspired P. Which I bought as it was the same look as my old ‘78 P bass which had been stripped back to a natural finish! 

Edited by krispn

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, funkle said:

I really like that pickup @krispn, I can see no reason to change it for another as an experiment. I considered it with the number of them I have around, but there’s no need. 

By the way I found some relevant threads on Talkbass in relation to this discussion. 

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/p-vs-reverse-p-what’s-better.1341181/

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/poll-standard-p-or-reverse-p.748372/

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/reverse-p-pickups-in-p-j-basses.741507/

 

Aye it sounds great - it’d just be fun to hear it in its ‘normal orientation’. For anyone who’s interested it’s a David Allen pick up and said to be voiced mid way between a 60’s and 70’s model. I’ve no idea how it’s wound or that. 

Edited by krispn
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Posted (edited)

I think the main idea with a reverse P pickup is not so much a question of changing the tone, although it no doubt does, but to get a more even tone between the low strings and high strings, that is picking the same note on the low strings higher up on the fretboard, towards the bridge, as the same note picked lower down on the fretboard, towards the nut, on a higher string, will sound more similar with a reversed P pickup, because the low, thicker, strings will gravitate towards more fundamentals and lower harmonics, and the high thinner strings less fundamentals and higher harmonics, and that the position of of 2 halves respectively on a reversed P pickup will equal some of that out, making the low strings sound slightly less bassy and the high strings slightly less trebly, instead of doing the opposite, which a traditional P configuration would, actually making the low strings sound even more bassy and the high strings even more trebly.

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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24 minutes ago, Baloney Balderdash said:

I think the main idea with a reverse P pickup is not so much a question of changing the tone, although it no doubt does, but to get a more even tone between the low strings and high strings, that is picking the same note on the low strings higher up on the fretboard, towards the bridge, as the same note picked lower down on the fretboard, towards the nut on a higher string, will sound more similar with a reversed P pickup, because the low, thicker, strings will gravitate towards more fundamental and lower harmonics, and the high thinner strings less fundamentals and higher harmonics, and that the position of of 2 halves respectively on a reversed P pickup will equal some of that out, making the low strings sound slightly more trebly and the high strings slightly more bassy, instead of doing the opposite, which a traditional P configuration would, actually making the low strings sound slightly more bassy and the high strings slightly more trebly.

I’m looking forward to your post on sucking eggs 😉

 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, krispn said:

I’m looking forward to your post on sucking eggs 😉

 

Damn, guess I missed the opportunity this year. :facepalm:

You should have reminded me a couple of weeks ago.

But I promise to make such a thread next Easter. 

Especially dedicated to you. :i-m_so_happy:

Edited by Baloney Balderdash

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I feel honoured and I’ll keep an eye out for any further edits. 

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So what is wanted is a split pickup of 5 halves, and a 3-way selector switch. In the middle position, the classic P; flick it to the left to shift the D+G half to the other side of the E+A half; flick it to the right to reverse it. Totally practical, and highly useful 😬

 

20210412_183554.jpg

20210412_183754.jpg

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Posted (edited)

@Ricky Rioli It looks expensive! Lol. 

You could get 4 out of 5 of those coils by using a modded Nordstrand MM4.4 or a newer Sims Super Quad pickup...or some of the Bartolini MM quad coil pickups too now that I think on it...

The Super Quads look really interesting but are so outrageously expensive even I have never ventured near them. Lol

Edited by funkle
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Posted (edited)
On 12/04/2021 at 19:38, funkle said:

newer Sims Super Quad pickup...

The Super Quads look really interesting but are so outrageously expensive even I have never ventured near them. Lol

Since you wrote that I've seen a couple of demo videos of the Sims pickup - the controls don't seem to allow a choice of which single coil you get, let alone a reverse P. Booooo! 👎

(ps the demos also made me realise why some bass humbuckers are so huge - the sound of a Super Quad set to humbucker is very, um, un-insistent)

Edited by Ricky Rioli
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Posted (edited)
On 12/04/2021 at 19:38, funkle said:

@Ricky Rioli It looks expensive! Lol. 

You could get 4 out of 5 of those coils by using a modded Nordstrand MM4.4 or a newer Sims Super Quad pickup...or some of the Bartolini MM quad coil pickups too now that I think on it...

The Super Quads look really interesting but are so outrageously expensive even I have never ventured near them. Lol

I keep looking at these which are also on the pricey side!

https://www.herrickpickups.com/products/split-8-coil-mm-humbucker/

Would do p, reverse p, mm & single coil out of out of the box. But with coil per string which I think probably puts it in completely different tonal territory!

Edited by bloke_zero
grammar
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53 minutes ago, bloke_zero said:

I keep looking at these which are also on the pricey side!

https://www.herrickpickups.com/products/split-8-coil-mm-humbucker/

Would do p, reverse p, mm & single coil out of out of the box. But with coil per string which I think probably puts it in completely different tonal territory!

Very cool. Very expensive too!!!

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I came across this on an old TB thread - the owner had put it together themself. "the E/A coils are located in 60's Jazz positions, and the D/G coils are moved neck-ward from there."

double-p-01-jpg-jpg.2615383

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Yes, I referenced that thread extensively when making my dual P.  Great thread. I still managed to make the rear pickup too close to the bridge though, lol!

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10 minutes ago, Ricky Rioli said:

I came across this on an old TB thread - the owner had put it together themself. "the E/A coils are located in 60's Jazz positions, and the D/G coils are moved neck-ward from there."

double-p-01-jpg-jpg.2615383

Nice find - the pickup placement looks strangely rational - not too pingy

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2 minutes ago, funkle said:

Yes, I referenced that thread extensively when making my dual P.  Great thread. I still managed to make the rear pickup too close to the bridge though, lol!

When the pickups are 50/50, how audible is it that the bridge is not just a standard single coil?

Or, put the other way round, is the benefit mostly found when soloing the bridge pickup?

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Ricky Rioli said:

When the pickups are 50/50, how audible is it that the bridge is not just a standard single coil?

Or, put the other way round, is the benefit mostly found when soloing the bridge pickup?

Great question.

Overall, you can definitely tell the rear pickup is not a Jazz pickup when both P pickups are blended 50:50. The mid cut is in a very different place to a JJ setup. However, compared to a PJ setup, it is not a million miles away sonically, you can tell it’s different but in a mix no-one would hear it, I don’t think.

Soloed rear P pickup - definitely different to a Jazz, I guess best way to put it is an ‘angry Jazz’, lol. You can roll the tone off and do Jaco. It’s thicker than a bridge Jazz pickup sound. IMO on the whole a Jazz pickup or other humbucker there is probably much easier to install and make it work well, though, and you can buy basses like that easily.

I found the DG coil near the bridge too clavinet-y after a while, so flipped the pickup orientation, which made the issue much better. However, in some ways, I simply transferred the problem to the EA strings, which tolerate the issue better, but still imperfect.

IMO bridge P pickups should be, for whichever coil is the rear one, no closer to the bridge than a 70’s Jazz bass spacing. I think it sounds better reversed as well, with DG closer to neck and EA closer to bridge. 
 

Edited by funkle
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To me, it's always made perfect sense to have the D&G unit towards the neck rather than the bridge; there's always been this output disparity in the E&A and D&G units; the D&G always appears quieter and less tonally full than the E&A.

My Spector has the P-unit reversed and the D&G seem to have more of everything, but it's questionable that the Spector's innards (Darkglass Tone Capsule) might be contributing to this, but even with everything flattish, there's more output and tonal parity.

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On 20/02/2021 at 05:52, Lozz196 said:

I’ve never had a bass with a reverse P pickup but to me it makes so much sense, tighter more focused sound on the thicker bassier strings, more lows on the thinner twangier strings.

Interestingly we did a blind Precision bass shootout a few years back at the Herts Bass Bash, with the overall and runaway winner being a Mark Hoppus Sig Precision with reverse P pickup. It was up against some seriously expensive instruments but with a room full of bassists voting with their ears only it trounced the others.

I agree the skinny strings could be "Mellowed" . My Mustang PJ has that Stang-twang on the little strings that could be fattened up .

DSCN2184.JPG

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10 hours ago, Ricky Rioli said:

Pinched from TB, a custom bass

I asked the owner what the two outers setting was like: "like an extreme reverse P: extra growl on the low strings (almost like Ric bridge pickup), extra depth on the high ones (similar to J-bass neck pickup). Sometimes it seems slightly unbalanced if I'm playing over one coil or the other and not directly between, but other times I think I'm just imagining that"

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I still hope to bring my EMG-swapped version of my Shamberg to the Midlands Bass Bash in September, where people can check it out. I find the reverse P tone to be very consistent between strings now, even without processing. But I don't have an amp (because I have housemates and neighbours) and so don't really have a feel for how it would translate in to moving air.

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I replaced the EMG HZ pickups in my Spector q6 with a pair of EMG reversed P soapbars.

The change is from passive humbuckers to active P but the low B is now much tighter and more audible (cleaner / clearer) and the harshness that the high C had is gone.

Was a bit unsure about the double P but it's solid, the P at the bridge sounds good.

Active eq makes this setup very adjustable, it's a good solid foundation.

Much better .. love these reverse P's.

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My latest dumb daydream I would never dare see through: changing the humbuckers on my TRBX for a pair of Reverse P soapbars. 

But I look at the sizes of split coil pickups, and look at the size of these svelte humbuckers and wonder how that is supposed to fit in there. One half of my BB's split pickup is as wide as my TRBX's humbucker.

Edited by Ricky Rioli

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